My pregnancy journey so far (up to 24weeks) – Where is my glow?

Hi everyone 🙂 I’m not one to really blog about personal subjects on my site, but because I’m about to become a mother I thought why not? Everyone who comes to my site is either expecting or has had a little one of their own right? So it kinda makes sense. I’m also using this as a bit of a journal for myself, so that in a couple years time I will be able to read back on this and remember my journey and probably laugh at myself.  Also because it may help other people who are pregnant. I’m not going to hold back, I’m going to say exactly how it is. So please forgive me if I offend anyone, any of my clients or you think ‘we really didn’t need to know that,’ I’m human, just like the rest of you……. and this is my story!

Mark and I had spoken about kids but had never really gone further than that, it was always just a conversation. But as you can imagine, taking photos of beautiful newborns on a daily basis had always made me think ‘I wonder what my baby would look like’ or ‘How strange would it be to take photos of my own child.’ The thought was always there.

We got married in May 2016 and for most people a baby is normally the next thing that happens right? So we spoke about it some more. There were two things that stopped me from ‘trying’ for a baby after we were married 1)Work – I run a full time business completely by myself. I go to work 5-6 days a week, I come home and spend my evenings editing and replying to emails, my diary changes all the time and I have to be flexible for babies that arrive early/late. In my job I don’t switch off. I’m pretty much working 24/7 other than when I’m asleep. I will be out for dinner and replying to customers facebook messages or even on holiday making sure there are posts on my page. How on earth would I also be able to bring up a baby when I don’t even get 5 minutes for myself now? 2) I didn’t want to pressure Mark – as much as he said he would love to have a baby it was always in the back of my mind ‘Is he truly ready? or is he just saying it to make me happy?’ Mark’s a few years younger than myself and has grown up a lot faster than most of his friends. He has a wife, a mortgage and now a baby on the way. Most of his friends still live at home, go out every weekend and can afford to buy the latest gadgets because they don’t have all the bills to pay. In the end we decided ‘not just yet’ and said we would enjoy a couple more holidays ourselves first.

Fast forward to April 2017, we had a summer break booked to New York in June and we had a little talk about maybe ‘trying’ after then. I had herd so many horror stories from clients about sickness that I didn’t want to get pregnant now and feel awful on our holiday. So we decided that I would come off of the pill because after taking it for years you would think it would take a while to come out of your system and ‘be careful’ until we had been on our holiday. It actually turned out that I would be ovulating the week that we were away, so we thought right lets not be careful anymore, not so much ‘try’ but just go with the flow. Little did we know we would fall pregnant that very week!! You never think it will happen that quick. What was different now? Why was it the right time? what had changed in the last 6 months? – the truth is, nothing. Nothing had changed what so ever. I was still so worried about work and how I would deal with it all. But something clicked ‘I couldn’t let my work run my entire life.’

Around a week later I was shopping in Tesco and saw the clearblue pregnancy tests, ‘test up to 4 days before your missed period’ it read on the box. I didn’t feel pregnant, I didn’t have a voice in my head telling me I could be pregnant. But something made me pick up that box and take it to the check out. My period was due in 3 days time. I got home and I did the test, I wasn’t nervous, it wasn’t a big deal because noway did I think it was about to say positive. And then around 3 minutes later I saw this …..

I remember my first thoughts being ‘oh’ just ‘oh.’ I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t scared…. I was just in shock! Not one little bit of me thought I would look at that stick and see 2 lines, it had only been a week!!! So of course, I went back to the box which was a set of 2 and did another one. Same result. Mark was at work and wouldn’t be home for another 4 hours, so for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to text him a photo rather than wait until he was home from work (opps!) I had to tell someone!! and of course it had to be him first. 2 tests were not enough for me, I still didn’t believe it, so back I went to Tesco for more Clearblue tests but this time the digital ones that say how far gone you are. Of course they both came back positive and read 1-2 weeks. It then started to sink in and I started to smile. I was pregnant. And I hadn’t even had my missed period yet!

The next couple of weeks went pretty slow and I will be honest, I didn’t have a clue what I needed to do. Did I need to go to the doctors to confirm? or did I just wait? Turns out you see the midwife for the first time between 8-10 weeks, so I had a little while to wait.

At around 5 weeks (technically you have only really been pregnant for about 3 at this point) I started to get cramping. It felt like a really bad period. Being such an anxious person I couldn’t help but worry and ended up on Google search ‘Is cramping normal in pregnancy?’ It basically told me that a little bit was fine and that it was the egg implanting itself where it needed to be to grow and then it also said that if the pain was severe then it would be an ectopic pregnancy and baby wouldn’t have made it. I closed down google as I didn’t want to worry myself. These pains were on and off for the next couple of days until one day I felt like I needed to go to the toilet, so I sat on the loo but couldn’t go. I felt extremely constipated. And then suddenly I was in so much pain, pain I hadn’t felt before. I literally could not take myself off the toilet it hurt so much. Much much worse than a normal period cramping. I then started sweating and shaking and I was at home by myself. This went on for around 5 minutes but felt like a life time until I managed to get my phone and talk to my mum who then came round to the house. I then calmed myself down and took myself to bed.

The next day the feeling was still there, it still hurt so I called the doctors. I was gob smacked at how the person on the other side of the phone had no compassion what so ever and basically told me ‘ a doctor can’t do anything,’ so I ended up going to A&E. When I got there I just burst into tears, why me? Why can’t something just go normal for me for once? And there I was sitting in the waiting room, by myself (I didn’t want to worry Mark), sobbing. They ran some blood tests and said that my pregnancy hormone level had to be at a certain level for them to even bother with a scan. I preyed that it would be, how could I leave the hospital not knowing whether everything would be okay or not? It actually came back really high (thank god!) but while I waited for that scan, the doctor just kept explaining what an ectopic pregnant was, I guess planting the seed in my head for what I was then going to be told.

At first the lady carrying out the scan couldn’t find anything, so she asked if I was okay with an internal scan. She found something, phew!! My baby had made it’s way to the correct place. This is what was seen on the screen. One circle is baby and the other some kind of sack/fluid.

Everything seemed some what okay, but with the pain I had experienced she advised I came back for another scan in 10 days time.

You can only imagine how long those 10 days felt like. It felt like I had been waiting forever to make sure everything was okay. Mark couldn’t make it to the next scan so my mum came up to the hospital with me for support. In the waiting room we were joking ‘Only you this could happen to,’ my mum said. I didn’t take offence by it, anyone who knows me personally knows I’m at the doctors with problems about 10 times a year (typical me). ‘Will you be okay if everything’s not okay?’ she asked – “yeah, I’ll be fine, its only early days and these things happen,” I tried to tell myself that I wasn’t going to get upset if she couldn’t find a heart beat. But truth is deep down I would not have been okay. I wouldn’t of been okay at at all! It’s so crazy what pregnancy does to you. All woman who have been pregnant before will know exactly what I mean when I say ‘ you become a mother the day you find out you are pregnant,’ from that very day you know that you are growing a human inside you and that it is down to you to protect them. It’s insane! A feeling you can’t really describe.

I was then called in to the scanning room and again needed an internal. The lady just starred at the screen for ages, it wasn’t looking good. She could see something but there wasn’t a heart beat. My heart sank, I knew what she was about to tell me. “I can see where baby should be, but I cam’t find a heart beat.” She said – “Come back in 5 days and we will see if its an ongoing pregancy.” What does that mean?!?!” I screamed in my head. “You want want me to go home for 5 days not knowing whether my baby is alive?!?” of course I didn’t say this out load. “oh, okay I replied.” She had basically just told me that my baby was dead and that I needed to go back in a few days to confirm it. Some people people may read this and think ‘Stop saying baby! It’s just a blob at this stage,’ But like I have said, any woman that has been pregnant in the past will know that to her its her ‘baby’ from the get go. Just before she was about to book me another appointment she for some reason decided to try one more angle and would you believe it she found a heart beat!!!! I was so happy! She was wrong! Baby was just fine and I didn’t need to go back 🙂 After this, I then had to wait until my standard 12 week scan which felt like a life time away.

Dead on 6 weeks pregnant, to the very day my sickness started. Nothing could of prepared me for how awful I was going to feel for the next couple of months. This had always been one of the things that had put me off being pregnant. With a job like mine, I listen to peoples sickness stories all the time. People would tell me how they just felt like they wanted to die and how they would just stay in bed all day. Morning sickness is real people! and it sure aint ‘morning!’ more like all day long. I would wake up feeling like I was going to throw up and this would go on until I went to bed at night. The next day it would repeat and the next and the next and so on. I never actually was sick, so you might think I was lucky….. hell no!!! I still had my head down the toilet so many times thinking I was going to be. ‘Why have I done this to myself?’ I would ask ….. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ I would moan to Mark. The worst thing when all of this is going on, is that you still have to get up and go to work in the morning. I’m self employed, I couldn’t just call up and say I was sick. No no no!! I had to drag myself out of bed, get ready for the day, go to work and smile while feeling like I was dying a slow and painful death! So for anyone that came in for a shoot around this time, I can only apologise if I seemed a bit ‘off.’

 Typically just 12 days before I was due to go in for the 12 week scan I started to get some pains in my side. Suffering with anxiety and by this point I had come off of my tablets (I take anxiety tablets on a daily basis) it was so hard not to worry and I couldn’t stop panicking. I knew that if I were to go up the hospital, I would probably be sitting there for hours and they would then have told me pains are normal and they wouldn’t of given me a scan just 12 days before I was due one. So to put my mind at ease and to take the anxiety away I booked myself a private one.

Me and Mark went to Pams in Norwich and this was the first time we had seen what actually looked like a baby on the screen. No more blobs or little circles, it was an actual baby and with a healthy heart beat. We were both smiling ear to ear and couldn’t believe how active the baby was being at such an early stage. Doing flips in my tummy, waving their little hands at us and just having what looked like a full on party. The odd thing about this was that I could see all of this happening but couldn’t feel a thing.  We both left the clinic feeling really happy and it was now more ‘real.’

12 days later we were up the hospital for our 12 week scan. As much as we loved seeing our baby again, it seemed much more formal than the scan we had had at Pams, just very technical I guess. I asked if she could tell me how fast the heart beat was, but the lady was very serious and said no. I was actually a little shocked that she couldn’t give me a little piece of information that would have been on the screen in front of her. At least we again got to know that everything was going okay. Here is baby at 12 weeks…..

We had had our scan, it was finally time ….. we could now shout it from the ruff tops, tell the entire world….. we are having a baby!!!! It felt so good to be able to let everyone know and also made my life so much easier with work. If I was feeling really run down I could now actually explain why to my clients and they wouldn’t just be thinking ‘Cheer the f*** up!’ They would actually be able to understand. I could also now make a joke with them as to why I needed to use the toilet 5 times in just one photo session! and no longer needed to feel embarrassed to once again say I need to go pee.

The next exciting thing for us was the gender scan. I don’t know how people can be team yellow and wait until baby is here to find out the sex, noway could I do that. If you book a private scan they can usually tell the sex at around 16 weeks. We happened to be going away for my friends wedding at 16 weeks so thought we would attempt it at 15w+2days. I wouldn’t have minded what the sex was being our first but there was this little part of me that was hoping for a girl and Mark was hoping for a boy. Again we book it at Pams in Norwich and she tried her hardest to find out the sex. “I think that’s a little willy,” she said – Marks face lit up, he was getting the boy that he wanted – “Hmmm, I’m not sure that could be the cord.” she followed (poor Mark.) She then looked again and said that the babies bladder was in the place of where it normally is for a girl and therefore she was 95% sure that we were team pink, but said to pop back in after we had been away to confirm it. We went away a little disappointed. Not because of Pam’s service, she is amazing but because we still didn’t really know. Yes she had said 95%, but she had also said that she had seen a willy! So we would have to wait.

When we arrived back from our trip, we went back to the clinic again and were told “Yep, she’s still a girl,” Yay!!! I was so excited. At 99.9% sure I would take that and let everyone know we were having a baby girl 🙂 Mark was a little bit disappointed as he had hoped for a boy, but now he can’t wait to meet his daughter.

When we were away for my friends wedding, we were actually in Cyprus enjoying an all inclusive hotel. I must say I was actually surprised that I wasn’t really getting jealous of people drinking cocktails by the pool. I was actually just happy with a cold Coke. With 40 degree weather it was defiantly hard for me to sit still for longer than 5 minutes, but I did try and make the most of it. Luckily the hotel had a lazy river I could go round on and it be a little cooler.

At this point I had defiantly put on some weight and was at the awkward stage of ‘is she pregnant or just fat?’ so I certainly wasn’t confident walking around in a bikini. I just had to tell myself that I would never see the people at the hotel again so who cares!

It was also while we were away that I started to get so many little pains here there and everywhere that I just put down to stretching, but there were times where It was really uncomfortable to walk very far and one night I could barley get out of bed to use the toilet without it hurting. Little did I know this was the start of something called SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction).

When we got home my pains started to get worse and worse. Some days I would be okay and some days I could barley move. I would struggle to get dressed in the morning as standing on one leg was a no no, I looked like I needed to poop when walking, walking up the stairs was really uncomfortable and turning over in bed was extremely painful. I spoke to the midwife who said it sounded just like SPD. So I looked it up and every single symptom was exactly what I was getting

  • back and hip pain
  • pain along with grinding or clicking of the bones in the pubic area
  • pain down the inside of your thighs and in between your legs
  • pain that’s made worse by parting your legs, walking, going up and down the stairs or moving around in bed
  • pain that’s worse at night and stops you from sleeping.

I had everything! Great, just what I need with such a physical job. When I’m in a newborn shoot, I constantly have to get up and down, bend over and do things that will be painful. I was only around 15 weeks when I started to get this. How am I going to work up until 36weeks if it’s only going to get worse? Of course this would happen to me.

For anyone that doesn’t know what SPD is, it’s basically my pubic bones deciding that they no longer want to work and are going to rub against each other coursing a great deal of pain, which only gets worse as your bump gets bigger. This doesn’t hurt the baby at all, but can get so bad for the mum that they end up on crutches or even have baby early to take away the pain. I’m now 24 weeks pregnant and have been dealing with this for around 2 months. So if you see me walking funny you know why!

When I found out I was expecting it was my plan to work right up until the end of January, have February off work to prepare myself and have a little rest before baby arrives early March. I would then take 3 months off and go straight back to work at the beginning of June. If i’m completely honest this plan was never going to be easy. Does any new mum really want to go back to work when their baby is just 12 weeks old? Truthfully the answer is probably no, but with a business I don’t really have much option. Many people might say why don’t you just have time off and enjoy being a mum and go back to the business when you are ready? Sadly it doesn’t work like that. The studio still has to be paid for when I’m not there. My rent and bills don’t just disappear because I’m pregnant and I have worked far too hard to just give the business up. Luckily we do have family who can help, so we won’t need to pay for child care. However I will only be able to work 3 days a week and not 5-6 days like I do now. But like I said right at the beginning of this post, as much as I LOVE my job, I can’t let it run my life, which at the moment it kinda does!

At the moment, I’m not really sure how far to my due date I will physically be able to work up until. With SPD it is one of those things, where you don’t know until it comes to it. But I’m going to try make it to the end of Jan if I can. It’s so easy for people to say to a pregnant lady ‘take it easy’ and ‘make sure you rest,’ sorry guys but just because you are growing a baby inside you does not stop you from having bills to pay. There have been plenty of days when I have woken up and could have really done with a few extra hours in bed, but in my circumstances it’s just not possible. In an ideal world I’d love to be working just 2 days a week now until baby arrives but instead I’m working 5 and continue to work as hard as I can.

At 24 weeks I’ve already gained 2 stone in weight and am not enjoying the way I look at all. I love my bump, but I’m not loving the extra butt or thighs! Believe it or not I’m also not a fan of the stretch marks. I’m trying to embrace being pregnant as much as I can, but I’m sure lots of ladies can relate and say for them there defiantly was no ‘glow.’ I’m going to be so forever grateful for the miracle that comes at the end, but for me personally being pregnant is not fun.  Here I am just last week, pretending to smile when really I just hated the way I looked. I have a massive bump considering it’s my first!

With regards to feeling baby kick, I’ve actually only felt this now for the past 2 weeks as I have a anterior placenta which means it’s at the front and can be harder to feel. However I’ve felt her every day since it started. I didn’t like it at first, it actually freaked me out.

Corrrr that was one long post! If you have sat and read the whole thing then thank you so much! I’m sure once baby does arrive I will write about what happened from this point 🙂 Please excuse bad punctuation, I’m not a writer!

In the mean time, thanks again and if any pregnant ladies out there have any questions feel free to ask. I have set up a group on Facebook for local new and expecting parents in the Lowestoft, Beccles and Great Yarmouth areas, so feel free to join!




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