Monday, 28 September 2015

The Durban Doula Pregnancy Diary - Week 12

Mom's belly and 6-year-old's toes

I think most moms breathe a sigh of relief when week 13 comes around! 

My nausea is almost totally gone, dizziness too, and I feel like I have more energy than I have for the past 8 weeks. On the first evening I still had some vooma left at 6pm, I chopped and I cooked and I baked - I felt like superwoman! It was great.

Twelve weeks is also that magical date when miscarriages become much less likely - but when you're pregnant I feel every day is a milestone! I don't have any scan pictures for you because I'm not going for a 12 week scan - shock and horror, I know! But I do have some reasons for my decision:

Firstly, I know my cycle really well, so I know exactly how far along I am, so no need for a scan to establish date.

Secondly, even if the usual checks at 12 weeks did pick up something odd on the scan, I wouldn't do anything about it. If there was a problem with the nuchal translucency measurements (used to pick up Downs Syndrome) I would not do an amniocentesis or even consider an abortion, because I know how high the false positive rate is for those tests, and that up to 25% of Downs Syndrome cases aren't detected until birth anyway despite all the testing. I also know the stats of how many healthy babies are miscarried because of the amniocentesis.

Baby apparently measures 5.4cm from crown to rump -
about the size of a plum!
"Plum on tree" by byfir0002 via Wikimedia Commons
For me, getting a possibly positive test would just cause unnecessary stress over something that I can't really do anything about. I've had too many friends who were told they have placenta praevia or that baby had water on the brain or some other dire diagnosis, only to be told 8 weeks later that all was fine... I'm thinking the effects of all those stress hormones on an otherwise healthy baby can't be good!

Having said that, I will go for a scan around 20 weeks, to check that we are all on track for the home birth we are planning, and yes, we will see if we can check gender, purely because we have had two girls so we have mountains of dresses and frills, and I'd like to be able to know what to say if people ask if we need anything. If we can't see gender at that scan I don't think I would have another one just to check.

Furthermore, I am increasingly concerned about the risks of ultrasound scans, especially 'recreational' scans i.e. scans that aren't medically necessary.

Some links about possible risks of ultrasound scans:

Ultrasound Scans - Cause of Concern - Dr Sarah Buckley

Natural childbirth IIb: ultrasound not as safe as commonly thought - Chris Kresser

Concerns were being raised back in 1999 already!
Ultrasound: Weighing the Propaganda Against the Facts - Beverley Lawrence Beech

So as you saw above, we are planning a waterbirth at home. I had an incredible home water birth with my second child, and so I am due to go for my first checkup with the same midwife soon.

Looking a bit tired!
I am getting a little bump and I'm already having to use the hair elastic trick on the buttons on my pants to make extra space for my growing belly...

One odd thing though, is that I won't feel any physical sensations in my womb area for a few days, and then all on one day it will feel like everything is stretching and expanding and aching. It would be fun to know what is happening on those days! Is it a growth spurt? Who knows?

I've had one or two flutters that I would like to believe are baby moving, and as baby is just over 5cm in length (from crown to rump) I know it's not impossible. They say second time moms can sometimes feel baby as early as 13 weeks, so maybe 12 weeks isn't such a stretch the third time around!

That mystery is also part of the joy of pregnancy for me. While I sleep my body feeds this baby and takes care of all its needs, and my baby gets on with the business of reaching and connecting and expanding... all alone in the dark. It's like a little seed planted in the ground - all alone in the dark without any help or intervention, it somehow germinates and starts forming all the bits necessary to be a tree or a flower, and reaches for the light when the time is right.

Big sister giving the belly some love!
The girls are super excited about the new baby - they often ask me how big the baby is now, and love telling strangers at the shops that mommy has a baby growing in her tummy!

I also got my first two little gifts for the sproglet - some newborn clothes and other bits and bobs - and I can't believe my girls were ever newborn sized! Those leggings are so tiny! But on the other hand, I am truly grateful they weren't bigger - for obvious reasons!

So anyway, that's me for now...
Feel free to ask questions or add comments below!
Keep an eye out for our 16 week diary! (Update: I decided to switch to posting every 2 weeks instead - so here is week 14! And in case you missed it, you can find week 8 here.


  1. Look forward to all the diary updates Leigh

    1. Thanks so much Bronwyn! I sometimes wonder if it's interesting or just weird to post all these updates - glad someone finds it interesting!

  2. Congrats Leigh! I am also 12 weeks along :) we will have babies about the same time! X

    1. Ah Abby that is so exciting! Must definitely meet up some time before then - may need Marzanne to reinstate the birth and babies group :-)

  3. And I am going to be Nana for the third time! So nice to read these updates as I am so much further away this time round.

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  5. Congratulations and hope the rest of the pregnancy goes smoothly!

    1. Thanks Heather! I'm trusting all is going to be fine... Like with planning a home birth - if anyone asks me, 'What if something goes wrong?' my usual response is 'What is everything goes right?'

  6. I love following your journey! The pregnancy diaries were my favourite part of living and loving magazines - keep the updates coming!!