“By the time you’re eight weeks pregnant, the baby is called a foetus, which means ‘offspring’.”
This is one of the informative gems available on the internet for those wishing to chart their growing baby’s progression with minute accuracy. I am one of those people.
I have been Googling symptoms, side effects and embryonic development in an attempt to let the realisation sink in that this is actually happening.
Today I am 8 weeks pregnant, and as far as we are aware, all is well. I haven’t really suffered from many early pregnancy symptoms, other than tiredness and constipation. Having never been told about this latter side-effect of being pregnant before, I was somewhat surprised by it. Your body slows down the expulsion of food such that your intestines can wring every tiny bit of nutritional value out of it for your growing embryo. I can’t remember the last time I did a poo. I haven’t suffered morning sickness yet (for which I’m very grateful!), and in fact when at an early pregnancy clinic a couple of weeks ago, only 1 of 8 women had.
And yes, I’m peeing more.
I still get the occasional cramping sensation, and a sort of pulling on the right hand side of my tummy, but I Googled this too, and apparently it’s very common – as the uterus grows, it points slightly to the right in most women. Thus causing the pulling effect as the ligaments stretch and grow.
One phenomenon I’ve noticed in all my Google searching is the tendency for everything anatomical to suddenly now be related to the morphology of common fruits. I’m not sure where this started – perhaps in some science communication experiment gone wrong – but it’s pervasive and compelling.
Last week our embryo was the size of a blueberry. This week it is the size of a raspberry. My uterus is, by now, the size of a lemon. What is not clear, however, is whether we’re talking about one of those super-big raspberries that’s been out in the sun and swollen up to tender juiciness, or a withered husk of a raspberry from Asda’s ‘fresh’ fruit section. So it’s all utterly meaningless anyway.
I’ve started to relax a bit now, which is good news (thanks for all the prayers). We still worry about the chances of a miscarriage, and I’ve read all the stats blah blah blah (which of course are also meaningless unless you can also factor in individual risk factors such as weight, pre-existing conditions etc etc), but I feel as if I’m growing in hope each day. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has been here after having previously endured a miscarriage or several. The faith it must take to not go insane with worry is unimaginable.
This Thursday we have our first one-to-one midwife appointment, where they’ll test me for every disease under the sun, and take my blood (:-s) and pee. They’ll also book us in for our 12-week scan. Oh, and I got sent a medical card to exempt me from paying for prescriptions (another perk I didn’t know about. However, if I have a miscarriage before 24 weeks, I have to remember to give it back to Mr NHS. Lose the baby after 24 weeks, and I can keep the card and continue to use it, or so I’m told on the cover letter).
Everyone’s love and support has been truly lovely, and we’re both very grateful for your well wishes and prayers (and crossed fingers from you heathens).
Think of me the next time you eat a raspberry.
Useful links if you want to be a Googleface like me: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/pregnancy-weeks-4-5-6-7-8.aspx