38 weeks and a bit of last minute pampering

38 weeks pregnantI am 38 weeks pregnant today and honestly this pregnancy has flown by compared with my first. It has also, thankfully been so much smoother. With my SPD rearing it’s head at just 6 weeks pregnant I was so worried about how hard this pregnancy would be, but thanks to the physio throughout we have kept it at bay and I am so much more mobile. I haven’t needed to use my crutches at all and just generally feel so much better and still have quite a bit of energy. I think because I have been more mobile this time I haven’t put on nearly as much weight as I did last time either, which is also no bad thing.

It hasn’t been a bed of roses and I still get a lot of pain in my back and pelvis, and of course I am shattered and ready to not be pregnant anymore… But with just over a week to go I am trying to focus on the positives now.

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Looking forward to being me again

So with the date now booked for baby’s birth, the countdown to the end of pregnancy is on! This pregnancy has been much better than my first. I am not on crutches and am much more mobile than I thought I would be. I am nowhere near the zombie I was when I was pregnant with Monkey, so I am doing well…. but I am still looking forward to not being pregnant anymore. I know how lucky I am and am grateful every day for this baby, I am glad she is safe and well in my tummy and I hope she continues to be so for the next 3 weeks, but….

I just don’t enjoy being pregnant.

There, I said it. I know some women get a pregnancy glow and feel wonderful when pregnant. I know some women love the additional curves they get when pregnant. I just don’t feel that way. I feel better than I thought I would. Because I am much more mobile than I was in my first pregnancy I haven’t put as much weight on this time round (plus I was a bit slimmer to start with, which has helped). But I still don’t feel like me.
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Acceptance

My word of the week this week is acceptance.

Because, at the moment I am very much having to accept the fact that I am 32 weeks pregnant, I have SPD and I can’t do all of the things I want to do, or that I am used to doing. It’s frsutrating but there is not long left and I have to accept it.

Luckily we have a lovely supportive family to help and make sure Monkey is still entertained. Hubby has started taking Monkey to his Tumbletots class on a Tuesday in his lunch hour, because I just can’t physically manage it anymore! My parents have also started to take Monkey out on a Wednesday so he can get a run around and burn off some energy.

I am just a lot less mobile now as the pain is increasing so it is nice to know he still gets to have a run around, while I can stay home! He is a lot better at playing independently and staying at home more, but the longer we are stuck in the house the harder it is to keep him entertained, and his behaviour gets a bit more destructive and boisterous. Getting him out for even a short walk and a run around makes life so much easier. I am so grateful to my family for doing this as even a walk round the shops or round the block is getting very painful now and feels like a daunting prospect! I’m not sleeping well either and the tiredness is making it a bit harder to be imaginative with playtime ideas!!

I’ve also had to stop my morning walk with my neighbour. For well over a year we have gone for a 9am walk most mornings. It has been so good for us to get us out of the house and have a good old natter. It has been really lovely and I have been desperate to keep it going. The walks were getting more sporadic as I have had to miss days I have been in too much pain and even the days we have managed it, the walks have been getting shorter and shorter (and slower) as even on good days I can’t do much. What started off as a good 40 min walk of a couple of miles has become more like a 20 min slow stroll of maybe 1/2 mile?

For a while I think even that was doing me good but then I realised it wasn’t anymore and that actually I was ending up in quite a bit of pain afterwards, so we have officially put it on hold for a while! Another change I just have to accept.

I am still doing a lot better than I was in my first pregnancy, I am not on crutches yet and I am grateful for that. I am also massively grateful my supportive and helpful hubby, family and friends. It would all be much harder without them! There is not long to go now really and I just have to keep the goal in sight and accept that I can’t do as much as I want to do.

What is your word of the week?

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31 weeks and lacking sleep!

Don't I look happy? ;)

Don’t I look happy? ;)

I am 31 weeks pregnant and I’m afraid to say I am not enjoying pregnancy at the moment. Apologies for a slightly moany post, I know how lucky I am to be pregnant and this pregnancy has definitely been easier than my first, but right now, I am not enjoying it.

My pelvis and back have been really painful since the wedding a week and a half ago. Up until then I have been managing the SPD quite well with a combination of weekly aquanatal yoga and fortnightly physio. It has troubled me at times but I have been managing  it, which is about the best you can hope for with SPD. Lately though I have not been managing it so well. I am in pain a lot of time and night-times are by far the worst. Sitting in the car for 6 hours over 2 days to get to the wedding and back definitely did not do me any favours!

Come 9pm every day I am pretty exhausted and head upstairs and do my leg and back stretches before bed. What is unfortunately a nightly occurance at the moment though is that as soon as I am drifting off to sleep my legs start twitching (which I know is due to compression of nerves around my pelvis and spine). Then our little wriggly baba decides to have a party in my uterus and starts kicking and pumelling my pelvis and bladder. She is still very much breech and though I can feel she is trying to turn, I am about 85% certain there isn’t enough room in my Bicornuate Uterus for her to make it all the way round, and therefore we are heading for another C-Section. Hey ho, I am not worrying or getting down about it and we will find out for certain when we see the consultant at 35 wks.

Because of the gymnastics going on in my tummy I usually have to haul myself out of bed and off to the loo at least 3 times before I have even got to sleep. Which just hurts. As with everything in life with SPD you need to keep your legs together at all times. The best way to get in and out of bed with SPD is to sit on the side of the bed with your legs together, and sort of lift your legs (keeping them together)  as you lie down on your side and roll into bed and then position yourself with pillows between your legs etc. (I have a dream-genii pregnancy pillow). Trying to get out of bed the normal way, one leg at a time, is just agony.

I lie back down and then the leg twitching and baby kicking generally resumes. I have thought about getting up and doing something but mentally I am shattered and desperate for sleep. Hubby gave me a massage the other night, bless him, and though this sounds lovely it was actually just agony, the slightest touch of my muscles at the moment is really painful :( . Using tiger balm does help sometimes as it numbs my back enough to stop the leg twitching long enough for me to doze off. It’s difficult to know how safe this is during pregnancy though and there’s so much contrasting info online… I hope it’s ok but I have no idea so do try and manage without it as much as I can. Not sure if I am making it harder for myself though? Maybe I should just slap it on?

This process sometimes lasts a couple of hours before I manage to drift off, and I am often keeping hubby awake too with all my tossing and turning, trying to get comfy, and all the palava of getting in and out of bed to go to the loo.

So I am generally a bit tired, sore and mardy at the mo, and spending a lot of time sitting and lying on heat packs. I have physio this afternoon which on the best of days is a seriously painful 30 mins of her digging her elbows into my back and bum muscles to stop the spasms. I am not exactly looking forward to the pain today but it is a case of no pain no gain and I am just really hoping that it helps take the daily discomfort down a notch or two!

I am struggling with clothes at the moment too as my summer maternity clothes are getting small and uncomfortable. There was a lovely week or so when the weather was cooler and I could wear some of the bigger maternity clothes, but now the sun has come back out again! I am probably about the only person in the country longing for cooler weather, but I am not buying bigger summer wear at this point, and am sweltering in my warmer clothes!

Apologies again for all the moaning, I just needed a bit of a vent. Looking on all the bright sides, hopefully physio this afternoon, and my aquanatal yoga tonight will mean I get a better night’s sleep tonight and feel a bit more cheerful tomorrow. Monkey is being a darling and coping so well with my slow and limited movements, he is just growing up so fast at the moment! Plus if I am right and she is breech, although I won’t get the VBaC I was hoping for, at least we will get a date for the C-Section, and can start counting down the days. It could mean she is here in about 7-8 weeks time. That is exciting and what I am holding on to. I know all of this is worth it to have her here and healthy.

I caught a headline recently about a celeb’s wife who had a stillbirth at 32 weeks’ pregnant and that must just be so devastating. I was then chatting to my lovely midwife yesterday who told me about her stillbirth at 26 weeks (in March this year, bless her, how she copes as a midwife, seeing all us preggos is incredible) and it just doesn’t bear thinking about. Through all my discomfort and moaning I have to remember how lucky I am, and hope beyond hope that nothing goes wrong for the baby as that is the most important thing. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable I am, as long as she gets here safely and healthily. I do feel guilty that Monkey doesn’t have a very active energetic mummy at the moment but it’s only for a short time in the grand scheme of things!

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Bump Update 28 Weeks – Hello 3rd Trimester!

28 weeksToday I am 28 weeks pregnant which means I am now officially into my third trimester! No wonder I have been feeling so tired ;). I can’t believe how much faster this pregnancy is going, she is going to be here before we know it! Yipes!

So what’s been going on? Well I saw the midwife today and my bump is measuring bang on for 28 weeks, so that’s good. I also had my whooping cough vaccination, which is a new thing as I didn’t have it when I was pregnant with Monkey. Unfortunately it seems that whooping cough has come back a bit recently and there have been deaths, so it the vaccination is now offered to all pregnant women when they are 28 weeks +pregnant. What I didn’t realise was that they don’t give you the whooping cough on it’s own, but it comes with Diphtheria and Tetanus vaccinations in the same jab.

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12 Things all Pregnant Women should know

There’s no denying pregnancy is pretty magical, it’s really quite incredible when you think about the fact that you are growing a tiny human being inside your body. Nature is pretty marvellous. But, well, despite what the media likes to portray of pregnancy, being pregnant doesn’t always feel that magical. Most media images of pregnant women show glowing skin, radiant complexions and a lot of the less fun aspects of pregnancy are very much glossed over.

12 Things all Pregnant Women should know

This post will highlight some of those less enjoyable aspects – not because I want to scare anyone or put you off being pregnant. It is magical feeling those kicks and the symptoms really are different for everyone. But I just want to get this post out there for any mummies to be who are feeling less than yummy. Know that you are not alone, and what you are going through is perfectly normal.

Because, for some of us, pregnancy isn’t exactly a bed of roses.

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Clumsy Pregnant Lady!

Yep, this week, the word that best sums up my week, is Clumsy.

The week actually started off pretty well, we headed home from holiday and were feeling refreshed and invigorated. I have definitely had more energy this week which I am really enjoying! The only blight on the early part of the week was a lingering headache that turned out to be a sinus infection (joy!) so I have been on antibiotics since Monday.

Anyway, we had a lovely weekend, and did lots of things in the garden (more to come on that in a later post ;)). We had a lovely roast dinner on Sunday with hubby’s parents and then Monkey very much enjoyed spending time with his other grandparents on Monday.

Then the clumsiness hit.

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Poorliness in Pregnancy

Sadly the bank holiday weekend just gone has not been a very fun one for us! It’s a tale of two halves so I will start, surprisingly enough, at the beginning, and then the rest will follow in a subsequent post.

Being ill is never fun at the best of times, but I have to say, being ill when you are pregnant seems doubly bad. For a start, you can hardly take any medication when you are pregnant. The only painkiller you’re really allowed is paracetamol, and I can’t be the only person who finds that paracetamol has a limited effect on a stonking headache or if you feel really rough or in pain. It may take the edge off a fever but behind that, it almost feels pointless to me to take it. Everyone is different though, I know.

If you have a cold, you can’t take any decongestants, so that is most cold remedies out of the window, and with nearly everything else you are told to check with your doctor, who invariably recommends you not to take anything if you can avoid it (obviously with exceptions). I understand why, after all, no-one, and I mean NO-ONE wants to test drugs out on pregnant women to see what effects they have on your baby. Understandably no pregnant woman would want that either, but it is really difficult when you are feeling rough and pregnant, and there is basically nothing you can do about it.

The main reason it is harder to be ill when you are pregnant though, is the obvious fact that you are sustaining the life of a growing human being inside you. So while with any illness at any time, you may feel weak or drained, when you are pregnant, this is compounded, as the baby still needs to take all the nutrients they can from you, leaving you with even less. Add to that the dreaded hormones which can make you react to things much worse than normal anyway, as I discovered this weekend…

Friday had been a lovely happy day, in the afternoon my little bro came round to play with Monkey as he does every other Friday after work. I was feeling really tired at this point and a tiny bit nauseous, but, honestly, that’s nothing new with this pregnancy. The 4.30-6pm time is generally a bit rough for me at the moment and I am quite often tired, woozy and occasionally a bit nauseous so I didn’t think too much of it. After my little bro went home I asked hubby to see if he could get out of work a little early as I was really struggling with the thought of cooking the tea. Again, not hugely out of the ordinary as the previous time I had cooked meatballs, I had felt a bit sick, so I assumed it was just all part of the pregnancy fun.

But, well, to cut a long story short, it wasn’t. I started throwing up a couple of hours later. I have suffered in the past (pre- being pregnant with Monkey even, and during my last pregnancy) with acid reflux, which when really bad made me very sick, so initially I thought it may be something like that. Then it got really bad and I was throwing up any tiny sip of water and even if I had nothing the throwing up was approx. every 20-30 mins apart. Then the diarrhea started and by now I knew something was actually wrong. Tummy bug, bad food, no idea, but not just normal.

The next morning we thought I was a bit better and I tried some food. Soon enough though the vomiting started again and as I had nothing left in my system I started vomiting bile, first yellow, then a horrible dark green colour, which smelt bad! Really really sorry if that is too much information, that is the worst I will tell you.

I have had food poisoning once before (many years ago travelling alone in a hostel in Peru, it was not fun) and I know that these things will generally sort themselves out. But there is a big difference in that right now I am pregnant. We are told to not eat certain things as certain bugs can be dangerous for the baby. I have no idea what bug I had but all I did know was that by now I was seriously dehydrated and knew that again that couldn’t be good, but also didn’t really know how/if/when it would be a problem for the baby.

So I called the NHS 111 line and spoke to an out of hours GP, and got an appt with them at the out of hours centre. The Dr I saw was concerned by how dehydrated I was and with the frequency of the vomiting and was worried that if he gave me any anti-sickness medication then it would basically come back up again. The alternative option was a trip to hospital. He called them and they wanted me to go in, potentially to stay overnight.

I was sent to triage on the delivery unit as by now it was Saturday evening, and after being assessed by midwives and a doctor (and listening to my baby’s heartbeat, which was a huge relief!) we were asked what we wanted to do. I could have stayed overnight to be rehydrated and receive anti-sickness medication, or I could get an anti-sickness jab and rush through some fluids to hopefully break the cycle so I could go home. I’d always rather be at home in my own bed so we chose the latter. The important thing really was knowing that the baby was fine and wasn’t going to be harmed by my being ill.

We had a good chat with the midwife who told us that basically if anything, being pregnant just made me feel worse. She said the hormones would probably have made the vomiting worse in the first place, and then because the baby is still getting everything he/she needs, I was being left with even less sustenance to keep myself going. Not very fun but at least the baby wasn’t suffering at all as a result of it.

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I had a really painful injection in my bum (never realised how painful jabs into that muscle are before) and a lovely cannula on my wrist for the IV and then started receiving the fluids, which made me freezing cold! Particularly in my arm, brrr! Hubby was with me (grandparents looking after Monkey in bed at home by now) and we took the opportunity to talk babies’ names. It was really odd being on the delivery unit as women were coming in with their contractions, we could hear the midwife on the phone reassuring expectant mums, and every now and then we would hear the cry of a newborn. Really quite surreal being there, when I barely even have much of a bump!

Thankfully after a couple of hours, when the bag was empty, I was feeling a lot better, and though I was still dehydrated, I hadn’t thrown up in all that time and had a bit more colour in my cheeks. I was again given the option of staying overnight but wanted to come home and so far I have been a lot better since. It’s taken a couple of days of not really eating very much so I am still really tired and drained. Sitting writing this I don’t feel too bad but I know when I get up to do something I get tired really quickly.

Unfortunately though, the drama of the weekend was not quite over….. to be continued...

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Feeling Hormonal – 15 weeks pregnant

Hormones are to blame for so many things. Even when you’re not pregnant they affect your mood (particularly at certain times of the month). But when you are pregnant, quite frankly they rule the roost. Hormones are to blame for many of the delightful pregnancy symptoms. From the obvious, and understandable, loosening of joints to make room for the baby, to the less understandable or reasonable symptoms, such as more spots on your face (why, anybody?) or my current favourite which is the permanently bunged nose feeling and frequent mini nosebleeds. I know it’s all to do with blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the baby, but honestly, it’s driving me a bit bonkers!

These are of course by no means the worst of it though, as the worst thing about hormones has got to be the way that they affect your mood. The way they can turn you from a perfectly rational human being, into some kind of crazy person who flies off the handle one second, laughs hysterically the next and then starts bawling for basically no reason. All the while the tiny rational voice in your brain is aware of what is happening and how bonkers you look and sound, but is absolutely powerless to stop it.

Hormones are massively affecting me at the moment. I know I am in my 2nd trimester now and by all accounts things should  be getting easier, and in many ways they are, but the hormones look likely to be my companions for at least a little longer. I have spent so much time lately feeling really down and miserable that I actually started to worry if I had ante-natal depression. I would wake up in the morning with a dark cloud over me that would be there all day.

I have been irritable, downright exhausted and crying for literally completely unknown reasons. There have been days that I have just wanted to curl up in a ball and hide from the world. A friend I saw last week even asked me if I was ok, with a genuine note of concern as she said I really hadn’t seemed like myself for a while. And I haven’t. EVen having a conversation with a friend has felt like a bit too much effort at times, and in many ways I haven’t known what to say, as I don’t want to be moaning, particularly when I don’t really have anything to moan about!

Because, why I have I been feeling like this? I literally don’t know! I am not unhappy about having another baby. Our little Monkey is being a real cutie pie, hubby is being lovely, as are friends and family. The house is a bit more untidy lately as I don’t have the energy to keep on top of it, but that’s not enough to induce this much misery. So I was starting to get concerned about it myself. Then something happened to remind me that I am just being ruled by my hormones.

I woke up this morning feeling fine. Better than fine in fact, I actually feel pretty chipper! This is particularly odd today in that today is normally a day that would have me feeling a bit low, even without the pregnancy. Because

a) Monkey woke up with a cold so is a bit cranky and not quite himself

b) My friend had to cancel our plans today for a Drs appt. Not that I would be mad or upset with her, it’s far more important than our play date at the park! But cancelled plans and a day with not much planned has, in the past, been known to make me a bit moody! Monkey is older so it’s not as bad as it used, to be, and it’s a gorgeous day so we can play in the garden, but still this would ordinarily invoke some negativity from me!

c) Hubby is out tonight. The whole night. He is going out straight from work and won’t be back till late. So no help at teatime, bedtime, anything.

In particular c combined with a, should be enough to reduce me to misery, let alone when combined with b, meaning that it is just Monkey and I for basically 24 hours!  So why not today? Why after feeling so miserable for so long, does a day that on average is worse than others, actually feel much better, much happier? Oh, who knows! I can only assume the hormones are well and truly in charge!

Hopefully this happier phase will last longer than today, and who knows, maybe it will last for at least the rest of the trimester?? For a control freak like me, accepting that I am not running the show, even in my own brain, is pretty frustrating! So, much as I am happy to be pregnant and having another baby, I will very much look forward to the day when I am no longer pregnant, and that hormones only take over my brain once a month, rather than being my constant companion!

Did you feel hormonal when you were pregnant? Did it drive you completely and utterly bonkers?

My word of the week this week is Hormonal :)

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