Wednesday, 19 January 2011

34 Weeks & Physiotherapists Appointment

Today marks me reaching the 34 week mark in my pregnancy (see 2nd pic for a 34 week baby).

I am definately starting to feel different and the effects that pregnancy are having on my body. This past week my sickness has returned with a vengeance but with it has come some concerning symptoms. Severe dizziness, heaviness in my arms and legs, visual disturbance and weakness. I have some close to collapse a couple of times while out doing very small errands. I don't push myself and do very little as I know I am not up to anything more, but the simple act of 10 minutes in Asda and walking back out to my car had me reeling and rocking back on my heels. Thankfully I got to my car ok, but I honestly thought I was going to pass out in the carpark.

Being a bit worried about Pre-Eclampsia with these new symptoms I made an appointment with the doctor who seemed a bit confused with why I was there and what I was worried about as all of these symptoms are normal symptoms of pregnancy. Better to be safe than sorry surely? I honestly didn't think almost collapsing after 10 minutes on your feet was normal. He took my blood pressure which was 117/78. Perfect bp, but low for me. I usually sit around 140/90, at the high end of normal. I did tell him that and he explained that a low bp was normal in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.

I may feel awful and have been advised I have to rest and put my feet up as much as possible, but at least I know I don't have anything serious wrong with me which helps me relax a little.

The physiotherapist gave me a lot of useful information about movements to avoid, exercises to do, tips on other ways to move and explained exactly what was going on. I have a traumatic rupture of the symphsis pubis and have been told to limit movement as much as I can. Even something as simple as how I get in and out of a car can badly effect me. They also gave me a great tip about turning in bed which is agony for me right now, which sucks as I can only lie on ay one side for a maximum of 15 minutes. Rather than try to roll over onto my other side, I should completly flip the other way on the bed so my head is at the bottom. This turns me onto my other side without the roll. I'll try that one tonight.

Another symptom which I had escaped so far was the tiredness, but that had caught up with me this past week as well. I am completely exhausted and wiped out. I feel like I could sleep on a log at the minute during the day but I lie wide awake in bed at night. I don't understand why as I don't give in to sleeping through the day, for fear of lying awake at night. I suppose Im getting well prepared for the sleepless nights ahead of me. I just hope the first few months of Isaacs life are easier than the pregnancy has been. I can honestly say this past 7 months have been the hardest of my life to this stage.

Its very clear to me now how women in late pregnancy feel so uncomfortable. Looking at the diagram showing the displacement of organs during pregnancy, its not surprising im suffering from breathlessness, nausea and chronic indigestion. I long for my body back and I don't mean weight or a flat stomach... just feeling normal again and not constantly ill and tired.

A lot of normal activities are now no-gos for me and I find I'm not capable of very much at all. With 6 weeks to go until my due date, I have a feeling its going to be a very long month and a half.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

32 - 33 Weeks

I reached 33 weeks pregnant 2 days ago. Only 47 days to go for me now. In one way it seems to be getting ever closer, yet in another is seems to be dragging.

My sickness is pretty bad again and I've had to request more anti nausea meds from my doctor. It is quite common when you suffer from Hyperemesis to have it worsen again near to the end so seems I'm text book. The SPD continues to worsen. I have physio though which starts on Wednesday 19th January at Bradford Royal Infirmary so I'm hoping they can give me some suggestions.

I'm amazed by how much my belly is growing now. I'm massive and its only going to get bigger. I have a feeling this is going to be a big baby. My mum treated me to the knowledge last night that I had a great uncle who was almost a stone when born (13 lbs something).... No thank-you! I was a hefty baby too at 8lb 10oz, so the likelihood is, he's going to be bigger rather than smaller. The stretchmarks are already starting in earnest so I'll have a nice map of those soon too.

Right now my mind is very pre-occupied by the fact my good friend Leah suffered from an ectopic pregnancy and had to have emergency surgery yesterday. I feel so lucky to have reached this stage. I feel sad and distressed for her. Just goes to show what a miracle having a baby actually is and is something that should never be taken for granted.

30 - 31 Weeks

Yesterday I reached the 31 weeks mark. In 6 short weeks I will reach what it known as 'term'. This isn't my due date but the date by which the baby is fully matured and ready to be born at any time. In 9 weeks, I will hopefully be holding our son and this bit, which hasn't been very enjoyable for me, will be over.

At the minute I suffering from quite bad nausea again. Today is an especially bad day. I can't find any fluid to drink which doesn't bring on the desire to be sick yet I am constantly thirsty. Bit of a crap situation to be honest. All I can do is hope tomorrow is a better day. Some days are not so bad, some are horrid.

The SPD is getting increasingly worse as times rolls on as well. Night time is crazy. Getting up for the loo is torture and i've started finding walking at that time, next to near impossible. Turning over feels like my pelvis is going to split in 2. I think I've resigned myself to the fact physiotherapy is no longer just an option, but a necessity. I'm hoping they'll give me some crutches or a stick to help, especially on night time toilet trips.

The baby is also moving about a lot right now. I can only think he's doing somersaults as thats what it feels like. Theres also a lot of bum and feet sticking out going on where I feel my side stretching and something bulging out. Its always in bed at night so I can't see whats going on.

I have my midwife appointment on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll get to see my actual midwife this time and soon will start to discuss birth options and methods of pain relief as all your hear about is how horrific childbirth is, which is less than comforting when you still have to go through it and you have no idea what to expect. I know every mother says its worth it when they hold their baby, but thats easy to say when youre on the other side of it. I know I'll manage it and I know it'll be worth it, but it doesn't stop me being terrified.

Today brought news that a friend is also pregnant which is excellent news as she's been trying for a while. It'll be nice that 2011 will bring babies to both of us first time mums.

26 - 29 Weeks

I realised this evening, I hadn't written in my pregnancy diary for a while (lazy bugger). I wanted to document all 40 weeks, so must try harder!

There has been little in the way of big changes in the last few weeks. I have definately grown larger (although strangely not heavier). My belly is growing and is quite hard to the touch now. Baby Davy (I think its maybe safe to call him Isaac now as we havent changed our minds) moves a lot which is oddly comforting if a little freaky sometimes. The oddest thing is the rolls he does sometimes which makes me feel like that guy from Alien, lol. I can see his movements and kicks through my clothes but when I try to pull up my jumper to watch him moving about, he remains remarkably still. Playing statues at an early age.....

I lost 17 pounds in the first couple of months of pregnancy from illness. I have since put back on that 17 pounds and another 2 pounds on top which puts me on track for a normal pregnancy weight gain. Thats something Im glad about as I imagined I would put on much much more weight. It was hard losing the 3 stones I did in the 2 years leading up to my wedding, so I knew I would have a tendency to gain weight at a fast pace. I'm just glad my pregnancy illness has not affected the baby in any way.

My sickness again has stayed much the same. I have only been sick once in the past month. Although I tend to feel ill every day from mid afternoon straight through until bedtime, I am still able to eat (albeit a very limited diet) and I have a period of time every morning and lunchtime where I have a few hours break from the ick monster. Knowing there is only 2 and 1/2 months to go somehow makes it easier to deal with.

The hip pain has unfortunately worsened and I will be asking the midwife when I see her on 5th January to refer me for physio. Nightime in bed is agony and I am nearing being almost unable to roll over at all. Getting up for the loo is a nightmare so I try to avoid drinking much a few hours before bed. Im hoping it improves after the birth although worringly the birth can make it worse. As with everything people have different experiences of it so I'll just have to wait and see what happens with me.

We had a 4D scan at 27 weeks which was exciting! It was lovely to see his face and reassuring that everything looked ok. While I didn't get all emotional and gooey like most mums to be maybe would (I dont get why I dont...) it was something im glad we did. While I was having the scan I thought he looked a lot like Darren, but wasn't sure if I was imagining things. Afterwards, ive been told by about 6 different people that he looks like Darren and nothing like me, lol. I hope theres a little something of me in there somewhere when he pops out but it is nice that he looks so much like his dad :o)

I'm getting to the stage where Im getting everything ready and just looking forward to having him here. Its 10 weeks to go and I'm so glad to have made it this far with everything being ok. Labour still terrifies me, but if all those other women have done it, Im sure I'll manage.

Bring on the drugs!!!

24 - 25 Weeks

I'm now approaching 26 weeks (in 2 days). The last couple of weeks haven't brought that much change (gladly).

The SPD is keeping pretty steady and has not worsened thankfully. It's still very painful but I can walk about in the house during the day with only mild discomfort. I can't go out and walk about for any longer than about 20 mins to half an hour. It's mainly the evening and night it feels worse. I had one very unpleasant additional experience in bed last week where something happened as I turned over and there was a massive clunk from my hip. The pain was excrutiating. Darren not only heard it, but felt it vibrate all through the bed, it actually woke him up. I'm not sure what it was but the only thing I can liken it to was a joint popping out and back in again very quickly.

This past week I've felt a definate worsening in my sickness. I have had about 2-3 weeks where although its still been there I have felt a little better. If I tried to do too much however, it reminded me and had me feeling like death. This past week however, I've definately felt it going back to constant nausea. I've managed to get it down to having a period of about half an hour to an hour after I've eaten where I don't feel sick now and I'm hoping it doesn't continue to worsen. The down side is I'm eating so much to try to help the sickness. I'm going to be absolutely massive!!! So far I have put back on the stone I lost in the early stages of pregnancy so I am back to the weight I was before I got pregnant (well about 2 pounds heavier).

With hyperemesis woman can get a break around the mid 20 something weeks (like I've had to a degree) and then it can come back after a month or so's break and be with you for the last few months due to a late surge in hormones again. At the minute thats what I'm absolutely terrified of. The SPD may be painful, but that I can deal with. If the sickness I have been through comes back again, I know I will find it very hard to cope with.

On a pleasant note, the movements and kicking and much more pronounced now. If he kicks high enough up, I can see it through my clothes. Darren has been able to feel quite a few kicks now. Its definately reassuring to know alls ok in there.

On Wednesday I'm off to the hospital again for a glucose tolerance test for Gestational Diabetes. That will be a joyful experience. I have to be there at 8:30 (its about a 40 minute drive) and am not allowed to eat or drink (apart from water) from 9pm the previous evening. I drink a glass of sickeningly sweet stuff and wait 2 hours (alone because youre not allowed to bring anyone due to limited space) then have my blood tested for its sugar level. Fingers crossed that goes ok.

Just over 3 months to go!!

23 Weeks and Midwives Appointment

Today I hit the 23 week mark. I had my first proper appointment with a midwife. I had one at 9 weeks called a 'booking in' appointment. This is just where they basically take lots of info about you, weigh you, take bloods and urine samples and fill in some paperwork for you to take away.

Since this appointment, I havent seen anyone about my pregnancy. Although I have been to the docs quite a few times for sicknotes and had 3 hospital stays, this has all been for hyperemesis treatment and not general pregnancy advice and monitoring, so I was looking forward to finally get to speak to someone about concerns I have and to get some advice on some things. With this being my first pregnancy I'm kind of clueless about a lot of it apart from what I read online.

I turned up for my appointment at 1pm and was advised my midwife was running late, she wasnt even in the building yet. At 1:25 someone finally arrived. I overheard them talking with the receptionist. Turns out my midwife is on holiday and the stand-in was called to an unexpected home birth so this was another stand-in. Can't be helped I suppose, but I was hoping she wouldnt try to rush me as there were already 2 other girls waiting who arrived after me.

I went in and sat down. There was a midwife and a health advisor. They asked me how far along I was. The health advisor came over with a urine dipstick thingy and said "URINE!" really loudly to me. Now I havent had an appointment before so no-one ever told me I had to bring a sample with me. Thankfully I had one anyway as I'm one of those 'Just in case' people, but the manner in which she asked for it left a lot to be desired. So that was tested and all was fine.

She then asked me to lie on the couch. She listened to the heartbeat while the midwife shouted some blood results from the bloods that were taken 3 and a half months ago at my booing in appointment. No explanation as to what the results meant, I dont know how she could even know I heard them all through the curtain. Thankfully I'm quite well read about things Im having done so I knew what the tests meant, but I would imagine an awful lot of women wouldnt. An explanation would have been nice anyway.

They then stuck some printouts of my results into my pregnancy file and took my blood pressure which they wrote on the paperwork. I dont think Ive ever felt so rushed in my life. They also faffed about with my file as Im having my baby at Airedale Hospital and not at Bradford Royal Infirmary and no sod seems to know how to fill out the Airedale Hospital paperwork. It happened on my first appointment too. Lots of head scratching and exclamations of "Whats this then?"... doesnt fill you with confidence.

I attempted to talk about the pain Id been having and was told I would need to speak to my midwife if it was still a problem in 4 weeks time!! I asked if I could see a doctor about it instead and was told I was under the care of my midwife now and he would probably refer me back to her. She said it was a common complaint in pregnancy and I should rest and take painkillers!!! I know barely being able to move or walk at night is not a common compaint in pregnancy but I was feeling so nauseous by this stage I didnt see the point in arguing with someone who was trying to push me out the door as quick as possible. In fact the health advisor never sat down through the entire appointment, just hovered over me, encouraging me to leave.

I quickly asked about classes as I need to get booked onto some that are offered to prepare you for the birth and childcare. THey of course had no information or paperwork and told me I should call Airedale Hospital...funny thing was the hospital had told me I needed to speak to my midwife about it.

They gave me a printout of an drop in centre I could attend between appointments if I wanted to talk to a midwife although they stressed it wasnt for any kind of treatment, referrals or medications. I later noticedon looking at the printout it was more for advice for mums on feeding and childcare and general common sense diet advice. On my notes they'd written, 'Discussed Drop In Centres'. Yup a very detailed 5 second discussion and a printout.

So the appointment was a complete waste of time. I thought I would have a good conversation, get a referral for the SPD, get some tips with managing the pain. I thought they would start measuring my belly to see if its growing as it should be, apparently they should be doing this and charting it by now. I should be getting weighed to make sure Im putting on an appropriate amount of weight. To be 6 months pregnant before I get any proper form of pre-natal care to me is ridiculous.

What was the experience of other women who have had children with midwives visits? Is this normal?

The onset of Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)

I've spoken about hip and back pain but this past week mine has intensified 10 fold and has spread, leading to some research into it.

I see my midwife for the first time tomorrow so Im hoping she can recommend something to help or give me some advice, but its yet another pregnancy symptom I never knew about before I got pregnant. As far as I've read physiotherapy is the only thing which may help, but some women find it makes things worse, so its just a matter of trying it if she refers me. If I ever doubted I was allergic to pregnancy, theres no doubting it now.

What I have is undoubtedly SPD (Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) as upon reading about hip pain, I came across this and its like reading my own diary. The past few days have been particularly worrying, as at night in bed I'm pretty much frozen in one spot and have to work up the courage to attempt to turn over as it causes so much pain and a horrid crunching, grinding noise with it. Sitting up or even worse having to get up to go to the loo in the middle of the night is almost unbearable. Last night I could barely walk with the pain. Apparently pain while moving in bed and trying to get up in the middle of the night are big signs of having this condition.

As severe nausea and vomitting for me is worse than pretty much anything else or feeling pain, I can handle it, as horrid as it is. My main fear though is that I am only 5 months pregnant. I have 4 months to go and a lot of growing to do, so I wonder how I'll be for the last couple of months when I'm really large. I have read some women need to go into wheelchairs with this, have to use walkers/crutches and can't go upstairs and things like that. Its beginning to be a real fear, I could fit into this category as the pain is already so severe so early on.

The labour is also a worry as most women with SPD are induced early as the labour can make the conditon so much worse and cause a lot of damage. They also don't recommend an epidural (which I want) as you cant tell if you're causing yourself more damage. Breast Feeding (which I also want to do) lengthens the time the woman suffers from SPD. Some women end up with the conditon for years after giving birth.

Annoyingly the SPD has started off my sciatica. I pretty much knew I'd suffer from that in my pregnancy as I've had it for a lot of years now and my doctor did warn me that it was pretty much inevitable. I did naively hope that I wouldnt have that many problems with it until the last 2 months or so. Its funny when I think of how positvely and happilly I entered into pregnancy with no knowledge of any of this. I watched woman after woman have straightforward, rewarding pregnancies and had no reason to think I'd be any different.

Ive put a little below about what SPD is to give you an idea.

What is symphysis pubis dysfunction?

The two halves of your pelvis are connected at the front by a stiff joint called the symphysis pubis. This joint is strengthened by a dense network of tough, flexible tissues, called ligaments. To help your baby pass through your pelvis as easily as possible, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which softens the ligaments. As a result, these joints move more during and just after pregnancy causing inflammation and pain, known as symphysis pubis dysfunction or SPD.

What causes SPD?

We are not sure exactly what causes SPD, but it's thought that if one side of the pelvis moves more than the other when you walk or move your legs, the area around the symphysis pubis becomes tender. The amount of discomfort isn't related to the size of the gap in the joint. Many women with a normal-sized gap feel a lot of pain.

When does it happen?

SPD can occur at any time during your pregnancy or after giving birth. Many women notice it for the first time around the middle of their pregnancy. If you have SPD in one pregnancy, it is more likely that you'll have it again next time you get pregnant. The symptoms may also come on earlier and progress faster, so it is important to seek help promptly.

What are the symptoms?

Pain in the pubic area and groin are the most common symptoms. But you may also have the following signs:

  • Back pain, pelvic girdle pain or hip pain.

  • A grinding or clicking sensation in your pubic area.

  • Pain down the inside of your thighs or between your legs. It can be made worse by parting your legs, walking, going up or down stairs or moving around in bed.

  • Worse pain at night. It can stop you sleeping well and getting up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night can be especially painful

21 - 22 Weeks

I reached 22 weeks today and suffice to say theres been little change in my sickness and health over the past month or so.

Thankfully I havent actually been throwing up but the constant feeling of wanting to is there all the time. Its bad during the day but during the evening and night its horrendous. The only thing that stops it is eating. 10 miinutes after you stop eating, its there again. The problem is finding something you want to eat and nothing ever appeals. Food which was my one and only vice has truthfully lost its appeal for me. Its now something I have to force myself to do to feel better and for the baby.

The newest symptom this past 2 weeks has been absolutely awful indigestion. Ive had it up to now but it has intensified so much this last 2 weeks. Where gaviscon did the job before, now it has little effect. Coupled with the nausea its far from pleasant. I think if every womans pregnancy was this way we'd have a massive population decrease, lol.

Sleeping is still elusive and I never get to sleep before maybe 4am. I get about 2 and a half hours sleep and then lie in bed resting until about lunchtime as I dont feel up to getting up before then. I suppose its good training for the sleepless nights to come. My many symptoms this past few months have prepared me for pretty much anything you can throw at me.

The backache has finally started in earnest. I suffer from sciatica anyway and its playing up like crazy right now. I think its from the effort of lying down and sitting up. Its unbelievable how hard this is. I dont have much of a belly yet but I have no power in my stomach to pull myself into a sitting position, so a lot of the effort seems to go into my lower back.

Also I dont know if any other pregnant women had this but with the strecting of ligaments and muscles around the pelvis to prepare you for childbirth, Ive found turning over in bed (which I do a lot because of the sciatica) a nightmare. My hip joints feel unstable and painful when I try to rotate around in bed. When Im30 weeks +, I dread to think what this is going to be like. Upturned turtle comes to mind, lol.

Im thinking that having fibromyaligia and IBS have added to the effects of pregnancy on my body, as well as obviously the addition of hyperemesis. Hitler in a previous life methinks.... This has definately been a challenge thus far and bloody hard work. Im wishing the next 4 months away right now.

We had the 2nd scan yesterday which went well. EVerything looked ok and the babies size was normal. They could see the heart and all the valves which was a relief. We also got a nice side profile piccie to send to my mum :o)

Over halfway there... 22 down... 18 to go!

Weeks 19 - 20

Week 19 started at a low ebb feeling very icky and ill. 3 days into week 19 however I woke feeling a lot better than I had in months. This lasted Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Although I wasnt anywhere near 100% and hadnt tried to push myself to do anything, it was fantastic to not feel just about ready to barf all the time.

I dropped a line to some girls at work saying I hoped to be back when my sicknote expired on 26th of this month. The next day I decided I needed to slowly work my way up to getting back to work, so I sat upright on the laptop for about 3 hours in the afternoon as its much harder for me to sit up than lie down. That night the sickness returned in earnest and Ive been sick as a pig ever since. The effort of sitting up and trying to concentrate for too long a period of time was obviously too much too soon. So far I dont spend that long online as I know if I do, it'll come back to bite me on the backside. Im not out of bed until about 1:30pm every day as I dont sleep all night but doze all through the morning. I dread to think how bad it could be if I didn't rest as much as I've been doing. So back to lots of bed rest and sofa lounging. I've never been so bored in my life!!! Its looking ever more doubtful I'll get back to work as I decided to take my maternity leave as soon as possible and with a few days holiday im owed, that means I can go on maternity leave from the start of December. Given that its just over a month away, my liklihood of seeing work before the baby is born is very low. I found out yesterday on doing some research that I wont be entitled to statutory maternity pay either as the period they calculate it over is when Ive been off ill. I dont meet the 'Lower Earning Limit' of £97 a week where you pay NI so my workplace dont have to pay me a penny. This means I miss out on the 90% of my earnings for the first 6 weeks of maternity leave and I have to apply to the government for something called Maternity Allowance. In short my workplace dont have to pay me a penny. I bet they'll be delighted.

I went for my 20 week scan this week. I thought I was 19 weeks and 6 days but turns out Im 20 weeks and 1 day,so 2 days further on than I thought. It doesnt seem much but every day countdown to an end to this is something.

The scan was nerve racking. They didnt say anything while everything was measured. Lots of things were written down. I couldnt see the screen at this stage but Darren could see everything from where he was sitting and saw some really good pictures that I missed. He also could see very clearly it was a boy long before I found out. I think they should turn the screen either fully away so neither of us can see as it would've been nice to find that bit out together. There was lots of deep digging with the scan thingy which hurt like hell. I found myself wondering if it was hurting the baby as I wasnt having fun! They tried turning me onto my side to see the heart valves better but had no luck. She finally said they would need to brng me back for another scan as they couldnt see the heart valves due to the babys position.

When they finally turned the screen around to me he had turned his back and wouldnt budge. All the leg thrashing had stopped, typical! He moved his arm once when I was looking at the screen but all in all I couldnt help but feel I missed out a bit from the images I missed when the screen was turned away from me. I know the important thing is that all is ok, but after feeling this way for so long, I kind of needed the visual for a bit of a lift. I'm just hoping next time I get to see some movement or a side profile of his face.

They didnt give us any information or tell us anything at the scan which I found a bit wierd, other than to say they werent bringing me back as they had seen something to worry about but just because they couldnt see something. She said there wasnt anything wrong that she wasnt telling us about. I assumed from that all that she could see looked fine.

Then there was the scan photo.... Only our child. I think that made Darrens day as he giggled from the minute he saw it and all the way home.

So Im now 2 days into week 20 and feeling better than I had a couple of months ago but still got a long way to go. Im over halfway now though. The end is in sight where we can meet our little man. We've decided to wait until he's born to confirm a name as he may not suit names that we chose up to then, we have our favourite name though, which is Isaac James. :o)

Now I am starting on getting the little bits and pieces we're going to need. Ebay do brilliant bargains on cots and prams and other bits, so I'll be on there buying soon. Thankfully my mum sent us some money to get some of the bigger bits for the baby and shes already bought some things for us, without which I dont know what we'd have done. Its her only grandchild though with me being an only child so I think shes dead excited. No doubt he'll be all sorted for the essentials by christmas.

Week 18

So Ive finally caught up! Week 18. I am currently 18 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I've had a pretty pants week feeling very sick but I think Im more used to it now than I used to be. I try to push through it to go online for little bits each day as it lifts my mind, but I am still resting on the sofa all day and not getting up until at least midday every day. So far in 3 months apart from the doctors and hospital, my only outings have been a cinema trip, a couple of hours at Darrens dads fiancees 60th do (that was on a particularly good day) and a quick walk around Asda. I'm going stir crazy with these 4 walls.

I havent slept at all at night for about a week now. I think I manage an hour or 2 in the mornings when Darren does to work so I just get as much rest as I can. One good development though is Ive started to feel the baby move at last. Its mostly at night in bed and it feels like lots of turning over and moving about. I have had a few little pokes though so I think they were kicks. Its reassuring to feel and to know the baby is there and reminds me why we're doing this and why Im feeling like this.

Its a bit scary approaching this weekend as its 19 weeks which is exactly 3 weeks since my last hospital admission. The second stay came 3 weeks after the first and the third came 3 weeks after the second... if I follow a pattern, I should be panicking now. I am absolutely determind, it is NOT going to happen this time.

This Thursday we were meant to be flying to Ireland to see my parents for the weekend. It would have been the only time I'd see my parents during my pregnancy and something I was really looking forward to. I was sure I'd be ok to go, but sadly not. We're having to miss the flights and the airport wont change them to a time later in the year when we may have been able to go (then again maybe not). We'd just need to book again as changing the flights cost about double what booking new flights would be. Darrens holidays are all used up anyways so I'll have to content myself with waiting til the baby is born and my parents visit then.

I have my 20 week scan to look forward to on 14th October, so thats my focus right now. Who knows, I may start to feel normal again by the end of the month.

Weeks 14 - 17

Starting week 14 I was beginning to get used to feeling ill all the time. Since the physical feelings are more of the same, I thought Id concentrate with feelings and frustrations that the illness has brought for this time period. Its emotional and mental issues which contribute as well as the physical with this. Fighting from giving in to the depression I keep getting warned about as part of the illness is one of the most important things to me.

I still have the dizziness, still have no energy and still am not capable of cooking meals or doing housework, but at least now I could log online for half an hour or so when I felt up to it to see what my friends were up to. It would lift my mind for a while and give me something to think about while lying on the sofa. I miss all of my friends and catching up with whats going on. Its one big wish to have this go before the birth so I can get down to Nottingham and see Kelly and Dave or they can come up to see us before the baby arrives as any social outings will be few and far between afterwards.

Its one thing about this thats started making me angry. I feel robbed of a few months which should be so happy. Months which should be spent seeing my friends, sharing the joy of expecting a baby, browsing in shops at pretty baby things, planning for the baby being here, moving things about to start work on a nursery, filling the nursery with the things we need. As it is I don't feel well enough to do any of these things and wonder how on earth we're going to be prepared for a new baby arriving. I feel like I am missing the entire planning stage and it honestly feels like majorly missing out on something. I also miss being able to go out with Darren and do things, just us. Its like being thrown from being 'Just Marrieds' to 'New Parents' with no in between. I hold onto some little bit of hope that I get a few weeks where I can see my friends, go out with Darren and buy a few of the important things we'll need.

The illness of course has contributed nicely to being in a crap financial situation for the baby coming. Losing a full salary and going down to statutory sick pay while needing to buy all sorts of things is wonderful. Thankfully my mum sent us some money which Ive put aside and refuse to touch which will buy some important bits. Money we put aside from wedding presents for a belated honeymoon has had to be spent on bills to subsidise my wage. With the illness, we wouldnt have been able to go on holiday anyway, but it sticks in the throat that the money that should have been for us to enjoy has had to go on practicalities.

Along with the musings of the past few weeks and the frustration Ive been feeling, the sickness followed its usual pattern and I was in for admission number 3 which came 3 weeks after the last admission yet again. 16 weeks exactly this time. This time was much worse. I woke on a Friday morning at 5:30am with horrendous pains in my stomach and belly and started very violently being sick, which continued all morning and led to throwing up a lovely green bile and eventually blood. Darren called out an emergency doctor as I couldnt barely get out of bed and she said I would need to go into hospital again. Sadly this meant the A&E wait again. It was slightly less this time... 3 hours. I couldnt stop from being sick this time so the nurses and doctors in the A&E department were treated to some lovely green bile in one of those cardboard sick bowls. I got whisked to the ward relatively swiftly after that.

This time the stay was the same as first time. 4 days on a drip altogether. Thankfully there were some girls on my ward I could talk to this time and one girls sister even gave me some beautiful hand knitted baby cardigans so the stay wasnt quite as bad as before.

We're now only 3 weeks away from week 20. I dont think I oculd possibly have anything any more crossed!

Weeks 11 - 13

Week 11 started relatively well as I had just got out of hospital and was feeling a lot better than it had been in the previous weeks. I learnt in the future that this would be normal and I could expect 1 or 2 good days following a hospital stay. I got out of the hospital on a Wednesday evening and attempted going to the cinema on the Saturday. I quickly learnt the literal meaning of the expression 'Dont run before you can walk' as this was way too much for me to be trying, even though you would think sitting in a chair in an empty cinema would not be too taxing. I started to feel very nauseous about halfway through the movie and this continued to get worse over the coming days until I was back on my bed/sofa routine.

I did some more research into hyperemesis over the coming weeks as the goal of 12 weeks came and went and brought with it no end to how I was feeling. I read that for women who suffer hyperemesis, if indeed they are lucky enough to get some respite, it comes around the 20 week mark or just after. For others, it doesnt come until after the birth of the baby. For a woman at 12 weeks feeling this way reading that best case scenario they have a further 2 months of this ahead is terrifying. I dont mind admitting I cried out of fear and thinking I couldnt do it, I wasnt strong enough. I've had my fair share of sickness and pain in my life, but nothing has ever come close to this. I read many times that many women terminated pregnancies who suffer from this illness as they just couldn't cope and although I always felt, Ive got this far, I have to do it.. I can understand the women who felt they had no choice.

Other things come to mind on good days where you miss things like trips to the cinema, meals out, seeing friends, having an interest in anything, most of the time though is spent trying not to be sick and concentrating on lying as still as you can so the vertigo which comes hand in hand with the sickness doesnt start.

These weeks led to another hospital admission with the same rigmarole as before at exactly 3 weeks after my first admission. Again on a Sunday and again on a ward with another senile old lady who spent her time giving me marraige counselling and staring at me and Darren during his visits, telling me afterwards how it was clear he didnt want to be there.

This time I was allowed out on the Tuesday, so a day earlier than last time. I learnt my lesson this time though and didnt do anything in the days which followed for fear of another relapse. As it was, it came anyway, so it seems the cinema trip wasnt to blame last time, I would have got worse as a natural progression anyway.

Next landmark for me to hope for... 20 weeks.

Weeks 7 - 10

So I'm afraid I am very lapsed at the old recording of symptoms, feelings and progress of my pregnancy week by week. Its something I always wanted to keep (along with my 365 project which has also now finally met an end), and as this is something I will only experience the once in life, I want to write it all down.

As I stopped at 6 weeks, it would be almost impossible to remember enough detail week by week to fill in the missing 13 weeks, so I thought I would catch up by combining several weeks into one and make sure I stick to it for the remaining 21 weeks. I know I also have several mums on my list who have helped me so far by giving advice and suggestions so thats a big help. Keep it coming girls!

So we start again at 7 weeks. My memory of the next few weeks is mainly the realisation that the sickness which plagued me in week 6 was not just 'normal' morning sickness. The doctor had signed me off for 2 weeks from week 6, but in these weeks I found myself unable to concentrate on anything, I had constant dizziness, felt on the edge of vomitting all the time and even sitting up became an effort. Its then that my PJ's became my daily uniform and the routine of bed to sofa was established. I couldn't watch TV or even log on to see what was happening in the world of Facebook. Although the way I was feeling physically probably took precedence, the feeling of isolation and hopelessess at the situation started creeping in.

I visitied Bradford Royal Infirmary Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit several times in these weeks and received anti sickness injections (which stung like a bugger and sadly made no difference!). They also prescribed me some anti sickness medications. I tried 3 in all. Metocholopramide, Cyclizine and Stemetil and none had any effect. They do say in severe cases of hyperemesis, these meds often don't touch the symptoms, but at this stage I had a lot to learn about hyperemesis.

At 10 weeks and 1 day the sickness reached a zenith and I travelled back to the BRI seeking help. I hadnt long registered where I wanted to have my baby at this stage and had chosen Airedale Hospital which is known to be the better hospital by anyone local I spoke to and is also nearer to all of Darrens family. Due to choosing this hospital, BRI could no longer help me as I was not registered there for the birth. They said as I had come in and my urine sample had registered something called Keytones (a sign of dehydration and malnutrition) they would give me some fluids in a drip and send me home but I would need to go to Airedale with any further problems.

After 6 attempts at taking blood and inserting a canular and feeling a little like a pin cushion, I had some saline running into me at a rather fast pace. It took an hour and a half for my body to swallow up 2 litres and they sent me home again, feeling pretty much the same but absolutely shattered.

I woke on the next morning, it was a Sunday and was the sickest I had been since the illness started. I was vomitting constantly, hardly able to breathe for being sick. We called Airedale Hospital and were told as they didnt have an early assessment unit like BRI, I would need to be assessed via A&E. This was the case for all pregnant women under 20 weeks. We called Darrens dad who took us to A&E which is about half an hours drive away and we spent 4 hours waiting to be seen. It was one of the most miserable experiences of my life sitting in a packed A&E department trying not to vomit but desperately wanting to, seeing people being taken for that seemed to be routine appointments before me. Darren tried his best to get me seen earlier, but we were chastised by a very matronly nurse who told us 'If we admitted everyone who came in complaining of bein.g a bit sick, we'd be here all day. You'll just have to wait.'.

Eventually I was seen. My keytones which had been 3 the night before when I was put on a drip was now showing 4 (very high). I was admitted to a ward which was terrifying. I had never had a proper hospital stay before this. They put me on a drip right away and I stayed on one from the Sunday until the Wednesday morning until my keytones were back to 0. As nice as the nurses were, the stay was horrid. I didnt sleep with my drip always needing replacing in the early hours and waking up the whole ward with its beeping, I was lonely, I was on a ward with a senile old lady who spent the entire time verbally abusing the staff. I prayed for 12 weeks to come to be rid of this as thats the usual timeframe.

One good thing from my hospital stay was having a scan to check that everything was ok. I had this at 10 weeks and 3 days. Everything looked normal and there was only 1 baby. Previously they thought it could be more than 1 due to my sickness. It was so wierd seeing the little figure on the screen moving about and turning over. It made it all seem all the more real.

Week 6

The first day of week 6. The docs called me last night at 7pm to cancel my appointment for the next day which had been made 10 days ago and Id been waiting for patiently to find out if everything was ok….. Darren wasn’t having any of it and made them see me earlier as they were only cancelling as the doctor ‘needed to leave earlier’. I had to get time off work which meant working it back on lunches which I could do without with how I’m feeling right now.

It was as much of a waste of time as the last visit. They didn’t test the sample they asked me to bring (the sample I made a special journey to get a pee pot for!) as I had done a home text 2 days earlier to make sure everything was still ok. She said ‘There is no point in me doing that if you’ve already done one’… Ok don’t put yourself out doc! I would be making this all up!

She told me they couldn’t do an early scan before 7 weeks. I know this isn’t true as I’ve read all about it online. They can detect a heartbeat via an internal scan at 6 weeks! They can at least tell if the pregnancy is in the uterus or is ectopic!

She tells me nothing more and says if my symptoms get worse or I get pain or bleeding / spotting to return next Friday (which would be my third visit) then come back and they would arrange an early scan. It makes me wonder what the purpose of the first visit was if they told me it was too early to see me (yet told Darren on the phone I should come in), also the second visit she TOLD me to come back for, as if I was still in as much pain they couldn’t do an early scan anyway… so why have me waste my time again.

I had to ask what I did about seeing a midwife as she clearly thought I was psychic! Apparently doctors ‘don’t take anything to do with that any more, patients contact midwives themselves and self book’…. Okay, it would be nice to have been given that piece of info without having to keep asking what I’m supposed to do all the time.

You read everywhere that this is the most important stage of pregnancy as it has the most foetal development and you should be careful about allsorts of things, yet I have yet to see any care provider who gave me any advice on what I should be doing, what I should be eating, taking as vitamins… nothing! The doctors are treating me like I’m a hypochondriac when all I want is some reassurance or even some advice. Good god, someone actually treating me like I was pregnant would be nice.

This week has been horrid. I’ve had bad stomach pains, exhaustion and really bad nausea which is completely doing my head in. I keep getting dizzy spells and feel like I’m going to faint. Apparently the worse you feel, the better it is, but that’s not much consolation when you’re feeling like this. A latest development is crying for no reason. I went off on one this week after my docs appointment as I was feeling so deflated about it all. I could cope with feeling like this if I knew everything was ok… The thought of feeling like this for no reason. Its not like me to cry for no good reason, but hey ho, I seem to have every horrid symptoms going….so much so I’m wishing for twins so I don’t have to do this again!

Ive emailed the midwives and they are contacting me with a booking in appointment so that will be the next progression I suppose. Im just praying she has a better bedside manner than my doctor.

Week 5

At the start of week 5, I am reading the symptoms I should have. I have experienced a little bit of nausea but I am completely exhausted. I’m rarely out of bed before 8:30 on a night, sometimes earlier. I can’t believe how many symptoms I am experiencing so early on. My stomach hasn’t stopped hurting me yet which is worrying. I always find pain easier to deal with if I know everything is normal and ok.

I’m sure I’m not the only woman who’s worried about this sort of thing. At the minute twinges in my left side have me worrying about an ectopic pregnancy. This is made all the worse as its something the doctor told me was a risk with the pain I’ve had.

I don’t think theres any way for any reassurance before the 10-12 week scan, and im only halfway there to I’ll just have to be patient I suppose.

My belly has started to pouch out below my belly button and Ive put on 3 pounds. My trousers are all tight around the waist and I can already see my waistline thickening. I am going to look like a sodding elephant.

I have absolutely no libido at all and don’t even want to be touched as I feel all bloated and heavy and achy. I just hope this passes after the first trimester as I fear Darren will go cross eyed soon!

The one thing I cant understand is how many women don’t even know they are pregnant at this stage.


Week 4

So it’s the first week I’ve known I am pregnant. From reading online strangely it appears I’m 4 weeks pregnant. The date is taken from the first day of your last period even though you are not officially pregnant until 2 weeks later… anyways… 4 weeks it is.

I did my last pregnancy test this morning first thing and again that line appeared. I think we can take it as definite now. Darren seems quite chuffed with his prowess. Leaving ‘It’s a Bullseye’ comments on my facebook page. I think he’s not wanting to get too excited as yet as its very early days. He’s maybe a little shocked its happened so soon. Men rarely tell you how they’re really feeling about things, so I just got to hope he’s as pleased as me.

At this stage Im trying to keep things to ourselves as much as I can for now just in case anything goes wrong. I’m a terrible liar though and someone at work asked me directly if I was pregnant. As it was someone who recently had a baby and I wanted to ask lots of questions to, I was honest. By the end of the day the 4 girls I work closest with all knew. It was impossible to try to talk about it without others overhearing so hopefully we can keep it in our little group.

I’ve been experiencing very bad cramping and a little bit of brown spotting. Darren makes me book in with the doctors although I don’t feel there’s much point at this early stage as so many sites on the internet say the doctors don’t really want to see you this early on. I’m getting nagged though… incessantly, so I go.

I found out on Sunday and the doctors appointment was Tuesday. The appointment was a complete waste of time and all it achieved was helping me to feel completely crap about it all. She spent the entire appointment talking to me about miscarriage and how common it was. She said I could start to bleed in the next few days and if I did, I had probably miscarried and there wasn’t much they could do about it. She asked about my pain and I explained the cramping feeling to her. Its exactly like period pain but maybe actually a bit worse. She doesn’t seem to want to take me seriously… again goes on about how common miscarriage is and asks me when the last positive pregnancy test I did was. She does tell me a miscarriage will do me no physical harm, just psychological.. (JUST!). She goes on to tell me I have to be careful of an ectopic pregnancy as that can be fatal! What a ray of sunshine!

She tells me to come back in 10 days with a urine sample so they can retest it. Left the docs feeling very deflated.