What To Expect

  • More visible veins
  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings/aversions

Your Baby This Week

Your baby is as long as your thumb, roughly the size of a cork. They are about 2 ½ inches and weighs 4 grams.

Dear Diary

I cannot believe I'm writing this but we are here. Twelve weeks. It feels more significant this time around for some reason and I can't figure out exactly why. Part of me wonders if it is because I know a lot more now than I did five years ago and with that comes a lot more fear regarding what can go wrong.

My husband shared the news with his boss this week because he needed to get the morning off work for our scan. That made it feel extremely real. One part of me was really excited to just imagine him saying the words. I visualised him talking to her and saying the words "Tracey is pregnant" with a big smile on his face. That's me – I am her!

I also had a bit of an internal freak out over it too. What if it spread through the office and then something bad happened and everyone would know? I had to just kind of stop my thought process there because it was going to lead nowhere good. He got the morning off work and I was excited by the prospect of us maybe having enough time to squeeze in a little coffee if we were out quick enough. I'm back enjoying coffee again which I had really missed during the nausea.

I'm attending the Coombe and there are two components to that twelve-week appointment. First, you have the "booking in" appointment. That's where you get bloods taken and have an in-depth chat with a midwife. They go through your medical history, previous birth records and general preferences regarding the birth, feeding etc. I actually love this part. I just think midwives are amazing and if you get a particularly lovely one (which I feel a lot of people do) they just make you feel really at ease.

The baby had a heartbeat. I thanked someone out loud and I don't even know who it is. The universe I think.

Everyone in that little waiting area is in the same boat. We all look a bit nervous and we've all been given that pregnancy starter pack (which I happen to have written an article for, which is pretty cool to be fair). There are also very few bumps to be seen which makes me feel a bit better about the food-baby bloat that I'm sporting. I've been noticing all the bumps strolling around the reception area and I can't help but look forward to having a round tummy and experiencing those little wriggles and kicks.

The scan comes after and I suppose I'll fast forward to that because the booking in appointment was pretty straight forward. I wasn't waiting long at all to be called. We had a really lovely sonographer and that made me feel very relaxed as I sat up on the bed. It's funny – nothing can really prepare you for the seconds before that wand glides across your tummy. You start anticipating what you will or will not see and I know that I took a very dramatic and loud deep breath as it began.

"There is a little heart beating away". It was as though she said it a millisecond after the scan started and I was never more delighted for someone's efficiency. I immediately felt the weight of the world drop from my shoulders. The baby had a heartbeat. I thanked someone out loud and I don't even know who it is. The universe I think.

She took some measurements, deciphered my dates and all was as it should be with the baby which was just the best news ever. I could see tears in my husband's eyes as he put his hand on the bottom of my leg and gave me a little supportive squeeze. I was dreaming about the frothy coffee and the text messages we would soon be sending our loved ones to reveal our happy news.

And then the real fun started. I knew I had a cyst on my right ovary because we had gone for an early scan at about seven weeks which is where it was discovered. It overshadowed the entire first trimester and I think for the last week or so I just kind of forgot about it and focused on the baby. I was almost surprised when the topic went in that direction at this scan. The sonographer spoke about the fact that it needed to be monitored and looked "complex" in nature. It was more than likely blood-filled rather than water-filled and that can make them a little trickier to understand and monitor.

The next part is a bit of a blur if I am honest. She wanted to ensure that the hospital was following up on the cyst properly and said she had to leave the room and make a call to set it all up. It was a really strange and uncomfortable couple of minutes and I could see the panic in my husband's eyes. She had mentioned that the cyst had qualities which could be an indication of it being something a bit more sinister. We didn't say a whole lot but we knew that something didn't feel right.

Fast forward a couple of minutes and we are in another room talking to the on-call doctor in the hospital. She explained that the cyst had a septation and properties which could suggest it is more like a tumour. She mentioned sending me for a special array of blood tests to check for a certain Cancer hormone/chemical.

Cancer. That old chestnut. In my world, Cancer does happen. My brother had Cancer as a young child. My Dad has stage four Cancer. Cancer. She told me that there was no need to worry right now but they obviously have to be safe rather than sorry. She mentioned a detailed pelvic ultrasound and the possibility of an MRI in James' hospital.

The blur continued as we walked to the car. Clutching the baby scans and with zero interest in talking to anyone (including my husband) I just felt numb. This was supposed to be a happy day. The baby is fine but what about my other baby? He needs me. If I'm not fine he won't be fine.

We didn't go for the coffee and I knew I needed to phone my mother immediately.

Until next week.

A Partner’s Perspective

We were very anxious about the scan but the thought of listening to our baby's heart was just so exciting. When the nurse began, we were filled with happiness - everything was fine with our baby and our dream to have a second child was finally fulfilled.

It is not easy to describe the emotion you feel seeing your baby for the first time but it is a wonderful feeling.

Our Midwife’s Advice

Your baby is now able to curl his/her toes and flex his/her hands. Have you a nickname for your little one? It can really help to start bonding and can be anything at all, like peanut, berry or bunny. My niece named my bump hedgehog and it stuck for my whole pregnancy.

By the end of your 12th completed week, most people (if you haven't already) feel ready to share your exciting news. Some people will have told others by now and sometimes people wait till much later. There is no right or wrong way to do it. You suit you.

Like Tracey, It's also usually when you will have your booking appointment. You will have an ultrasound scan to check all is ok and confirm your dates. You will be asked a detailed medical history and get your bloods taken. You will be amazed at the details you can see in the scan - there is a real little person in there! Make sure and ask your sonographer to give you a copy of the scan picture. This is a big milestone and makes it all seem real. It also takes the pressure off you as you can be less anxious and start to enjoy your pregnancy a bit more. Remember, be kind to yourself.

Week 12

Our Wellness Tip of the Week

Make sure you're drinking lots of water. Your recommended water intake is higher during pregnancy - averaging at 8 to 10 glasses a day. If you don't enjoy the taste, pop in a slice of lemon or lime!

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