Friday, 4 June 2010

the middle

(for the beginning click here)

We kept the pregnancy a delicious secret for a week or so, telling only two people within a couple of days - our best male friend (... largely so he would stop smoking around me, which he did), and a friend of ours that D works with (largely because she had already guessed that something was up because D was distracted in work).

The next weekend, only three days after finding out I was pregnant, I'd arranged to go stay with a friend and go to ...Deviation, a goth/alternative night in York that I hadn't been to in years. And it was good - but I didn't really enjoy it. I cried on the way to the station; I didn't want to go away from D for a night. I cried on the platform. I felt hollow all the time I was away. The music was louder than loud; I was terrified that it would somehow damage the baby. (The tiny being that didn't even have ears yet.) I danced, a little, but it wasn't much fun.

I was gladder than glad to get home to D.

The weekend after, we made the trip to the north west where most of my family lives to tell my parents and sisters the news. They were thrilled. We asked them not to spread the news any further, and they respected our wishes, but for them, and for us, it was hard not to talk about it to everyone they/we saw.

I cracked a few weeks in, though, and told my best female friend. She was due to be going through IVF not long afterwards, and she had told me often that she hoped we would be pregnant together. She was thrilled for me. Selfishly, I was glad that I had got pregnant first.

(This haunts me now. Getting pregnant wasn't simple for her. Why couldn't I just have been happy for her if she'd got there first?)

At about seven weeks I went to a drop-in session at the local SureStart centre. It turned out to be telling me stuff I already knew - eat healthily, stop smoking*, don't drink, yadda yadda - but I got my first Bounty pack, and it turned out the midwife leading the session was the midwife from my doctors' surgery. I stopped at the end to say hi and to ask her a question that seems so previous now that it almost makes me cry. I was asking about finding out whether the baby was a boy or a girl. I wanted to be surprised; D wanted to know in advance. I asked whether the hospital would consider telling one of us and not the other. She told me that it was unlikely, that they would rather tell both of us or neither. She said she'd look forward to seeing me again for my first appointment.

(I wish I'd been pregnant long enough for this to have been a problem.)

*There were three girls there that smoked. Two of them were vocal about their plans not to give up, or even to cut down - to the extent that at first they wouldn't be quiet long enough for the midwife to tell the third about the pregnancy-based smoking cessation classes that run. I still can't understand how people could be so proud of such a damaging decision.


I found it really hard to believe that everything would be OK. Every single time I went to the loo while I was pregnant, I dreaded seeing blood. I was always kind of surprised when it wasn't there. I kept taking my temperature for the first few days of pregnancy, but when they fluctuated quite widely I decided it was too scary and not doing me any good, and stopped. One day at about seven weeks I sneezed and got a sharp pain in the left of my abdomen, and phoned up for an urgent doctors' appointment, suddenly convinced the pregnancy was ectopic and that I would lose one of my tubes. Then towards my twelve week scan I started to believe that I had had a missed miscarriage and that the baby was already dead.

We saw the midwife for my first appointment at about eight weeks. All was well. D and I laughed and joked and took the piss out of each other. The midwife laughed at us generally and me specifically (nicely!) for asking so many questions and asked in turn whether I had considered sitting down and watching Midsomer Murders instead of researching things on the internet. I liked her. She's irreverent and supportive. I felt she would do her best to care for us.

While we were there, I mentioned something about how hard it was not to tell everyone we knew. She told me to remember that if anything went wrong, that I would need the support of my friends. I shuddered and hoped it wouldn't come to that.


I didn't really suffer from morning sickness while I was pregnant; I felt queasy and uneasy about it. I'd read all the stats about morning sickness correlating with better pregnancy outcomes. I didn't want to feel ill, but it would have been nice to have some reassuring symptoms. My b00bs were sore and swollen, but that was about it.

It's strange now to look back and remember how pessimistic I was. Expecting blood, ectopic pregnancy, missed miscarriage. I don't remember expecting a bad outcome, expecting to lose the baby. But I don't remember expecting anything good either.


The Friday before my scan, I was chatting to my team in work. Someone brought up names, and I told the story of how D and I had both changed our surnames to a new one (to us) when we got married. The conversation went from there on to baby names. After a few minutes, I had to tune the conversation out, because I was so scared I was going to give away the fact that I was pregnant - I already suspected that they might have guessed, because I was eating more, and having lots of medical appointments.


I started a new blog at wordpress when I was about 8 weeks. I didn't want to start it on blogger, didn't want to let the cat out of the bag too soon. I started it at wordpress, tried to invite people that knew (family and a couple of friends) but I never managed to get it to work. The three posts I wrote and posted there are now posted below for the record. They break my heart now, especially the one I wrote the night before our first scan. I was so scared of a missed miscarriage.

Ironically, I only settled into the pregnancy, only started to believe, after that first scan.

Just before everything started to go wrong.

(for the beginning of the end click here)

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