Friday, 25 March 2016

The next 10 weeks

So here I am. Me and my son (my son!!) have almost made it to 20 weeks pregnant! Halfway, although I suspect I was halfway a week or two ago. I feel like this is a major milestone. All the potential early pregnancy problems have been left in our wake, and it's business time now.

I am feeling positive and yet ready for anything in these next 10 weeks. The next 10 weeks brings us to Ada's birth gestation. In the next 10 weeks I will reach viability and move towards better and better gestations. The next 10 weeks will start to form a picture of what direction this pregnancy might be going, and regular scans and tests will be coming my way.

I have been looking back at pictures of my pregnancy with Ada. At 20 and 25 weeks I did look quite puffy and unwell (swelling/puffyness is a part of pre-eclampsia.) I remember bleeding once or twice in the 20's. At 20 weeks Ada was 'big' for her size, at 26 she was bang on and at 30 she was small. It was the 20's that things started to change in her pregnancy and I didn't realise it until it was all too late.

So, in a way, I feel like I'm going into battle. I have that mentality. I have my armour all around me- God, family, friends support, counseling, my midwife on call, my obstetrician and my medications and tests. All of these things form a bubble around me to protect baby and I. I imagine pre-eclampsia and abruption and pre-term birth like a dark force heading my way. My armour is on and I am strong and ready. I am looking and waiting and will do whatever it takes to battle them away as long as I can.
I don't know if my armour will hold all the way to 40 weeks. Time will tell. But I feel like I've been waiting my whole pregnancy for this moment. Now is the time to fight and be strong and vigilant.

I am ready.

Friday, 11 March 2016

A high risk pregnancy, 17 weeks in

When I was pregnant with Ada, ignorance was bliss! My body was slowly failing us but we had no idea until the days before she was born.

With this pregnancy, knowledge is power but also pain! The knowledge means I am well looked after by my midwife and obstetrician, I'm on very specific medication, and regular checks and tests. The 20 week scan is coming up in 2 weeks time, and apart from the normal anatomy scan that everyone gets, I also get a 'blood flow' scan (and will get one every 2 weeks) which shows if baby is getting enough nutrients and is growing right. It is likely any issue will be picked up as it starts this time, but that doesn't mean we can stop it happening, and also means I may end up with weeks of stress and hospital stays.

I recently had two blissful weeks of 'normal' pregnancy. Nothing went wrong for two weeks and I started to think things were going great. Then *bam* I had a big bleed earlier this week and ended up in hospital for the day.
This hospital trip meant I had to cancel a long awaited for developmental appointment for Ada, so there's some Mum guilt right there!

The bleeding issues are not a good sign. I had the same with Ada (but it was milder) and in the end it meant the placenta was not doing it's job properly and was part of the reason she arrived early. So you can imagine my stress that this is happening again. At this stage they just don't know what it means, and can only tell me that baby is ok right now.

I have seen my GP to get a little help dealing with the stress but unfortunately I am not eligible for any help so at this stage I'm going it alone (with amazing support from family and friends.)

In the past week I've begun to feel baby kick as I lie in bed in the mornings and evenings. This has been incredibly reassuring! It means my baby is growing and getting stronger and it means so much to me. I imagine these baby kicks are going to give me much needed reassurance over the next weeks and months.

So now, at 17 1/2 weeks pregnant, I'm in a sort of limbo time. I'm praying every day for my baby's health and safety. I'm counting down the days to get through to next milestones- anatomy scan, next obstetrician appointment, 24 weeks and 30 weeks will be a big one!

I often may seem distracted at the moment and it's because my mind is whirring. What is reassuring to me is that this is only a 'season.' It's bloody hard, for sure, but in a matter of months time I will have my sweet baby in my arms and all this pregnancy stress will be gone for good.

Having a newborn and a toddler will be another thing, but at least the unknown and worries of these pregnancy days will be gone and I will be able to focus on moving forward with our wee family.
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