I can’t actually believe this is my third trimester and I only have 7 weeks left until my due date. 7 Weeks! That’s like 4 weeks and then 3 or…5 weeks and then 2!! It feels like it was my 6 month mark yesterday and now we are in 8. It’s amazing and so, so exciting. It is still the longest waiting game ever and I am the most impatient person on the planet, we cannot wait to meet our little Sophia.
So third trimester. A lot has happened. I am going to keep this as short as possible but please bare in mind this is still a lengthily post. I also don’t want to scare anyone, this was just my experience and the NHS are so thorough these days so they check for everything which might be nothing. I had never heard about these things so I think it is important for me to speak about it in the hope someone can get some information or not feel like they are the only ones going through it. Pregnancy has not been completely easy and straight forward for me and that is what I have learnt, I know some people love it (my sister being one) and I really thought I would, as I embrace every situation I am in and I like to be a positive person but unfortunately it just didn’t go that way and hopefully my next pregnancy will be better.
20 week scan anomaly
On our 20 week scan (anomaly scan) an Echogenic Bowel was found. Don’t worry, we had no idea what this was either. It is basically where the bowel shows up brighter than it should, as close to bone density. What does this mean? 97% it could be absolutely nothing and just shows up but goes away slowly. I put the 97% in bold but in reality I had put myself into the 3% box straight away and thought the worst.
I found the staff at Chase Farm Hospital so unhelpful, they couldn’t give us any information or answer any of our questions. We were referred to UCL hospital where when I rung to check when our appointment was 3 days later I found out they had forgot to submit the paperwork so I got Barnet to re-submit which I found to be so much more efficient during this whole process.
Sam and I had to look up the NHS report on echogenic bowel to get some answers. We found out it heightens the risk of a chromosomal abnormalities, however, our risk was low for Downs Syndrome and this was the only ‘soft marker’ (this is what they call a indicator of certain abnormalities, there is a lot of these they can find during scans). The other possibility was Cystic Fibrosis. So, those were worst case scenarios. On the other scale it could also be a virus I was carrying which could potentially be harmful to the baby, an internal bleed where the baby has swallowed some blood but is completely harm-LESS to the baby but just shows up OR finally, our babies size could be a risk factor and she could be a small baby. We opted against the amniotic fluid test (100% accurate) as this has high risk for miscarrying. We did however do the Harmony test which is 99.5% accurate and this came back as low risk for us which was a huge relief. So that pretty much ruled out DS. Sam and I had blood tests for Cystic Fibrosis as we both need to carry the faulty gene for her to have it, neither of us were carriers. I didn’t show up for any of the virus’s they checked for and we are having regular scans for her growth which she is doing bang on average. So we can now put ourselves in the 97% box which I am so relived and happy about to say the least.
People always say ‘all I wish for is a healthy baby’ I think I say this with 100% meaning, I really don’t care about the colour of her eyes – I just want to make sure she comes out with no health problems. I know people live great, happy lives but obviously you wish for the best for your child and I hope she has the best life she can have.
This was obviously the biggest low and very difficult for Sam and I to go through. The tests and appointments lasted for around a couple of weeks but it felt like forever. We can now go back to enjoying the rest of our pregnancy.
Reduced Movements and Anterior Placenta
The second low is nothing really compared to the above but it caused me a lot of anxiety and probably linked to the above situation. Sophia moves a lot now but because of my Anterior placenta which is basically the placenta at the front rather than the back it works as a cushion, so the movements are not as strong as someone with a posterior placenta. So this means it took a lot longer (around 24 weeks) to feel any movements. I would feel her kicking and moving and then one day – the kicks were fainter and not as much which scared me as you have to keep an eye on your pattern. I went to Triage which is a 24hour call line and they have a service at the hospital where you can go in to tell them your problem and they assist or advise you where to go. I was before 30 weeks so she checked the heartbeat and said everything was fine and then, low and behold she started kicking as I got there!
It happened a second time the other week – at 32 weeks, she was moving so much and then nothing. As I was 30 weeks + I went to the hospital where they hooked me up to a monitor and asked me to press a buzzer every time she moved and looked at her heart beat. Everything looked fine and they gave me some chocolate biscuits and orange juice which I didn’t like at first as I am very health conscious and I don’t believe refined and processed sugary treats can be good for you in anyway and it something I hate about the NHS – they need to be nutritionally trained! However on this occasion, I was amazed that she did kick and her heart beat was stronger straight after I ate the biscuits. We stayed there from 7.30pm – 10pm and she started to move so much more and I was relaxed that she was OK when we left. All I can say is – if you have ANY worries go to the hospital or ring Triage as it is a great service and that is what it is there for. I have now realised that Sophia’s pattern is to move rapidly and a lot for one day and then on another day it will be a ‘chill out day’ and that’s just her – every baby is different, that’s the key.
Getting my energy back
I write this with a little resentment as my energy has recently disappeared again but nothing compared to the first and second trimester. I managed a few nights out with friends until late and really enjoyed myself. My baby shower at 32 weeks was amazing and I lasted the whole day although the next day I did feel like I had drunk a bottle of vodka which I think is so unfair seeing as I had no alcohol, I want to wake up refreshed. All in all though i feel the best I have throughout the whole pregnancy and I look forward to meeting up with people or having people over.
I LOVE my bump. It took until the third trimester to show but now that it is here, I love it. Every time I see it I can see our little girl in there and it puts a smile on my face. Sam loves seeing my bump grow and he mentions it and feels it before we go to bed, he sometimes even talks to her. I am usually wearing my t-shirt rolled up as I like my bump to hang out. Here is the latest bump photos, I even love my pregnancy line. No stretch marks yet and no outy belly button but I do think I will get one.
As you might know, I was very prepared with my DIY projects and getting the nursery ready (DIY: Renovating IKEA Chest of Drawers for the Nursery and DIY Nursery Project No.2) So I feel like I have just really enjoyed getting the little odd bits and pieces ready. I have started nesting from day 1 and already feel like I am a mummy. I made an ‘S’ for Sophia with paper flowers which I love and will do a post on this soon.
We put some beautiful prints up and have just got the nursery to a beautiful stage, my favourite room of the house. It’s so calming. We were showered with so many generous gifts at the baby shower which I will also do a post on soon. I have just washed all her new and hand-me-down clothes and packed them away in age order (newborn or 3 months +, we also have a few 6 month pajamas but not much). The house is officially baby ready and ready to welcome Sophia into a warm and loving home, all we need now is YOU Sophia!
The third trimester (after the results came through from the echogenic bowel findings) has been my favourite, it’s how I wish the whole pregnancy has gone. I feel glowing, I love showing my bump off, I feel a lot more alert and up for doing things and plus we only have 7 weeks left so the countdown is on and we are so excited.