For most women, making it to week 12 is reassuring enough, but not for me. Although it’s true that once you hit the 12-week mark, you are out of the risk-of-miscarriage zone and enter the joyful second trimester, things can still go wrong.
After week 13, pregnancy feels like the real thing. Chances are you’ve seen your baby and heard its heartbeat. If you had a CVS or NIT, you may already know if you’re having a boy or a girl. You may have chosen a name, and then, one day, you’ll wake up and realise your belly has popped; a few days later you’ll also notice how it moves — your baby’s way of saying hi.
Sadly enough, there is no guarantee that your precious little one will be fine, but his chances of survival increase once you reach the 24th week of pregnancy.
For me the second trimester has been scary, although certainly less confronting than the first one. Every week has been challenging and I didn’t relax until I got the 18-20 weeks ultrasound and made sure my bub was safe, surrounded by enough amniotic fluid, and with a functioning placenta and umbilical cord. It was then and there that I finally started to bond with him. I needed to make sure he was fine, I couldn’t have my heart broken again, and I feel so very guilty for that.
Having lost a baby earlier this year and having had to have a D&C, my cervix was a huge concern. What if there had been damage to it and it was incompetent and opened way before time? When they confirmed it was long and closed, I was happy, but I still freak out because hormones have made me just a bit irrational — and probably I have done way too much reading, although I do try to stay away from forums; those places are brutal and may give you nightmares, make you cry and even trigger a panic attack.
It’s been only four weeks since I had the 19-week ultrasound and heaps of things still worry me — listeria, cervix, contractions, back pain, swelling, blood pressure, diabetes — however, as week 24 approaches, I’m finally starting to relax.
If a baby is born at 23 weeks, it has a chance of survival of 25-35%, according to the March of Dimes. The baby’s chances increase to more than 50% once it’s 24 weeks, and are almost 80% by the time it reaches 28 weeks. I cannot wait to reach 24 weeks and then 28.
Once I reach the magical 28 and start my third trimester, I think I’ll be fine and will finally be able to breathe and indulge in those tiny little kicks that feel as if corn kernels were bursting in my belly. Not that I don’t enjoy them now, quite the opposite, there’s nothing more amazing that knowing your little person is in there and saying hello
I haven’t enjoyed my second trimester as much as I would have liked given that I knew things could still go wrong, but as I’m about to say goodbye to it and start the third, I feel relieved, happy and full of hope.