This pregnancy was going to be different to my last. My last was such a nice pregnancy but there was a lot I wanted to do, which for one reason or another, I didn’t.
So this time round, I was going to do those things. I was going to go to yoga every week from the recommended week; I was going to practice hypnobirthing properly, rather than just reading about calm birth practices; I was going to get lots of rest; I was going to be prepared; I was going to be relaxed and I was going to go into labor spontaneously.
What I didn’t really account for is how little time I would have on my hands for the above. I am a full time working Mam, I have a 2 year old so when I’m not at work, I am mostly looking after the two year old. When I was pregnant the first time, when I would finish work, make the tea and tidy up or do a little housework, and I would then get to sit down for the evening and just do whatever I wanted. The weekends were mine as well, and when I took maternity leave, I again could just spend it with friends, relax on the couch, I had plenty of time to read and be prepared.
This time, upon finishing work I would pick up the 2 year old from wherever he was – nursery or Grandparents – bring him home and entertain him for a few hours, usually whilst trying to prep for tea or sort some washing, and then the bedtime routine would start. Usually there’s some kind of housework to be done, because the weekends are now filled with trying to do family things with the toddler, and then once he’s in bed, there’s tea to make and eat, writing to be done, housework to be done… etc, etc. That coupled with a few personal things that I won’t be going to into here means that I now find myself at 36 weeks, and feeling like I haven’t accomplished any of the aforementioned.
Because I’ve had little time to rest – and I would just like to point out that I have A LOT of support at home, my husband is a fantastic father and he’s so involved and helpful. I also have support from both of our parents, and our son loves to spend time with them. But unfortunately I’ve had to spend the time that’s been looked after by others, doing housework and other such things.
I had also wanted to blog about my pregnancy, which I didn’t do last time other one re-cap similar to this one which you can read here.
The first twelve weeks were a bit scary, as I had some spotting on and off. I was also exhausted, my appetite was horrific – hello Heinz sandwich spread – and my morning sickness (why is it even called that??) was hard to hide from my co-workers.
My 12 week scan however showed a healthy baby, with a low placenta. The bleeding was likely caused by this and passed not long after. They told me that it would likely shift position and by my 20 week scan it had. Unlike last time, I have a posterior placenta. This has meant that I’ve felt a lot more movement than I did with our son, where I had an anterior placenta. You can learn more about our amazing placentas here.
We had our screening tests, and it was also decided that it would be better if I saw a consultant, just because our first baby who was 9 days late was born weighing 6lb6, the average for full term boy being approximately 7lb8. I wasn’t worried about having had a small baby – he always has been really healthy – and if meant a little extra monitoring, then I’d be quite happy.
Our screening tests all came back fine, but a couple of weeks later (I can’t remember the exact time frame) we got a call on the Friday evening (with our consultant appointment booked in for the following week) from a rather panicked and apologetic midwife advising that I should have been called sooner, but she had realized that some of my test results had “fallen through the net” and I needed to come to the hospital ASAP to see her. Could I come right now? Well it was tea time, and we hadn’t started our bedtime routine but it was quite close so, no I couldn’t come in. What about Saturday morning she asked? Way to freak a pregnant lady out, huh? Saturday morning it was.
It turned out I had tested low for one of the pregnancy hormones, PAPP-A. I was reassured that this was nothing to worry about, but that I would be consultant led for the rest of the pregnancy. From around 28 weeks, I would need to see my midwife every 2 weeks or so, to get my BP checked, and I would have growth scans from 28 weeks on-wards. If the baby wasn’t growing they would look at the possibility of delivery from 33 weeks. However, they hoped that this would be unlikely, and they would do what they could to get me to 38 weeks. They would recommend induction for my due date if I got that far.
Being the anxious person I am put me straight into a panic. The low hormone does put you at risk of some things, but I would try not to worry at every twinge. I was also disappointed that I would be unlikely to go into labor spontaneously, and would unlikely be able to have the birth pool (I was induced with my first born, and was told that even though I had only had the pessary, I still couldn’t have the pool) plus I’ve started to freak out about intervention and not being able to have the calm, empowering birth I would like. My midwife has been very reassuring all the way through, advising me that the rules had changed re birth pools and induction, and that as I had had a fairly easy birth with just the use of two pessary’s, I should hopefully find that this one can be as as straight forward as I wanted it to be. (Read up on my last birth here)
This time we’ve opted not to find out what we are having, but our 20 week scan showed a happy, healthy baby.
At our first growth scan, the baby was happily on the 50th centile. A couple of weeks later, the growth had dropped to just above the 10th centile. The next scheduled scan had been for 36 weeks, but they decided to give me another at 34 weeks just to check that it was continuing to drop, and baby had gone up to the 25th centile.
Our next scan is this coming Friday, so we will see then where we are. The midwife was confident that we should be able to go ahead as planned, and I shouldn’t need any further scans or intervention.
Our next scan is this coming Friday, and we will see then if its stayed on this pattern, or if its changed.
The pregnancy itself in so many ways has been similar to our last in the sense that my “symptoms” (I really dislike that word but I can’t really think of a better one) have been very similar. I’ve felt sickness in a similar sort of way, for a similar length of time; my appetite has come and gone in the same way; and I’ve had reflux to the extreme. I haven’t had many added symptoms, other than the very recent pelvic pain and sore lower back, which has been that bad at times, I even went to the doctor. Oh, and early on my lips would go blue and I would get very cold very easily. All normal pregnancy related issues.
With that in mind, I would say I have felt everything to the extreme. Having a toddler to look after, and working full time, even with the constant support of my husband, has meant I have little time to just relax. I always seem to have one thing or another to occupy my time even after said toddler has gone to bed.
I decided to bring my leave date from work forward by a couple of weeks because of feeling so tired and feeling some pain one day which the midwife decided was likely just muscular pain.
And now I’m just waiting.
This hasn’t been the calm, relaxing pregnancy that I wanted; I didn’t get to yoga as often as I hoped; I won’t get my home birth; I started my hypnobirthing research and reading later than intended; my hospital bag is not packed; we are not prepared for a baby to be in the house again; and I am generally quite panicky about not being prepared.
It’s funny, because even though you are told by others, and you expect your second pregnancy to be tougher, you know it will be harder to get prepared, you still can’t fully imagine how difficult it will be till its actually happening to you.
I am thankful that despite its ups and downs, this has still been a relatively straightforward pregnancy, and from what we can tell so far, this is a happy healthy baby.
I am finding ways to be calmer and with the help of yoga and Hollie De Cruz, I am preparing for what will hopefully be a calm labor. This will most likely be my last blog before the baby is born, and I don’t imagine I will write one for at least a few months. I will try and keep my social media pages up to date, but I think the newsletter that accompanies this blog will also be my last for sometime.
Thank you as always, for reading.