Just came back from the 12-week scan and I thought it’d be nice if, for once, I wrote a blog while still in that awed, giddy state I’m starting to expect at each ultrasound scan, rather than the place of bored and bitchy queasiness I usually write from.

Because yes, these moments do somewhat make up for the nausea and the tiredness that I’ve somewhat gotten used to.

In my usual spirit of full disclosure to the point of TMI: the 12 week scan is half vaginal, half abdominal, and it is (or was for me) the last time the scan would be vaginal, because after that the womb rises enough that you can see using the abdominal scan. In the meantime, you can see far more on the vaginal scan, but the abdominal scan allows you to hear the baby’s heartbeat – or it should have, I’ll get to that once I’ve finished fangirling.

Speaking of which, let me just explain the title of this blog: I came out of this scan in full-on fangirl mode. Bf took a 41-second video of the scan, which he stopped taking only because he couldn’t film and properly see what was going on at the same time, and he wanted to live that particular moment with me, which is understandable and I totally forgive him even though I’d have liked a longer video. I do. It hasn’t stopped me watching said video twice on the camera on the way home and five or six times on the computer. I think it’s the hormones. And I think Bf is being affected by them because every time he sees the small (mostly fat) bump where my previously flat (though not toned) stomach used to be, he squeals like a little girl.

I’ve seen other parents and future parents in this gushing, glowing mood before and while I thought I understood, sort of, what I didn’t understand was the self-control behind their behaviour. As in, how hard it is to resist the urge to actually run up to strangers in the street and show them the video like “CAN U SEE MAI BEBE LOOKIT IZ LIL HANDZ DEY HAZ FINGERZ AN EVRYFIN IZ KAWAII-DES NO???”

In the video, you can hear me squealing at the baby’s every movement. The part of me that remains relatively coherent is strongly reminded of a fangirl reaction, thus my new name for this particular state of mind, Pregnancy Fangirl Mode, and the corresponding need to write on a public blog to get said fangirling out of my system.

The cool thing about the 12 week scan is that you can see everything all at once quite easily. I’ll edit this blog and put photos when my gyno sends me them. Apparently we were lucky in that our scan happened during one of the 20-minute periods during which the baby was active. You could see it arching its back and twisting around, trying to get comfy in a position that was more and more upside-down and awkward-looking. It was big enough that you could see its little hands and feet, with little bumps for fingers and toes (five on each limb), and at one profile angle you could see the tiny bump-pixel of its nose.

It was pretty amazing to be able to see what last time had been no more than a blob, looking distinctively baby-ish and moving around so vigourously, even though I couldn’t feel it. It was reassuring too, to know that not being able to feel it was normal, and that it was already capable of such big movements. I’d heard that this scan would be the “best” one because you can see all of the baby at once and it moves, but the pessimist that I am had managed not to get my hopes up too high, so I was truly delighted and awed by what I saw.

The gyno had to take photos of the baby’s stomach and head to measure them, which proved difficult because it wouldn’t sit still for long, but when she did manage, she said all looked well and the baby was growing nicely.

Then we tried the abdominal scan to hear the heartbeat.

It’s a good job we’d seen the baby’s heart beating and the baby itself moving around beforehand, because there were no distinct sounds apart from me laughing (you’re not supposed to laugh, it tightens your stomach muscles). The reason for this was simple and only slightly less embarassing than having a vaginal scan in front of your boyfriend: I was constipated.

Too many chewy sweets, it turns out, don’t do your digestive system any favours, and I’ve certainly learned my lesson in that area. The gynocologist said we’d just have to wait until next time, but that she wasn’t *at all* worried given the visuals we’d had, apparently our baby is as healthy as a young horse.

Questions I asked that were answered for me:

Q: Can I treat, say, mosquito bites, with the same over-the-counter products I usually use?
A: It’s best to ask the chemist while you’re buying them, sometimes they’ll have a pregnancy-friendly version of the product you want.
EXTRA BONUS INFO! In France and Belgium there is a brand of essential oil products made especially for pregnant women, by Pranarom, called FĂ©minaissance. At least with them you can be sure you’re safe.

Q: Why am I breathless all the time?
A: This is a nasty trick your brain is playing because it’s trying to get you to breathe more deeply. When it happens, you need to sit up straight and breathe into your stomach, filling up your lungs, and it’ll go away – temporarily, at least.

Q: Can I keep using the antihistamines in case of nausea?
A: Yes, they’re not addictive in any way.

Q: Nosebleeds…?
A: Are pretty common due to the extra blood you’re carrying around. Try not to spend too much time lying down, and blow your nose *carefully.*

Q: Should I remove my belly button piercing already or can I wait until my belly gets bigger?
A: You can wait at least a month or two, but if you want to keep the piercing open, there are plastic ones you can get for pregnant women.

Q: What’s the deal with the Down’s Syndrome test?
A: It’s a blood test you need to do no more than a couple of days from now, because your weight today counts in the calculation of whether or not you’re high or low risk for having a Down’s Syndrome child. If the blood test shows that you’re high risk, and you want to know for sure, you can either do another, extremely expensive and non-insured blood test that won’t give you a 100% sure result, or go for the (much cheaper and 100% certain) amniocentisis, which nevertheless has a 1 in 250 chance of ending in miscarriage.
BF: You’re gonna have to go in there alone, hon, I’m not going to be able to deal with someone sticking a needle in your belly without fainting or going mad and wrestling them to the ground.

I’m getting the blood test for Down’s tomorrow, hoping very, very hard that I’m low risk. I don’t like the sound of that needle either.


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