I haven’t posted much about the pregnancy lately as I’ve just been sort of plodding along, trying to stay positive and trying to cope with the many (very welcome) challenges of pregnancy!
Although I am eternally grateful for this pregnancy, I have struggled a lot more than I ever thought I would. I always thought that the 9 months of pregnancy would be amazing as I could FINALLY relax (after chasing the pregnancy dream for quite some time), but that perhaps I’d feel a little bit rubbish along the way whenever I had morning sickness. Wrong.
The reality has been quite different. Firstly, I have been almost permanently anxious. I think I always would have been as I’m a worrier by nature but, having not fallen pregnant easily in the first place, I’ve always had in the back of my mind that this pregnancy might be our one and only shot at it. That thought doesn’t particularly promote a chilled-out, relaxed vibe!
Secondly, I have really struggled with my huge weight gain. At 31 weeks I have now gained about 40lbs. It’s absolute madness. That’s much more than many people have gained by the time their baby is born!
Before pregnancy I never ever appreciated just how hard it is to carry around a lot of excess weight. When I gained weight in the past (like the 20 lbs I gained while TTC) I found it harder to run/play sport and my confidence bombed, but I could still do everything and be as active as I wanted to be, even if I wasn’t setting PBs. Now, it’s a challenge to just walk down the street. I make myself walk around as much as I can, because I am simply not prepared to just sit there all day and get even worse, but I hate that I am instantly out of breath as soon as I move and that I am so damn slow. I also hate that I struggle to put my shoes on or to shave my legs or to get up if I lie down!
I am trying to be kind to myself and not hate myself too much for the weight gain. Throughout the first trimester and start of the second trimester all I could really stomach was carbs and salt and I felt I had to eat every two hours or I’d vomit (I never actually did vomit, but the feeling was there the whole time and only subsided whenever I ate). I was also unable to exercise. On the few times I went out running, I really struggled and would often get cramps and pains which would force me to stop as I worried it was something happening to the baby. As my weight increased, I found that I (a) simply couldn’t carry the huge load of my ginormous body; and (b) couldn’t fit into any workout gear (even the ‘two sizes up’ sports bra I purchased at the start!). I cannot wait to be in a position where I can start to get fit again and start to feel a little bit better about myself.
Other pregnancy side effects I have really struggled with are:
- the tiredness. OH MY WORD the tiredness. It’s exhausting…and if one more person says “If you think you’re tired now, wait until you’re a parent” I simply won’t be responsible for my actions!
- being constantly uncomfortable and in pain, whether it’s the back ache or the swollen legs. It seems that sitting up hurts (especially if I am kicked when my belly is right up to my desk!). Walking around quickly gets tiring. Lying on my left hand side (as we’re told to do) is uncomfortable and unnatural for me. Lying on my front is obviously impossible. Only lying on my back is comfortable, but we’re told not to do that as it can be bad for the baby. THERE IS NO WAY TO WIN!
- the insomnia. Now I have always struggled with insomnia all of my life. I once had to sit an exam having not slept AT ALL over the three previous nights. I have also lost track of the nights spent just lying there, pleading with some greater being to just let me sleep for an hour or two! So I am sadly used to insomnia. But in pregnancy it can be that little bit harder because I am just so uncomfortable and in so much pain I feel even more despairing about the situation.
- commuting. I have mentioned it before but I commute over three hours a day. Most of the time I am able to get a seat (when I can book a seat and actually get out of work and make my train) but there have been a few times when I have been unable to get a seat. On those times I have just sat on the floor. As a result of this I have been given plenty of disgusted looks, but even before pregnancy I was prone to fainting so why would I risk standing and fainting when it could hurt my baby?! I have also been a little bit appalled at how rarely people have offered me a seat. I have tried to check myself and make sure my “pregnancy privilege” isn’t getting out of hand, but given that I am very clearly pregnant, it does seem quite poor form that so many people do just turn their heads and pretend they haven’t seen you.
- needing the loo. All the time. Even when I go, as soon as I stand up I need the loo again.
- heartburn. Enough said.
There are plenty of other less-than-fun side effects. Being kicked in the ribs is particularly unpleasant, but then there’s something a little reassuring about that so I don’t really mind.
Anyway, there are plenty of fun things about being pregnant. Above all, we will hopefully have a baby at the end of this. I never particularly wanted the whole pregnancy thing, but BT and I have wanted children for a very long time so it is the obvious means to the end. Even before we started TTC we discussed all things parenting (because back then we just assumed it would obviously happen).
We’ve also loved doing up the nursery and I had a wonderful weekend baby shopping with my mum and actually allowing myself to get really excited (BTW Baby Flat is going to be one very spoilt baby in his first few weeks!).
There have also been the special moments where you hear the baby’s heartbeat, or feel/see the kicks or have the scans and it just feels incredible thinking “That is actually our son”. We just feel so lucky when we think about where we were at a year ago. Despite having really struggled with pregnancy, I would not change any of this for the world.
Which brings me on to the latest scan we had this weekend. As it just seemed such a long time to wait between the 20 week scan and the baby being born, we decided to go privately for a 4D scan roughly half way through this time. The scan was incredible and we saw him doing all sorts (breathing, sucking his feet, punching the ultrasound scanner every time the sonographer put it on my tummy, even smiling!). It also turns out he’s a bit of a chunky monkey. At 31 weeks tomorrow, he already weighs 4lbs 5oz and he’s in the 92nd percentile for abdomen and leg sizes. It’s madness to think that he’s got another two months of growing to do. Hopefully this is a good thing though and if he needed to be delivered early he would have the best chance possible. It still absolutely scares the hell out of me though when I think about the labour and delivery…
Anyway, here are two of the scan pictures. One where he’s being a grump and one where he’s smiling to himself. He spent the entire appointment with his hand and foot by his face and nothing we did would make him move them!
I’m aware that all babies look the same and the 4D scans just make them look like little aliens, but it does feel incredible to actually really see him and his little face! I just want the next two months to fly by and for him to come safely and to know that he is ok.