A number of things have contributed towards this, the biggest being the 20 week scan, which I'll come on to in a minute. Adam and I went up to Coventry a few days after Christmas and stayed in a hotel near Niki & Steve so we could spend lots of quality teamie time together. It was so lovely to see them all and catch up properly, and as always, felt comfortable, relaxed, and just so "normal".
Niki now has a beautiful bump and it was so bloody exciting when she opened the door. She is looking fab on it, is glowing, and is ever-so patient, letting me put my hands on and prod her tum. On our first evening there, LHH started wiggling around, so Niki grabbed my hand and placed it on her tummy, where she could feel the jiving going on. I pressed firmly but cautiously, not really expecting to feel anything, when suddenly there was a tiny but definite bump against my hand. I looked at Niki who was grinning and tears sprang to my eyes - I had felt our baby kick for the very first time and it was the most magical moment. To actually physically feel that little person in there....a very emotional and mind-blowing experience. I was even more chuffed that Adam felt LHH give a little wriggle shortly after that; being physically detached from the pregnancy, moments like that really are extra special.
On New Year's Eve, we had our 20 week scan. I was terribly excited and couldn't wait to see our little one on the screen again, but was also very nervous. I am a bit of a worrier at the best of times, and cannot help thinking that we're too lucky and that something will go wrong. We sat in the waiting room and were called in quite quickly. The sonographer looked at us and said "we only allow one person in" and I tensed, ready for a big row, but once Niki said that there should be something on the notes about our situation she apologised straight away and said she just hadn't read through them yet. The three of us went in and I felt my heart thumping in my chest and my hands go clammy. I knew LHH was alive and kicking (quite literally) as Niki could feel it wiggling daily, but what if there was a problem? I think the "this is just a dream" feeling creates a sense of it all finishing suddenly and me "waking up".
The sonographer popped the probe onto Niki's tummy and there was our little hitch-hiker, curled up and shifting gently. The tears started and I held my breath and squeezed Adam's hand tight as she went over the key organs and parts of the body...everything was fine. To top it all off, we were able to find out that Little Hitch-hiker is in fact a Miss. We are expecting a little girl. I sobbed so much the poor sonographer actually had to pause mid scan and fetch a box of tissues for me! I must work on controlling my tears but I was just too happy to care. Everything was fine, Niki is fine, baby is fine, and it suddenly felt very very official that we are going to become parents. Yet again, we were lucky enough to have a lovely sonographer. She spent lots of time trying to show us different angles and parts of LHH, a lot of which went over my head a little as I was in such a daze just repeating in my head "she's fine, this is actually happening". Niki was just wonderful, and again, allowed us to have our excited moment and me to sob on Adam's shoulder. Once she was de-jellyed, I gave her a huge hug which I hope said the words I couldn't find.
We went home to show Steve and the kids the photos and to share the joy and excitement (although Jack was a tad disappointed it's not a boy!) I love how caring they all are; when I squashed Steve with a giant hug and said thank you he said he's not doing anything but of course he is - this would never work without his support. LHH was wriggling at one point so Beth announced that she was going to sing a lullaby to Emily & Adam's baby and softly murmured twinkle twinkle at Niki's tummy to soothe it. When they went on a family trip to a museum, Jack reminded everyone that Emily & Adam's baby was coming too. And Niki? That woman has so much love in her heart to care for and think of everyone she does....I have an awful lot of admiration for her and will never be able to thank her for everything.
So a joyful end to 2012, and now here we are in 2013...the year LHH will be born. I've always firmly believed that anything worth having is worth fighting for, and it's taken us a long time to get this far, but now every step feels so special and so magical, it's all worth it. A few happy teamie photos to finish (which appear to be posting sideways and I cannot work out how to fix it...stupid blogger...)
|Back to back with a rather beautiful Niki|
|"Holy crap, how did that get in there!?"|
|NB: Glass of schloer in hand..!|
|With the gorgeous Jack & Beth|
|Teamie hugs and PIZZA!|