Hormones! – Mystery Mum

bump question markAnonymous guest blogger Mystery Mum is getting impatient for the 12 week scan – I’m sure a lot of you will identify with the first trimester anxiety that she talks about. It can be a nervewracking time! This week has also seen her booking appointment to make everything ‘official’. I think some mums-to-be need this first contact with the midwife to make the pregnancy feel more real at a time when you can’t imagine a tiny baby growing inside you! Here’s how our Mystery Mum got on.

Gestation at time of writing: 9+4

General wellbeing: 6/10

In my last post I said that I thought I would be an emotional wreck for a while yet – and that is certainly proving to be true. Being caught in a hormonal hurricane seems to be my overriding symptom these last couple of weeks. I think a lot of it stems from first trimester anxiety, which only really starts to abate after the reassurance of the 12 week scan, but I don’t remember feeling quite so fragile in my last pregnancy.

I was reduced to a gibbering mess after I trod on a fairy light while decorating the tree at the weekend – a problem easily resolved when they no longer worked by purchasing a new set the same day – but my pregnant brain blew it out of all proportion. I just can’t be rational at the moment, no doubt a source of great amusement to those around me who know why I’m overreacting to every little situation.

On the plus side, the nausea I was experiencing has subsided quite a bit, as long as I make sure I eat little and often. My appetite is a bit reduced, and I still don’t really fancy sweet stuff, but having regular snacks seems to help keep my stomach on an even keel. I get easily bloated if something doesn’t settle quite right though, so it’s not all fun and games in my digestive system. Fatigue and uncomfortable boob issues seem to be coming and going now rather than being constant, so hopefully I might be on the way out of the early pregnancy funk.

I was glad to finally get the ball rolling with my antenatal care this week, after feeling slightly cheated last week by a ‘pre-booking’ appointment with my GP, which I had mistakenly thought was going to be my proper booking one. After weighing me, taking my blood pressure and logging my pregnancy on their system, I was out the door with a handful of leaflets about antenatal screening, a community midwife’s contact number, and an empty pee pot to take along to my booking. A bit of an anti-climax after I had been quite psyched up for it.

Fortunately I was able to get a booking appointment early this week and was seen by a lovely student midwife who was very capable and efficient at filling in the reams of paperwork. A health care assistant came in to take my bloods – half an arm’s worth by the looks of it – and after filling three test-tube size vials from my right arm had to poke me in my left for the last sample as my veins failed to cooperate. I raised my only real concern to the midwife, explaining a complication I experienced in my previous pregnancy which, as I suspected, means that I am already considered ‘high risk’ and will be closely monitored. I would like to talk more about this but don’t want to give too much away at this point!

The next step will be waiting for the all-important scan date and an appointment for the consultant clinic at the hospital to discuss my antenatal care and how it might differ from your everyday low risk second time mum. Not sure what to expect but better to be safe than sorry. We didn’t plan dates very well as 12 weeks falls between Christmas and New Year – not the best time of year for so much to be going on but I’m keeping everything crossed for 2015 to start on a high. Also looking forward to coming out of the pregnancy closet so I can actually talk to people about it! Nearly there….

Follow Mystery Mum on Twitter @BlogsForBabies – look out for #MysteryMum


The first trimester is the worst trimester – Mystery Mum

bump question markOur anonymous guest blogger Mystery Mum is enjoying the trials and tribulations of pregnancy with her second child. Here she shares with us the almost inevitable first trimester topic of early pregnancy symptoms – and while she feels lucky in some respects, there is still a lot to cope with! How many of these can you identify with?

Gestation at time of writing: 7+4

General wellbeing: 4/10

Back in the days of just trying to get pregnant rather than actually being pregnant, symptom spotting took over my life. In the two week limbo before we would find out yes or no, I Googled ‘early pregnancy symptoms’ over and over, in the hope that I would have developed another one since the last time I checked and wondered if I was imagining anything I was feeling.

Now approaching 8 weeks, I can tell me from the past that, yes, you were imagining it. In my experience at least, unless you are very unlucky, you won’t genuinely feel much different at all around 4-5 weeks. Since then though, I have been all too aware of how I’m feeling, and I don’t need to Google anything to know just how crappy the first trimester can be. Strangely, I really don’t remember how I felt at this point in my first pregnancy. Maybe like the big birth event itself, nature helps you forget.

Touching a large piece of wood, I have been hugely lucky not to have been sick (yet), but I thought I’d share with you some of the exciting symptoms I am currently putting up with nonetheless.

Fatigue – I’m tired. I mean really tired. Like I nearly nodded off in a meeting at work tired. I get home in the evening and all I want to do is veg on the settee. The good intentions I had of continuing to exercise have already gone out the window as I just don’t have the energy. I’m reliably assured by most websites I’ve looked at that the fatigue will pass and I’ll have a renewed vigour come 12 weeks. We can only hope so. I might have become a sofa cushion by then.

Nausea – I may not have been sick yet but the threat of it is ever present. I haven’t been on the brink of throwing up, but my stomach is not a happy bunny; the best way I can describe it is after you have had a bug and your stomach feels strained and a bit fragile, just generally unsettled. My appetite has reduced but I find I have to eat little and often to avoid getting too hungry as then I just feel ill. It really is quite unpleasant. Stupid hormones.

Food aversions – Rather than craving strange things, I find I have gone off some foods I normally love, namely sweet treats! This I do remember from last time. I lost my sweet tooth completely and the same has happened now. My usual mid-afternoon non-pregnancy craving for chocolate from the vending machine or whatever biscuits and cakes happen to be knocking around the office has gone, replaced by mid-afternoon nausea and a couple of dry Ritz crackers. It’s probably just nature’s way of stopping me eating what I shouldn’t while I’m not doing anything to burn it off. It’s a very strange feeling though just to not fancy a Dairy Milk.

Boobs (file under ‘enormous’ and ‘uncomfortable as hell’) – I’ve been wearing maternity bras for two weeks already. What lifesavers these non-wired, generously-cupped wonder-garments are. Even at 6 weeks, my normally average-sized lady boulders were making a bid for freedom from my regular bras, and the underwire was like a torture device, jabbing me indiscriminately if I moved the wrong way. A properly fitted maternity or nursing bra should be the first purchase of every pregnant woman, and can then be worn every hour of the day if it makes you more comfortable – your unprotected nipples will soon let you know if it’s time to start leaving it on at night.

Bloating and general digestive discomfort – I’m already sporting a generous stomach, as if I’ve just sat down in a comfy chair after a good Sunday dinner. As far as I can tell, it’s entirely made up of highly attractive bloating. My body is further betraying me by making me burp for Britain, regardless of whether I’ve just eaten or drunk anything that may cause it. It’s all very ladylike.

Vivid dreams – This is a weird one. Whether caused by hormones or just as a consequence of the million thoughts going round my head all the time, every night I am having intricate and really involved dreams, that I clearly remember when I wake up, before I start thinking about all the conscious stuff again and forget about them. If nothing else, they’re very entertaining.

Being an emotional wreck – I cry at something about once a day, at least. I find that I am more likely to cry at something nice, as rather than just be happy about it, I blub uncontrollably. The day the John Lewis penguin ad came out nearly finished me off.

Next week I finally have my antenatal booking appointment, which has felt like a lifetime in coming, then it’s all downhill to Christmas and the impending 12 week scan, whenever that might fit in. I can see me being an emotional wreck for a while yet.

Follow Mystery Mum on Twitter @BlogsForBabies – look out for #MysteryMum

A little announcement – Mystery Mum

wpid-dsc_0379.jpgOur lovely anonymous blogger Mystery Mum has been trying to conceive her second baby for three months – and happily has a little announcement to make! We are so thrilled and excited to be with her at the very start of this life-changing journey.

So here we are. I’m pregnant!

Third time lucky as it turns out after two failed months of trying, so I know I certainly can’t complain. To be honest I’m still trying to get my head round the whole thing – I took the test nearly a week ago and still haven’t fully grasped that it’s actually happening.

I think it’s because after the initial shock and excitement of finding out dies down, this is actually the worst bit of pregnancy. At only 5+3 as I write this (to use BabyCentre message board parlance), it still feels ridiculously early in the day to get too excited. I still have the nagging doubt, as I’m sure most mums do at this point, that everything is about to fall down around my ears and our little bean will leave us no sooner than they arrived. It’s an awful period of limbo until the reassurance of a tiny heartbeat on a 12 week scan makes you truly feel ‘pregnant’.

But positivity is the only way forward and I’m fortunate that I feel well – other than being dog tired of course, and the fact that my boobs have taken on a life of their own and are currently attempting to make a break from my bra. It will not be too many weeks before my first purchase of the pregnancy will be a properly fitted maternity one to contain the pesky troublemakers. I have no nausea or sickness to contend with thus far which was fortunately the same in my first pregnancy. I had maybe four episodes of sickness the whole way through last time and I can only hope for the same luck this time around!

We have told parents and a handful of close friends our news, and today I told my work colleagues, which is a lot more people than we told at this stage last time. I think I am a lot more of the thinking now that if anything did go wrong at this early stage, I would value the support of those closest to me, just as I would if anything happened later on. There is little point in trying to hide it. We also haven’t told our little man yet, until we have a tangible scan picture to help him understand. On the bright side, it has been lovely getting lots of positive reactions from everyone at work, as everyone is excited for me – people are even talking about knitting little things for the baby which is a wonderful thought.

I am still reluctant to ‘go public’ with the pregnancy just yet though – much as I might like to shout it from the metaphorical rooftop that is Twitter and splash it all over my blog, I think restraint is called for now, to keep it special and personal for just a few more weeks. In the meantime, I am happy to be #MysteryMum!

Follow Mystery Mum on Twitter @BlogsForBabies – look out for #MysteryMum

A plea to Mother Nature – Mystery Mum

bump question markMystery Mum is now into her second month of trying to get pregnant with her second baby. I think a lot of you will identify with her feelings of frustration and the emotional rollercoaster of trying to conceive, even at this early stage. We’re eagerly awaiting the next update!

So it turns out we couldn’t get lucky first time again.

Those of you who read my first post last month will know that we conceived our first baby almost without thinking, and I was still cautiously optimistic when I wrote that post that there was a chance it could happen again. Well, it didn’t, and I have learned my lesson for our second time of trying – Calm. The Hell. Down.

Riding on a wave of excitement and giddy anticipation I couldn’t wait to take a test, and did it as soon as I thought something might show up, about 4-5 days before my period was due. Negative. Not to worry, I thought, it’s still pretty early. I tested again on the day my visitor should have arrived. Negative again. And again two days later.

Now I was late, but without a positive test I just couldn’t relax. I felt emotionally all over the place, bursting into tears, then finding the whole ludicrous reaction to nothing in particular completely hilarious. I mentally ticked off each early pregnancy symptom I thought I was experiencing. There were more than a few. My nipples had taken on a life of their own and were protesting in discomfort at the slightest touch; I felt fatigued, bloated, anxious and more. If I wasn’t pregnant, what was going on?

At more than a week overdue, I caved and splashed out on a more expensive digital test, as if that might tell me something the cheaper supermarket ones would not. It didn’t. In fact, seeing the cruel words ‘Not pregnant’ spelled out in front of my eyes was about as much as I could take in my heightened emotional state. I resolved to wait until the following week and make an appointment to see my GP. Something must be wrong.

Maybe feeling like there was no more hope that I actually could be pregnant allowed me to relax just enough – the following day my period arrived. I had had a 37 day cycle, when I’m normally pretty regular between 26-28. Mother Nature had played a cruel trick – or had I brought it all on myself?

I was actually relieved that I had finally got my period – even as it meant we hadn’t got lucky – as it also meant that I had a resolution to over a week of emotional turmoil. We could move on. We could start a new month afresh. Maybe the fact that I felt so wound up about the whole thing had actually knocked my hormones out of whack from the start – had I ovulated late? Maybe. Did it delay the arrival of my period? Possibly. All I knew was I couldn’t go on like that month after month. We all know stress is not the friend of conception.

So this month I have learned my lesson. I’ve consciously tried to be more chilled out about the whole baby-making palaver, and kept my excitement and apprehension in check. I’ve stopped obsessively reading pregnancy websites, stopped symptom watching, stopped fretting about whether I am or not, and just got on with life. I won’t be taking any early tests. Hopefully all will be resolved again one way or another next week.

Maybe we’ll get lucky this time and maybe we won’t. Yes, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t, but not working myself into a frenzy about it has got to be better than the way I felt a few weeks ago. Let’s just hope Mother Nature’s on my side this time.

Follow Mystery Mum on Twitter @BlogsForBabies – look out for #MysteryMum