It's week 15 and I feel I can safely say the bump is real now, it's not just cake and potatoes! When I see people for the first time they tell me my bump is 'cute' and I think one or two have even been tempted to clasp it in their hands like they were squeezing the plump cheeks of a child. I am liking this part of my pregnancy. I am comfortable, mobile and my bump is still 'cute' apparently! I find myself standing in shops gently stroking and patting it's roundness knowing that the bonding process has already begun.
Today I went for my 15 week check up with the midwife. I knew it would be the first time I would hopefully hear the heartbeat. I had Joshua and Grace with me who were thankfully excellently behaved and sat quietly whilst I had my blood pressure taken, first by the young student midwife that was sitting in and then by Sarah. I like Sarah. She has a nice smile and short silvery grey hair that belies her much younger face. She speaks calmly and I find her reassuring.
I laid down on the bench and Sarah asked if it would be okay for Emily to check my tummy to see if she could measure my fundal height (a standard procedure to assess fetal growth and development). I couldn't help but smile when she guessed it about 3 inches above my belly button! If that's the case it must mean I'm about to pop! Sarah gently guided her back down to the appropriate position and reminded her that I was only 15 weeks.
As the midwife pushed the doppler down on my stomach we both got a shock! "What was that?!" I exclaimed at what I can only describe as a very definite and sharp kick from the other side. "I'm not sure" she said "but I can't think it can be anything other than the baby moving objectionably to the pressing!" I laid slightly taken aback as she then proceeded to patiently search for the heartbeat. It took a while to find as the whooshing sound of the placenta attempted to drown it out. I think we made the baby cross and it retreated to the furthest point of it's little house and hid like a moody teenager slamming the door as it ran upstairs to sulk. Persistence won the day though and we eventually found the little monkey hiding to one side and so I left the appointment happy and with a spring in my step.
I have definitely started to feel things this week. I wasn't sure at first if it was just me but I'm starting to experience that washing machine feeling. Not kicking but movement. In fact as I write this I can definitely feel something going on in there like gentle turning and pressing from the inside. I think I'm cooking a bruiser.
On a final note, I have been inspired by a lovely client and friend of mine who is also pregnant and only 5 weeks ahead of me. She wanted me to take a series of portraits of her during her final pregnancy for what will be her SIXTH child! Now if you saw this lady, you would not believe that someone so incredibly gorgeous could have had one child let alone five already with SIX in the oven. She is also writing a blog and gave me the idea to start my own. Yesterday we went to the studio for her first session - already at the half way mark. After she had gone, I asked Paul who owns the studio if he'd take a few shots of me too. I have decided on my own 'project bump' and so am going to document each week my bump to baby progress. I hope you enjoy looking!