When I set about recording this pregnancy, I promised myself (and you!) that I would be 100% totally honest about how I was finding things. Sure I’d always pictured pregnancy for me as this wonderfully enlightening journey where despite the early symptoms of morning sickness and a little tiredness and the aches and niggles of the last few weeks, I’d breeze through with a beautiful glow and enjoy every single last part of growing a baby. While having this little one growing in my tummy is amazing and inspiring and probably the best and most exciting feeling in the world, pregnancy has been far from the carefree experience I had always hoped for. Today I turn 26 weeks pregnant and I often find myself wondering how on earth I am going to get through and make it in one piece to full term.
Just as I finally begin to relax into pregnancy and get a hint of that ‘glowy’ feeling everyone talks about, we seem to hit a set back. My last two pregnancy updates at 22 weeks & 24 weeks pregnant were so positive, finally the infection had ‘done one’ and the thrush I’d contracted thanks to the antibiotics I’d been prescribed was finally showing some signs of buggering off. I saw my midwife last Tuesday and I followed a lady who hadn’t felt her baby move for a couple of days and whose heartbeat our midwife had struggled to find. I sat in the waiting room as the time ticked on, an hour past my appointment time, feeling so so grateful that my little one was happily wriggling around in my tummy. As the worried yet still hopeful Mama-to-be left the surgery on her way to the hospital she came to me and apologised for making me wait. Of course I did not mind, I just hoped and prayed for her baby and for her. My own appointment was straight forward, an obvious relief to my midwife. We chatted about the difficulty of choosing the perfect name while she did the usual checks and laughed as baby kicked her hand off of my tummy when she measured my bump. It was the first midwife appointment that hadn’t been all about the medical fact finding side of things which was such a change from the normal facts and figures.
The last ten days though have seen the return of severe SPD & back pain. Between the Wednesday after my visit to the midwife and Monday just gone, I’d gotten a grand total of seven hours sleep. My back and top of my bottom ached continuously and getting comfortable in any position, laying, standing or sitting, had become impossible and I was slowly losing the ability to compute anything at all. I was running on empty and simply getting by on auto pilot. By Monday morning walking up the hill from the train station to my work, already running late, I found every single step excruciating and literally waddled my way in fighting back the tears. I painted on brave face and got on with my day, ticking off my to do list one by one.
I had an early night in the hope that I’d feel better the next morning surrounded by hot water bottles & my support pillow to ease the pain. About an hour of broken sleep and several hours spent tossing and turning later, it was 2am and I was at the end of my tether. Sitting upright, distracting myself with my twitter feed I found myself thinking “why do people never tell you sleepless nights start BEFORE the baby arrives?”. And then, without warning it came. Violent sickness, every twenty minutes for eight hours, once that eased, came diarrhea, and then back to sickness. Thank God for my Mum & sister being on hand and living just around the corner. Once Sean had gone to work, they arrived and cleaned my house from top to bottom, moving me from my bed to the bath, bath to the sofa and holding my hair back when the need arose. Food and drink were out of the question.
By Thursday, I was exhausted, in pain and weak and it was time to visit my GP to see if there was anything he could do to ease the SPD & back ache. I’d take the bug over and over if I could just get comfortable enough to sleep in between! He confirmed he thought that the bug was NoroVirus and told me try & stay as hydrated as I could and rest for a couple of days. As for my back, severe SPD and possible Sciatica. He has referred me to a physiotherapist and is trying to rush the application through so I get some use of it before baby arrives. In the mean time Sean has booked me in for private physiotherapy too.
I spent Friday & yesterday resting and building back my strength and appetite before I return to work this morning for my first Sunday shift in FOREVER. I absolutely HATE being off sick from work, hate it and this week I missed three whole days. It’s made me wonder if I’ve made a mistake by shortening the amount of leave I plan to take before my due date in case I end up being off again despite the fact I’m still taking 2 weeks annual leave and 2 weeks maternity. From general consensus on twitter, that seems like I’m going quite early, but the lovely ladies in the Flutters to Footsteps community have been super supportive. We’ll have to see how we go.
I have pretty much whinged and whined the whole way through this update, but as the title of this post suggests, we can’t all be Beyonce and look gorgeous and glam balanced on the roof of a car, bump-a-glowing and getting ready to take on a music tour the whole way through our pregnancy. Some of us are just about making it through each day in one piece, bags under our eyes and counting down the hours until it’s one less day ’til due date.
Anyway, moan over. Facts and figures time…
Bump, not surprisingly looks and feels a little smaller this week after everything but baby evacuated the area! Baby is now 35.5cm long which is about the length of a spring onion or red cabbage. Her movements are getting so much stronger and I’m certain I’ve spotted an elbow or a knee poke out of my tummy a couple of times. Her eyes are starting to open, and she is becoming receptive to certain noises from out here in the real world. I’m going to start playing music a little more around the house so she can hear and see if she responds through movement and have put some books aside to read out loud when it’s just us at home.
Little girl in there, I love so very much and I am sorry Mummy is struggling so much while you grow. I promise that no amount of illness or sleep deprivation or anything else could make me love you any less and I will continue to willingly be your home until you’re ready to meet us this side. I’m counting down the days.