The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep

I’ve been eager to start writing this post for about a month now, but haven’t wanted to tempt fate. I’m rubbish at keeping secrets. When I was a child, I used to get so excited about the birthday and Christmas presents my sister and I bought our parents, that I’d end up spilling the beans about three weeks before the birthday/Christmas. So I’m shocked that I’ve manage to keep Mum (literally) about the biggest secret we’ve ever had to keep – I’m pregnant!

Biggest Secret

Just to clarify, I’m pregnant with a human baby, not a cat – a question my niece asked when we told her!

If you’ve followed our journey, you’ll know that this has been a long and at times difficult process. Coming off my medication was a year long process and not without it’s challenges. Having to stop trying for my oesophageal dysmotility tests was emotionally very hard. And the stress of the PIP process caused me to experience PTSD symptoms, so there was no way we’d have got pregnant during that time.

I feel like there’s so much to tell you all, but now I’ve come to write, I don’t know what to put! I’m 15 weeks today and we’re both very excited. I’ll probably write a separate post about my first trimester, as quite a lot happened! It’s probably best if I tackle the questions I’ve been commonly asked.

The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep: When Is Baby Due?

22nd March, the day before my Mum’s birthday.

The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep: Morning Sickness

I’m not sure why so many people want to know about this. I’ve been very lucky with morning sickness, only experiencing it 1-2 times a week. On those days, I’ve only been sick once or twice. So while I’ve been experiencing some other difficulties, morning sickness generally hasn’t been one of them.

Biggest Secret

The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep: Do We Want To Know The Sex?

My Mum didn’t find out whether my sister and I were going to be boys or girls, but she had a gut feeling that with both pregnancies that we were going to be girls. I’ve always said that I don’t want to know. But, the hospital have identifies some risk factors for me and there’s a significant chance that I’ll have to have a cesarian under general anaesthetic. This isn’t anything to worry about. Which ever way baby is born will be the safest option for both of us. I’m thankful to have the diagnoses and specialist care that means that these risks have been identified so that baby and I are both kept safe. But I don’t want to be coming round from a big operation to find out if we’ve had a boy or a girl. All I’ll care about in that situation is whether they’re safe.

Dan has also said that if we don’t find out, his family is likely to guess the sex of the baby and buy things according to what they think, not opt for gender neutral products. I struggled to get my head round this when he told me.

The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep: Do We Want A Boy Or A Girl?

I’ve always imagined myself with two girls, but I think that’s probably because I grew up in a household of two girls. I’ve always said that I don’t mind whether we have a boy or a girl, but when I found out I was pregnant I started to worry about what I’d do with a boy. They’re a different breed, with very different bits. What do you do with them? How do you wipe them? Then I started to get a little worried that I’d be disappointed if we had a boy. Oh the joys of pregnancy hormones! Thankfully this has settled down and I know that I’ll be very happy with either a boy or a girl.

Biggest Secret

The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep: How Am I Doing?

I’m not going to lie, my health has gone downhill as a result of pregnancy. But I know it’ll all be worth it!

Surprisingly, my Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome has been the condition that’s been most affected by pregnancy. Sitting up before about 10:30, leads to awful dizziness. So I’m not making it out of bed for another hour. This has been worse this week. Because I’m not able to sit up, I’m not getting to eat breakfast. Eating exacerbates my PoTS symptoms, so I’m trying hard to eat little and often. On a couple of occasions, I’ve had to resort to Complan, a meal replacement shake. Because of the massively increased dizziness and the fatigue my PoTS is causing, I’m having to use my wheelchair a lot more around the house.

Seeing as my autonomic consultant told me that if anything pregnancy would make it better, this has thrown me and I don’t feel I was as prepared to deal with it. I was warned at my rheumatology pre-pregnancy counselling appointment that my PoTS could get a lot worse, but haven’t had the opportunity to speak to a specialist about how best to manage this since the pre-pregnancy appointment and becoming pregnant. I’m currently waiting for the autonomic nurses to call me back so I can ask them about what I can do to minimise symptoms. I’m also seeing the obstetrician (the same one I had for pre-pregnancy) in a week and a half. At the pre-pregnancy appointment, she said she’d refer me to their cardiologist, so I’m hoping she puts that in place soon. I’m very lucky to be being looked after at a hospital who understand my complex conditions.

Pregnancy has also affected my hypermobile Ehlers-Dalos syndrome, which isn’t surprising as pregnancy hormones cause laxity. I’m more prone to subluxations and my joints are more unstable. But, for the majority of the time I’m managing this as best I can by limiting my activity and pacing. The biggest impact this has had is that I’m now really struggling to get out of the house independently. I can’t use my mobility scooter for more than half an hour as it doesn’t provide enough back and hip support for me. So going out for just half an hour causes me a lot of pain. But I also can’t push my wheelchair very far on anything other than completely flat, smooth surfaces. We’re looking into power assist options.

Biggest Secret 15 Weeks

My 15 week bump. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram if you want to see more bump updates.

I’m currently having to get taxis to and from local GP and midwife appointments. Dan is having to take time off work to get me to my time sensitive appointments outside of the local area. There are quite a few. The non-time sensitive ones are having to be done in school holidays. This means that I’m having twice as long between physio appointments as I should be. But there’s no other way round it.

While my PoTS and hEDS symptoms have gone downhill, I’ve been really lucky with my basilar type migraine (which causes me to loose consciousness). Honestly, I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet! I was given a 60% chance by my consultant that this would get significantly worse in the first trimester. But thankfully, I’ve not experienced any worsening at all! My migraine symptoms haven’t been good, but they’ve not been any worse since becoming pregnant – which is fantastic!

The Biggest Secret We’ve Ever Had To Keep: Are People Happy For Us?

This has struck me as a very strange question, but one I’ve been asked quite a bit. Of cause they’re happy for us! Particularly as friends and family have known the process we’ve been through.

Probably the reactions that have surprised me the most have been from some of my male friends. The deeply kind, caring and thoughtful comments and questions I’ve received have been so touching.

This has certainly been the biggest secret we’ve ever had to keep. I’m not sure what else to tell you, so I’m going to leave it there. If you have any questions, let me know! I’ll either incorporate them into a blog post or answer them as best I can.

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Tania Jayne

  • Eeekk, congratulations!!
    I was always worried about what to do with a boy but honestly it’s super easy!
    Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy and I can’t wait to read your updates
    Saph xx
    simplysaph.blogspot.co.uk

    • Thank you so much Saph! That’s very reassuring. Boys are an unknown, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. And anything I can’t figure out myself I can always ask my big sister, who has one of each, or Google! Xx

  • Over the bloomin’ moon for you!!!! Congratulations. How special would it be if baby shared your Mum’s birthday though?! Eeek. All so amazing to hear. What a lovely way to start the day.
    Sending lots of good vibes for a happy and healthy pregnancy. <3

    xo

    • Aww!!! Thank you so much Danielle! I think it’d be great, but my Nanna made a very good point that it’s also nice for them to be near someone else’s birthday, but also have a day all to themselves. I think Mum would really like to share her birthday with baby though! Xx

  • Laura

    Oh my gosh!! So happy for you lovely lady!! Congratulations! ☺️☺️ Really lovely news, I will be looking forward to reading your updates and seeing your bump pics!
    I hope that you are able to get some advice to reduce the PoTs symptoms and keep them at bay a little bit and sending you lots of healthy vibes and keeping you in my thoughts lovely xxx

    • Thank you very much Laura! I’m really excited to see where this journey takes us. I heard back from the PoTS nurses. It wasn’t a helpful conversation at all. If anything, it upset me. But I’m seeing the rheumatology obstetrician in just over a week, and hopefully her referral to the cardiology obstetrician won’t take long. But even if there’s nothing more that can be done to help, I know it’ll all be worth it. Xx

  • Sharon Reid

    Congratulations to you both, I am so happy for you Tania, I know this is something you’ve wanted for a long time. Sending love and hugs to you both xxxx

    Sharon xx

    rosieloveslife.co.uk

    • Thank you Sharon! It feels very surreal, having been in the planning for so long! I can’t quite believe that little one will be here in just 6 months! I feel like pregnancy needs to be longer so that I can prepare myself! Haha Xx

  • Yiotou_La

    Amazing news Tania, congratulations!! I wish you all the best and how amazing that your due date is close to your mum’s bday? Looking forward to see more pictures :)

    Yiota

    • Aww!!! Thank you so much! We seem to have lots of birthday’s close together. One of my nieces is the day before my Dad’s birthday, I’m four days before my big sister and my big brother is the day before my little sister! Xx

  • OMG, so excited for you and that baby bump is flippin’ adorable xxxx

    • Aww!!! Thank you Holly, that’s so sweet of you to say. Xx

  • Gillian Brewster

    Amazing news!!!! Congratulations to you both am so so happy for you.
    I hope the doctors can help with your increased pots symptoms. Also have you thought about using hospital transport or is it likely ro be to painful? Something I’ve had to start with recently.
    Much love xxxx

    • Aww!!! Thank you so much! I’ve been using patient transport for about a year and a half now, but it’s no longer safe for me (or baby) to do so. They always get me to the appointment an hour early and often I’m waiting for three hours to be taken home. The absolute maximum I’m able to be under florescent lights safely is 3.5 hours. I put up with the extra pain, slurred speech, etc. but I just can’t risk it with baby. There are some very serious risks if I loose consciousness, which florescent lighting can cause, so it’s just not safe for me to use patient transport any more. Xx

  • haxell

    What wonderful news – congratulations to you both. When I was a teenager I did a lot of babysitting but would never babysit boy babies because I didn’t like them. I was really worried the first time I got pregnant that I wouldn’t be able to love a boy baby – but like you them being healthy was my main concern. However, when they put my son in my arms after induction and an emergency c-section under general anaesthetic (when they got him they found he had the chord twice round his neck) – it was instant love. It doesn’t take long to get used to the different bits – honestly!

    • Thank you very much! And thank you for your reassuring words. I’m so glad that you’ve bonded so strongly with your little boy, parenthood sounds like such a magical journey. I think I’m just a little nervous as I want to be the best parent I can be. Xx

  • Emmy Bell

    First of all, congratulations! I felt exactly the same with regards to the gender thing, but I wasn’t secretive about it. It was gonna be a girl or it was going back! However, he had other plans and I had a boy. But don’t worry, boys are ace. If gender selection would have been a thing I would have chosen a girl. Now, I’m so thankful I wasn’t given the option. I was surprised by how little it bothered me too…though I know someone who grieved when they found out the gender. It sounds extreme but I get it. Ultimately healthy is all you want, but don’t feel guilty for wanting either way.

    Also, listen to your heart. Like your mum, I realised he was a boy about a week before I found out for sure

    Emmy – http://www.misadventurousmummy.com xx

    • Thank you so much Emmy! I’m wondering whether it might be partly that most of the babies in my family have been girls, so they’re what I’m used to. I’m so glad everything worked out well for you. It seems there are so many things we think we should bee feeling and then feel guilty if we don’t. I’m really glad that I learned early on that everyone feels differently during pregnancy and there’s no right or wrong.

      I’m feeling much better about the idea of a boy now. Having received so many lovely, thoughtful comments and questions from male friends has really helped. I’ve a couple of blogger friends who are pregnant with boys and it’s been very reassuring to see them taking about the things I’m unsure of about boys too, so I’m feeling a lot less nervous now.

      Thank you for leaving such a lovely, thoughtful comment. I really appreciate it. Xx

  • A HUGE Congratulations to you how exciting for you and Dan! Really very happy for you Tania, so exciting :)
    Sending love and huge hugs!
    Laura xo
    http://www.shehearts.net

  • Oh Jenny! That’s so, so sweet of you to say. Thank you so much! I’m so lucky to have friends like you. <3

  • Awe congrats Tania! What s wonderful blessing!!!!

  • Congratulations Tania! My heart stopped when I found out. With all that you’ve been through, you deserve this blessing. I’ve always felt like when I do have a baby, I would more than likely have girls because I have 2 sisters, and Cecilio, his dad and grandpa are the only boys in each generation (Cecilio has 2 sisters, his dad and grandpa has 3 sisters). Meanwhile, my dad has 2 older sisters. My older sister did have my nephew though. We’ll see. Anyway, I can’t wait to read all of your pregnancy posts and have you document them!!! <3333 I wish and pray for the best and for a easy, smooth labor and a healthy bundle of joy!

    Hannah
    Floraful

    • Aww!!! Thank you Hannah! And thank you for all of your support, it’s really appreciated. It’s interesting that you’ve said this, because I’ve been wondering whether my imagining myself with a girl is partly that it feels like most of the babies born in our family have been girls. Though Dan is one of 7, 5 of whom are boys. I can’t quite believe that we’re only a month away from being half way through the pregnancy! Xx

  • Congratulations! I wish you and your family nothing but the best.

  • Oh sweetheart congratulations! :D

    I can’t wait to see updates on the little one! :D

    https://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

  • I’m so excited for you both and as always I find it so interesting and helpful that you share all aspects of your journey factually without scaremongering but so others are informed.

    I look forward to watching the journey.

    Victoria x

    FlorenceandMary.com

    • Aww!!! Thank you Victoria, that’s so sweet of you to say! I’ve got no time for scaremongering, it does nothing but harm. No one needs that. Unfortunately, I’ve already had to endure a scare story about one of the two birth options available to me. I really wish people wouldn’t do it. I have enough to concentrate on with managing my symptoms, I don’t need people worrying me about something that might never happen! Or worse, putting me off what may be the safest option for both baby and me. Some people can be really thoughtless. Xx

      • I’m sorry you’re already enduring the ‘horror stories’. I appreciate some people think they’re being helpful but they should really remember what their pregnancy was like for them and be more understanding!

        • Thanks. I need to come up with a way of stopping people when they start this kind of story. I find it so bizarre that people don’t consider how they would’ve felt if someone had done it to them. Even stranger is if they’ve had it done to them but still don’t realise how unhelpful it is! Xx

  • Nina

    Congrats Tania, I’m glad you’ve dodged the worst of the morning sickness!

  • Alison Brodie

    I hope your pregnancy sickness is over, Tania. Do you have any eating fads? Are you demolishing beetroot at midnight and munching pickled onions?