We wanted to get it in before he went travelling as it would be the first time we saw baby as a real baby, and not just a little vibrating tadpole. A 12 week scan is not really necessary if you’ve already had a heartbeat confirmed (which we had, at 6 and a half weeks) and a due date set (March 13th- eek!) but it was simply for peace of mind before I head off to Bali. After all, we wouldn’t get to see or hear Spud again until 20 weeks, and that felt like a lifestime away!
Cold gel, warm hands, static fuzz rumbles into a picture; straight away Spud pops up on the telly screen- a real baby!! Just like you see in ‘other people’s’ pictures! We made that! And he’s perfect. I’m lying with my hands up, pillowed behind my head, and Spud is doing the exact same- two hands up, behind his ginormous head.
While we watch he suddenly jumps right up to the other end of my kidney bean shaped womb- bam! He jumps the length of himself! So weird- I cannot feel a thing, but there he is squirming and squiggling away. The sonographer measures him, and he is 6cm long, the size of a lime.
We see the two arms clearly, and as she zooms in, count five teeny fingers. Two legs, two feet, two eyes and two ears all present and correct. One perky little nose and one bright, clear heartbeat. Spud flips himself around, he’s just showing off now, and we see his tiny delicate spine. It’s too early to tell if he’s actually a he, and we’re not going to find out anyway. But I’ll keep calling Spud a he for now.
I read alot about the nuchal translucency screening before deciding to forego this Downs Syndrome test which would be offered at this stage. The outcome wouldn’t change anything and so we thought why put ourselves through six months of extra worry? He would still be our Spud, the thought of aborting this backflipping, heartbeating, feeling little life due to Downs Syndrome just seems senseless to me.
So we left with a reel of photos of Spud doing various dance moves in my belly. We had told immediate family; parents, brothers and Nana at about 7 weeks, and they'd kept shtum, we wouldnt put anything online either for a while, but that week we decided it was time to tell extended family- Granny, Auntie and Cousin. 12 weeks seems safe- I can breathe a sigh of relief.
The other big thing that happenned this week was Rob leaving for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos for a three week trip with his Mum. This had been in the pipeline long before I was pregnant, and I was never able to go- so I’d been preparing for some time alone to get our life wrapped up in Piha, and join them in Bali later on before heading home to the UK.
It wasn’t easy, watching him pack up and then dropping him at the airport but I think I did a reasonably good job of holding it together! Only after I left and said my silent prayers to the Gods of Air Malaysia did I turn on the radio and lo and behold- our song. I had my little indulgent cry then.
But I carried on singing and chatting to Spud on the way home, and kept myself busy all weekend doing all the things I’d never get away with if Rob was here...
Get highlights at the salon? “Just wait for summer” Buy free range eggs? “They all taste the same” Eat coco pops for dinner?! “You can do that but I’m having coco pops AND an actual dinner!” I worked at the chip shop, skyped my mum and brother for hours and went out to the Piha movies.
Keep busy, keep moving, keep healthy.
Chatting and singing to Spud at bedtime, or dinnertime, or any other time Rob should be there that I’m not actually alone, I’ll never be alone again. It hit me this week. I'll never be alone again. How magic is that.