I am half way through my pregnancy at 20 weeks but I am more preoccupied about having just failed my driving test at the moment. If I don’t pass before the baby is born, I fear I will never get round to it. I have decided to book one last test before I am too fat to squeeze behind the steering wheel.
It’s time to go to the hospital with my partner for my 20-week scan. I feel very excited when the sonographer does the scan, as the baby is so much clearer. We can detect arms, limbs, head – it’s so real. On the photograph we can see that tiny person so vividly. Remarkably, we don’t feel tempted to know the sex – we are both happy for it to be a surprise. My baby is now the size of a coconut and it shows, I am looking very definitely pregnant.
My midwife measures my bump and we listen to the heart on the monitor. This is a strangely emotional moment – the tiny heart pounds incredibly fast – and I wonder at the miracle that is taking place in my body. Apparently, my bump should measure roughly one centimetre for every week of pregnancy. Everything seems fine until my midwife asks me about movements – have I felt any? Funnily enough, I haven’t. No kicks, no prods, nothing. Maybe it’s happening when I’m asleep so my midwife tells me I’m to pay special attention to baby movements.
I am also getting worried about stretch marks. My midwife has said to buy a big tub of some thick, gooey ointment and slap it on all the time in order to prevent them. According to my pregnancy book, around 90 per cent of women get stretch marks and massage creams don’t work because it’s all down to genes. I shall have to ask mum whether she got any.
I so wish my nausea would take a running jump. To cap it all I am also getting regular nosebleeds and my gums bleed every time I brush my teeth. My midwife says that the nosebleeds are down to the high levels of oestrogen and progesterone whizzing around my body softening the cervix for childbirth and this can affect the mucus membranes in the nose. I make an appointment to see the dentist to try to get my gum problem sorted.
I asked my midwife what my baby was like now and she told me that, if she were to be born at 24 weeks, she would have a chance of survival outside my body. Her movements should be getting stronger but I still feel very little while I am awake.
Today I went to the chemist to see if I could buy an alternative therapy for my nausea just for the duration of my driving test. They wouldn’t sell me anything due to my “condition” but I didn’t need it in the end because… tah dah… I have finally passed my driving test! I feel like doing a jig on the kitchen table. The only thing that’s bugging me is that the examiner didn’t realise I was pregnant – just thought I was fat. Thanks a bunch.