For me, every day/week/month of pregnancy seems like an exciting milestone, but there are some very clear points throughout the pregnancy that Sam & I had been counting down to. The three month scan was the first big event – hearing the heartbeat for the first time, actually seeing the little fruit (currently we’re at a 1lb, 8” Papaya size. Or spaghetti squash size, whichever you prefer) and being told that everything is so far, so good.
After that came the fun of telling everyone and starting to make plans – what could we do with the nursery, what would we need to buy, reading all the books etc.
I had another personal milestone during the weeks that followed. Last year I was diagnosed with CIN3, which is basically severely abnormal cells which could develop into cancer if left untreated. I had treatment last year and it all went well, but during a follow-up when I was about 8 weeks pregnant, I was told the cells had returned, which, combined with the fact I had had treatment for CIN3, meant that my pregnancy was classed as high-risk, which is not something you want to hear.
However, here is something incredible. When I went to the hospital for a check-up (even though they had seen abnormal cells, they can’t treat them during pregnancy, so all they could offer was regular monitoring) I was told that because of the pregnancy – increased blood flow and better immune system (and some more intelligent medical reasons that I didn’t really understand) – the cells had actually improved and as a result they wouldn’t need to see me again until December, and even then it would be for a check-up, not for treatment. Thank you Papaya!
The next part of the pregnancy that we were focussed on was the 20 week scan. This is the scan where they check that the baby has all its limbs and functioning organs and is the right size etc – it’s known as the anatomy/anomaly scan. While they obviously can’t detect everything during a scan, it can pick up problems so it’s a pretty big deal. It’s also the time that they can (usually) tell you the sex of your baby.
While finding out the gender of a baby may not be for everyone, it was something we wanted to do. We’ve refrained from buying much in the way of baby things, and aside from copious amounts of Pinterest browsing, nothing has actually changed – our soon-to-be-nursery is still our dog’s bedroom.
So, in the 20 week scan, whether the baby was a he or a she was definitely at the forefront of our minds. It was insane seeing the baby this time. So much bigger and defined, we could see the spine, the hands, the head, the four chambers of the heart. Baby wasn’t playing though – they needed to see the nasal bone but Papaya was face down for the majority of the scan and no amount of prodding would turn the little one around – I had to get up and walk around for a few minutes – luckily after that they just about managed to see what they needed to!
After asking us what sex we thought the baby was, we were told that Papaya is…
(I knew it. And I like to be right.)
Since our first scan, I’ve been convinced our baby was a boy. Whenever I’ve had pregnancy related dreams I’ve only ever dreamt about a baby boy, our Pinterest board was basically boy’s nursery ideas and if I haven’t been referring to him (him!) as a fruit, I’ve used ‘he.’
(You can see how excited Freddie is at the prospect of getting a little brother!)
Eeeee! It’s getting more and more real! Now we feel like we can really start the preparations!