Saturday, 31 January 2009

First Scan Pictures 3

13 Weeks

Well the niggles came back again just in time for a last minute panic a few hours before Fred was about to get on the eurostar for our ski trip, with me due to follow on the next morning. They had a good look and couldn't find anything at all out of the ordinary thankfully, apparently it's just one of those things and may happen again, but they were very nice and said I should just go back if it does so they can set my mind at rest. I have to say all the medical staff I've dealt with so far have been really good, well the chap who did the blood tests was a little scary, but good at taking blood!

Anyway this one is a bit clearer, head on the right, and you can see one of the legs sticking out top left. Once again Smidget was very active - two Sonograohers have now said "oh, you're not going to get much sleep once you can feel this one" - So there's something to look forward to!

The next routine scan is at 20 weeks, and much as it's lovely to see Smidget I hope I won't be seeing it again until then!

First Scan Pictures 2

11 weeks

This is the picture from the routine 12 week scan (in this case 11 weeks 5 days) it's still a bit tricky to make anything out on the still, but during the actual scan we could see lots of detail, fingers, toes, arms, legs, even the brain. You can see the head on the right and the 5 little white lines above are fingers, a fat little belly can be seen on the left.

Smidget was also very active that day and for a lot of the scan seemed to be standing on it's head waving it's legs in the air. This made it rather tricky for the sonographer to measure the things she needed to so we had to encourage it into the right position. This involved prodding me repeatedly with the ultrasound probe, right in the very full bladder, nice. When this failed I was glad to find out that the second option was emptying my bladder. However, this was not enough to coax Smidget into the right place either so there was then more prodding, coughing and some very undignified wiggling and shaking of the hips. Thankfully that did the trick, apparently the next option involved jumping up and down!

Things they don't tell you number 1: The scan is not nearly as dignified as it looks on TV

First Scan Pictures 1

7 Weeks

Despite only being 15 weeks pregnant we're already getting a small collection of pictures.

This first one was done at only 7 weeks after a few niggly problems, the white blob top left is the head, the bigger blob to the right is the yolk sac and the little diagnal line is measuring it's length, which was 6.3mm. Despite being that tiny we could still see the heart beat on the screen which was very exciting!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Names and dates

After careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of all the options (a short chat one night) we have reached a momentous decision. Even though we don't know whether the baby will be a boy or a girl, we have decided that it will definitely........ have a name.

Our only discussion of names succeeded in ruling out many options, but that didn't help either. I had hoped that by the time we had eliminated the names of every footballer (rugby players would have been fine), pop star and breakfast TV presenter there wouldn't be many names left. But I was wrong. Looking at the names with the highest and lowest average GCSE results didn't help much either. We had already ruled out Kylie, Charlene, Wayne, Dwayne and Duane (yes both spellings are in the bottom ten) and Emily and Charlotte (amongst the top scoring names at GCSE) are out of the question as the baby's future aunts have already bagged them.

Whilst I'm on the educational theme, it is worth noting that summer born children tend to do less well academically. Or more specifically summer born boys do less well. Since we don't want to find out the sex of our child in advance, I would welcome suggestions for other ways around this problem. For instance, if the birth happened in Australia (where it is winter in July) would that solve the problem? Would it help if it was a particularly cold summer? (Probably not - they usually are and yet the effect still exists.) What are the chances of Kirsty crossing her legs until 1 September?

In the meantime, the unborn baby will continue to be known mostly as the bean, sometimes as the bump and if it's future paternal grandmother gets her way, as the smidget.

This is future-smid-dad, signing off.

PS - Since writing this post on a number of people have emailed us or written comments to say that the reason summer born children tend to be a little behind at school is because they are younger than their classmates and have less schooling in total, as they usually do not start school in the autumn term and may only have one or two terms in reception class. We understood this already, and the pretence that we didn't was a joke. Fortunately there is pretty good research by Charles Desforges and others which shows that the strongest influence on children's educational attainment is the value that their parents place on education - and we both place a lot of value on it. This has a significantly stronger effect than age, gender, ethnicity, affluence or quality of teachers on how well children do at school. For more information see


Since we started telling people, a few questions keep coming up, so I'll answer them here for the benefit of those who wondered, but haven't asked!

-Was it planned?

-When is it due?
July 24th

-Are you going to stay in your flat?
Yes, for the moment, with a bit of a clear out we should have enough room to start with, so we'll think on that one as we start to get towards crawling and toddling stage!

-Do you know/are you going to find out if it's a boy or a girl?
No and no (well we'll probably figure it out eventually, when it hits puberty say) but we don't plan on going all pink/blue anyway so we might as well let it be a surprise.

-Have you been sick? (this mostly from slightly worried looking girls)
No, horrah! Have been a bit nauseas but a constant supply of crisps and biscuits kept the worst at bay, hmmm healthy, and I started feeling much better pretty much bang on 12 weeks. Still getting very tired tho.

-Are you excited?
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! (yes)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Welcome to the blog!

It occurred to me last night that now may be the point where a blog may actually be useful. Many of our friends and family don't live close enough for us to see them very often and a few have asked for updates on the bump, so hopefully I'll be able to put news, pictures etc up on here for people to look at whenever they get the time. For those who just wanted pictures of my belly getting even bigger, hmmm we'll see if I get brave enough for that!