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Happy feet

September 9, 2011

Firstly sorry for the delay in posting this up … yesterday was a blur … went from absolute exhaustion, to apprehension, to relief, to feeling totally overwhelmed and back to absolute exhaustion …

Tootled over to the hospital; not to the Rosie Maternity Unit but the Clinical Investigations Ward to follow-up all the chaos and difficulty of the day before.

The atmosphere there was just lovely; so much more peaceful than the main scanning area. Mother came along as well which was wonderful, and she enjoyed hot chocolate and various dubious newspapers and sat and waited for The Spaniard and I to undergo a whole raft of tests.

First things first, the scare of earlier in the week was found to have settled down, The Spaniard is fine and I (although very very weary) am also fine.

Samantha the POPS scheme (research study I’m part of) midwife/sonographer was in charge of my investigation and she meticulously checked every tiny mm of The Spaniard, my uterus, placenta and all round my womb.

Well, when I say every mm of The Spaniard, I lie. It was so active; moving so fast that she couldn’t keep up with it. “It’s a right wriggler this one”, she said as she gently poked the scanny thing around on my tummy.

Apparently it was head down with its body curving round to the left (looking from above) of my tummy button with its legs stretching out and kicking out across the top over to the right side. I hadn’t realised it was so high up – this also explains why my ‘bump’ seemed smaller lower down in the last week.

While we watched, it kicked out and pulled its knees into its little chest and just wriggled, writhed and turned. Samantha showed us every vertebrae, the ventricles of the heart (all pumping properly and when she switched the blood flow ‘view’ on we could see the blood going in and out), she measured around The Spaniard’s head, looked into its brain and measured its thigh bone and shin bones and counted all the correct number of toes and fingers.

The Spaniard is normal in every respect, exactly so on the measure round its tum. It was about 16.5cm long from head to bottom (with legs it would be around 25cm now perhaps longer) … quite amazing when the first scan we had (look back in the archives) showed a tiny 4.7mm little soul.

 We looked at its ribs (no there is no difference between the number of ribs males and females have … only with Adam who lost one to form Eve), and its mouth, lips, chin, nose, forehead … pretty much everywhere to the point where it almost felt invasive.

We didn’t find out the sex, I don’t want to know, but Samantha said she couldn’t see anyway due to the way it was lying and wriggling so much. The Spaniard doesn’t have a cleft palate which was good news … and as I said really was normal in every respect. There was no evidence of leaking fluid or damage to the placenta (which is sitting to the back of my womb which is good as not placenta previa or on top which would be awkward for a caesarean) or to The Spaniard’s housing.

Its little heartbeat had gone back up from 130 bpm to 156bpm which was good and we heard the blood pumping through my placenta to its body. Quite incredible to hear and see what’s going on inside you and feel nothing at all.

My mother most enjoyed seeing the tiny hands and fingers clench and unclench, and its little thumb go to its mouth (I sucked my thumb all the time as a baby!), Roy was just amazed by the whole thing and I was intrigued by the legs and the little tiny feet and couldn’t stop myself gasping out loud when the little soul shoved one foot firmly out towards the scanny thing. We saw a tiny perfect footprint … just incredible. 

Like a little fossil, a mark in time, it’s foot determinedly registering its disapproval of being poked around.

This is my favourite of all the scan photos.

I had blood tests, Roy had a saliva test, apparently the POPS study is working on linking male DNA to the cells on the outside of the placenta (quite incredible) … I was further prodded and poked. Levels of amniotic fluid were assessed and the morning drifted into the day and I got tireder and tireder … but more and more relieved. The idea that just 24 hours earlier they were talking about ‘delivery’ which would have almost definately meant the demise of the wriggling determined feisty Spaniard was increasingly intolerable.

Anyway, it was a very emotional and weary me that made it back round the corner to Mother’s house, rested and rested and rested and cried with relief.

Then I saw someone incredibly important to me, someone that will be a huge part in The Spaniard’s life once it’s born and I told him I was pregnant … he really was the last person that I had to tell in person. My already tired emotional self just about held it together but a few tears were shed (and not just by me) and once the shock “Really”, “You”, “You don’t look big enough” (bless him) and so on had registered he smiled that overwhelmed smile that I think I had too and I knew that whatever happens to me and The Spaniard’s dad over the coming years with him around The Spaniard is guaranteed a few adventures and a loyal and loving friend … and a shed load of mischief.

Later that I slept so heavily. I woke a few times with the size of my tummy making it hard to roll over now and just lay there looking up at the old glow stars still on my bedroom ceiling thinking, “Thank God”, and “wow, this is real”.

Today I’ve been pretty much like a zombie … The Spaniard must have totally moved round as my tummy is a whole different shape … but that’s just fine with me. I picture its happy little feet, legs crossed, legs kicking out (no not a football player … either a rugby boy or a ballet girl perhaps) and that makes me feel very contented… but still constantly hungry.

Once again THANK YOU for the love, the patience, the thoughts, prayers, karma and kindness I’ve been shown this week … it has really helped keep my spirits up.

Happy Feet

4 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2011 3:19 am

    If that little footprint doesn’t stop you taking trips, working too hard, or simply not taking it easy, my dear friend, nothing ever will.

    What a cracking photo, I love it! “Get out of my space.” LOL

    The twins beat each other up when they were inside me and it was quite something being able to clearly identify at least 5 points of presence – arms and feet – poking out of me at any one time as they fought! Big, angular, hard bits ruining the perfect globularness of my stomach!

    Now, woman, bloody rest. I’m not sure how much more any of us can take of you pushing yourself too hard and then wondering why The Spaniard and your body react so.

    R.E.S.T. Is it really so hard?!

  2. September 10, 2011 11:42 am

    Wonderful, wonderful news, Ellie.

  3. September 11, 2011 5:20 pm

    Happy feet is right! I’m doing a big happy dance for you! What a relief that all is looking UP!

  4. September 12, 2011 11:31 am

    Thank you Lindsey, Roger and Claire… so appreciated … as is the happy dance!!

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