20 Week Pregnancy Update

I can’t believe I’m half way through this pregnancy already, the time is flying by which is a huge relief but also quite scary. We had the 19/20 week scan last week and everything is progressing as it should, we also found out the babies gender!

I’ve started to gain weight now, I did go down to a 1stone 1lbs loss at 16 weeks, but at 20 weeks I have put 5lbs of that back on, leaving me with a total pregnancy weight loss of 10lbs so far – the one and only good thing about the sickness!

The sickness has eased off a little, which I’m sure the Easter holidays have helped with. I seem to be sick in the morning if I’m woken up, if I’m left to wake naturally it’s not very often I’m sick. This morning we were woken by a delivery at 8am, which resulted in morning sickness rearing it’s ugly head.

Those of you who followed my pregnancy journey with Aria may remember that I suffered with horrendous heartburn, so bad that I had to take daily tablets. I’m not at the point of going to the Doctors about it just yet, but the heartburn is definitely creeping in. I’m managing to control it with diet so far, and know that if I eat certain foods, such as chocolate, I will suffer.

Since falling pregnant again I really struggled to get a decent nights sleep. I am constantly tossing and turning, I’m waking up at the drop of a button and every single lump and bump in the bed felt like a rock. My hips were throbbing every morning when I woke up so we considered getting a new mattress via Groupon‘s new mattress deals, instead we settled on a mattress topper because our mattress isn’t actually that old, this has done the trick and my hips are a lot better now.

20 weeks pregnancy update and bump

I often get a stitch when walking, and suffer if I’m on my feet for long periods of time. Just yesterday we were at an event for the majority of the day and by the end of it both my belly and feet were really hurting, so much so that I had to leave a little early.

I’m considering booking a private scan soon for two reasons, one being that I don’t want to wait another twenty weeks before I get to see baby again and two being that I’m so worried the gender scan may be wrong, I’ve known it happen to a few people and am hesitant on committing to washing Aria’s old pink baby clothes without getting a second opinion.

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Our Gender Reveal – Baby Number Two

We were clueless as to what the sex of baby number two would be. On one hand my symptoms have been pretty much exactly the same as they were on Aria, on the other the tradition in my family seems to be to have a girl followed by a boy (I say tradition, my cousin and my sister did this!). Then of course there was the fact that I can only picture myself with a girl, and that we couldn’t think of any boy names. I really thought we were having a girl, or at least I did until the gender predictions suggested that we were having a boy!

Thankfully we didn’t have long left to wait after the gender predictions, as our NHS 19/20 week scan came just two days after. As soon as we left our scan I contacted local business, The Little Things, to arrange my gender reveal balloon. She was super accommodating and had it ready within a few hours which meant we were ready to do our gender reveal!

We are so excited to meet our new baby and we love that knowing the gender allows all of us, especially Aria, to form a special bond. We already have our name but we will be keeping that quiet until the new addition makes an appearance.

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gender reveal balloon pop - it's a girl!

Baby Number Two – Finding Out, Announcements & Symptoms

I have a confession to make. I completely forgot to announce my pregnancy on my blog. I announced it on YouTube and plastered it all over social media, but I completely forgot this here blog. What can I say other than baby brain! For those of you that haven’t seen it, here is our announcement video :

According to the date that we were given at our early scan I am nine weeks pregnant today. The date may well change at our twelve week scan but for now, I’m running with it.

My symptoms started very early on and seem to be getting stronger and stronger. I’m trying to keep positive by telling myself that strong symptoms means a strong baby, but it is so draining and I can’t help but worry that I will be ill all the way through, as I was when pregnant with Aria.

My last period was due on 25 December (Christmas day!). I felt nauseous for two weeks and so decided to take a pregnancy test on 23 December, I didn’t think there was any chance of it being positive as, even though we were trying, both Spencer and Aria were suffering with a sickness bug around my ovulation period, and we only managed to try once in December! We had a faint positive test on the morning of 23 December, which we confirmed on Christmas Eve with a Clearblue Digital test.

On Christmas morning Aria facetimed both sets of grandparents, when they asked the inevitable “what did Santa get you for Christmas?” she replied with “a baba in mummy’s tummy.”

The nausea subsided for a week or two, but the sickness started around the first week of January. The thought of eating made me sick, going hungry made me sick. I’ve now realised that food is definitely my friend. I’ve been sick at least once every morning without fail since the sickness started. I’m usually sick as soon as I wake up and then again when I brush my teeth. On particularly bad days I’m sick again several times throughout the day. I’m struggling to get Aria to playschool on time and have started skipping brushing my teeth until I get home from dropping her off, otherwise I’m spending at least thirty minutes of the morning being sick and I just don’t have the time.

I seem to be suffering from reflux, which was the exact same problem when pregnant with Aria. I constantly feel like I have a ball of phlegm in my throat and clearing my throat makes me ill. I also feel like my food gets stuck in my throat quite often. The sickness has come with a realisation that I really need to work on strengthening my pelvic floor!

I can’t be entirely accurate on my weight as the last time I weighed was in November, I’m guessing I probably put a little bit of weight on after that as that was the last time I went to Slimming World. I am currently one pound lighter than I was then, though I am sure it is probably more like half a stone by the time I take into account the Christmas weight gain.

Other symptoms included lightheadedness in the very early days, which is also when I was very hormonal and grumpy!

My hips, back and feet are all really sore and achey, I think the sore feet is due to leaning over the toilet in awkward positions to be sick, and I guess the rest is just general pregnancy aches and pains.

I’ve been extremely exhausted and forgetful. I’m struggling to go about the day to day jobs in the house, I’m struggling to meet work deadlines, I’m in bed by around 8pm most evenings and very often napping during the day. Most of the household tasks are left to Spencer and I’m feeling pretty useless. I’ve already decided that this is definitely our last baby, if we want any more we will have to adopt!

I’m starting to show already, I’m assuming that its mostly bloating, but I am definitely looking bumpy!

With regard to cravings I don’t think I’m really craving anything yet, although I am enjoying ready salted Walkers, Haribo (I never eat sweets usually!), mint aeros, Ribena and carbs. I’ve also bought a Slush Puppy machine as slushes make me feel a lot better.

The First One Thousand Days – The Importance of Protein in Breast Milk

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The first one thousand days of your baby’s life, right through from conception to toddlerhood, are not only the craziest, and often toughest days, but also the most important days for both baby and parents. During these days you will form bonds, discover new roles, and also set up your child’s nutritional foundation for life.

The first one thousand days are also the hardest days, the days when it is near enough impossible to think about getting through until the end of the day, let alone worry about health and nutrition. Thankfully these clever bodies of ours do all the hard work for us.

Fellow sleep deprived mama, do not fear, your breast milk is enough, your breast milk is packed full of good quality protein and will see your little baby flourish, as they’ll get the right amount at the right time.

In fact, breastfeeding has been proven to support an appropriate rate of growth* in infancy (*UK-WHO growth charts based on the growth of breastfed infants, and World Health Organisation/Department of Health advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months). The protein level in breast milk changes and decreases as babies grow, meaning it contains the right quality and quantity of protein to help them grow at a steady rate.

Over the past 90 years, SMA® Nutrition has invested in early life nutrition research, and is committed to supporting good nutrition for babies during the first 1000 days which is why they have created this fab little infographic showing just how amazing protein in breast milk is.

blog post about the importance of protein in the first 1000 days of a babies life

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Understanding the Feelings that Come with Donor Egg Usage
Author Bio : Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn’t give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.

Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. She is sharing her experiences in this guest post entitled understanding the feelings that come with donor egg usage

Infertility is more common than you think. It sometimes a hush-hush topic or considered taboo, which is why many people keep their fertility journals private and do not share a whole lot about their feelings, thoughts and emotions. But, the truth is that you probably know quite a few people dealing with the sense of hopelessness that infertility can cause.

Fortunately, there are many options for couples dealing with family building challenges. There is no cookie cutter way to handle infertility. Some couples may choose other means to start a family, or simply decide to find other goals in life. There is no right or wrong way to deal with the situation and each journey is unique and special. Finding an egg donor is a choice that some couples make, and it can be a wonderful experience.

I started this company in hopes of creating a safe place for people to come with their concerns, questions and ideas. It is not a place where we are going to tell you what to do. It is a place where you tell us what you want, and we do everything in our power to make it happen. The control is in your hands.

The Pain of Infertility

When you begin trying to get pregnant and month after month you aren’t successful, it can be surprising and frustrating. Initially you think it just may take more time. Then over time you realize that you may not be able to get pregnant on your own. When this happens, it is natural to feel angry, depressed and anxious. Your vision for your future has been altered. You will have to come to terms with your new reality, but that will take time. Give yourself some time to work through it and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Infertility can be painful for couples. It can be especially hard on the parent who feels that they are “to blame.” If you are looking for donor eggs, then you have probably determined that the issue is with your eggs. But you are not to blame for anything. You are not in any way at fault. You are not damaged. You are still worthy of being a mother. You have not failed as a wife.

You may even feel concerned that your husband will leave you, or that extended family is judging you. The stress of infertility can make you imagine such worst-case scenarios. However, if anyone ever makes you feel like you are faulty or not good enough because you haven’t produced a baby, just know that they do not understand the way that infertility works and its many causes.

Coping with the Disappointment of Not Using Your Own Eggs

It can be a terrible feeling to have to come to terms with the fact that your eggs are not an option when it comes to building your family. Many women dream of being pregnant, carrying a baby, and bringing that baby home to a loving family. We rarely consider the possibility that our eggs will not be viable for whatever reason. But when a woman is confronted with this reality, it is natural and normal to feel a sense of grief.

You may feel sad that you will not share the genetic connection that you have always dreamed of, but children come to families in a multitude of ways. Yours will just come to you in a slightly different manner than you had imagined. Rest assured, your baby will be your pride and joy – even if he or she doesn’t look just like you.

Life with Children


The most important thing that you will have to prepare for is actually raising your baby.However this beautiful gift comes to you, your life will be changed forever. Your child, or children, will give you renewed sense of purpose and hope.

My family was built on a strong foundation of love and mutual respect, but not on genetics. We have become parents through adoption as well as donor egg IVF and our children are every bit as much mine as they ever would have been if I had been able to get pregnant “the natural way.” I also enjoy that my twins that were conceived with donor eggs have a genetic connection to my husband and that I was able to carry the pregnancy.

I am so happy to be a part of Donor Egg Bank, USA because it helps people to achieve their dreams and overcome an obstacle that may seem overwhelming or insurmountable. I am inspired daily by the stories of clients and friends. They never gave up on their dreams of a family, and neither should you. There are options out there. You may also be shocked to find out how many people you know who have dealt with this issue. Be open and honest with a few friends and you will likely be flooded with stories of family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues who face the infertility struggle. You are not alone.

 

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