Trying for our first baby and falling pregnant
This blog article outlines everything to expect during pregnancy as a first time Mum-to-be and everything that is involved.
Of course each pregnancy is different, however here is my experience and generally how it works here in the UK with the NHS appointments.
I wanted to be a Mum for so long and I eventually decided I wanted to start trying for a baby around November 2018.
My husband and I spoke about when we would agree to trying and decided that we would start trying from January 2019.
From starting out at the beginning of 2019 trying to conceive, month by month went by and my period kept coming on, until when my next period was due around the 21st August 2019.
This was the first time since trying for a baby that my period was delayed and there was no sign of it coming.
I had been taking folic acid for quite a while now to try and help me to conceive and things had been quite stressful for us, having recently bought a house.
Taking my first pregnancy test
On the 27th August 2019 I decided I would take a pregnancy test in the evening, due to having no sign of my period starting.
I used a cheap pregnancy test from Wilko and followed the instructions and waited for the result.
When I looked at the result I saw 2 very strong lines, which meant a positive test result and I could not believe my eyes.
This was a wonderful moment to finally see a positive pregnancy test, after the disappointment I had month after month of having my period come on.
I went downstairs and told my husband and Mum that I took a pregnancy test and it looked like I was pregnant.
My Mum came up to the bathroom to double check the results with me and after looking, she replied ‘’There are 2 lines, that’s a positive. You are pregnant’’.
I just couldn’t take it in and still had a doubt whether I was actually pregnant or not, despite trying for several months.
My husband also didn’t really take it seriously and wasn’t sure what to say or think.
Taking further pregnancy tests
I had read that in order to get the most accurate pregnancy test result, it was best to take the test first thing in the morning.
The following morning on the 28th August 2019, I took a further pregnancy test the same way as the previous evening and waited.
Again I received the same result with 2 very vivid lines on the pregnancy test.
I was so excited to see another positive pregnancy result again.
On the same day I messaged my sister who was at work. I told her to phone me at lunch time, she then asked me what it was and then phoned me more or less immediately.
I told my sister over the phone the news and she was so happy and started crying.
How many pregnancy tests did I take in total?
In the end I ended up taking 4 pregnancy tests in total.
The first pregnancy test I did was on the 27th August 2019, I then took a second test the following morning on the 28th August 2019, a third on the 29th August 2019 & then a final fourth pregnancy test on the 31st August 2019.
As this was all new to me, it was hard to take it in and I wanted to be sure that it was definitely correct and I was pregnant.
When I informed my doctor’s surgery
I phoned my doctors surgery on Wednesday 28th August 2019 and saw a doctor at 12pm. I then booked in for my first midwife appointment.
At what point did I first see a midwife?
On Friday 20th September 2019, was my very first midwife appointment, where I saw a midwife at my doctors surgery.
I felt like this was such a long wait to have a proper pregnancy appointment, as at this point my understanding was that I was already 9 weeks pregnant.
At this appointment she took my blood, checked my blood pressure and asked me to do a urine sample.
My first pregnancy ultrasound – Dating scan
On Friday 11th October 2019, I had my very first ultrasound appointment which I was so looking forward to having.
This was the appointment I was most excited about, as up until this appointment I was still partly in disbelief and didn’t want to get my hopes up.
My Mum and husband both came along to the ultrasound appointment with me.
I laid down on the bed in the ultrasound room and the sonographer applied the gel to my belly.
As soon as she placed the probe on my belly and started the ultrasound, I saw my baby up on the screen immediately!
It was so magical and emotional to be there with my husband and Mum by my side and to see mine and my husband’s little baby there and looking like a proper baby.
Both my husband and I were a bit tearful and so happy to finally get that reassurance that we had a healthy little baby in my belly and that I was 100% pregnant.
Throughout the scan it was just so special and amazing.
Our baby was standing up and moving around in the womb!
It was just incredible and I had never experienced anything like it.
I thought at this point I would be 12 weeks pregnant, however the dating scan showed that I was 12 weeks + 6 days pregnant and I was further ahead than I thought.
Screening blood test at the hospital
After having my first pregnancy ultrasound and seeing our baby on the screen. I then went on to get a blood test.
The blood test was a screening to check for Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome and Patau’s syndrome.
You can read more about this pregnancy blood test for the Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme here on the NHS website.
Marc & myself were booked in for a booking appointment the following morning on Saturday 12th October 2019 at the hospital.
At this appointment we met with one of the midwives and we had to go through a pregnancy record with our personal details and history etc.
I also had to do a urine sample at this appointment.
The midwife also had my blood test results there from my initial midwife appointment and I found out my blood group.
Negative blood group – pregnancy
I was informed that my blood type was ‘A Rhesus Negative’, which meant that I would have to have an Anti-D Treatment injection when I am around 28 weeks pregnant.
Additionally, when baby is born that they would need to check what blood type baby is as well. If the baby’s blood type is different to mine, I would need a further injection.
The midwife handed me my purple ‘bounty pack’ with a folder inside with my green notes/ Pregnancy notes in which I could take home with me.
When did we announce our pregnancy publicly?
On the 13th October 2019, I finally thought it would be the right time to post a status on my Facebook announcing the fantastic news that we were expecting our first baby!
Midwife appointment following on from booking appointment
I was then given another midwife appointment on the 24th October 2019, where they took my blood pressure and urine sample as the usual routine check.
Body changes in pregnancy
I believe it was around October 2019 where my body started feeling different.
In the fact that I noticed my boobs growing, my belly piercing area started to get itchy and my belly looked hairy. My belly button also was starting to gradually pop out.
My stomach was also starting to get quite itchy.
Listening to baby’s heart beat
At 16 weeks baby’s heart beat is usually checked with a doppler by the midwife.
When I saw the midwife on the 6th November 2019, I was told they would be listening into baby’s heart beat.
It was really exciting to hear my baby’s heart beat for the first time. The midwife let me video it to capture the special moment, so I could show hubby as well.
Low BMI and pregnant
As I have a low BMI, I was referred to a consultant where I get additional ultrasound appointments for growth scans and see the consultant each time as well.
Normally the standard ultrasound appointments you have under the NHS are the initial dating scan appointment at around 12 weeks of pregnancy and the gender scan at around 20 weeks of pregnancy.
With being referred to a consultant, you are normally given 3 additional ultrasound appointments for the purpose of keeping an eye on your baby’s growth.
First consultant appointment
I saw the consultant for the first time on the 13th November 2019.
At this appointment I had my blood pressure, heart rate and urine checked in one room.
I was then called into another room to see the consultant himself where he looked over my notes.
The consultant told me that I would be seeing him again around 28, 32 and then 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Consultant appointments are very similar to the standard midwife appointments in the fact they do the same checks, however additionally the consultant checks the results from the ultrasound as well.
Ringworm at 16 weeks
I noticed a red round mark come up on my ankle and within a few days I was having further red type rashes coming up on both of my feet which I believed was ringworm.
I read online it is quite common during pregnancy and I was prescribed some cream from the doctors.
Feeling baby’s movements for the first time
I was sitting on the sofa at home, I believe either that same evening after seeing the consultant or the following evening when I felt some movement in my stomach from my baby.
The feeling was fantastic to actually feel my baby in me for the first time. It was like a little bubbly feeling which I assumed was my baby kicking.
From this moment on I felt my baby most evenings when sitting on the sofa with my husband and it made me feel really connected to my baby bump.
The following week, I was feeling my baby’s movements stronger and stronger. I remember getting on a train home from a job interview and feeling my baby repeatedly kicking inside me as I was sitting on the train home.
There were a few times after where I didn’t feel or notice my baby’s movements as much. Sometimes I used to sit on the sofa and play some music and touch my belly, which often gave my baby the opportunity to move around and it reassured me that my baby was ok.
18 weeks pregnant and needing new clothes
Around 18 weeks of pregnancy I started to struggle with my bras and trousers not fitting as they used to.
I ended up buying myself 3 new pairs of jeggings in a size 10 and a new non-wired sports bra from Asda after wearing a pair of tracksuit bottoms for a few weeks.
At around this time I also felt that I was actually starting to get a bit of a bump, rather than looking quite bloated.
Our baby’s gender scan at 20 weeks
On Friday 29th November 2019 when I was 19 weeks + 6 days I had my 20 week gender scan.
From the start of my pregnancy I had always planned on not wanting to find out our baby’s gender straight away. I had the idea in my head that I wanted to do a gender reveal and find out that way.
So, up until a few weeks prior to the gender scan appointment, I wanted that my sister would come along to see our baby on the scan for the first time and for the sonographer to write down the baby’s gender on a bit of paper for just her to know.
I wanted both my husband and I to not know at this point and for it to be revealed by my sister at a gender reveal further down in my pregnancy and closer to our baby’s due date.
However, my husband was adamant that he wanted to find out our baby’s gender at the gender scan appointment.
As my husband was so certain he wanted to find out, I was just as eager to know and couldn’t let him and my sister know without me finding out as well.
So, I came to the decision that I would want to find out our baby’s gender then too.
To this scan, it was my husband and I, my Mum and my sister who all came along to the appointment and we were also so very eager to find out our baby’s sex.
My husband and I were rather convinced that our baby was a boy. Although, as much as I wanted to have a baby girl and had always had a preference for a girl, I just thought that this baby would possibly be a boy.
I feel that most pregnant women have a certain preference as to what gender they would hope for their baby to be, especially if it is their first baby.
I think that I sort of convinced myself that it was a boy, so that if it was I wouldn’t be so surprised or disheartened. Not that I wouldn’t like to have a boy, but just the fact that a girl was my preference. Of course I would have been very happy either way.
The sonographer did all the routine checks during the scan, checking all our baby’s body parts, the heart chambers and heart beat.
This scan was quite different to the first scan as our baby was that much bigger and we couldn’t see the baby as well.
The sonographer then asked us if we wanted to find out our baby’s gender, so I replied ‘’yes please!’’. She was moving the probe around across my stomach and said ‘’It’s a … baby ….. GIRL !’’.
I was so ecstatic and rather tearful and everyone was just as happy as I was.
My Mum phoned my Nan there and then to inform her of the great news and my Nan was absolutely thrilled to hear. My Nan, Mum & sister had all thought we were having a girl.
My Nan had been telling me for the last few years how much she wanted to be a Great Grandmother and how we should try for a baby.
After finding out our baby’s gender
When we came out from the scan, my Mum had a carrier bag with her with some baby bits she had bought and handed us some beautiful PINK BABY GIRL’s clothing. Which was really lovely to have our first lot of pink coloured clothing for our baby.
As the day of our gender scan appointment was also BLACK FRIDAY, I was so happy to look for gender appropriate clothing and other baby essential items on offer.
BLACK FRIDAY & CYBER MONDAY WEEKEND – SHOPPING FOR OUR BABY
That day Marc and I ordered the Chicco Bear in pink from Argos in the BLACK FRIDAY sales for just £14.99.
Over the BLACK FRIDAY and CYBER MONDAY weekend, I started to look for further baby items to buy.
I reserved an ‘Angelcare Soft Touch Bath Support’ in pink from Argos for just £16.99. The price of this is normally £27.99.
The bath support was the first main item we had bought.
Flying abroad pregnant
My husband and I did fly abroad to Austria for around 2 weeks just before Christmas. I had phoned up the Midwife Triage to enquire about needing a letter to fly and they explained to me that I didn’t need one up until around 28 weeks.
I was advised to use flight socks though when travelling, so I wore flight socks and made sure to move my legs around, even though it was quite a short flight.
Pregnancy at Christmas
At Christmas I already had a cute little baby bump that I was proud of.
For Christmas we received a lot of items for our baby, the main being a beautiful moses basket from my parents.
Being pregnant I obviously couldn’t drink any alcohol for Christmas, however it didn’t bother me and I had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed drinking sparkling grape juice which was just as good.
Midwife appointment – Distasis recti
I saw the midwife again at my doctors surgery on the 8th January 2020.
She did her usual checks and I also mentioned to her that I had ‘distasis recti’ which is the separation of the abdomen muscles.
I noticed that I had a problem with my stomach muscles probably as early as around 14 – 16 weeks.
It was when I was sitting on the side of the bed and leaning back very slightly that I saw this bulge along the middle of my stomach.
At this appointment at 25 + 4 weeks, I was also given my Mat B1 form (maternity certificate) which is a document that I needed to hand into my employment regarding maternity leave.
Glucose blood test in pregnancy
On the 22nd January 2020 I had a glucose blood test. Which involved me needing to fast for at least 12 hours from the night before till the time of my blood test appointment that morning. This meant I could only drink water during that time.
I then had to pour the glucose drink that I was given ‘Rapilose OGTT Solution’ into a glass and drink the whole solution within 10 minutes, 2 hours prior to my blood test.
The solution was revolting and very hard to drink it all and made me feel very sick.
After having the blood test, I came back home and brought back up a lot of the solution.
Obstetric foetal growth scan and consultant appointment
A few hours after having my glucose blood test at the doctor surgery, I then had my next growth scan at the hospital.
My baby’s estimated weight at this stage (27 weeks + 4 days) was 2 lbs 6 ozs.
On Friday 24th January 2020 at 27 weeks + 6 days I was booked in to have my Anti-D Treatment injection.
I saw one of the midwives at the hospital and she told me that I had to be at least 28 weeks pregnant and because of 1 day difference, she refused to give me the injection.
She ended up just doing the usual blood pressure and urine checks.
I was re-scheduled to have the Anti-D Treatment injection for the following Friday on 31st January 2020 at 28 weeks + 6 days.
The injection did of course hurt and I felt the liquid going in the top of my arm, but it wasn’t too painful luckily.
When did we order the pram?
We ordered the ‘Ickle Bubba 3 in 1 travel system’ from Asda on the 28th January 2020 when I was 28 weeks + 3 days.
When we set up the moses basket
My husband put up the moses basket on Saturday 8th February 2020 when I was 30 weeks pregnant.
We then placed the moses basket on my side of our bedroom, as it is important for babies to be in their parents bedroom ideally up until 12 months. This is to prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
On the same day I picked up a Tommee Tippee manual breast pump from Boots, as I plan on breast feeding and expressing some breast milk.
Midwife – 30 weeks
I saw the midwife again on the 12th February 2020 at 30 weeks + 4 days.
On Sunday 16th February 2020 at 31 weeks + 1 day, my husband started building together our baby’s wardrobe.
We ordered and created our own custom made PAX wardrobe online from IKEA and put in the required measurements, shelves and hanging space etc.
I was actually inspired by Lucy Jessica Carter, who had posted a video on her Instagram & YouTube accounts explaining about the custom made wardrobe she had got for her little twin girls that were due around Christmas 2019.
We ended up going for an almost identical wardrobe to the one she chose.
Baby changing unit
I came across a second hand IKEA Gulliver changing table in white on the Facebook Marketplace and we collected it for £10 from a lady locally.
Marc built this and put it together on Sunday 23rd February 2020 at 32 + 1 weeks of my pregnancy.
The Gulliver changing unit from IKEA costs £65 new. Which seems to be a very slightly newer model to the one we have.
Foetal growth scan and consultant appointment
On the 26th February 2020, I had my next growth scan.
This was the first pregnancy appointment that my Dad came along with me to and saw our baby on the scan.
At this scan I was told that our baby’s estimated weight was 4 lbs 1 ozs.
When we put together the pram
On the Saturday 29th February 2020, I got my Dad to help build our pram together which arrived that week.
We had our pram up and ready on this day at 33 weeks of pregnancy.
Packing hospital bags
It was my birthday on Sunday 1st March 2020 and that morning I decided to start ironing and packing away our baby’s hospital bag.
On Saturday 7th March 2020, Marc and I had our first antenatal class to attend at the hospital.
This class was to help prepare for labour and birth and the early days with your baby.
There were around 50 other couples in the room also attending and we both found this class really beneficial and helped us to get a much better understanding of what to expect and be prepared for.
Another midwife appointment on the 11th March 2020 for the usual check in.
There was the fear with the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak going on that made both my husband and I a bit wary about hosting the planned baby shower in our house.
My husband kept telling me how he wanted to cancel the Baby Shower with the virus fears and how it wouldn’t be worth risking it.
Although I was worried about the whole pandemic situation. I had waited months for this to come round and was so excited to host this baby shower in our new home and celebrate with close family and friends.
As a first time Mum-to-be it was always something that I really looked forward to and dreamt of having and I didn’t want to cancel it.
We did inform all our guests that if they did have any cold like symptoms and weren’t feeling 100% that we unfortunately wouldn’t want them to risk coming along. With this in mind, we had a few people that weren’t feeling 100% and said they would not be able to make it.
We did go ahead and have such a lovely day with everyone who did come along and there were around 13 of us in total and I think it went very well.
Expected final foetal growth scan and consultant appointment
On the 18th March 2020, I had expected this appointment to be my last growth scan and last consultant appointment.
I had my growth scan at 35 weeks + 4 days and our baby’s estimated weight this time round was 5 lbs 4 ozs.
When I saw the consultant after the scan, he said to me that the baby is actually a very small baby and he would look at me being induced around 39-40 weeks if I was happy with that.
The consultant also explained he would like to see me again in a few weeks and to book in for another growth scan and consultant appointment.
I was booked in to see my midwife at my doctors surgery for the Friday 27th March 2020, however I received a phone call on Wednesday 25th March 2020 from one of the community midwives.
She explained that due to the coronavirus they aren’t currently doing any midwife appointments at the doctor surgery anymore and my appointment was cancelled.
The community midwife offered me an appointment the following day Thursday 26th March 2020 at the hospital instead.
When I went along for my midwife appointment I wore a pair of disposable nitrile gloves and a standard blue disposable mask for protection within the hospital.
Where I am now
I am currently almost 38 weeks pregnant with my final growth scan and consultant appointments booked in for next week and an additional last midwife appointment if I go over 40 weeks.
Once I reach the end of my pregnancy, I will be sharing some more on this topic!
Hopefully I have been of help to any pregnant women or anyone trying to conceive.