So, we are having another baby! We waited a while to share the news with everyone and I suppose this is technically our official announcement aside from some gorgeous maternity photos my cousin posted on Facebook (thanks, Laila Eva!). I opted to go through the NHS for this pregnancy which means I’ll get the full British experience. The NHS is the national health system here in England and so far, I have been absolutely blown away by the quality and standard of care. I am incredibly lucky to have easy, low risk pregnancies and aside from fairly constant nausea in the first trimester, things were otherwise the same as always. It took a few weeks to get me registered into the NHS system so my first appointment was at 15 weeks. That appointment consisted of a series of questions to determine what type of pregnancy and birth I was having/wanted. The midwife took my blood pressure and weight and that was the extent of the physical exams. I did ask her to listen for the heartbeat as Jason was convinced we were having twins but luckily, we only found one! After a pretty traumatic initial OB appointment with my first pregnancy, I was so relieved that this time around went so much better.
They scheduled me for a dating scan at a local hospital a couple weeks later just to make sure we were all correct on my estimated due date. Everything checked out great so sometime around the fourth of December (give or take a few days, of course), we can expect to meet our newest addition! My favorite part of this whole experience has been the amount of literature and resources the NHS have provided us with regards to a healthy pregnancy and available services. The entire experience is in your hands and you are fully supported in whatever decisions you decide to make about your personal health. I am of the mind that less is more when it comes to medical interventions so we will be opting out of many of the tests and procedures that are standard or “mandatory” in the States. My midwives have simply asked what we’d like, checked the box for declining service and we’ve moved on – no lectures or condescending comments. I can’t begin to explain how refreshing and empowering it is!
Since Jason has been gone since early July, he missed out on the gender scan. I will never forget the look of sheer panic on his face when the ultrasound tech told us Lena was a girl and I just didn’t want to miss that moment again. So we decided to leave the gender of this baby a surprise and that way, we can share the experience together once he/she is born. We both *think* it’s a boy but who knows?!
Speaking of Jason being gone, we have missed him like crazy and the first week or two were pretty rough without him. He’s been TDY before but this was the longest and the first one where Lena really noticed his absence. Technology has been our best friend and my computer screen is covered with kiss marks from my little monster attacking her daddy during FaceTime sessions. We took these photos on our way home from a 4th of July party and I love how it captured the relationship between these two. The Bacon Bit has her daddy wrapped around her little finger and the worst part is, she knows it. They’re a couple of peas in a pod.
It’ll be fun to see how she does as a big sister. I’m not sure she fully grasps what my big belly means for her life but she’s been very sweet; giving kisses and asking to rub coconut oil on my tummy each night. We hope these two will grow up to be close companions and there for one another. And as Jason pointed out, at the very least, Lena now has someone to help her pick out a nursing home for us when we’re old and wrinkly!