pregnancy diary: 10 weeks pregnant

Pregnancy Diary | Week 10 | Harmony test and difficult times

10 Weeks Pregnant: Saturday

10 weeks pregnant today: another milestone I didn’t ever think I’d hit! When I first found out I was pregnant, the thought of making it to double digits seemed totally impossible to me, and ten weeks seemed like SUCH a long way away. Now that I’m here, it still feels impossibly early, though: there’s still so much that could go wrong, and as I’ve woken up this morning sans nausea for once, my mind has instantly started to go to all of those dark places I’ve been managing to avoid, purely because I’ve felt too ill to even think about them, most of the time.

Top of my list right now is the Harmony blood test, which I’m having tomorrow afternoon. It’s just a simple blood test, so I’m not worried about that (I became a bit of a blood-test pro after my ectopic…): it’s just the possibility of what the test might show that worries me. This is a test for chromosomal abnormalities: I know my age already gives me an increased risk of some of these, and I’ve also read some stuff about high HCG being linked to various conditions (I think this has mostly been debunked, but I still can’t get it out of my head), so, yeah, I’m a complete wreck, basically.

I’m also worried about how I’ll handle the day in general. Our closest clinic is in Edinburgh, which will be the longest car ride I’ve had since I found out, plus the longest time away from home. I realise I sound totally pathetic here, but I’ve felt so ill, and so exhausted, for so long now that I really worry about how I’ll cope: I keep having visions of me throwing up in the car, or on a city street or something, and even if I manage to avoid the actual throwing-up part, I know it won’t be much fun to have to try to function like a normal human for hours on end, when I’m barely capable of combing my own hair right now. Once again, I find myself feeling amazed at how other women do it: HOW DO THEY DO IT? WHAT’S THEIR SECRET? And can someone please share it with me, because I literally can’t walk downstairs without feeling like I’m going to throw up some days?

10 Weeks, 2 Days: Monday

Yesterday we headed into Edinburgh so I could have blood taken for the Harmony test. The test itself was uneventful, and thankfully coincided with a nausea-free time, so I didn’t need any of those sick bags I’d stuffed in my handbag (I spent the entire day worrying about the lack of nausea, only for it to return with a vengeance in the evening: be careful what you wish for, folks!), but almost as soon as we got home, I started worrying. Like, a lot.

From the moment we even started to contemplate the possibility of a third attempt at pregnancy, I’ve been convinced something would go wrong. And, I mean, I’ve already worked my way through two of the worst-case pregnancy scenarios – miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy – so I figured this time the universe must have something else up to throw at me: like a molar pregnancy, maybe, or a serious chromosomal disorder, which means the baby couldn’t possibly survive. Luckily, we managed to side-step the molar issue (Next time, maybe!) in week 5, but that still leaves the chromosomal disorder: and, in a few days, we’ll find out if that, is, indeed, my fate.

No pressure, then, huh?

Of course, there’s no getting away from it: the stress is horrendous. I don’t know how people survive it. Right now, we’re also waiting on medical tests coming back on Terry’s mum: we thought we’d get those today, but the hospital are saying it’ll likely be Thursday now. We’ve been really worried sick about this, and I’m so scared that we’re going to get bad news from those tests on Thursday, and then more bad news from my test on Friday.

Yeah, definitely a no-pressure kind of week, then…

10 Weeks, 6 Days: Friday

This has definitely been the hardest week of pregnancy so far: in fact, it’s been one of the hardest weeks of my life.

Yesterday we found out that Terry’s mum has gastric cancer. She’s having more tests today to find out how advanced it is, and whether or not it’s spread (we won’t get the results until next week, though): we’re hoping for the best, and she is one of the strongest people I know, so if anyone can beat it, she can, but, well, she really shouldn’t have to, should she? We’re devastated, obviously: we’ve been waiting on these test results for an entire week now (we were originally told we should have them back last Friday, or this Monday, but there was some kind of delay with the lab), and the wait has been sheer torture. Every time the phone rings, we both jump in fright, and I honestly can’t even remember what it’s like NOT to have my stomach permanently twisted with fear.

All of this, obviously, has totally overshadowed everything else this week, but, for me, it’s been even harder to deal with the worry about Terry’s mum, or be a support to Terry, because I’ve been feeling so ill myself. I threw up again on Monday night, and have come very close to it a few other times, which has been really debilitating. Of course, through all of this, we’re both still having to try to struggle on with work somehow, and between the constant anxiety and the nausea, I honestly don’t feel like I can cope much longer. I’m very close to just shutting down my blog for a couple of weeks, so I can just concentrate on helping Terry and his mum, and trying to function through the constant nausea, but I have a couple of sponsored posts lined up which I’m contractually obliged to follow through with, and my traffic/income has already tanked (partly due to seasonal factors, but mostly because I’m barely able to function right now, so have been doing the absolute minimum to keep it afloat), so I’m not sure I can. I know my readers would tell me to do whatever I need to do, and that they’d still be there when I came back, but sponsors and advertisers are much less understanding, and, even if they weren’t, I really can’t afford a drop in income right now, so that’s another reason I’m looking forward to having the secret out in the open, so I can stop having to pretend everything’s normal!

Also, I feel bad for even thinking about this right now, given everything else that’s been going on, but a few days ago, when we were still hopeful that Terry’s mum’s results would come back clear, I made the mistake of reading a few forum threads about the Harmony test, and people’s results from it. It… wasn’t good, and I’ve been totally unable to calm myself down since then: in fact, I feel like I’ve been constantly having a low-key panic attack since Wednesday night, really. Given my age, and the very high HGC I had back at the start of the pregnancy, I’m absolutely sure the results will be bad, and that we’ll be told the baby has something seriously wrong with it: I just can’t get this idea out of my head, and no matter what I try to do to calm myself down, or how may times I tell myself that it’s just as likely that everything will be fine, I have never felt so scared in my life, or so certain of a bad outcome. And I honestly don’t think we would survive it – I really don’t.

Right now, we need good news more than ever: we made the decision to tell Terry’s mum about the pregnancy last week (I actually can’t believe it was just last week: it feels like months ago!) because we wanted her to have something positive to focus on if her own test results weren’t as we hoped, but now I’m worried that this will just be one more piece of bad news, and that we won’t be able to deal with. I can’t even imagine how we would cope with it.

The results are technically due back on Monday, but the clinic told us we might get them today. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep last night…

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  • You’ve certainly got it all going on! Sending good vibes to you, Terry and his mum. Xxx

    July 2, 2017
  • I didn’t have the harmony test but my results from the dual screening at 12 weeks were really bad. I should have had a 1 in 800 chance of Down Syndrome, they came back as 1 in 34. Probably the worst week of my life to date. We would have continued the pregnancy either way but the fear that something might be wrong with your baby can be so crippling, despite the fact they’re still just a tiny little thing inside you at that point.
    Anyway, I had a CVS done and the results came back totally
    clear. Quite a few people said to me “I told you so, all that worry for nothing…” which I thought was a really stupid and offensive thing to say.
    Not sure what point I’m trying to make here, maybe just that I understand the fear these tests can induce. Some people choose not to have them but for me not knowing would be worse.

    July 2, 2017
      • If we decide to have another baby I would have to do some serious thinking on whether or not I would have the dual screening again. (To be honest how it works wasn’t really explained in detail to us beforehand.) I’d be more likely to look at a Harmony test or something similar as I’d probably be nearing 35 and the start of the bigger increases in risk.
        It’s a difficult one, though, as I think it’s important the NHS offers the choice of having screening. It’s just a pity the process is based so much on predicted likelihoods.

        July 2, 2017
  • The best decision I ever made during my pregnancy after loss was not to google – anything! I didn’t have HA but I did have an unhealthy dose of regular anxiety so I found that a good way to manage it. I literally just read the baby book (what to expect when you’re expecting) once a week with my husband. Then I’d save my questions for the midwife/OBGYN. I saw them fairly regularly, especially when I was pregnant with my twins, but ironically that really helped me cope. TBH I think those forums are enough to send the calmest and confident of people into a tizzy. Also I’m sorry to hear about Terry’s mum. What a beautiful gift you’ve given her at the same time. Not that she didn’t have a reason to fight before, but I bet the news has given her some extra oopmh x

    July 2, 2017