I’ve taken a few weeks detour of the “story” of my being pregnant so thought I’d jump back in. Going back to the day after finding out I was pregnant, when I had taken the digital dating test that put me at about five weeks pregnant…
Here’s the thing though, I now had these three positive pregnancy tests and no clue what to do next… nobody ever really talks about that. It was too early to tell people or ask advice, but I obviously wanted to try and get some more “official” confirmation! We had some huge steaks the night before the first tests, and when googling false positives online, eating excessive amounts of meat was one of the things that can cause a false positive, was I pregnant or had I just eaten too much steak?!
If in England, I’d make an appointment with my GP, but here in Canada I was yet to register with a Family Doctor, which is the equivalent. I called the surgery where Tom was registered, but they were unable to confirm whether or not I could register, so definitely couldn’t book an appointment. Covid played a part in this too – most doctor’s appointments were over the phone at that time anyway, and the doctor was fully booked. Next choice was a walk in clinic, but again with Covid, I was a little uneasy about sitting for hours in a waiting room with people who were feeling unwell. I called around a few clinics to see if anyone had appointments to book, but nothing was available. After a couple of days of calling round I was starting to think I would just have to go and wait in a clinic. Then I had a thought… all my friends here who had had babies used midwives!
I searching online for the midwife clinic I knew a couple friends had used and on their FAQ page it said that once you had a positive pregnancy test you could make an appointment! So I rang their office, explained that I’d just found out I was pregnant and they arranged for me to have an initial phone appointment and then to go for a dating ultrasound.
We decided to tell our parents and sisters about a week after we found out. We arranged back to back zoom calls so that we could share the news, and they were all very excited – there was cheering, champagne being opened and lots of smiles! It was really lovely to share the news and to be able to talk about it with other people!
During that first week, a lot of googling pregnancy and PCOS went on, and the reality kind of hit about the high numbers of miscarriages. Turns out for women with PCOS you’re three times more likely to miscarry, and the stats for miscarriage in the first trimester are already way higher than you want to hear – for under 30s, 1 in 10 pregnancy end before 12 weeks. So our joy and excitement was quickly held quite loosely as we thought through the odds of the pregnancy sticking. I know that’s pessimistic and kind of morbid, but we wanted to be prepared for the reality that it might happen.
A few days after telling our families, we shared the news with the couple we did our weekly Bible study with. We shared with them how we were very excited, but also concerned about the statistics so wanting to hold both together. We had decided it was important for us to share the news with them so that we could pray together and have their support during those early weeks, and we were glad to tell them – they shared their experiences, prayed with us and for us, and were generally really happy about the news and wanting to help out in any ways they could.
Next came the dating ultrasound – I had to estimate when I would be 8 weeks, which is usually measure by the date of your last period, but my last period prior to the pregnancy would have dated me at around 11 weeks the day I did the first test! So I based it on the dating test I did. Tom wasn’t able to come into the ultrasound clinic with me due to Covid rules, so he waiting in the parking lot. It was a very quick appointment. The technician plied my belly with jelly and started the search. First thing she said was “well, you’re definitely pregnant” which really put my mind at ease! And then she picked up the faintest heartbeat, which was incredibly fast, and showed me the screen where I could see a little blob moving – that was the whole baby! Even though I followed the guidelines, she told me my bladder wasn’t very full so she was having to push quite hard to get the readings she needed. She printed a few images, and told me the embryo was measuring smaller than 8 weeks, probably around 7 weeks. I took the photos downstairs to show them to Tom and tell him about the experience – he was happy everything was looking good and enjoyed looking at the little blob in the printouts!
A week later I had another phone appointment with a midwife who confirmed the embryo size at the ultrasound was 6 weeks 6 days, so they gave me an estimated due date of July 15th!
By this time I had downloaded the What To Expect app which gave me weekly info about fetus size and developments and also sent me a daily email of highlights for the July due date forum. I was also given a pack of documents from the midwives that included a list of foods to avoid etc.
We started telling a few close friends and family before we reached 12 weeks – due partially to impatience but also that Christmas landed at the 11-ish week mark, so we shared the news with people during the holidays. I also ended up telling many of my professors and TAs during the semester because of how the sickness and exhaustion were affected my studies too – thankfully they were all very understanding and I was granted a few needed extensions!
It was strange sharing the news with people, the fear of something going wrong lingers but you can’t keep it to yourself forever. One of the first times I saw a friend in person I was telling her how surreal it still felt and that I still hadn’t actually told many people – we shared the news over WhatsApp and on Facebook and when we told people over Zoom or in person, I often encouraged Tom to share the news, so there weren’t many times I had actually said the words “I am pregnant”. Two friends and my sister even guessed before I had the chance to say it just because of the tone of the conversation… Ha.
I kept a few notes in my phone from the early weeks just to remember how I was feeling, and would like to end on a section of one of my notes at eight weeks:
It’s all starting to feel quite real now! With people knowing, feeling so crap [see post on symptoms…], getting the scan picture, and being sick! [My first pregnancy vomit was just before we left home for the scan!]