Scan day had arrived! We’d reached a milestone by just passing the point at which we miscarried in our last pregnancy, so that was a huge relief. But what would the scan reveal?
I felt very pregnant unlike last time. My boobs were like huge veiny balloons that screamed in agony at the slightest brush. And my oh my – all day and night nausea since 5-6 weeks in. I never had this with the boys.
My mum was over in France visiting so we of course invited her to the scan too.
I was so excited and nervous. I couldn’t stop peeing before hand, and as soon as I got on that horrible leather couch, I needed to go again.
Now – two things you need to know.
- You will have a different due date in France to that in the UK. Why? Because in the UK your due date is set from the last date of your menstrual period. Whereby in France it is dated from your expected date of conception. Therefore your France date will be a week or so later than your UK date.
- In France, all scans up until 12 weeks are internal. Yup, that great protruding rod like instrument which they creepily cover in a condom before shoving it deep into your soul! I’d also forgotten to wear a long top, so was completely exposed from the waist down, apart from my socks which had holes in the toes. Oh so very classy, I hear you say! Dignity out of the window they began to poke and push that “thing” inside of me. It was actually quite sore. But then I saw baby! A little kidney bean floating in a sac! I was in love!
The sonographer turned the screen and asked me in French if I had been bleeding. She looked concerned. The worst case scenario instantly popped into my head. There was a problem. Please, oh please, not again. I began to cry, “Non. Pourquoi? Il y a un problem???”
She continued to study the screen and probe me even deeper. I cringed at the discomfort within me – emotionally and physically. And then she said the words I needed to hear. Our baby looked fine, though was measuring a few days behind and its heartbeat was not yet strong enough to register on the screen. However there was something else in my womb which at first she had thought was a bleed. On further investigation (and further shoving me where the sun doesn’t shine) she announced that she believed there was another baby hiding in there. Twins!
My fear and despair turned to pure joy. Twins! I had always wanted twins. And as this would be my last pregnancy, twins would be the perfect way to go out with a BANG! I had even been joking with family members that my nausea had been so bad, that it must be twins. I was right!
She told us we would need to return in two weeks when the babies would be bigger and they would hopefully be able to see the second baby. She did however warn us that it looked very small and may not be viable.
The next two weeks were LONG! Very long. I continued to grow (I was huge – but then I always show early) and I continued to feel exhaustion beyond exhaustion and 24/7 nausea. I didn’t mind as I had two little beans growing inside of me. It was only to be expected.
My husband and I started talking about cars. We’d needed to buy a second car anyway, but were now wondering whether we would need a bus of some kind! And thank goodness we had a few spare bedrooms for all these children to fit into.
Not wanting to tempt fate, we decided to wait for the second scan, before planning our growth expansion plans.
Sadly the second baby didn’t make it. At our scan two weeks later, albeit I’d told myself to not build up my hopes, secretly I had. And when she told me there was now only one baby, I am ashamed to say, I felt disappointed at first. I smiled as she showed us the first baby with a very strong heartbeat and measuring to date, and I was desperately happy to have one healthy baby having lost one a few months ago, but I felt pain for the second one which was no more. I did go home and cry for that second baby. I cried a lot. But in true Wimpy Mum style, I picked myself up and had a word with myself, and decided to focus all my attention and energy on the one healthy baby that was still growing inside of me. I had formed double the amount of love for my two babies and now I would pour double the amount of love into this one baby.
My perfect little Ziggy. Due 12th September (France). – Pictures to follow.
Note: Vanishing Twin Syndrome. This is where a second twin is not viable or does not make it. It is rather common. In fact a lot of pregnancies begin as multiples, but quite often the twin is lost without the mother even knowing. It is only because of my early scan that I was aware of the twin that sadly did not survive. I believe in some cases, where a twin vanishes, bleeding can occur. In other cases, such as mine, the twin is absorbed into the placenta and other pregnancy matter.
Vocabulary: English – French
Pregnancy – Grossesse
Pregnant – Enceinte
Ultrasound – Échographie
Midwife – Sage-femme
Weeks – Semaines
Months – Mois
Due Date – Date prévue / Date prévue d’accouchement
Nausea – Nausée
Vomiting – Vomissement
Sore breasts – Seins douloureux
Bleeding – Saignements
Twins – jumeaux (jumelles if it is twin girls)