Pregnancy after loss can be a long, harrowing journey. My rainbow pregnancy was often dramatic and my husband and I were unable to fully relax. We constantly battled against fearing the worst. Until the worst almost happened. When Pregnancy comes to stay, she always calls the shots.
Looking back, I was really scared; I didn't want to hear the word 'SIDS'. And besides, I'd been told that it wouldn't happen, so I didn't see the point in worrying myself. I quickly put it to the back of my mind and told myself it would never happen to families like mine.
If you've been living under a rock this past week, you might have missed the media frenzy surrounding Cheryl's rumoured pregnancy. Emphasis on the word 'rumoured' because, as always, it's pure speculation.
Some campaigners fear that the implementation of NIPT on the NHS will lead to an increase of terminations of babies with Down syndrome. I would like to address those concerns, and offer up the perspective of a medical practitioner on the ongoing debate.
After half an hour the midwife calls for another midwife who brings the big white scan machine on wheels. They put the cold jelly on your enlarged pregnant stomach and start scanning. There's your baby on the screen, but no smiles. No cooing. Just silence.
I argue that maternity and maternal bodies have become a minefield within identity politics, feminism and public policy alike and that it is time for a movement of women to improve the position of mothers - from birth, to breastfeeding, to the right to provide maternal care and freedom from discrimination in our jobs or careers.
So this post is my top ten of what I'd tell my pregnant self, if I could. I know loads of people would say 'make the most of every moment' but it's not that sort of list. I'm a more practical person! I also know everyone will have a different list, this is just mine. What would be on yours?!
I felt my parenting classes did nothing but set me up for failure. Although they are in place to prepare first time parents, and I was certainly prepared, it was just a shame it only prepared me for 'the perfect parenthood' (that mythical ideal that only those who are extremely lucky can find).
The 20 week anomaly scan is one of the pinnacle moments of any pregnancy. In the majority of cases, when the baby is healthy, it is the second and final time you'll see your baby on screen before you meet face-to-face.
Imagine if everything in pregnancy was written in a way whereby you could equate all your baby's milestones as a massive, stonking, you're the bomb, preggo high five to yourself and your amazing body that has worked silently and unquestionably 24/7!
It's never been more important to speak out about our experiences of miscarriages and chemical pregnancies, to reassure people that they are not alone - and to help people know what to say if someone tells them about their pregnancy loss.
If you have a partner who wants a baby prepare to enter a hedonistic hell of lacy negligee, scented candles and ovulation strips lined up on the bathroom windowsill. The former have the effect of getting you in the mood in the early days of trying as your wife or partner enters ovulation (this will largely be guess work to begin with).
Because the UK law is not adequate, thousands of surrogacies are taking place abroad in countries such as the US and Canada where the process is much more stable. However whilst their laws are stronger, this can have quite a financial burden on the intended parents (IP) and bring about their own set of challenges.
When you think back to your pregnancy was it a happy one? Mine was, other than the odd worry here and there I couldn't have asked for a better 9 months. When you think back to the those first few hours with your newborn how was it? Mine was hell. Pure hell. My fairy tale ripped from beneath me in just 12 hours.
It turns out she has a wrist which appears to have movement in and the start of what I can only describe as a tiny palm with what could be a thumb one day. We hope it's enough for her to be able to learn to grip things with but we will only see how she can use it as she develops.
The recommendations also attempt to deal with pregnancy and maternity discrimination as an isolated issue, they don't tackle the root cause, which we believe is a completely outdated labour market infrastructure that just isn't fit for purpose anymore.