After our 12-week scan and finding out everything looked good, I could finally relax a little and start to enjoy being pregnant – the fact the nausea had eased up helped massively. I started to feel like I had a bit more energy and able to look forward to my second trimester.
I already had a bit of a belly pouch pre-pregnancy but even I noticed that this was a growing baby, so I tried the trick with a hairband around the button of my jeans that I found on Instagram – very useful but did not last long enough – too many innocent hair bands were sacrificed! My expanding belly and the bon voyage party we threw for my waist could have been down to my weekly cheesecake habit, but of course, I blamed our little nugget. My ‘Bump’ app recommended that I take a bumpie every week to watch my bump grow and I’m so glad I did. I could really notice a difference throughout the second trimester, which was lovely to see, and I’m sure will be nice to look back on.
20-week scan... couldn't wait that long
I was quite impatient to get to the next scan, which I had always heard as being referred to as the 20-week scan. Imagine my disappointment when I got my appointment letter and saw it was booked in for when I was actually 21 weeks. A week can feel like forever when you’re looking forward to something and I was having absolutely none of that! Stephen and I were both too excited to find out the sex, so much so we booked a private scan to find out early. Somehow thinking that this would make it seem all the more real, but above all else, we just wanted to check in on our little nugget and make sure all was ok.
As the date approached, everyone kept asking me what I wanted and if I had an inkling as to whether it was a boy or a girl. This is my first pregnancy so I had nothing to compare to. All I knew is that I wanted so badly to have a boy and I know everyone says – all that matters is that the baby is healthy, which is of course true… But I wanted a healthy boy. I managed to be somewhat restrained with shopping (very unlike me) and resisted buying anything clothing wise up until this point. We said we could buy just one little outfit on the day of the scan. In the week leading up to it, I started to look around and found myself drawn to girls’ clothes. I had about 20 plus options of things to buy if it was a girl and couldn’t find anything I really liked for a boy.
our 17-week scan gender scan - it's a...
The date of our 17-week gender scan finally came around and all the waiting paid off – what a truly incredible experience. It felt far more relaxed than my first scan where it was just Stephen and I feeling very nervous. This time around there was a waiting room full of couples and families excited and celebrating their news. (Although they can be quite pricey I really recommend a private 4D scan!) We were up next the sonographer did a general check of the baby to make sure all was okay and then went to check between the little legs to find... that they were crossed!
So more waiting for us as I was made to wiggle around to try and get the little one to move. Then she said ‘are you ready?’ anxiously we replied and smiled and she pointed between the baby’s thighs and confirmed that we were expecting a little girl! I really thought I’d be more disappointed than I was (I know that sounds awful!) But I was so set on having a little boy, we’d already picked out his name and imagined what kind of person he’d be. Giving my stepsons the little brother they wanted would have been awesome too but they’re just as happy to teach their little sister how to play football and what they say is true, I’m just happy she’s healthy. We watched her for ten minutes wriggle around on the screen, doing backflips and even sucking her thumb – it was at this moment it all really started to sink in.
As well as the second, and third scan another exciting milestone was feeling movement for the very first time. I must confess I fell back into the dangers of Google as I began researching when and how often I should feel my baby move. Of course as is it with everything during the second trimester it is all completely different for everyone, which actually for once I found really reassuring. I had read that the first movements feel like little bubbles or popping in your stomach, and I would say it’s more like when your eye twitches but in your belly – completely mad nonetheless! It was probably around 21/22 weeks that I started to notice something (thanks to my stupid anterior placenta) and then began really looking out for it. Over the next few weeks though, the movement became more and more noticeable and by 25 weeks I could actually see my stomach move!
a fond farewell to my second trimester...
As I head into my third trimester and have all the swollen ankles, a ballooning belly, leaking breasts and all those wonderful things to look forward to. I (with a very heavy heart) say goodbye to the best phase of pregnancy. I feel like the weeks are just flying by now. I’m torn between really enjoying my pregnancy, feeling like I don’t want it to end (I feel like I have my baby all to myself right now) and just being desperate to meet her! But I am going to do my best to make the most of the last 14 weeks, get as much sleep as I can, try not to consume the amount of salt I’m craving and turn my attention to the scary last few chapters of How to Grow a Baby, and Push it Out.