Pregnancy story by Joanne
Welcome to the second in a series of posts written for you by real Mum’s to be. Each article will share the pregnancy story of one Mum to be, who will each share their labour and delievary experience when baby arrives. I hope that these real life accounts of pregnacy will help other expectant Mum’s to feel secure in the knowledge that the things they experience and feel during their pregnancy are all normal events and emotions and part of the journey to motherhood.
Joanne’s Pregnancy story
Today we meet Joanne and Megan. As a same sex couple Joanne’s journey to pregnancy is a little different. Megan has written a lovely account of their journey to parenthood from the perspective of baby Matson.
Finding a donor
For most women the search for the father of their child begins way before they decide to even have a child… they are hunting for a friend, a partner, a mate… for my mummies, they found each other first. After a short courtship, a slightly longer engagement and an even shorter marriage they decided it was time to turn two into three!
It wasn’t as ‘easy’ as monitoring hormones and finding the right time – they had to hit the internet to find a donor – to find a generous, selfless human being who would be willing to give them the greatest gift – ME!
The process of finding a donor is not as easy as you might think – instinctually you look these men and their photographs and you view them as you would a partner. They had to fight these feelings and look for men who would be suitable DNA providers, not life partners. They found many men and communicated with these gentlemen only for them to change their mind, or let them down when it came to meeting them.
But they found The One! A PhD scientist (Big Mummy is a scientist) and a history nerd (so is Little Mummy). He is tall like Big mummy with blue eyes like little mummy. He was keen, willing and also happy to donate to bless me with a sibling!
Finding out they were pregnant
After 8 donations they were beginning to feel like this wouldn’t happen for them. With little mummy being older she was going first. They had done everything “right”. Little mummy had stopped drinking, she was taking her conception vitamins every day, she was eating well, drinking lots of water, and weeing on ovulation strips constantly. Multiple tracking apps were being used to ensure they covered all of their bases.
Thursday night before half term, Big Mummy had noticed the dogs were being weird… “Shall we do a test?” Little Mummy went into the downstairs loo, and took the test – Big Mummy was watching through the crack in the door. Big Mummy knew from the look on Little Mummy’s face that the test was positive! They both cried a bit, and laughed a bit and got excited… then got really scared…
So I was just chilling and growing, but Little Mummy had a little bit of tummy pain – nothing to do with me… but her and Big Mummy were scared so they went to the doctor who sent them for a scan… I was there, but I was tiny, just a little yolk sac no heart beat yet (but seriously what did they want from me?!). The nice lady at the hospital brought them back two weeks later and there I was with my beating heart… Both of my mummies were so excited to see my little beating heart and that I was growing as the doctors expected me to.
12 week scan – how things had changed
My mummies didn’t tell many people about me growing inside of Little Mummy – just one of my aunties and a couple of people at work who needed to know! It was the last day of term before the Christmas holidays, and they had to go for the 12 week dating scan.
Drinking the litres of water ready for the scan was very difficult for Little Mummy, and she had to be a little bit sick in the car park! I don’t mean to make her sick… but Big Mummy finds it very funny!
There I was – a perfectly formed little baby. Ten fingers and toes, and a squishy nose. I was perfect and they both fell in love with me instantly! They couldn’t wait to get back to work to tell EVERYONE that they know that they were expecting their June bundle of joy!
Ssssshhhhh to social media – telling the family/friends
Once my mummies had that 12 week scan they set about telling friends and family. They wanted to make the announcement for the family special – so they printed special frames and put my scan picture into the frames and wrapped them up as Christmas presents. We went around to the family to visit and they gave them one to open early. Some family members were SUPER EXCITED. My auntie was also growing my cousin Grace at the time so she was so really excited that her baby could be friends with me. I mean who wouldn’t want to be friends with me.
My mummies have decided that they don’t want me to be splashed all over social media, and also have decided to keep the pregnancy a little bit schtum until I come out. It has been hard for them as the close friends who know do know keep tagging them in things on FaceBook!
20 week scan – no sex please
With the excitement of their last Christmas as just the two of them, the few weeks between my dating and anomaly scans flew by. Before they knew it we were back at the hospital and that same lady was pushing into me… she kept trying to look at my different bits and pieces and well I found it rude and an intrusion. So in true Baby Matson style, I made life as difficult for her as I possibly could. If she wanted to look at my face, I covered it with my hand. When she wanted to look at my heart, I crossed my arms across my chest… and when she wanted to look at my nether regions I crossed my legs! I mean really – HOW RUDE…
Long before I was even a twinkle in their eyes, they agreed that they would remain Team Yellow. Anyway I heard her tell my mummies to look away when she was look at the bum end – then I heard my little mummy tell my big mummy off because she tried to sneak a peak. Big Mummy might be brilliant at literally everything she does, but even she couldn’t tell if I was a boy or a girl. Long before I was even a twinkle in their eyes, they agreed that they would remain Team Yellow.
The longest wait EVER
After the anomaly scan my mummies started shopping for me – they started to buy me clothes, and nappies (real ones that they have to wash my poo off of) and even some toys. They went off for a long drive (obviously they took me with them) and came home with a cot and a chest of drawers and a special chair for mummy to sit in when she feeds me. I heard them talking about colours and themes – can’t wait to see what they chose! To be honest I found it a little boring and so fell asleep and didn’t find out.
The next 20 weeks would be the longest in my two mummies lives – I continued to grow and kick my little mummy from the inside… then kick my big mummy through my little mummy.
My little mummy got bigger and bigger until she resembled a weeble – I mean one time she even fell over in the garden and wobbled back and forth unable to get up – big mummy may have stood in the kitchen watching through the window… laughing…
My pet dogs were obsessed with me – they kept insisting on lying on my little mummy with their heads on me. I tried to kick them off but my legs are still only little and all they did was get jiggled around.
The nice midwife kept pushing and prodding me – trying to figure out how I was lying – she didn’t realise that I still have plenty of room to float and twist and turn in there. Big mummy kept herself busy washing my clothes and blankets and my Auntie Tamsin threw my mummies the loveliest of baby showers where I was spoilt with lovely thoughtful gifts.
Little mummy insisting on staying at work for as long as possible, which annoyed big mummy a little bit – think big mummy was worried I would arrive AT SCHOOL! They would probably have to have named me after the school – not sure I like the idea of being called Haven Matson!?
They have taken me to all the classes – how to get me out, how to care for me and about how I will develop. They took me for a walk around the hospital – I really liked the birthing pool – I hope I get to swim in there. Now all they have to do is wait. I like to wind big mummy up by pushing little mummy around and making her think she has back pain so they get excited and think that I am coming. I will come when I am ready – and not a moment sooner!
Thank you Joanne and Megan for sharing your pregnancy story with us. Baby Matson has now been welcomed into the world and I look forward to sharing an udate with you all soon.
I decided to pretend that I was okay and happy. I thought that if I pretend everything is okay that I will then believe it and everything will be fine. I told close friends and family of the news and they were all happy for me. It is nice knowing I had other people around to help support me.
After speaking to my midwife, she recommended I speak to my doctor about how I felt mentally. He then recommended I contact a couple of companies for counselling. I have now had a couple of sessions of 1 to 1 counselling to help me talk about my worries. It helps being able to speak to someone who doesn’t know me and won’t judge me for how I feel. Everyone is different and have their own ways of dealing with things but for me, I find counselling helpful.
When it came to my 20 week scan, I wasn’t half as nervous as I was before. I was more nervous about finding out the sex this time. My partner and I told the sonographer we would like to know the sex in which; after a few moments of her checking a few things, she confirmed we will be having a baby boy.
We are both so excited and starting to get ready for little man’s arrival. We have been thinking of names and also looking at cots, prams etc. I feel I can now focus on the good things and not have to worry that something will go wrong. I don’t want to let my paranoia get the better of me, I want to enjoy the pregnancy and make the most of it.
As I hit 31 weeks, I started to get itchy hands and feet. I discussed this with my doctor and midwife in which, after a few blood tests they have confirmed I have obstetric cholestasis. I am now having to have blood tests every week and have my baby monitored for his heart beat and movement. At first I was worried but; I have got my head around this and thought I am not the only woman to get this. They have prescribed me with cream and allergy tablets to help with the itchiness. Even though this meant that I will not be able to get my water birth I hoped for as I am now consultant led, I know that I will be looked after in the hospital and I can get through anything with my partner.
I certainly feel ready to meet my little boy as the tiredness and aching back/neck kicks in. I only have a couple more weeks at work and then my maternity leave starts – I can’t wait! I still need to pack my hospital bag but I will get around to this soon! The nursery still needs to be decorated but, as he will be sleeping with us for the first 6 months, we are not rushing to get this done.
Having my partner and my parents with me through this journey has made it easier for me. I still get paranoid but, with the support of everyone I know I can get through this. Besides, having up and down days are the joys of our hormones in pregnancy! Bring on the labour ☺
Thank you to Sophie for sharing her pregnancy journey.
Sophie used Insight Healthcare to access counselling which is free to use with NHS - https://www.insighthealthcare.org/our-services/talking-therapies/types-of-therapies/counselling/
Sophie has since sent me a message to let me know there little man, Rowan arrived safely on 8th October. Isn't he just beautiflul.
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