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My First Ultrasound

Going for your first scan is a very special time, it’s exciting and nerve wracking. You can see the little life inside of you and everything becomes so real. Everything up until this point may just feel like a dream or possibility but seeing it there is a firm and definite YES you are really pregnant!

The ultrasound I had at the abortion clinic before I decided to carry on with the pregnancy did confirm I was pregnant but it was very very different to what happens at your official scan, they don’t let you see the screen for one and they generally don’t make such a fuss about it to help lessen the pain of an already very distressing situation.

The first scan or otherwise known as the ‘dating scan’ is just that, to confirm how far along you are and to get an official due date for the record. The scan also looks at the possibility of Down’s syndrome (along with blood tests and such) to help you sail as smoothly as possible through the next steps of the pregnancy no matter what the outcome.

I was estimated to be 13weeks and 1 day pregnant on my scan day and given the due date of July 31st. I know a summer baby, yay!! I also got to see my child for the first time (as well as finding out there was definitely only one in there). I was quite numb for the whole process, just a mixture of feelings that I didn’t know what to feel, so I just lay there while a woman splodged cold gel onto my belly and proceeded to press a hand held device around the area my womb should be. (Now this isn’t all that bad, but the fact that you have to have a full bladder before hand to get the best picture can make the pressing down a little uncomfortable, don’t worry they allow you to pee straight after.) Being someone that has never seen an ultrasound on screen before I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I’d read a lot about them online and listened to stories from friends but it’s quite surreal when you are actually there, watching it happen. The person doing the ultrasound will sit to the side of you with their equipment and a little screen as they prepare to do what they no doubt do numerous times a day. In the room I was in there was also a screen on the wall in front of the bed so I could also see everything that was going on in there. I’m not sure why I was expecting it to be like a stream of still images but it is not, it is a continued relay of what the ultrasound is picking up in your womb.

So there in-front of me was my baby, a perfect image of a little human lying on its back, looking so comfy and snug.

The tiny person was very still and well behaved as the sonographer did her job, taking measurements and making sure everything was where it should be and working well. Of course the image is in black and white but you can still make out a little heart beating and any movements that are made (with my baby it took a little nudge from the sonographer to get her to move as she was obviously enjoying a little nap at the time). Despite her being sleepy she was in good health and everything seemed to be going just as it should, and on hearing this made it hit home how much she meant to me already, (although at this point I didn’t know she was a she) I just knew that I had made the right choice no matter how hard it was going to be and I felt happy, genuine happiness and excitement for my little bundle of joy.

Luckily in the UK medical ultrasounds are free and with just the small request of a little donation to the department if you can they give you a few printed copies of the scan so you can take them home and frame them, put them in a scrap book or just sit and stare at them all day (this is what I found myself doing anyway, I mean just look how perfect she is 🖤!)

Next an appointment was made to meet my midwife and book a date for the ‘anomaly scan’. So many exciting experiences ahead on the little journey of becoming a mumma ❤️

Soph xx

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Going it Alone.

Going through pregnancy alone is the most scariest and hardest thing I have ever had to do.

I am very lucky to have great support from some very close friends and although my family live 356miles away I know they are just at the other end of a phone call if I need them, but ultimately it is just me. No partner to share all the highs and lows with, no one to hold me at night when things become too much or feel the intangible love and excitement of this little life growing inside me. It is just as shitty to not have someone else see all the positive changes in me and the baby as it is having no one to help you put socks on in the morning. I never wanted to go through this moment in my life without having someone to share it with. I always imagined creating life with someone who I was in a loving and committed relationship with but unfortunately fate fell towards unfavored circumstances and so you just have to “roll with the punches” so to speak.

I try to be positive, telling myself that this way I get to have her all to myself, just the two of us and we don’t need anyone else, but that also allows the thought to creep in that no one else will share the feelings of the love my daughter will bring to the world when she arrives like I will.

I remember so vividly the first time I felt her move, not just the little flutters only I could feel but an actual kick. The first time it all became way more real then ‘just knowing’ she was in there. I was in my flat alone and I found myself looking frantically around in oblivious hope that someone else could share this magical moment with me and be as overwhelming overjoyed as I was, but there was no one. I did my best not to dampen this amazing experience with thoughts of sadness and as much as I smiled and cried with love I knew they were there, lingering in the back of my mind just waiting for the joy to pass so they could creep up on me unexpectedly.

The closer it gets to her entering the world the easier it has been to focus on the thoughts of the intense love I will feel, like a lot of mothers tell you about. It gives me unimaginable strength and even helps lessen the fear of child birth (which I’m guessing no woman is really looking forward to).

I still find myself trying to convince my mind that she will not be missing out. But if any of my life experiences with men, including my own father, have convinced me of anything it is that ultimately men only care for their own happiness and take no responsibility for the vulnerability they create in others through the pretence of love. And then I’m dragged down into a hole as I do not want to pass this view of life onto my daughter, I don’t want to taint her view of the world with all the harsh experiences I have had to learn from.

It is going to take me a very long time to ever trust a man again or not see malice in his intentions, no matter how lovingly they appear to be.

I also know how much harder it will be when she is here. Knowing how much I love her already gives me hope because I know it will only feel stronger when I hold her for the first time, when she looks at me or finds comfort in my arms.

It’s a tough journey, the most unstable and scariest path I have ever walked along but my heart tells me that she will make it all worth it!

Water of Leith walkway
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The Decision

Now I am very much a ‘Pro Choice’ person. I completely agree with the right for women to choose what is right for them in whatever kind of situation they find themselves in and this will never change. It makes me so happy to see the continuation and support of this movement in our society with acts such as Repeal the Eighth and other progressive movements happening, especially when the oppression of women in the world is still so strong and even though there is still so much that needs to change we are moving forward, slowly but surely!

I completely understand that this can be a very touchy subject for some people and I respect their views and the decisions they make about their own lives and bodies, so please be kind when I open up about such a sensitive subject as I can only advocate my own personal experience about my choice and the situation I was in.

After seeing the positive blue line in the test window and finally being able to recover from the shock and utter disbelief, I had a lot to think about (putting it lightly). Now I wasn’t and I still am not in a relationship with the father, I live alone in the city with my cat, I work full time and study full time, while also trying to juggle some kind of social life. I didn’t have the best childhood due to family tragedies from a young age but after hard work, determination and a strong supportive bond with my mother and sisters I had managed to find myself in the stereotypical life of a mid twenties female trying to make it on her own. So finally feeling that I was somewhat standing firmly on my own two feet, having a baby wasn’t my main focus at this point in my life (although I always knew I wanted children, this was not the scenario I was hoping to find myself in).

But despite my use of contraception I had found myself in a situation I hadn’t planned or prepared for and regardless of how I wanted my life to be going at this point I was now faced with a new reality in which will be one of the most defining moments of my life so far.

Mr A and myself met the next day to try and attempt talking about what was happening, I was unsure about what I wanted to do and so wanted to explore the options available (which I am very very grateful to have considering a lot of women in the world are not afforded this freedom). Giving my child up for Adoption was something I knew I would never be able to do so I was left with two choices, to go ahead with the pregnancy and become a mother, or choose a termination. I needed more information, a lot more before I could commit to either decision so we agreed to book an appointment with my doctor to talk through what the exact details of the latter would mean.

We both attended the appointment and discussed with the doctor, who I am lucky to say was very understanding and informed us both on the process and what steps we could take next. I had a lot of questions but to answer them appropriately he wanted to confirm how far along I was, as this was very important to how things would proceed. Now I am going to add, at this stage Mr A appeared to be very supportive, even though he remained quiet the entire time we were with the doctor, not asking a single question or seeming to take much in, but I was too concerned with all this new information I let it slid. He was there at least and for now that was all I could ask for.

So to move forward with more confidence the doctor booked me an appointment with the abortion clinic, which was in a weeks time and they would be able to confirm how far pregnant I was and what would happen next if I chose to go ahead with an abortion. After leaving the practice Mr A and myself spoke of what had been said at the doctors and he agreed to come with me to the clinic for support and also I thought, to find out more information about the whole thing for himself to process properly as I still hadn’t decided on what I wanted to do.

The seven days went quickly and we were soon sitting on the uncomfortable plastic blue chairs in the waiting room of the clinic. The receptionist had taken my relevant information and passed us a booklet about what the appointment would entail to prepare us for what exactly was going to happen when we passed through the nurses door to talk about the next steps. Thankfully we weren’t waiting long and we were called through to a small room with one of them typical doctor examination beds and a few bits of machinery. After the nurse introduced herself to us I was asked to lie down on the bed and lift my top up. She explained that she was going to do an ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy and date the gestation time as this would determine the type of termination I would receive. Once again Mr A said not a word the entire time we were there, however I was full of questions, needing to know exactly what I would be going through if I choice to go ahead.

After squeezing some very cold gel on my stomach and proceeding to rub a little device around above my pelvic area she did indeed confirm I was pregnant and dated it at 9 weeks (which coincided with the dates of my last period and made it pretty clear Mr A was the one who indeed fertilised me so to speak).

Now at this stage (and up until 11weeks) the procedure would involve me taking a pill to open up my cervix and inserting a pessary into my vagina to bring on a sort of early miscarriage. Also I should mention that being in scotland the pessary part of the procedure could be done at home, as it could cause bleeding quite quickly and they understand that this is going to be painful and would be very distressing if it were to start happening on the journey home.

And again I asked a million questions while Mr A stared off into space and also now seeming to just want to get it all over and done with and get out of there.

Next I was to be weighed, measured and my bloods taken to make sure it was indeed safe for me to go ahead with the procedure. I will also point out that the nurse (again who was luckily very kind and understanding) made it clear to us both that ultimately this was my body and therefore my decision and I could opt out at any time up until I had taken the first pill to start the process.

I explained to the nurse my uncertainties about going ahead with the abortion and although it was better, if I were to go ahead, to do so sooner rather then later, she told me I still had a little time to think things through and discuss them with Mr A before I had to make a definitive decision. They also needed a few days to check my blood results before anything could go ahead medically which afforded us a little more time to make a decision which, either way, was going to affect me mentally and physically in the future.

Now I’m sorry I’ve waffled for what feels like forever but I wanted to go through the whole process for anyone whom may find themselves in the same situation and also to get it out of my head.

After this last appointment I thought long and hard about the choice I would make, what the consequences would be for and against terminating or going ahead with the pregnancy. Ultimately my mental well being of living with myself after putting myself through an abortion became to much to be able to go ahead. I thought for what felt like forever about all the different outcomes discussing as much as I could put into words with Mr A as possible (although he does not see it this way and believes me to have not thought anything through and ruined his life, yes my feelings and process of what I was going through was no comparison to his ‘harsh logic’ and thus destroying his life with this imperfect and accidental situation we were both in and presidentially I was now to blame for everything of course).

I told Mr A that I was going to keep the baby and as much as the final outcome was my decision, it’s was now his choice whether he wanted to be involved or not and I wouldn’t force him into either, financially or physically if he would rather not have any involvement.

Now you will be completely shocked, just as I was to how he reacted to this news and how he has behaved since. I have been belittled and berated in my decision from this supposedly ‘supportive man’ and as previously said been told I have made the worst and most devastating decision ruining ‘all three of our lives’. In his own words he now holds nothing but resentment for me and our child and wants nothing to do with us at all, he hates children and cares not for his part in any of this as I made the choice he didn’t want.

And so now here I am, 31 weeks pregnant and still standing firm in the choice that I made, being as positive as I can about what the future holds for the two of us. I have not seen Mr A now for over 2 months and I have no idea where he lives as he moved flats since we last spoke. He is still adamant that he wants nothing to do with either of us and although it hurt me terribly, not for me but for our child, it is really him who is missing out. The love and support I have received from friends and family gives me nothing but confidence for my life ahead with my new and very fast approaching little family of two ❤

Soph xx

Additional ; there is so much more to this part of my story and over more posts I hope to convey all that went on in my head and between Mr A and myself but for now I will end it here until next time as I don’t want to go on and on and on in what might seem like one endless post about such an impacting time of my life. Thank you for reading 🙂

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The Big Fat Positive

I can only assume that almost all women who are ‘sexually active’, no matter what contraception they might be using, have had a pregnancy scare at least once.

Being young, single and participating in what I would class as healthy sexual relations I was quite conscientious about staying protected. I was still sleeping with my ex (I know slap me) but I was very much enamoured and totally besotted with this guy and although he told me he loved me then left me high and dry I still couldn’t quite bring myself to detach myself from him no matter how self destructive it was. Anyway before I totally get off of topic, I was using the combined pill at the time, I had been on it for years and had no serious issues so it worked for me, 21 days on and 7 days off just like clock work. On collecting my prescription in October 2017 I was left confused as to what the pharmacist had given me, a completely different type of pill I had no idea about. So after calling the doctor and having her explain why she had suddenly changed my contraception and reading thoroughly through the info booklet I thought I’d give them a go. BIG MISTAKE! Me and this new mini pill did not work well together! I had to take this pill at pretty much the exact same time everyday without a break or I would just start bleeding, I got really sore breasts and cramps, it just wasn’t working for me so I made another appointment to request going back to my original, tried and tested method of pregnancy prevention.

Now while all this palaver of the pill was happening, hormones giving me terrible high and lows in mood and being cancelled on by my ex again, I let stupid notions of him to possess my thoughts and carrying on in fantastic self destructive fashion I decided to get drunk. (I should probably mention I work in a pub so finding someone to drink with never proved difficult.) After finishing work early one night I stayed and drank with a guy who was one of our new locals, we had a good night chatting and challenging ourselves with stupid shot suggestions that we ended up back at his (you can probably guess what happened next, I won’t go into detail).

Fast forward 5 weeks and I’m back on the combined pill, my 7 day break is due to start but low and behold nothing happens, no period, no usual tell tale signs that it’s on its way. “It will just be because of the change from the mini pill last month, nothing to worry about” I found myself saying over and over while I batted away any notion of being pregnant from my mind. Patiently I waited till the week break was up and aunt Martha still being a no show I bit the bullet and bought a pregnancy test. The drunken night with the new guy seemed the only viable candidate for any potential fertilisation so i contacted him and let him know (I thought this was only right) what was going on. He promptly responded and agreed we should do the test together so no one would be blind sided to the results and we could discuss the next steps dependant on the outcome.

I can say I have never ever been so nervous and numb at the same time, so much so that I couldn’t even look at the results. Still convinced it was only a glitch in my monthly pattern, all would be okay and we would laugh it all off as though nothing had happened, I wasn’t quite prepared for the way I reacted when a line came up in the test window. I just sat dumbfounded, unable to move, talk or even feel anything. “What the actual f***!”, “How the…this can’t be happening”. Were the only thoughts I could summon to my brain.

I remember just sitting there, not saying anything for a little while, Mr A (this is how he will be known from now on) was trying to pry thoughts and words from me as I had gone into shock and just stared ahead in utter disbelief. Finally I came to and we just sat there together, two completely terrified people having to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives. After a lot of tears and pacing about time had ran away from us, it had gotten quite late so we decided to part for the night and give ourselves a night to sleep and think things through. A chance to at least fully absorb the situation we were in and come back to talk things over the next day.

Although this is a moment in my life I will never forget, it was just the beginning of many big decisions I would have to make. So many questions that I needed to answer, Did I want to go ahead with this pregnancy? What would Mr A want to do? Could I do this alone if I had to?

What about my work and my studies?

Decisions, decisions, decisions! I definitely had a lot to think about. It feels good to be talking through my whole experience openly and honestly and I’m glad to be taking you guys on this crazy journey with me.

Soph xx

Edinburgh

‘The Place Where I Doth Rest My Head’

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle. 

– Home Sweet Home –

I first moved to Edinburgh in September 2014, originally just to study but after falling in love with the place I decided to stay and make it my new home. The people, the places, the festivals and the endless beauty of this glorious city pulled me in with its charm and captured my heart. Certainly for now and definitely for the foreseeable future I plan to build my life here and make it a permanent place for my daughter and I to live.

Unlike a lot of cities, especial capital cities, Edinburgh holds a charm like none other. Not being all that big, getting around is easy enough and is a great place for people who like to walk and take in as much of the sites as possible. A day walking in the city can take you from the busy Royal Mile with all the local shops, bars, restaurants and cafe’s on the way down from the castle entrance, to the magnificent views from the top of Arthur’s Seat (an inactive volcano in the heart of the city, simply amazing to say the least). Encompassed in nature the city remains true to its identity of beautiful old buildings, cobbled streets and historic monuments that add to the character of such a magical place, and yet within minutes you can easily escape to the quieter lush green walking and cycle paths, the lovely Water of Leith which winds its way around the city, or even head to one of the shores or beaches and watch the boats and birds go about their daily business.

Portebello
A beautiful view of the sea on the way to Portobello Beach. 

There is a lot of the city I have seen and yet still a lot left for me to explore, with new wonderment around each corner. Also navigating the city with a baby in tow will be a new and interesting experience and may open the doors to many new places I would not have thought to visit or explore before.

I am going to use this page to record all my new adventures  in Edinburgh and different things to do with a baby, from events, places to visit and days out on a budget or better yet, totally free!

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So Lets Give this Blogging a go then :)

So I’ve decided to start a blog, well more of an online journal really. I have always loved writing and kept a diary for many years, in fact I’m one of them people who carries one around with them, jotting, doodling and pressing flowers among the pages.

Not being so ‘tech savvy’  has put me off of starting a blog for quite sometime, but I have finally bit the bullet and begged my sister (she’s the computer whizz of the family) to help me create a space online where I can share my thoughts, experiences and ideas with people while I start an exciting new adventure in my life.

Right now I am going through one of the most life changing things that a woman can go through. I am having a baby. I know right…madness! I still don’t fully believe it myself, as times gone on I was expecting it to just hit me like a speeding train, but so far it hasn’t. I know it’s happening, I can feel her kicking and wriggling away, I can see and feel my swelling stomach yet still it has just not really sunk in, it feels like I’m in a dream.      What I do know though is that I can not wait for her to be here!

I currently live in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. It is truly an amazing place and since moving here in 2014 from my home town in England, I have not wanted to live anywhere else. It is simply a magical place. So living in a city, about to have a baby and becoming a single mother I thought I could keep a record of this new chapter, while also sharing my experiences with anyone that would like to read them.

So here I am, writing a blog. I can only hope that it is helpful and enjoyable because I aim to write here as often as I can.

Soph xx