I have written about the first trimester in two other blog posts; one about finding out I was pregnant (which you can find here) and one about the symptoms I experienced (which you can find here). So I thought I would finish off writing about the first trimester now, even though it has now been a fair while since I was in the first trimester.
I ended up having three scans in the first trimester, although I only have pictures from two of them because one was a quick reassurance one. I absolutely loved the scans, although only as soon as I knew everything was ok. It is amazing seeing your little baby wriggling around!
The first scan I had was at 8 weeks, which was a private scan that we paid for. We chose to have this scan because the time from finding out I was pregnant at 4 weeks until the routine scan at 12 weeks felt like so long! I have also mentioned before that I didn’t feel excited when I found out I was pregnant and just couldn’t see myself ending up with a baby. I think this was mostly to do with my job, but I thought that having an 8 week scan in between finding out I was pregnant and the 12 week scan would really reassure me. I have to say that I am so glad I chose to have this scan. It was only £45 from a place in Birmingham, which is fairly close to where we live and if everything is fine with the baby’s size and heartbeat at 8 weeks, then your chances of having a successful pregnancy resulting in a live baby increase dramatically. The Miscarriage Association has got really good information about early scans and states that the chance of the pregnancy resulting in a live baby if everything is ok at a scan at 6 weeks is 78%, compared to 98% at 8 weeks and 99.4% at 10 weeks (however, the pregnancy cannot be accurately dated from this scan, therefore this why the NHS only routinely offers the 12 week scan). We chose to have just the one extra scan at 8 weeks because the increase was so dramatic from 6 to 8 weeks, and I thought we could then wait until the routine 12 week scan. Fortunately, I was able to have the scan trans-abominally and not an internal, trans-vaginal one, which I was very relieved about. However, this was my first baby and I had a lovely flat tummy (I feel like I can say this without being a nob as I now have a definite mum tum). So, if I do this again or someone else reading this chooses (or requires) an early scan, it should not be assumed it will be an external scan (boo hoo).
The feeling of seeing the tiny baby in my tummy, when I had no visible, external signs of pregnancy was incredible. I will remember it forever and I burst into tears as soon as I saw him! I felt the rush of love and excitement when I saw that tiny thing jumping around in my tummy, but although reassured I still didn’t feel like I would be having a baby 7 months later.
Unexpectedly, I ended up needing to have another scan a week later after I had to go to hospital with severe abdominal pains. Fortunately, the medical team were fairly confident I had only pulled a muscle from doing too much at work and that I was not experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, because of my 8 week scan showing that the baby was in the right place. However, because this was a private scan and they wanted to ensure the baby was fine I had another scan at 9 weeks. This was a super quick scan and I didn’t get any pictures, but I completely understood because I knew it wouldn’t be like a routine scan. I was so terrified that something had gone wrong with the pregnancy before this scan, and I definitely took things a bit easier in terms of manual handling at work afterwards. This was actually harder than I thought it would be to do because I obviously had no sign of a bump and I didn’t want to have everyone knowing at work before I had reached the 12 week stage.
After my scan at 9 weeks everything went smoothly up to my 12 week dating scan, and I felt reassured by the positive scans I’d had before. I was still very nervous about everything being ok, but it was lovely to see my wriggling baby again and to know everything seemed fine. My due date was also put forward by two days, which I was so pleased about because one of my best friends was getting married two weeks after my due date and those two days meant that it was almost definite that I would be able to go. I even remember the sonographers saying they had never seen someone so excited to be put forward two days (on a side note I did actually manage to go to the wedding because Harry was 10 days early but it was absolutely crazy of me as he was only 3 weeks old and I had to go on my own with him)!
I had just the one midwife appointment in my first trimester, which was my booking appointment at 9 weeks (one day before my unexpected visit to hospital and my scan!). I didn’t need to see a GP as I didn’t have any pre-existing risk factors, so I just arranged for the midwife to come to my home. I absolutely loved my midwife and I was so lucky that the same midwife who did my booking appointment looked after me the whole way through my pregnancy and did some of my postnatal visits. She was an absolute babe. There isn’t really much to say about my booking appointment as it was all just the standard stuff and it all went smoothly.
I told my sister and sister in law that I was pregnant a couple of days after I found out, but we waited quite a long time to tell other people. I had to tell a couple of people at work before I would have liked, so that I could change shifts for appointments etc. but other than those people I waited until after we had told our families to tell most people. We ended up telling our families on Christmas Day, when I was 14 weeks pregnant. It was so lovely. We put the scan photo from our 12 week scan in Christmas cards and gave one to each family member and they all opened them at the same time. We told my family and my husband’s family separately but both on Christmas Day, and it worked really well. Everyone was really excited and funnily enough a lot of the male members of the team said to Mike ‘Well done!’. Even my Dad which was pretty bizarre. I then had to go work a night shift afterwards which seems crazy now but it was still a very special day.
Overall, I didn’t love the first trimester. For me, it was filled with nausea, tiredness and anxiety. However, seeing this little baby on the scans that, even though I didn’t look pregnant and lots of people didn’t know I was pregnant, was already so perfect, was absolutely incredible and made all of the rubbish symptoms worth it.