It feels a little like I’m bombarding the blog with entries this weekend but I thought I had more time to write and share these final pregnancy posts but things have been taken out of my hands so I’m cramming them all in because I want to have these entries to look back on when I’ve forgotten all about being pregnant and am caught up in the realities of being a mum of two.
As many of you will know, our planned section has been brought forward which means this pregnancy is coming to an end a little earlier than I thought; I’ve been sharing updates over the weeks but I thought I would pull it all together in one final pregnancy post to highlight how it’s been this time around…
This has been very different this time around; I had almost no symptoms with Amelia and should have known I wouldn’t get off so lightly the second time.
I spent the first 14 weeks feeling very sick but never actually being sick. I had almost no appetite and actually lost weight during the first trimester (unheard of for me) and have never felt so tired in all my life.
Early pregnancy with a toddler and a full time job is HARD! I was exhausted all of the time but couldn’t just switch off when I got home and go to bed, I had to look after Amelia in the evenings and keep her routine as normal as possible which really took it’s toll.
Once the exhaustion and nausea passed I perked up for a couple of weeks but it didn’t last long, my bump was massive right from the start and it made everything so uncomfortable and hard work. Walking up stairs was a mission, carrying Amelia was a killer on my bump and my back and I just generally found it very difficult to do simple things like pick up toys and tidy the house or get down on the floor to play with her.
I’ve also had a lot of illnesses this time around, maybe that is from being run down with another child to look after or maybe it’s because this pregnancy has been mostly over autumn and winter. I don’t know what it was but I feel like I’ve been ill for more time than I’ve felt well. I’ve had cold after cold, headaches and trapped sciatic nerves, a sinus infection to finish me off over Christmas and most of January so to say I’m very much done with being pregnant and unable to take medication is a bit of an understatement.
This is a bit of a touchy subject; some people will say ‘don’t worry about it, you’re growing a baby just enjoy it’ and I almost agree (mainly because I love food and it’s a great excuse) but on the other hand I treated my first pregnancy like that and I gained 38lbs. I added to that whilst on maternity leave and managed to only ever really lose about a stone and half since Amelia was born in 2016.
I told myself that this time around I wouldn’t make the same bad choices or the same mistakes and I’ve more or less followed my own advice.
It was easier during the first trimester when I felt so unwell I barely wanted to eat anything anyway but once I started to feel better I had to keep reminding myself not to over do it and end up regretting it again.
I’ve weighed myself at fairly regular intervals, not every single week but maybe once every 2 weeks just to keep a track of things. I weighed in this morning; this will be the last time now before baby is born and I’m happy with where I am.
I’ve gained exactly 28lbs (2 stone) which is within the recommended weight gain bracket and also 10lbs less than I had gained by the same time with Amelia as she was also born early and I didn’t make it to 40 weeks with her either. I feel like a gain of 2 stone is perfectly acceptable for a full term pregnancy and I’m so proud of myself for not getting carried away and for learning from my experiences last time.
Although my symptoms above might lead you to think there hasn’t been much good there definitely has. I’ve enjoyed this pregnancy it’s just been harder and more complicated than the first time.
I’ve had so much more feeling and movements from this baby than I did with Amelia. I don’t know if that is because my placenta is in a different spot (still anterior but maybe just in a different place) and it’s meant I could feel more, maybe this baby is going to be bigger and so she’s stronger or maybe she’s more active and is already fighting for attention.
She never seems to sleep during the day, kicking and rolling around all day long. It’s quite distracting sometimes actually, when I’m trying to concentrate at work and she just won’t leave my bladder alone but I’ve loved feeling every movement and my husband has been able to feel her more than he could with Amelia which has been amazing for him too.
I’ve also loved how Amelia has taken to the concept of a baby and a sister; she’s always telling me there is a baby in my tummy and she touches my bump and says ‘my sister’. Every morning she wants to rub her moisturiser onto my tummy and rub it in which I appreciate as I’m sure it’s helped to keep some of the stretch marks under control with this massive bump.
It’s also been so lovely having other mummy friends during pregnancy this time around. Last time I didn’t really meet anyone until I was on mat leave and Amelia was already born but I’ve still got friends I met last time and have made some new ones over the last couple of months and it’s been so lovely to talk about all things pregnancy and get tips and advice about how to cope when there are two kiddos to look after.
Some of my best friends are also having babies this year too, one baby is here already, another due in March, another in June and another in July and it makes me so excited that we’re all going to have babies of a similar age, that we’re all going through it together and can support each other and that we’ll all be able to hang out together on mat leave over the summer months. It doesn’t really get any better than sharing motherhood with friends.
I’ve mentioned this in the symptoms but I think the hardest thing about this pregnancy has been how poorly I’ve felt. It’s been a never ending series of colds, coughs, migraines, trapped sciatic nerves and a sinus infection that hit me on Christmas Day and lasted until mid January when my GP finally agreed I needed pregnancy safe antibiotics.
It’s been so difficult trying to look after Amelia, go to work full time and deal with being constantly unwell; I know that probably makes me sound like a right moaning Moira but it’s sucked. Not being able to take medicine to help is rubbish and there really is only so much basic paracetamol and honey & lemon can do.
My trapped sciatic nerve was a hellish couple of days of not being able to move but since it released itself I’ve actually had no more pain from the sciatica I’ve suffered with for 5 years and have finally been able to sleep comfortably on my left hand side which is definitely good for baby so that’s a positive.
Some elements of this pregnancy have just been rubbish, more rubbish than just being unwell and tired. It started at our 12 week scan when we were told we were at high risk of Down Syndrome and we opted for the very expensive Harmony test to give us a definitive answer about baby’s health.
It was the most stressful time; after a traumatic visit to the clinic for the blood tests we had to wait a whole week for the results. A week doesn’t sound like much but when you don’t know if your baby is going to be healthy it is the longest time ever.
We were so relieved when the results came back clear and we were assured that everything was just fine with baby. We also found out at that time that we were expecting another little girl. We were only 14 weeks when we found out her gender and it felt so early to know but it was amazing at the same time.
Our troubles weren’t over though and we had further bad news at an ultrasound scan at 34 weeks when we found a cyst in baby’s tummy. I’ve talked a lot about this in another post recently (read it here) so I won’t go into it all again other than to say it’s so worrying and stressful when doctors tell you there is something wrong with your baby. We had a few appointments over the last few weeks and the doctors are confident that it won’t be a major issue once she’s born but we won’t know for sure until she’s here and can be looked at by the paediatricians.
Pregnancy is tough, I think everyone will agree with that. It’s a different experience for everyone and I know there are women who will had had a much harder time of it than I have but I can definitely say that this time around has been very different to the first.
I’ve enjoyed it on the whole; of course I would have liked to not to have the Downs Syndrome scare and the complications with her health that we still need to deal with but I hope when I look back on this pregnancy in a few months I will remember feeling all those amazing little kicks, watching Amelia learn what it means to have a sister on the way and see her getting excited about it. I hope I will remember the excitement I felt when I found out we were having another little girl and how amazing it was to create a new shared bedroom for our girls that they will enjoy together for a few years to come.
For these last few days, I’m cherishing the little kicks with baby still tucked up safely in my tummy. I’m enjoying spending time with Amelia and doing all the little things she loves that I won’t be able to do for a few weeks once I have my surgery. I’m making sure the house is ready for baby’s arrival although I don’t think you ever feel completely ready do you.
Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with me over the course of this pregnancy. I’ve had so many wonderful messages of support and advice over the months and made some new friends too.
Thank you for following along with my journey on Instagram and here on the blog; I promise to keep you all updated when baby arrives and I can’t wait to share the next part of our family adventure with you.