This is where the aches and pains have ramped up. I had a short-lived sciatic nerve related pain, luckily only for a few days. Right in the centre of my buttock and shot down my leg. Which was mostly problematic when walking. When your exercise options are already limited, this is a very unwelcome condition. I took the approach of battling through and hoping I could walk it off. I cannot be 100 % sure what cured it but luckily for me it did go away.
I’m having to make sure I get a good portion of fibre with every meal to keep things moving. Fybrogel sachets have become part of my daily routine. You can see the NHS detail on this product here https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/fybogel-ispaghula-husk/ the one of few laxatives which is recommended for pregnant women.
I am missing my morning coffee routine for sure!
Oh and Germaloid cream became my new best friend. I will spare the details on that issue, but you can find the product here https://www.germoloids.co.uk
Sleeping is regularly disturbed as I am still not used to sleeping on my side after being a back sleeper for so many years. Hormones are becoming slightly more sensitive than before. The pregnancy pillow most certainly helped with this. As alien as it felt for me to side sleep, the pillow was a good comfort. You can get them for not a lot of money online and they come very compressed when delivered. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pregnancy-Sleeping-Nuliie-Maternity-Pregnant/dp/B09XK8LQGX/ref=asc_df_B09XK8LQGX/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=618900620147&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5896040637810965213&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006891&hvtargid=pla-1732195668679&psc=1
Hormones and Emotions
I thought I had got away with breezing through the hormone roller-coaster of emotions. But the simplest of things have triggered a teary afternoon or two. The Calm meditation sessions are helpful to bring me back down to earth. Their stress and anxiety management tools are really great. Especially as the days lead up to the big day. All sorts of thoughts would come racing through my mind all day and all night. “Have I done the right thing using a donor”, “will I be able to give my child everything she needs that a two parent family would give”, “how or when do I explain how she was conceived”, “will I have enough money”, “will I cope mentally on my own”? Etc. All thoughts I had spent years assuring myself the answers of during the journey, just panicked versions all jumbled up keeping me awake. The Calm meditation sessions are helpful to bring me back down to earth. Their stress and anxiety management tools are great. Especially as the days lead up to the big day.
I left making my birth plan quite late, this was a bit risky given what we know about how common early labour can be. But as the surgeons who removed my fibriods had advised me, I was to have an elective caesarean section. So, it felt a lot like most of the details would be out of my hands. This was quite a nice relief of pressure from my point of view. I had been given advise about still being able to request things like the lights being dimmed etc to create a soft mood in theatre. But in all honesty, I decided I would prefer the surgeons to have as much light as they need while performing major surgery on me! Without a doubt in mind, it was their office, their rules. I just wanted a bit of music which I heard was quite common and quite acceptable.
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, I managed to fill my phone with videos of my bump NOT moving. These were my efforts to catch the little wriggler on film, but she always stopped as soon as I clicked record. Literally every time. I have been using the Pregnacy Plus app to track the foetal growth, where you get to know the size of the baby compared to a fruit or animal as well as log images of my own bump and be able to flick through the progress like an old picture flip book.
I was fit and well enough to continue the group exercise classes right up to week 37. It was quite emotional finishing the last class, leaving behind the other expecting mums who had become my new friends. I remember moving to the area 9 years ago and thinking of ways to make friends locally – join the gym, join a pub quiz group etc but as soon as I got pregnant. Boom! Ten new friends! And the genuine connections I have made are such a supportive network of ladies. The idea of progressing to the mum and toddler groups and catching up with the women who left ahead of me was a great comfort though.
Here is the NHS advise on prenatal and antenatal classes https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/labour-and-birth/preparing-for-the-birth/antenatal-classes/
I had a bleed around this time. It wasn’t a lot of blood but enough to make me rush to the antenatal clinic for a complete check over. This is where the advantage of having a good support network as a single mum by choice comes in very handy. My sister and I arrived on a quiet ward on a Saturday afternoon feeling a bit silly in case it was nothing. First off, the nurses hooked me up to an ultrasound devise to monitor baby’s heartbeat. This was left on for about twenty minutes, beating completely out of time with the other baby across the room. For a musician, this is a tough one to have to sit through but took my mind off the worry I suppose. Eventually I was assured that all was well with baby’s heart, and I was to wait for a doctor to become available for an internal scan. The lovely nurses continued to apologise for the wait, but it didn’t really take long until I was seen. The doctor found a polyp on my cervix. My initial reaction was relief that the bleed was something related to me and not a problem with the baby or my womb. I hadn’t been wasting anyone’s time. There was a real reason for the bleed. The doctor informed me the polyp was harmless to the pregnancy and I just need to make sure I go for a smear three months after the birth so they can check for abnormalities in the cervical tissue. This was a great weight off my mind and I was discharged to enjoy the rest of my Saturday.
My C section date came through for 38 weeks. Due to previous fibroid surgery scar tissue, the doctors really did not want me to go into labour and risk rupturing anything. It was an overwhelming feeling to finally know my daughter’s birthday before she was even born. Admittedly I did worry and question the idea of her being born so early. Would she need steroid injections for underdeveloped lungs? I did enquire about this. The answer is no, this is a precaution they do at 36 weeks or earlier at the particular hospital I was due to go to. This may differ from place to place.
For Second Trimester blog content follow this link https://thenurseryrhymes.co.uk/2023/05/14/the-second-trimester/