Today I am 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant with baby number 4 and yesterday I heard the heartbeat for the first time. I won’t lie- it was a huge relief!
Having felt movement as early as 11 weeks, I’m ashamed to say that since then, I’ve been too busy to notice any more than the very very odd movement. And then the midwife asks if I’m feeling movements and suddenly I’m not sure. I was, I think, but I’m not now. And I know that the medication I’m taking for sickness can cause the stomach to ‘jump’ so perhaps those were the movements I’ve been feeling all along? And then the mind starts to whir.
I know that the baby was alive at 13 weeks because I saw the heart beating firmly at the dating scan. I know that all was well then. But I know nothing more. And either I have been a terrible mother-to-be and allowed myself to be so busy that I simply have not noticed any movements, or something entirely worse has happened. Why hadn’t I taken time to sit and connect with my bump? Why, when for the first time this morning the children asked to feel the bump and talk to the baby, had I not encourage this weeks before? To take a moment to sit, and let the children ask questions, be involved, was lovely. To not have somewhere to be or something to do. Of course, it lasted only minutes but it was a chance to stop for a moment. Perhaps I should have been doing this all along?
My midwife is fantastic. She asked me if I wanted her to try and listen for a heartbeat, advising me that sometimes 18 weeks is too early. She was concerned that I would become upset if she couldn’t find it at this stage, but I wanted her to try. I wanted a moment to focus.
And straight away, a clear and strong beating filled the room. Filled my heart. How I wished I had recorded it, like I had promised I would. But in the momentary panic, I had not even thought of doing that.
But the heartbeat was there, and in two weeks we get to see the poppy seed once more at the anomaly scan.
This week the poppy seed is the size of a slightly better sounding sweet potato. This makes me smile, and makes me think of Jennie. She’ll know what I mean. I’m being warned of potential back pain today, but luckily I have none. I am still doing daily Pilates and swimming three times a week in preparation for- hopefully- my VBA3C and I truly think that is helping a lot. I am being told that my baby should be kicking and twisting and turning and that I should be able to feel this. I will. I will not panic. I will feel it.
The poppyseed can yawn, and hiccup, and now has unique finger and toe prints. Unique.
And me? I am feeling a million times better. I am sleeping better, I am eating well and the sickness is really starting to abate now. I am still taking the medication- too scared to stop right now- but I am well.