Sunday, 18 December 2011

Baby news

I have announced recently that my girlfriend is pregnant, but have not mentioned it in a blog yet. Not for any reason other than we didn't have that much to say outside the announcement. Now we know a bit more about what is going on, I do have more to talk about. 

First scan

In this post, I will go into further detail about what's happening. Basically, stop reading if you don't want to hear about baby stuff (follow the first link above for a brief summary). 

Liz will be 17 weeks pregnant today (according to the scan we got done a few weeks ago). They measured the size during the scan, and from that they calculate how many weeks it is, depending on its size (63mm I think it was); they then worked out that the due date would be the 27th May (the initial date that was worked out before then was 1st June). 

What is interesting is the date is that it is getting closer and closer to my birthday. The first date we were given was 1st June, then it was worked out a different way (one way using a special midwife wheel, and another using a computer to do it) which put the date at either the 31st May. So a revised date of 27th May puts it at 2 days after my birthday (the 25th). What is doubly interesting is that I was born on my Mums birthday, so there is a small chance of celebrating birthdays for three generations on the same day. 

I went along with Liz to the scan a few weeks ago. I had the day off work (I had already booked it for another event happening later that day), so could go, even though it was on a Friday. The scan was the first appointment of the day, so we had to get up really early - 5AM. This was to get ready (it would take us longer that early...), get a bus, find where we had to go, and make sure we were there on time (Liz was told to be there 15 minutes before her appointment started). We got the bus to the hospital OK, and asked how to get to the maternity ward to wait. We followed the directions, even though it took us through what looked like a back entrance (I guess it was the quicker way), and wandered around until we found what was the maternity reception (where we were told to wait). The problem then came that we were there before 8AM as we were early, but the maternity reception didn't open until 9AM...

We asked someone (as nurses had just started walking around) what we should do and they said to check in at the scan place down the corridor. This was an automated process (scan the bar-code on a letter Liz had), and then said to go to the antenatal area... with no directions on how to get there. We asked someone else where to go and went there (it was round the corner from the maternity reception area). 

We waited in the antenatal waiting area while some nurses wandered around getting ready (we were there for the start of the shift by the looks of it). Someone checked what we were there for just before the appointment was supposed to start, but we were still waiting around for a bit afterwards (much to Liz's distress as the scan required a full bladder). Eventually we were called into the room (and told that we were waiting for a bit because they needed to start the computer up as someone turned it off last night, I guess that takes some time). 

The room was fairly dark, and a little cosy, with two people waiting for us. Liz laid on the bed next to scanning machine, and there was a handy chair next to it that I sat down on. They put the scanning bit on Liz and had a big TV screen mounted on the wall which relayed what was being shown on the scanner screen. The operator found the baby very quickly, and an image appeared on the screen. It was pretty much as in the photo above, but larger. I had a big grin on my face as it was the first time I had a real connection with it. It had a little hand up near its mouth, and you could see the heart beating and everything. It was great. 

The general scanning was done, measuring the size to work out how far developed it was, then they tried to get a second scan done (nuchal I think), and needed to move its head slightly to get a better angle. The more experienced woman shook the scanner bit to try and wake it up so it would move to get a better scan done (the first person doing the scan hadn't been doing it as long and was being extra gentle). This meant that it had woken up a bit and had moved its arm so it was no longer by its face. 

We got some photos printed, and although I had brought along some pound coins I didn't have enough so went off to get some (when we got the letter is said "please bring five pound coins", and we were unsure whether it actually meant coins specifically or it was using bad phrasing - it was the former). There was a WHSmiths on site, so I went there and brought a bar of chocolate asking for the change in pound coins. When I got back, I put them in the scan photo machine and we waited for Liz to get her blood tests done. The first time they tried, they couldn't get any blood, so we went off to get some breakfast at the canteen (got some bacon and toast, then went looking for ketchup, turns out it was an extra 5p per sachet, bah). Waiting again for trying to get blood taken, this time we did eventually get some out, although Liz got a bruise on her arm for it (her arms didn't want to be giving blood that day it seems, but we did get some luckily). 

We got the results of the nuchal scan send in the post, which arrived recently, and came back as low risk, which is one thing less for us to be worrying about. Liz had gotten some other blood tests done recently, but we hadn't heard from them yet. They were done a bit before the scan at the medical centre near us (I had gone along for moral support as Liz doesn't like needles); I thought I would be meeting our assigned midwife, but she was ill that day (Liz had already met her in an initial meeting a few weeks beforehand). We thought we wee going to get the results of those delivered as well (that is what we were told anyway), but they hadn't been by the time we had another check up at the medical centre on Friday. Again, I thought I would meet the midwife, but she wasn't in that day, but we did get the results of the blood tests back; all came back with good results, which is great news. 

That is about where we are now. Expected date is the end of May, we just have to wait until then. The next scan is in January, when we should hopefully have another more up to date photo. I'm already excited about it all, and can see myself getting more excited as time goes on. The next year is going to be pretty busy, that's for sure (we also want to be moving house if possible). We have been doing some initial planning for things; I'm not expecting to be able to have everything planned in advance, I just want to have a little bit of foreknowledge about what to expect, so it is not too much of a shock to the system. We've had a look at buggies, cribs etc. to get an idea of what differences there are between them, and roughly how much we should expect them to cost. 

All in all, it is very exciting, and something I am very much looking forward to :D