The T(welve)WW

The Twelve Week wait for me hasn’t been the most enjoyable experiences for me. Not for any reason related to nausea, tiredness, or sore boobs, no. Those things don’t bother me as it reminds me I’m pregnant (not that I’ve had any nausea, thank god). I’ve just been so scared of something going wrong.

The twelve week wait, you would think, would be an enjoyable time where you’re boobs are getting bigger, you’re not really gaining that much weight despite eating a lot more, and you generally feel full of life – literally. For me, however, although I am over the moon and full of glee, I am also full of worry and anxiousness. The two week wait was bad enough, but this is a whole new type of torture. Every cramping sensation, I’m worried that something bad is happening. Every wet feeling down below, I’m worried it’s blood and dash to the toilet to check. The fact that I haven’t had any nausea concerns me! I’m so nervous about losing beansprout and going back to square one. I hate not being in control of something.

Like most first time mums I imagine, especially those that have worked their socks off to get there, you desperately fret over the littlest of things. I know you shouldn’t, but you do. You’re not in control of anything going on in there, apart from looking after yourself on the outside so that you don’t hurt what’s going on on the inside.
As an avid gardener, I deal with plants easily. You water them and give them plenty of light. You know when it’s not happy and you know when it is. With a beansprout, it’s completely different. You can’t see, hear, or even feel them. You don’t have x-ray vision or a way to communicate with them to see if they’re ok.

On top of this, especially if you’re waiting until after the scan to spread the news, you don’t have many, if any, people to ask. I have a couple of people at work to ask certain things to, but even so; if I did ask one or two questions, their answers weren’t always good enough because I know deep down every pregnancy is different. Sure they reassured me, but I am expecting something to go wrong just like the constant BFN’s we’ve had over the past 18 months. I can’t believe it has finally worked… not for us, anyway. I totally expect the rug to be whipped from underneath us as I never thought it would work. Honestly. After the 10th BFN I genuinely started to think we would be a childless family with lots of dogs instead.

I hate being so negative, especially during what was meant to be an exciting time – but I can’t help it. It’s awful, and not to mention stressful. Most of the time I feel pathetic as women were having babies during wartimes and babies survived! Hell, I’m sure cavewomen didn’t fret over little things, and look how we turned out. It is never expected that women are to go onto constant bed rest during the 9 months, so I try to behave as normal as possible – which was also tiring as I then spend the next 30 minutes checking whether I should have done this and that. I know not to lift anything heavy and not to eat certain foods, but even the way I sit down worries me incase I crushed something. Yes, I am crazy and paranoid – but I cannot bear the thought of possibly begin the cause of a loss.

S is probably the person I feel most sorry for. Not only does she get bombarded with questions which she doesn’t have the answer to, and often says “Babe, I don’t know” (she never bullshits me, but sometimes I could do with a little “it’ll be fine”), she has the awful task of keeping me occupied when I am restless, and fed when I am constantly hungry. Hands down she is amazing and I couldn’t do it without her. I’m sure she had her own worries, but she never showed them or told me. I love her so much.

K

This post was written when I was approximately 10-11 weeks pregnant.

Maternity Where? Part 2

For those of you that have eyes, you will know that I am not a feminine person. I don’t wear floral, I don’t do dresses. I don’t do leggings and I certainly don’t do dresses (I just want to make that bit clear). I look like something in drag if I wear a dress.

So when I was shopping for future maternity wear the other day, and found that at least 60% of maternity wear are dresses, or tops with massive plunging neck lines, I was horrified at the thought that I may have to look like widow twanky for 9 months. I don’t do dresses. Not for any particular protest; it’s just that I don’t suit dresses. I don’t have the body or the face for a dress, and I certainly don’t sit on a chair to accompany a dress.

So what is a butch, masculine, lesbian to wear when pregnant? It’s already going to confuse a few people when you see me walking down the street accompanied by a bump. I already got a few “How did that happen?” looks from people at work. Someone even burst (and I mean burst) out laughing when I said I was pregnant when they asked why I wasn’t in uniform at work. When I then explained that I wasn’t joking, they said “Oh!” followed quickly by the 3 second thought process going through their mind of how it could have happened (it’s not like my ovaries close for business when I become a Lesbian, y’know).
Thankfully, I’m good friends with some of these people so I know they weren’t being offensive, just stupid instead. But still, it leads me back to the question… where is all the maternity wear for those that don’t do dresses?

I refuse to live in jeans and leggings/joggings – especially at work. I would still like to wear chino’s, but preferably without having to install a bump band on everything. I want tops that don’t have plunging, look at my boobs, necklines. I don’t want floral but at the same time not be restricted to stripes – I like stripes, but maternity wear seem to LOVE stripes! Why? I want clothes that have been made for (people like) me.

So after a moment of frustration and panic, I googled “Maternity wear for Lesbians”, and I came across a brilliant blog called Preggo Butch Fashion. Although it necessarily doesn’t tell me where to go, it reassured me that I’m not alone. It calmed me down and made me laugh. It made really good points about Lesbians being made to feel like Tom Beatie when pregnant; especially if you’re butch, as well as being expected to wear your oversized rugby shirts (because every lesbian has one of those apparently (personally, I like mine to fit)).
One of my favourite, hit-the-nail-on-the-head quotes was: “But in order to get the combo privileged/pedestalled place of pregnant, I had to tone down my gender presentation (or you may be confused as fat/beer-bellied)”. Brilliant and so so true!
As well as being a joy to read, it had insightful ideas when it came to lesbian-wear as well as being genuinely reassuring. I’d give it a read if you’re in the same boat as me.

Thankfully, I will be predominantly pregnant during the winter months, so it’s likely that I will be able to get away with buying plus size sweaters that go over shirts, as well as hoodies/jumpers, not to mention baggy jeans. But that’s not the point. There needs to be more variety out there. So come on, guys – get with the times!

K

This post was written when I was approximately 8-9 weeks pregnant.

Maternity Where?

Me: Excuse me; where’s your maternity section?
Sales Clerk: We don’t have a maternity section.

In one shop, one sales lady even looked at me like I had 2 heads when I asked the question. She then proceeded to advise me that they have maternity Bra’s, but that’s it. Not really sure how she translated Maternity WEAR with underwear… unless she expected me to just go out in my bra and pants.

I’m not being too demanding by expecting big known stores to have a maternity section, right? It’s not like women have stopped having babies – if anything it’s probably on the rise seeing as people can’t afford to go out these days…

If you know what I mean
We went out into Brighton after having a nice relaxing morning in the hope to grab me some smart/casual wear for work as I now can’t wear my uniform as I’m now office bound. I do have some clothes, but my jeans have already started to become a little uncomfortable when I sit down (especially belts) what with the lack of gym work and the changes in my diet (i.e. Changing from skimmed to semi-skimmed milk – big difference, apparently). I’m also starting to bloat a lot after I eat a main meal. I also don’t have “office wear” so t-shirts won’t cut it.

We went to the usual places first like actual baby shops like mothercare and we were on a roll; albeit an expensive one. But then it got tricky, we went to the following shops and quickly found they didn’t have a maternity section:-

  • Primark (or shitemark as I now put it. I expected to get cheap (very cheap) tops here – but no).
  • New Look.
  • Marks and Spencer (Yeah, I was shocked too).
  • BHS.
  • Debenhams (I’m putting this one on the list as their maternity section consisted of a small corner of one large floor (probably less) and also consisted of dresses and tops for size 12 and under).
  • Next (I know!)
  • Peacocks.

I was successful in H&M (thank god), but that was it. That was it. I wasn’t going to venture into the unknown land of The Lanes as I wouldn’t be able to afford anything from boutique land, plus – I was getting tired, so that was it for me. I was shocked and hugely disappointed.

Stores like Next and New Look advised me that a lot of their maternity wear was online, and I later found out that M&S had an online maternity store, however that really didn’t cut the cheese (mmmm, cheese) for me as I like to try before I buy. I know you can return it, but that wastes time for me. I want to see it, try it, buy it, and keep it. Simples.

By the end of the day, although I had got some nice items, I had expected more – a lot more. Why have shops stopped selling maternity wear? Do they expect women just to buy plus sizes? I sure hope not.
I, for one, don’t want to look like I’m trying to hide a gut by wearing size 22 on my size 16-18 body. I want to show off my bump and have clothes that hug the bump so that it clearly shows I’m pregnant and not just fat.

K

This blog was written on or around the 12/08. I was approx 7-8 weeks pregnant.

My First Midwife Appointment

I arrived at the local children’s centre waaaaaay too early (as usual). We only live about 10 minutes walking distance from the place, but for some reason I left at least 30 minutes prior to wanting to be 10 minutes early incase they were running early – so I was at least 45 minutes early.

Part of it was nerves (if you haven’t got that already) and part of it was sheer excitement. I was going to a MIDWIFE appointment. You only see these people when you’re Pregnant which means I had to be pregnant.

We had our godson over that week, so we couldn’t leave him at home whilst we went to the appointment – so although S came with me, with the godson and dog in tow, she had to wait outside. I was a bit saddened by this as I wanted her there, but never mind – there would be plenty for S to see later on. So whilst I was at the appointment, S took the opportunity to take the dog for a walk with the godson.

When the appointment came round, I finally met my midwife… both of them. Mine are both part time midwives, so job share. I already like one more than the other, although both are just as lovely. The one I like is Irish, frank, honest, and to the point (MW1). I can already tell I will be able to ask her anything. The other one is very fairy like (MW2), speaking very softly, which is calming and cuddly but I like the other one who is ballsy.

They explained that this appointment will be about gathering my information, filling in my pregnancy notes (PREGNANCY NOTES!) and generally explaining the process throughout pregnancy. The next appointment, which I mentioned a few posts ago, will be about taking my blood for various tests. Usually, upon speaking to other mums, they combine all this together, but understandably, it’s a lot to go thorough, so my midwives split the two which I felt was very thorough, organised, and considerate of mum who will be clearly in a daze still.

The appointment went as well as I could have imagined. I found out I was a low risk pregnancy and my BMI was out of the overweight section (WHOO HOO!). I’ve never been out of the overweight section. I apparently awed MW1 with our TTC journey as well as opened her eyes about Kinesiology (see, this is why MW1 is my favourite as she was more interested about Kinesiology than anything else. She explained straight away that she always promotes alternative medicine but hadn’t heard about Kinesiology – I love her). We got on so well.

The only thing I was shocked about was that I never had anything to confirm I actually was pregnant. Although I had pretty much taken a test a day until my midwife appointment, so I knew I was pregnant, I totally expected a blood or urine test to be taken to confirm for the midwife’s benefit. For all she knew, I could have been lying or very unwell. A lot of time would have been wasted on their part, not to mention paper (have you SEEN those pregnancy notes?). I was just expecting to confirm my pregnancy during the appointment (mainly for my own sanity) but apparently that’s not done anymore.

So apart from that, it all went swimmingly. They confirmed that they will be sending off my details to request a scan and that the date would come in the post within the next few weeks. She congratulated me and I went on my way. I then floated home and then went for a long nap.

K

This post was written when I was approx 7 weeks pregnant.

Symptom Spotting

For what it’s worth, and if it’s any help to others, I’ve thought back to during the time around my TWW.

During the week whilst on holiday, and to be honest (now I think about it) a few days before holiday (DPO11+) I had noticed the following going on (in no particular order):-

  • Sharp pains in boobs. Like a needle poking me from the inside.
  • Cramping that sometimes fluctuated in intensity. The pain moved from the area around my ovaries to underneath the muffin top.
  • Nausea (certainly in the mornings around DPO17-DPO18 before breakfast) but this only lasted about a week.
  • Headaches.
  • Vivid, weird, dreams (I’ll be writing more about those for your entertainment value soon).
  • Increased appetite.
  • Absolute, knock me out silly, tiredness.
  • Half way through the second week, I also had a bit of pink on the tissue which simply looked like a very very faint lipstick mark (lol!). No actual blood or anything, just a little staining.

I thought nothing of these “symptoms”, as I am prone to headaches; although not of recent following a serious, devastating cut back from coffee and general crap food, and I do now get period pain and booby pain before AF is due.
Plus, since losing a lot of weight, I’m able to hold onto food without feeling hungry – so feeling hungry despite eating only 2-3 hours before was surprising. Plus, I can literally go on for hours, so after getting back to the caravan from what was sometimes a relatively relaxing, non-active day out and almost passing out on the sofa, it really hit me (and S) for six. It was completely unlike me.

On top of this, the biggest observation that I noticed was that I simply started to feel “different”.

It was weird, and I’m still having difficulty describing it now, but I got a gut feeling about being pregnant. A feeling I’ve never had before looking back. It wasn’t like a dream or a hopeful wish, I didn’t receive a sign – it was a genuine “feeling” of joy, genuine content and certainty. I knew I was pregnant.

During other cycles I felt hopeful and excited, but never certain about anything. This one, however, I do remember feeling different – I felt great. Something was telling me it had worked but I don’t know what it was. Has anyone ever had that feeling? I’ve read about it on a couple of forums and it’s only because of reading this that I was able to say; “yeah – I had that too”. I feel stupid saying it as I can’t properly describe the feeling, but I know what I felt… Perhaps it was hunger.

K

The Week That Was Ours

I was on approximately CD27 (13DPO) when I went on holiday – I say approximately, as our app and I are in disagreements as to when I ovulated. I believe I ovulated on CD14 (06/07) due to the positive OPK’s and BBT dip, but the app believes I ovulated on CD16 (08/07). At first the app didn’t believe I ovulated at all due to the fact that my BBT was all over the place during the cycle, however once I edited a few items I got my cover line.
Nevertheless, I ovulated which was a good start. However, we were only able to get the one shot in due to timings but either way, I know it was before ovulation was due. Phew!

The first week of the TWW was easy as I was super busy at work as well as getting over excited for our holiday. The second week was also remarkably easy as I was on holiday! I was stuffing my face as well as entertaining a very active 7 year old – I was keeping myself happily occupied, however I was very aware of the up and coming visit from AF which was bit of a downer, especially on holiday; which is a time I like to go swimming. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let myself think about it for a change.
S was also really well behaved, although she did slip in the occasional “how are you feeling” which was answered with a generic “fine”. I didn’t want to think about anything TTC related.

We took our BBT thermometer with us, however we were unable to log anything on our app due to having no wifi – so we couldn’t see what my chart looked like, which was a blessing in disguise as one of the worse things during the TWW is seeing AF arrive in the form of a BBT dip before hand.

So anyway, the due date for AF came and went. I was due around 14DPO (20/07) and 16DPO (22/07) but those dates came and went. No sign of AF! Typical. I was at my most relaxed, having a great time, and AF is late! As and when it does come, it’s going to be a bad one, I thought. I wanted to go swimming and wear my white linen trousers due to the scorching heat, but there was no chance of that happening. I wasn’t taking it too seriously, though, as I’ve been late before.

But it didn’t come… however this did:-

IMG_5331

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So as I write this, I’m currently, starting my 6th week of pregnancy (I still can’t believe it). I’ve booked my midwife appointment for 08/08 which will soon be the end of my 7th week. I then have to go back a week later on the 15/08 but I’m not sure what for – but right now, I don’t care.

I’m super nervous, as well as excited, but more nervous than anything. I want to scream the news from the rooftops – but I can’t.

The next 12 weeks cannot come sooner.

K