Lara Ruffle Coles

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Tag: Pregnancy

Twelve Week Scan

My first scan was on the 26th of September 2017 and it was a complete palaver.

The appointment at QEH is at 14.20 and we get there early as you do. We inform the receptionist that we have an appointment, she makes a note and tells us to sit down, and so we nervously wait.

14.20 comes and goes. We keep waiting because this is the NHS and you always expect the free service to be running behind schedule. We don’t actually ask what is going on for a good 20-30 minutes.

We ask when we will be going in: “Oh, I forgot to tell the sonographer you were here.” Oh.

We’ve missed our slot. Oh.

Apparently the sonographer was ready and waiting. Oh.

We now have to wait for a gap, and for the sonographer to answer the phone because you can’t go in and interrupt another scan (which is fair obviously).

There is a gap about an hour after our appointment. We go in. Yay.

“Your baby isn’t moving enough to do the scan properly, you need to go and eat some sugar and walk around and then I’ll try again.” Oh.

We leave and go down to the crappy WHSmith at QEH. I buy Fanta and chocolate. I drink the Fanta and eat the chocolate. We walk about. We go back into the scanning department and wait for another gap.

It’s about two hours after the original appointment when we go back in. We do the scan in full. Hurrah. I spend half the scan trying not to snap/cry at the sonographer because she’s grumpy because of the original admin error combined with the stupid baby not moving enough. LOLs all round. Not the dream first scan.

Then we realise that we forgot to ask for photos because everything became too stressful and the sonographer’s schedule had been completely buggered. We faff about for a while deciding whether to wait again, or whether to get the hospital to post us the photos. We decide to wait again.

Once the sonographer can answer the phone (again), she prints off the photos, brings them out to us, and then and no-one charges for them. Hurrah!

It’s now about three hours after the original appointment and we are finally done.

Slightly later we drive down to Croydon(-ish) to see my brother and sister-in-law. I’m on my phone too much so I puke up all the Fanta and chocolate onto a verge at the side of the road. 👍

My one and only vomiting experience in the entire pregnancy. I know, I’m insufferable.

However, the scan was fine (!), the baby was fine (!), the sonographer was really efficient and capable (yay!), and we managed to have a laugh about it all by the end.

I still ❤️ the NHS.

Solar Shower Pregnancy Test

I always wanted children and we discussed it within a year of being together. He wanted children as well, but as it all seemed very far away and very grown up – it wasn’t a big dramatic OH MY GOD discussion topic. It was more of an eventuality, but also my decision: my body, my choice etc.

I knew I wanted to travel, work and get settled in a home before coming off the pill, and I hoped to not get accidentally pregnant in my 20s – it was my only real fear when I was younger and with Sam. I wanted to be selfish, do what I wanted, and I wanted to be in control.

We successfully went eight years with no dramas or panics, and once our trip to Japan was booked for March 2017, the time to try was approaching – our final big travel goals were trips to America and Japan, and we had already done five weeks in the US in 2015.

I was also approaching my 33rd birthday and I hoped to have a baby at 33 as that was the age my mum had me. Silly, but if able, I wanted to forge that additional connection to her.

So my pill supply ran out in February and I started tracking my crimson wave with Clue. Once we got back from Japan in early April we irregularly tried for a couple of months – we didn’t get too scientific about it at first as we had barely any cycle data to use, but by June/July we were using the ovulation schedule suggested by the app.

Side note: Don’t be fooled by those who tell you that trying for a baby is anything but an additional task for your daily routine. Who does romantic and/or sexy when you both work, have evening activities, and need to cook, clean and sleep. You have to keep on top of it (haha) every day for about 10 days to maximise your chances during your fertile window. Where is the romance in that.

July arrives and my period doesn’t come on the Sunday/Monday as usual. We get excited but nervous and decide to give it a whole week before taking a test.

That weekend we were away for a friend’s birthday at Eweleaze Farm near Weymouth. We decided to take the test in a super large solar shower on the Saturday morning, and after doing the pee pee deed we waited nervously.

The test said I was 2-3 weeks pregnant. Yay!

Contemporary advice says to keep quiet for the first trimester, so we did exactly that. It was our special little secret and we didn’t have to share it. Nor did we want the risk of something going wrong and then having to update people with shitty, awkward and sad news. 1 in 8 women go through a miscarriage, and many more miscarriages occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

We had our first scan at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the 26th of September 2017 and all was well. The scan itself was a complete palaver but that’s a story for another day…

Armed with our scan photos we surprised my brother and sister-in-law that night with our news. It was wonderful to share our joy with them and my belle-sœur was just as excited and bubbly as I had hoped her to be (as was my brother). It was a lovely evening.

It was another week or so until we told my in-laws and they seems quite confused at first. We had told them we were going to try for one, but they hadn’t asked for regular updates (!) as you just don’t do that. But once the news had sunk in they were full of questions and excitement. It was another lovely evening.

We told more people over the coming weeks, mainly family and close friends, and let ourselves get a bit more excited. In general, I refused to buy anything for the baby as I didn’t want to jinx anything (how scientific of me), but I caved in at four months and bought four letters spelling out ‘BABY’ from a cutesy boutique shop when we were in Battle one weekend. I added ‘RAFE’ to these once he was born. 😍

We ‘publicly’ announced the pregnancy at the beginning of December in front of the Christmas tree at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris.

I also wrote the announcement in French.

I know, what a nob I am.

Very excited people ^

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