So after the worries during weeks 9 and 10 of bleeding I finally made it to the next milestone in this pregnancy, meeting the midwife and going to my booking appointment.
After my MMC earlier in the year, each appointment seems like another milestone crossed so getting to this Midwife this time was a bit of a relief, but in fairness I was still totally worried about the first scan – but more on that later!
Each area of the UK handles Midwife care differently, some have clinics at your local GP’s, some are hospital based, some will come to your home and some (as in my case) are done in local centre (or as it turns out in the local Primary School!)
When I arrived I was given a blank copy of what are now my maternity notes and left to fill in a lot of personal details along with the background health history of both my husband and myself. I knew this would be asked so made sure I spoke with my husband and mother-in-law to get a good idea of any medical issues that might cause any concern.
Once I went in I had to provide the usual urine sample along with having blood pressure taken, being weighed and my height noted, I also had to re-answer the million questions I had just filled in, along with a million more. The questions vary from your heritage and background, any previous or current medical conditions, any family medical conditions to the type of accommodation you live in to your lifestyle choices. I was given leaflets on all sort of things as well as being recommended to take a daily supplement of Vitamin D, ensure I got my Whooping Cough vaccination topped up at 28 weeks and to ensure I book myself in for a flu jab later in the year (the latter of these is what I am dreading – I have never had one, or wanted one but needs must). I was also given a Bounty welcome pack which was filled with useful magazines, a few samples and lots of guff. I was then booked in for my 16 week visit and sent on my merry way.
I was also due to have some bloods taken but the Midwife had no luck with my veins so it was a trip the hospital after to get the required red cells out! These blood tests are super important to check how you are generally as well as checking for any blood disorders which might effect your pregnancy and birth as well as checking for things like HIV. They take quite a bit of blood to run all these tests but it is pretty painless and over with soon enough. Unless you have any issues come back with your bloods the Midwife will not contact you after with your results.
A week after my booking appointment it was time for my first official scan – which as I mentioned I was looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. Although I had seen little Jelly Belly on the screen a couple of weeks before I still had the fear of what if something went wrong in-between? My husband had been cheering me on over the previous weeks saying everything would be fine but I was still worried.
We were the first in the waiting room on the day (nothing unusual there, we are both always early for everything!) and after showing my ID and letter (yes they check your ID before you go in!) I was sent down for some more blood tests. Apart from being used to help date and check that the baby is growing as it should be, the first scan is inclusive of a nuchal scan – this basically is where a measurement of the back of the babies neck is taken and along with the results of a specialised blood test lets you know the probability of a high risk or low risk of carrying a baby with a chromosomal condition such as Downs. As you having your scan the bloods are tested and your get the results as soon as you are done – which is pretty fantastic when you think about it.
So it was time for the scan itself and my husband and I went into the darkened room and then up on the screen was little Jelly Belly.
He or she was taking a bit of a nap which was no use for the sonographer so he wiggled my tummy a bit (which looks like a mini earthquake on the screen!) and the baby soon woke up, kicking and punching at the intrusion! Thankfully everything looked to be where it needed to be (two arms, legs, hands and feet – a normal sized head etc.) and the heartbeat was a very reassuring normal 160bpm.
It was pretty amazing to see this little teenie tiny person on the screen which now really was starting to look like a baby! It was also great for my husband to get his first glimpse of the baby – I think it really started to make everything seem even more real! The best part though was finally being able to tell people the good news – and hearing back from our friends and extended family really topped off the day.