Thursday 12 July 2018

18 week pregnancy update, baby number two

I turned 18 weeks pregnant on Saturday and I'm getting closer to that all important 20 week scan, which we are really looking forward to. We didn't find out what we were having when we had Ethan and I think we will be the same this time around, but the next scan is just so important to make sure that everything is progressing well.

Here's an update on how my pregnancy is going so far...

How many weeks?

I'm 18 weeks pregnant now, coming up for 19, so the halfway stage is in sight.

Appointments so far?

I had a second booking-in appointment at the hospital a couple of weeks' ago, as I want to give birth at a different hospital than before and our doctor surgery isn't aligned with it. I also had my first midwife appointment, at 16 weeks. It was nice to meet her and it was quite a standard conversation, talking about the support they offer, confirming test results (all clear) and then sending me off until mid-September unless I have any concerns before then.

I was surprised to learn at this appointment that they no longer listen to the baby's heartbeat at this stage. I know people, both local and further away, who have had this offered to them as recent as six months ago, and it was a bit disappointing as at this stage, I hadn't felt any movements and was keen to know that baby was ok.

We had our last scan (the 12 week dating scan) on Friday 25th May so it feels like a long time since we've had an update so just hoping that everything is ticking along as it should. Our 20 week scan is scheduled for Friday 20th July, so not too long to go now.

How's baby?

My app tells me that baby is now around 14.2cm in size, which is about the same as a croissant or pepper!

My bump developed really quickly and the top in particular sticks out a fair bit and feels very solid. I think it's a case that baby is pushing my stomach and bits and bobs upwards to make room, and when I eat, it becomes harder and rounder. No denying I'm pregnant, that's for sure!

I have been so excited to feel the first movements and think I can definitely say that I can feel baby wriggling around now. Since 17 weeks, I've had the odd twinge or flicker that has made me stop and wonder if it's baby saying hello, but because I'm usually moving around at the time, I really haven't been sure. These past few days, since I've passed the 18 week mark, I have felt more of these sensations, and more frequently too. I've really been playing a game where every slight possible movement, I stop and really try to concentrate and I don't think it's just in my head!

It feels different to how I remember being pregnant with Ethan was like; the first time I felt him move, is was like a flutter. This time, it's like a quick tug, a pulling sensation or a sudden flicker. As I write this, I am sure that I can feel baby moving regularly, with little pulses here or there. Earlier today, I felt quite a strong motion, on the underside of my tummy, as I was sitting down and it made me jump. I think when I eat or drink, baby starts to move more and I am looking forward to having stronger, more regular movements so I know it's not just in my mind!

How am I feeling?

I've been enjoying these past few weeks and very much wear my bump with pride! The queasiness has gone away, I've had a bit of acid reflux on a couple of evenings and my tummy has started to feel a bit tight, but all in all, I am feeling good.

The heat has been ok to be fair; I've bought some maternity and summer clothes (not too many, but need generous waistbands and something cool and floaty - blog post coming soon on my view and tips on finding maternity clothes!) and we have the fan on at home, so can't complain. I've also picked up some treats that are helping me to keep cool and give my skin a boost.

Any symptoms?

My sleeping pattern has been interesting this time around. I've been staying up a bit later (could be due to watching Love Island, for the first time, though...) and generally getting a good rest but I wake up at least once to go to the toilet, usually around 2.30-3am. Over the past two weeks, I've been having really vivid dreams, which apparently is quite common during pregnancy, so that's been interesting.

I'm also really thirsty and have wanted to drink orange juice more than normal, but some days it has made me feel a bit too acidic. I'm really concentrating on eating good things and have noticed an increased appetite, so there are some treats but generally I am trying to eat more protein and healthy snacks more regularly.

Thoughts, ideas and plans

I have started to pick up a couple of things for baby, when I couldn't resist something. Not much, but we do have a couple of onesies and teddies especially for baby (plus extras Ethan has wanted to put aside) so I'll share more on this in a post soon. Taking it slow and steady on this front!

Ethan is really excited about his baby brother or sister, cuddling and kissing bump every morning and night and asking us lots of questions. If it's a girl, he wants to call her Lovehearts (as he makes a heart with his fingers, over my bump, which makes my heart melt) but if it's a boy, we can apparently choose the name!

Our local doctor surgery runs free pregnancy yoga sessions so I want to start doing these so I can have something to enjoy, get a bit fitter, feel a bit calmer and it might help later down the line too. I will also be reviewing the Boss Your Birth course, which I am really excited about. Available as online resources and videos from midwife Jess, I really like the approach and tone. It's all about being prepared for anything and preparing to feel more in control, no matter what happens - and with the anxiety I am feeling about labour in particular, I want to try anything I can to feel as ready and as positive as possible.

Wish me luck and I promise to report back soon on how I find the course and everything else I try, find or experience along the way.


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