Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks

Week 24 has been all about gestational diabetes for me. I don't have it, or not that I know of anyway, but I had an appointment for the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) coming up so it was on my mind. After having one perfect home birth and one imperfect hospital birth, I'm keen to try and avoid all things medical this time, if I can. 

The only risk factor I have for gestational diabetes is Ember's eye-watering birth weight. Yes, she was massive (the size of a large elephant), but she was also very late (17 days, don't you know). If she'd been born on time (wouldn't that have been nice), she would have been under the weight limit and I wouldn't need the glucose tolerance test at all. It all felt kind of arbitrary, and I've been obsessing over it for weeks.

AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) have a book about gestational diabetes which I was keen to read before making up my mind. I like to research. The lovely doulas from Greater Manchester Doulas very kindly leant me a copy of the book so I could make an informed choice. I found the book really helpful and it gave me the confidence to discuss the test with my midwife at my 24-week appointment. 

By this point, I'd already decided I was probably going to decline the test (unless my wonderful midwife managed to convince me otherwise). From my research, I'd already figured out that a gestational diabetes diagnosis would make everyone panic that was my baby was going to be huge. [Spoiler: it probably is. I think I just make big babies.] I'd then be offered growth scans and possibly an induction, both of which I would refuse, so really, what was the point in the test? 

At my appointment, I mentioned to the midwife that I was thinking of cancelling the test. She smiled wryly like she had perhaps been expecting me to say this. She said that if glucose showed up in my urine test at my appointments then I should have it, and I was happy to agree to that. 

In the meantime, I've decided to eat a low glycemic diet so that even if I did have gestational diabetes (which I don't), my blood sugars would be regulated. So, for the rest of the pregnancy, I'll be eating a vegan low glycemic diet. This means no sugar, no white bread, no pasta, no white rice. Basically, all of the best foods are off-limits. I'm ok with this though. Even on Pancake Day which I truly feel shows my commitment to the cause. 

My 24-week appointment fell in half-term so I took the kids with me. Ember told the midwife all about the giant pond in our garden (it was a lawn, it's now a puddle) and how she'd just finished her last piece of Christmas chocolate. And she suggested that maybe the baby would come out that day and then seemed disappointed when the midwife said not. It took the midwife a while to find the heartbeat (always terrifying) and Ember suggested that perhaps that was because the baby didn't really like the midwife. 

I spent most of my 24th week of pregnancy in a bad mood in the bath. It's possible I am hormonal, or hungry. I couldn't go walking all week because of half-term and I don't think this helped. When I did finally get to go after a week off, my pelvis was not happy. I think the key is to never stop walking and then it's ok. I will be making this my mantra for the rest of the pregnancy. 

If you missed last week's update, find it at Pregnancy Update: 23 Weeks.

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Pregnancy Update: 23 Weeks

Week 23 has been tiring, but I think that's probably more to do with life than pregnancy. Laurie had an assignment due in for his masters so he has been working on that every spare minute. This is, of course, totally FINE. And, even better, there's another one due in two weeks time so there will be no rest for the wicked. You probably think Laurie is the wicked because he is trapped writing essays, but no, I am the wicked because I am pregnant and tired and really would love to not do ALL of the childcare and house stuff. 

I took the kids down to London for a day over the school holidays. We went with my family and visited the Tutankhamen Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. If you're worried about seeing the exhibition in London and it not feeling very Egyptian, fear not, because they have made the Saatchi Gallery approximately 50 degrees inside so you can really appreciate that exotic experience (but with your coat on, so, even better). Ebony really enjoyed it because she's been learning about the Egyptians at school. Ember really didn't because 1) she hasn't 2) she doesn't like to stand in a line for three hours and 3) she doesn't like London. She concluded our expensive day out by explaining that she just likes Romiley and will be staying home in the future, not going to London. 

After London, we went to Bedford to celebrate my Grannys' 100th birthday. Then we drove all the way home and had to keep stopping so I could pee. Pregnancy is really not suited to long journeys. 

Pregnancy-wise, this week has been pretty non-descript. The baby has started punching or kicking me in the bladder without warning so this is lots of fun, especially on long car journeys. I have felt tired and heavy and like I have the back of a 100-year-old. I have spent a lot of time in the bath and have given up picking things up off the floor. If they fall, they're gone now. I will retrieve them in June. 

If you missed my 22 weeks update, you can find it here.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Pregnancy Update: 22 Weeks

Now I'm 22 weeks, I finally feel safe thinking of myself as halfway through. Ember was born at 42+3 (you can read about that here), so 20 weeks really isn't halfway through to me. Obviously, I'm hoping this baby will arrive promptly, the thought of going overdue again is quite horrifying. You don't know waiting until you've gone overdue. 

Week 22 has felt pretty uncomfortable if I'm honest. I think I'm getting to that stretching stage of pregnancy where your bump hurts for no apparent reason. I've spent a few evenings in the bath trying to ease my stretched ligaments. In my last update, I said that I'd run out of bath bombs and the very next day some arrived anonymously in the post. I have no idea who sent them but I cried when I opened the parcel, what a lovely thing to do. So I have been working my way through the thoughtful bath stuff and getting plenty of early nights.

I do not cope well with lack of sleep generally, but it's definitely worse during pregnancy. I am going to bed at the same time as the kids most nights, reading for a little bit (ok, sometimes a lot) and then trying to get as much sleep as possible. But, also, I have to pee approximately 8,000 times a night so the amount of sleep I get is limited. Like, last night, I was in bed for 12 hours and I got 7.5 hours of sleep (which I realise is pretty damn good). I worry that all this time lying down will not help with the baby's position. 

I've been going on lots of walks and trying to stay active. I go most days after dropping the kids at school in the morning, which gets it out of the way and is a good way to start the day. I decided to not go during the storm though because the thought of getting hailed on really didn't appeal to me. I've also been trying to sort the house out, and moving furniture and mopping even though I know I shouldn't. I do pay for it later in the day, but it's nothing a bath won't ease. And if I was waiting for Laurie to do these jobs then they wouldn't get done because he is currently spending all of his spare time working on an assignment for his masters. My top life tip would be not to do a masters when you have a grumpy pregnant wife.

I like the second trimester a lot. I am enjoying the break in symptoms, I did not like the first trimester at all. I do dread the third though, it's so slow and you're so heavy. 

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