Take Two: Week 32

Well this isn’t going to be the 32 week round-up that I was expecting, mostly because last Monday at 32+2 I ended up taking residence in hospital and it looks like I’ll be here until baby arrives. I debated just not mentioning it on here, but it’d pretty hard to do a weekly update without doing so – I thought I might get away with it for a week but five weeks is pushing it a little. It was actually Dylan who persuaded me to include the fact I was here (I didn’t know if it was a little attention-seeky like those people who post pictures of themselves with a cannula in or tag themselves at the hospital and then go through the whole ‘are you okay hun?’ ‘I’ll inbox you’ comments saga). He said actually the fact I’m a ‘high risk’ and have ended up here is what makes my pregnancy different and surely that should be included on the blog.

Anyway, I’m here. No great panics, I just had some short-lived symptoms like slightly elevated blood pressure. Everything has been utterly stable for the past week but so far the doctors have wanted to keep me here just in case anything creeps back up. Baby is absolutely fine, moving and growing well – there are no concerns for him which is fabulous.

I’m on the antenatal ward which means while there are some women here just for monitoring like me, a lot are here for induction. I’ve heard more contractions in the last week than I ever wanted to, I’ve heard a woman give birth in half an hour (from first contraction to baby arriving), I’ve also heard a woman who showed off an interesting range of farmyard noises for an entire night. Before I was moved into a side room by myself, I discovered how loud a pregnant woman could snore and then didn’t get much sleep the night after worrying if I was snoring.

I spent far too much time wondering what the ‘PET Centre’ was across the road before I googled it and found out it was sadly just a type of scan and did not involve puppies and kittens. I’ve secretly enjoyed being one of the least heavily pregnant patients which means I get to the food quickest when it’s served, and then wondered why the hell I bothered when I’ve had to choose between Unidentifiable Mush 1 or Unidentifiable Mush 2.

I’ve felt like I’m on a holiday somewhere really hot as they insist on having the heating full blast (they can’t even control it on the ward for some bizarre reason) so it’s windows open and fan on 24/7. I’ve laughed at the fact I’m allowed to walk over to the hospital over the road to go to the café there but they want me to take a taxi over to the same hospital for my appointment there tomorrow?! (I can actually see the entrance from my window it’s so close!).

It goes without saying that I am extremely fed up in here, missing Alexandra and Dylan like crazy and just wanting to be at home for the last few weeks of this pregnancy. There’s been a whole lot of feelings going on, too many to throw at a blog post. But baby is well, Dylan is doing a fab job of keeping Alex’s routine going with the help of family and friends, everything is very stable at the moment. So we just have to keep going day by day and accept that we knew this pregnancy would throw some crap at us at some point and we were probably lucky to get away with it for 32 weeks!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: Week 31

The bump featuring my nephew Zachary

Week 31 was fairly uneventful – although it’s getting to the point now where we’re on super alert in case something happens! The plan is still to get to 37 weeks although we know there’s a chance of induction before then. So it’s one day at a time at the moment.

I’ve been busy working a lot this week. I’m very lucky in that being a freelancer I can pick and choose what I do, but it also means some weeks are busier than others. It’s been a very welcome distraction from the worry of what’s to come! I’m intending to work right up until 36 weeks then having a week off before Baby 2 arrives, but that’s obviously subject to him staying put til then.

Symptoms wise I’m still getting away fairly lightly, and haven’t experienced any of the third trimester sickness (yet) that I had last time. I am super hungry all the time and eating enough for about 57 people, obviously tired and my back is achey but I’ve been very lucky symptoms wise this time. Although, you know, the whole ‘super high risk’ thing isn’t the best so don’t feel too envious of me!

I haven’t actually been to the hospital this week so a midwife appointment was the only thing on the calendar – all was fine there. Knowing we’re only five weeks away now we’ve reached 32 weeks seems very surreal – at this point last time I thought I had ten weeks because I was so sure I’d go overdue. I keep looking at Alexandra thinking she’s only got a very short time left as the baby! So many emotions about that, although she loves babies so much I’m hoping she’ll take to him pretty quickly. Or at least not strangle him.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: Week 29

Alex has been spending a lot of time practising how to look after a baby. It’s going well…

So here we are, into week 30 and reflecting back on week 29. Less than seven weeks left now til induction. I’ve just quickly read back by week 29 post from my pregnancy with Alexandra (you can read it here if you like) and the summary was the morning sickness was back, I was really tired and it was my birthday that week.

Well I’m happy to report that I’m not feeling sick at all this time round in the third trimester (so far) and clearly, it wasn’t my birthday this week! As for tiredness, I don’t think I’m as bad as I was last time – then I was getting up mid morning, needing a nap in the afternoon and feeling wiped in the evenings. Now Alex, working and various other commitments just don’t allow for that. It is getting more of a struggle to go out and do things, and I’m definitely starting to notice the bump slowing me down a bit now. But by and large we’ve been continuing life as normal here at the EE house.

My last lot of blood results have come back within normal range which is obviously great and there’s no concerns at the moment about myself or baby. He’s very active, a lot more so than I remember Alexandra being, and his little kicks and rolls are now becoming really obvious both on the outside and the inside. Alex was head down, ready to exit for basically the entire time but this one is in a different position every time I get measured.

We think we’ve finalised his name. For a long time we were scouring through boys’ names trying to find ones we both loved. Eventually we settled back on the name we would have used for Alexandra had she been a boy, but were looking for a longer version of it (so he would have a long name on his birth certificate and use either that or the nickname day to day, like we do with Alexandra/Alex) and we weren’t really set on any of them. So we think we’re just going to use the short one as it’s a name in itself and we don’t see the point of giving him a full name he never uses.

Nothing else to report at this stage, which is always reassuring!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

 

Take Two: Second Trimester Part Two

A growth scan at 26+6 showed Baby 2 flexing his guns!

Saturday marked a key point in my pregnancy: 28 weeks which is the start of the third (and final!) trimester. Although it feels like a significant date nothing actually happens – baby is still growing at the same rate and doesn’t magically have a spurt or start doing something fancy in there to celebrate. But still, the third trimester is when all the action happens ie getting the baby out at the end. If you’d like to read my Second Trimester round-up from my first pregnancy, you can do so here or you can read my summary of weeks 14-21 of this pregnancy here.

So how’s it been? Well, right now my main complaint is that the bottom of my back is absolute agony! I can rarely get into a comfortable position and when I do, manoeuvring myself out of it is just ridiculous. I remember my back aching when I was pregnant with Alexandra but I don’t think it was this bad – it’s probably not helping that I’m hefting a toddler in and out of her cot, in and out of the car and up and down from the table all day. I’m just counting down the days until such a time when I can actually do any of that without doing lots of swear words very loudly in my head.

I’m definitely feeling tired but as I mentioned in my previous update post, that’s fairly normal anyway with a toddler on the go all the time! If you compare it with Alex’s pregnancy too where I wasn’t getting up til late, then having a couple of hours’ nap in the afternoon then going to bed early, I’m doing pretty well.

I feel like we’re just in limbo now, we know 37 weeks is the end goal but every week we could be in a position where we need to get the baby out now. In a lot of ways I feel wholly unprepared for Baby 2’s arrival – like how the hell do you look after two small people at the same time? I took Alexandra and my nephew Zachary out for an hour on my own the other day and managed it fine although it takes SO long transferring two kids and their paraphernalia into a pushchair! But doing it full time? Help!

We’ve got most of the items you need for a baby like clothing, nappies etc and we’re picking up the car seat this week but I still have to finish my hospital bag and make sure all the plans are in place for Alex’s care while I’m in hospital.

As I did the first time round, I’ll probably update every week now until I have baby – which could be eight updates or could be a case of telling you next week that there’s a new arrival in town. Gulp.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Your Second Pregnancy

So you get pregnant for the first time, it’s great, you spend hours languishing in the bath, you sleep in, you spend most of the time eating and eating and eating, you wander in and out of the nursery just to touch their tiny little baby clothes, you spend hours in that middle part where you can feel the baby kick but no one else can getting your other half to put their hand on your belly ‘that was a kick’ ‘I didn’t feel anything’ ‘that was definitely one’ *repeat a trillion times*. That was my experience anyway. As a mother of a bump, you have all the time in the world to revel in your pregnancy, to wallow in sorrow or immerse yourself in the joy of it all. Your focus is the baby, a lot of conversation revolves around the baby, you probably have one of those little chalk boards to count down the days.

I’m heavily editing out all the time you spend rearranging pillows – at least 50 per cent of your pregnancy, and moaning about various aches and pains – probably another 40 per cent, with baths taking up 9.9 per cent of the remaining time. I also didn’t have a stereotypical pregnancy in that I wasn’t working from 12 weeks onwards so there was a lot of extra time for baths.

Now, roll on to your second pregnancy. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’m positive this child is trying to claw his way out through my spine currently (I’m now at the stage where every moment has to be accompanied by a dramatic sound akin to the sound I imagine a pensioner would make if they ever had to run for the bus) I would barely notice I’m pregnant. I mean yes, I attend more than my fair share of hospital appointments and I have to pee A LOT all night. But gone are the wistful days of standing in the nursery looking at all the baby’s stuff – I sorted out Baby 2’s wardrobe as quickly as possible while Alexandra threw coat hangers everywhere (incidentally, is it just my child who goes gaga for a coat hanger?). Gone are the two-hour baths, instead I try and manage a half an hour one a couple of times a week.

I spend more time than I’d like to on the floor picking up toys (and all 300 of the balls from the ball pit which regularly gets tipped up, because it’s a HILARIOUS game!), lugging a toddler in and out of the car or up and down the stairs when she’s having a grump or we’re in a rush, oh and did I mention picking stuff up?

All in all, it’s crazy how different the two pregnancies have been. In some ways, I’m slightly envious of my first pregnancy self, who was just completely selfish for nine months, but in other ways being so occupied with a toddler is probably helping this pregnancy go much quicker!

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: Second Trimester Part One

21 weeks pregnant with baby two.

If you’ve not yet read my Take Two: First Trimester post then you can find it here or if you want to read my summary at this point in my pregnancy with Alexandra, then click here.

I’m now a couple of weeks further on but when we actually announced our pregnancy online, I was 21 weeks which marks the halfway stage of the second trimester and the point where, even if you were to go overdue, you’d be halfway through the whole pregnancy. Being as we’re going to be delivered at 37 weeks if not before (post coming up soon on the medical side of things), we’re already past that point which is nice.

The second trimester has been fairly good for me, as had the first if you read that update. I haven’t had any sickness or nausea and I’ve been able to pretty much carry on doing all the things I was doing before in my normal day to day life. This is a huge relief as, although lots of women have it much worse than me, I was particularly exhausted throughout the whole pregnancy with Alexandra (we didn’t know then but my illness was working its magic on me!) so I think myself and Dylan were both concerned this one would be even harder with the added complications of a toddler to look after.

Yes I do feel tired, but I do anyway! And show me the mother of a toddler who feels perky and bright all the time! I’ve also been struggling a lot with my lower back/hips, more towards the end of the day if I’ve been doing lots of jobs or walking. Years of bad posture and spending a lot of time haunched in front of a computer has meant my back isn’t great even when I’m not pregnant, and having babies who like to sit as low in my belly as possible the whole time adds to it! But having had a few days with Alex where she’d lodged her bum in my ribs and I could barely breath, I would much rather them be low than high!

I’ve definitely been feeling very emotional and have had a few moments where I’ve had a small meltdown at the enormity of what we’re going through. But they’ve been few and far between and I think I’d be entirely subnormal if I didn’t have those times – most of the time I’m carrying on being upbeat and positive, every day we get through is a day closer to 24 weeks and viability, and every day after that is a day our little boy has got bigger and stronger ready for delivery whenever that needs to happen.

We hit 28 weeks and the third trimester on Saturday, February 4, so I’ll be back to provide an update around then but of course will be posting in between.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Great Things About Being Pregnant

Exploring Wales

I feel like when I was pregnant with Alex, I focused a lot on the negatives. Mainly because I was fat and tired and grumpy. This time round I’m trying to embrace it a little more, although still ticking all three of those boxes. So I decided to list some of the good things about pregnancy:

FOOD. I don’t care that you’re not meant to eat any extra calories til the third trimester. I don’t care if there’s probably some study showing your kid will get better GCSE grades if you eat a diet of lettuce and grapes. I will spend the next nine months gleefully eating anything and everything that takes my fancy. I will without any regret send Dylan out to the shop for food when I want something we don’t have in (although I’m always very thankful!). I will not care about the scales one jot while I grow a child.

TOP TRUMPS. Nope I’m not talking about wind, I’m talking about the fact ‘because I’m growing a whole human inside me’ is enough to win any argument. It’s a valid reason why you should get the last cake or be excused from doing anything boring and/or tiring. Try as they might, your partner will never be able to better ‘but I’m carrying around your child for nine months AND THEN pushing it out my hoo ha’.

KICKS. There aren’t many times when I appreciate being kicked but being pregnant is one of them. I’m not gonna get all slushy here but there’s something a little bit magical about being the only other person in the world who knows when your baby’s moving around. It’s an incredible bond to have with another human.

HUSBAND. I like to think I appreciate Dylan and all he does for us most days but I think when you’re pregnant and you need a little extra help or perhaps a back rub or just someone who understands that you’ve gone absolutely mental because hormones and just lets you cry for utterly no reason and doesn’t back out of the room and/or leave you, that’s when you most appreciate that you live with someone utterly lovely.

SEATING. People always let you sit down when you’re pregnant. If they don’t then you need to get some new friends.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x

Take Two: The First Trimester

I’m writing this at the start of November at 14+6 so almost a week into my second trimester, but due to ‘announcement’ timings will be a few weeks further on before it gets published, just to clear up any confusion if I’m referring to being further along in other posts.

Back in April 2015, I wrote a blog about how I’d found the first trimester of my pregnancy with Alexandra (you can read it here). In it, I spoke a lot about tiredness and sickness and I sound generally like a very grumpy pregnancy lady (I was about 18 weeks when I wrote it). So when it comes to an update about this pregnancy and how the first trimester has been, it’s refreshing to be able to confirm it’s completely different!

We found out at five weeks, around the same time as we confirmed we were pregnant with Alex and, as before, I started feeling quite sick around that time (including a few actual vomit episodes. If you’ve ever been crouched over a toilet bowl chucking your guts up with a toddler stood next to you crying then I feel your pain!). I thought here we go again! But actually about a week later I stopped feeling sick and I’ve barely vommed since. Hurrah!

Food wise I haven’t had weird aversions like last time. Mostly with Alex I was disappointed I suddenly hated the thought of Diet Coke despite drinking it religiously beforehand. I’ve never actually gone back to drinking it so we don’t have that to contend with now.

I am always tired of course, but show me a toddler mom who isn’t! Luckily I’ve definitely got more energy than last time round. I don’t know whether it’s a baby gender thing, just because it’s a different pregnancy, because I’m on meds this time, or just because life decided I didn’t need two shitty first trimesters, but whatever it is I’m full of gratitude.

Obviously the first 14 weeks were a little more medicalised than last time. With Alexandra by this point I’d had one booking in appointment and one scan, with baby two I’ve had three scans, two booking in appointments, two haematology appointments, one cardiology appointment, one echocardiogram, one ECG, one rheumatology and obstetrics appointment and about ten blood tests. And this list is set to increase weekly during the second trimester. But clearly for good reasons.

 There’s not a whole lot else to report but I’ll definitely update at some point during the second trimester.

Harriet, Alexandra and bump x