So here I am, 16 weeks into our first pregnancy and I thought that it would be a great time to recap our journey so far.
I think it will be very fair to say that Jason has been ready to have children since we married 6 years ago. However, around the time that we married I started a new sport for me, triathlon. Not long into my triathlon career I made the New Zealand team which led to some new sporting goals (namely a medal at a World Championships). Additionally, we wanted to own our own house prior to having children.
We achieved one of these goals in 2006 with the purchase of our Pembroke rd property in Wellington.
The triathlon goal took a little longer. After 21st (25-29 age group), 17th (Elite), 10th (30-34), and 13th (30-34) placings at various triathlon world champs I finally achieved my medal goal with a Bronze medal at the 2009 Long Distance World Championships in Perth.
So once this goal was achieved, we still had a little time to wait prior to starting to try for our family, this next wait was to get all our health insurances in order, but essentially we were ready. We are living in a place that we consider to be very conducive to raising a family, we are in a good position financially and most of all, we are both ready to embark on this exciting phase of our lives.
Roll forward to August 2010, and we fell pregnant on our 6th Wedding Anniversary weekend. While trying to fall pregnant I was doing some casual training for a local half marathon. The weekend prior to our wedding anniversary I ran 65km in 3 days, with one of those sessions being a 30km run at faster than 5min per km pace.
Fast forward three weeks and (unbeknownst to me at that time) I was pregnant but I was INCREDIBLY tired and still on the start line for my race (unwillingly however, given how tired I was feeling). Anyway, I had to walk 7km into the race and from then on I walk/ran the remaining 14.1km. Hmmmm this was the first inkling that I may have been pregnant.
Mid the following week I was still feeling tired and had been suffering a fever (38.5 degrees) so I visited my doctor. She suspected pregnancy, so we had a blood test- which was negative. A day or two later I had a "hankering for burgers and fries" not a usual craving for me, but in hindsight a small sign.
The following Saturday I decided to take a home pregnancy test and:
At this stage I was pretty excited (and also nervous). Jason was also very excited. Over the next few days I took a few more home tests just to check that I was still pregnant (pretty conclusive evidence really):
You may recall Poppy was named to represent its size the day we found out- a poppy seed. The next size reference was a lentil, so I much preferred Poppy as a nickname over Lentil haha.
Once the pregnancy was confirmed via blood test at the doctors it started to sink in that our journey towards parenthood was well and truly underway.
So pregnancy for me has meant extreme tiredness, more so than when I was training in my hardest weeks, and for some days all day nausea. I also had an unfortunate side-effect: insomnia. So in my early weeks I needed at least 4 hour nanna naps each weekend day and I had absolutely no energy to exercise at all (which for me has been a very tough thing to cope with).
For Jason, a pregnant wife means tiredness, crankiness, funny food cravings and aversions (I recently went off red meat!!!!) and quiet weekends at home.
Around week 9 we told all our immediate family the news of the impending arrival. Unfortunately not long after this I experienced some unexplained but reasonably severe cramping. This was when we got to see Poppy for the first time, we needed a scan to confirm viability- but we saw Poppy's heartbeat straight away. Phew.
The next stage was our nuchal translucency scan at 12 weeks 5 days, which checks for chromosomal disorders. During this scan it was truly amazing to see how much Poppy had grown. We could make out hands, feet, arms, legs and face. A week or so after our scan we got the results and we were very low risk for Downs Syndrome
(1:8695) and even more low risk for the other two chromosomal disorders tested.
Since around week 14 my symptoms have settled somewhat and I have been undertaking a little more exercise. Now I just feel very unfit after 14 weeks of minimal exercise. I aim for 4 exercise sessions a week at the moment and as my energy increases I will increase the number of exercise sessions a week.
So looking forward a couple of weeks - I have another check up at the GP in week 18, we have another scan in week 19 prior to heading to Queensland for Christmas and Poppy will be 20 weeks old on Christmas Day.