Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Oh my goodness. Kicks are the most bizarre thing in the world. Having only felt a couple with my hand over the last 5 or so days and James having only felt one, I was sitting at my desk in work today and thought I felt movement so I put my hand down on the lower right hand side of my belly and got 3 hard kicks in a row which scared the life out of me. It made me feel excited but a bit sick at the same time. Hopefully I get used to it because as nice as it is to feel the baby moving... it's very very strange! It's nice to know that baby is getting stronger and more active :-)

Also, just to note, the baby is about the size of cantaloupe melon from head to bum :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Halfway there!

So now I'm 20 weeks and providing the baby comes on it's due date... then I am exactly halfway there. It feels like such a great milestone to reach because from now on the time can only get shorter than the 20 weeks that have just passed, if that makes sense. It's crazy to think that in 16 or 17 weeks time I will be off work for a long while looking after an adorable little baby.

Bump is growing rapidly still and I am finding it harder to bend to put on my socks and even to get out of bed in the mornings. I have to sit down and get up slowly or I hurt my back. I guess the pain is just everything inside stretching out to make more room for bubs.

James felt movement yesterday. It was the very first movement that he has been able to feel. It has only happened 2 or 3 times now.  The first time I felt it on the outside, James missed it. I'm sure it will get strange indeed when my tummy starts moving in weird directions and we will be able to not only feel, but see the baby move from the outside!

We had a shopping spree the other day and paid for our cot. It is being delivered on the 7th February and can't wait to see it.
We also bought the steriliser and bottles and a bunch of nappies and baby wipes because they were on special offer. The items we ordered in January were delivered and mum brought them down in her car this weekend. It's nice to feel that we are organised and have almost everything we need...

Another visit to the hospital

After another scare I went to the hospital to get checked out. I had another scan and the baby was fine. It's always so reassuring seeing the baby bouncing about on the scan. The scan picture I got to take home isn't the clearest but you can make out the body at the bottom and the head at the top and one of it's little feet.

The pram

We got the pram at the start of January. We decided on the Mamas and Papas Pliko Pramette in polka dot. It's gorgeous. It can be set up for a newborn (facing me)...

Or it can be set up as forward facing when the baby is slightly older... I love it. It's won awards from lots of different magazines and is the lightest pram on the market at the minute at only 9kg :-) It's not so hard to put up or down either but I'm still getting the hang of it. Our pram was a gift from mum.


The baby started moving at the end of Christmas/ very start of January. I can't place an exact day on it though because some of the movement was so small that it could be confused with something like hunger rumbles. What I started to notice as the baby, and not something like hunger, were little bubbles and little strokes on the inside of my tummy. It's an amazing feeling but strange at the same time.

James and I have been playing a little bit of music to the baby every so often and it's funny to see that sometimes the baby responds. I wonder what it must sound like beneath all my skin and in the amniotic fluid!!

My booking visit at the NMH

I had my booking visit on the 20th December in Holles Street. Had I known it would be so long and boring I would not have been so excited!! The National Maternity Hospital is one of the busiest in Dublin so I was in for a shock when I arrived at my appointment time to find there was a queue for the reception area about a mile long. I stood in the queue for half an hour and then waited beside the reception area for another 15 minutes while they found my folder.

Inside the waiting room was like a cattle market with everyone trying to bump the queue so I was lucky when I was called to the first visit section of the waiting room where there were only 2 women ahead of me. I got talking to them both and because they are at the same stage as me there is the chance we could end up in ante-natal classes or even in a ward together!! Talking passed the time a bit.
I saw a nurse first who asked me my entire family medical history and asked me if I had any worries so far.

I then got sent off for a urine sample and a blood sample. After then waiting in the waiting room for another 20 minutes or so I was called in to see the consultant who, having looked at my notes knew of my early scans and asked would I like to see the baby on the screen for just a minute to put any worries at rest. So I got to see the baby again which was nice. Not many people get the chance to see their baby as many times as I have seen mine. It's going to be a model!

Was told that my iron levels were far too low and was sent on my way.

I really started noticing my bump about now. Not very big out in front but definitely noticed it rounding off a little.

Christmas went well and it was nice thinking that this time next year we would have our son/ daughter with us to enjoy Christmas too and it would be at weaning stage so able to enjoy Christmas dinner with us! It was also nice having the opportunity to eat as much as I liked for Christmas dinner as wearing maternity jeans meant I didn't feel restricted in any way.


On 17th December I noticed my belly button changing shape. I haven't posted a picture because I've been finding it a little strange and hard to look at!! It's now an oval more than a circle. Very bizarre. I just know it's going to turn into an 'outy' at any minute.

In the post we received a card from James' Uncle Bobby. For Christmas he had donated money which purchased a birthing kit for midwives in Africa. It was such a lovely and thoughtful gift and really made us appreciate just how good we have it here in the western world where death in childbirth is a very rare and unheard of occurrence. In a place like Africa it's very common. It made us feel good to know Bobby had purchased something that could make that big a difference to someone.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Our 12 week scan!

By the time our 12 week scan came around I was already developing little bit of a bump and finding it harder and harder to fit into my normal sized jeans, especially after a meal.

We paid €140 for the scan but it was more than worth it. It was more in depth than the previous scans and the Dr. was very nice. First of all he did a quick scoot about to make sure that there was only one baby in there and then he let us watch the baby dancing for a little while. It's legs had grown so so much and it was bouncing itself up and down.
After seeing the baby dancing about the Dr. let us hear the heartbeat. It sounded a little like a train or a running horse.

My favourite picture from the scan was the one below. It is of the baby's feet.

The baby is currently the size of a plum!

Our 9 week scan!

The wait between the 6 week scan and the 9 week scan went fast. Again we saw our little bean on the screen but this time we were able to make out cute little arms and legs... it looked a little bit like a teddy bear. Such a big difference from the scan a few weeks ago! The baby was moving about. It looked so comfy! At this time the baby was the size of an olive!

Because we had the early scans we decided to move the date of the private scan to 12 weeks (the same date women back in Belfast get them).

Our 6 week scan!

On the morning of our 6 week scan I was so nervous. I had become a nervous wreck in the past week and was convinced that something must be wrong as I am such a worrier.

At only 6 weeks there is only a small chance of being able to see the heartbeat and at the start I could not make it out but James and the nurse could see it and eventually I did too. It was so minuscule and just a little flickering blur. The nurse could not get an accurate date from the scan (they date the baby from the size it is), so she asked us to come back in 3 weeks time for a 9 week scan.

Went home feeling very relieved and pleased as pie with the photo of our little bean.

A little scare...

Over the next few days I did a few more tests just to make sure and each test I did, the line got darker and darker.

My booking letter came from the National Maternity Hospital in Holles Street. The hospital is only about a 15 minute walk from the house so when the time comes it will be reassuring being so close. The booking letter said that my first appointment would be on 20th December when I would be 14 and a half weeks. Originally I had assumed that I would be given a dating scan, the same as they do in the north, at 12 weeks but found out that down here most hospitals will not give you a scan until you are between 18 and 20 weeks. James and I decided we would pay privately for an 8 week scan as I am such a worrier and have the patience of a small child.

However, it turned out that we needed to have a 6 week scan at the hospital due to a tiny bleed. I called the Early Pregnancy Unit in Holles Street and the midwife there booked me in for a scan the following week. The woman did not sound concerned so this reassured me a little.
It is so hard not to worry in the early stages of pregnancy because apart from symptoms you cannot yet feel the baby move and you have no bump. I also did not have any symptoms. Nausea lasted all of a week and a half and apart from that... nothing!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

and so our journey into parenthood begins...

We found out we were pregnant on Saturday 6th October. I woke up early and on a whim took a test... only to be at first disappointed at not seeing a line. It was one of those very cheap, "pee in a cup and then dip" type tests. I was about to throw it in the bin only to catch the slightest glimpse of very faint pink, so faint I had to squint to see it... confused as to whether this was something to be excited about, I rushed to show James to see what he thought but not understanding whether it was or was not a positive, he carried on as normal. Feeling in a dither about things I went to my drawer and took out a digital test I had been saving for this moment. Digital pregnancy tests are a relatively new invention. They carry a small battery, have the end that you pee on, put on the cap and wait. The word pregnant flashed up after about 2 minutes of sitting with my fingers crossed. No more confusion over very faint, hardly there pink lines... there it was in plain daylight... no mistaking the one word "Pregnant".

It was great fun telling mum and Flo and they were both really happy. Mum asked me was I joking and didn't believe the good news at first but this was followed by endless "aaaaw"s.

James and I went for a celebratory meal to Ouzo's in Ranelagh, a seafood resturant we had passed many times before, but had always considered too expensive. I got a lobster and crab claw salad... only to be presented with a salad bowl full of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 crab claws, some chunks of lobster and thick, brown "vinegarette". The meal was awful to say the least so we headed home and I took a nap. Later, James took a picture of me at 4 weeks pregnant showing my non-existent bump. We thought it might be fun to keep record of my bump as it grew.