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Pre Match Nerves (week 11)

According to an app on my phone Little One is about the length of my thumb and is supposedly having a bit of a party in my belly somersaulting around. I can't feel anything!

I have a little bump. It still more resembles bloating/generally chunkiness than anything too noticeable, but it is in the right place and I definitely think it is a bump and not just pies.

The girl who sits next to me at work is pregnant. About 4 months ahead of me. She has had a blissfully uneventful pregnancy, save for craving crisps and oranges (not together). She sussed me out. Apparently I have a heightened sense of smell and have been more inquisitive about what people around me are eating.

Her knowing is a bit of a relief really… at least I can now openly question her about what she is going through without sounding weird!

I have a few ideas about how we are going to break the news to the family… (more about that later!)

I'm excited but still very nervous about the scan, and this whole pregnancy thing generally. I am still half expecting them to apply the scanner and for there to be nothing there.

The time has dragged and emotions were running high. Hundreds of thoughts going through my head what if there is something wrong with Little One? What if there is no Little One. Imagine the embarrassment. Yes madam, you have a fine pair of kidneys, a nice full bladder but no baby.

It seems silly and I'm really not a neurotic person but I know there is a higher risk of miscarriage in the first trimester and I have become quite attached to the idea of the Little One and am really rooting for him/her to make it safely to the finish line.

Joking aside, we're also planning on having a nuchal scan to assess the risk of Downs. We haven’t really thought about whether we would have further tests if we came back as high risk. We have just taken the view that we might as well have all the tests that don’t pose a risk to Little One.

Clinical Comment

 Simon Mehigan Consultant Midwife

A heightened sense of smell is not uncommon in pregnancy which is often linked to feelings of nausea and vomiting, as are “cravings” which can include ice cubes , digestives, doughnuts to more bizarre ones such as coal or chalk or even sniffing disinfectant!. I can remember driving round London late at night trying to find orange ice lollies to satisfy my partners cravings when expecting our first child (tip to expectant fathers, if you can find what your partner craves then she will love you a little bit more but don’t rest on your laurel’s…..those cravings can change!).

Knowing someone that is pregnant at the same time as you can be really helpful as it gives you someone to chat about things with. Pregnancy symptoms have not really changed over the years but the general advice we give is to be mindful of what your mum, mother in law, grandma tells you in relation to what you can and can't do when pregnant as it may no longer be true. The pregnancy book is where you should look initially to check anything or ask your midwife.

Unfortunately many women do suffer miscarriages (latest figures suggest 1 in 8 pregnancies are affected) with over ¾ of them happening before 12 weeks. Women that do suffer a miscarriage can access support from The Miscarriage Association. The fact you have not experienced any bleeding or pain is reassuring as these are the most common signs that a miscarriage is likely. If you do have any of these symptoms and you are less than 20 weeks pregnant then we recommend you contact our Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU).

Your initial scan help to confirm when your baby is due, whether you are having more than one and can also pick up some things that may need further investigation. You can choose whether or not you wish to have screening for Down's syndrome. Further information about Downs Syndrome can be found at the Downs Syndrome Association. If you do decide to have screening for downs then you will be offered a nuchal scan which together with a blood test gives you what your risk of having a baby with down's syndrome is. A risk factor of 1 in 150 or below is deemed high risk and you would be referred to our Fetal Centre to discuss your options.

It's really important for you to think about what screening you want to have. You should have been sent a leaflet that explains your options. These tests if taken can lead you to a point where you are having discussions following the tests about whether to continue with your pregnancy. The midwives and doctors will offer you support and advice about your options but ultimately the decision will be yours. If you know that you would continue with your pregnancy no matter what then it may be appropriate for you not to have any screening, alternatively you may plan on continuing with your pregnancy but would rather be prepared for any health problems your baby may have.

Do you have a question for Anna or Simon? If so please email us at Feedback@lwh.nhs.uk or alternively use the feedback tool at the bottom of this page.

by Anna