Pregnancy Anemia

Now the fun and games begin, it seems. I’ve had a good 4 weeks or so since the morning sickness made an exit, and I have been feeling pretty good. Then suddenly, last weekend, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I had no energy, I was napping constantly. The midwife said it was normal, I said it didn’t seem so since it came on out of the blue – I could understand it if I’d felt run down leading up to it.

Well, after extreme dizziness and passing out took place, they’re pretty sure it’s anaemia. Fun! I’m on horrible iron supplements (Spatone, the most vile stuff I’ve ever tasted – actually tastes like bile) and I’m hoping it’ll do the trick. As I go into the third trimester I’m growing increasingly worried about finishing work at 37 weeks.

Fingers crossed this disgusting stuff is just what my body needs so I can keep going for another 11 weeks

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25 weeks pregnant

25 weeks pregnant! So what’s happened this week?

  • My friends have been in their element planning my baby shower. They’re not my thing at all but they were so excited I couldn’t tell them that. I’ll just grin my way through and be grateful that people want to be a part of it and celebrate with me/give me gifts šŸ™‚
  • I got my MATB1 form! From next week I can put my Maternity Allowance claim in. I’m going to start claiming it from April 5th (it’ll make my accounts a hell of a lot easier next year with it being all in one tax year!) I just need to pay this year’s tax bill and 3 weeks worth I apparently forgot about a few years ago haha
  • I’ve booked 8 weddings for later this year, which is 2 away from my limit (I’m allowed to work 10 days between April and December while on Maternity leave). I’ve also started booking loads for 2019 which takes the pressure off.
  • Baby’s moving quite a bit now, which is a relief. I had one day with minimal movement and freaked out but I think I just put him in a food coma after a night out with friends haha my midwife was lovely though and said if i’m ever worried like that again, even if it is 4am as it was on Wednesday, to call straight away and they’ll take me straight in for monitoring.
  • I’m no longer able to do my 3 mile walks. 2 miles is my limit now, boo. But still exercising as much as I can.
  • SO TIRED! The midwife is sending me for iron blood tests and putting me on supplements just incase, but since Sunday I’ve been absolutely exhausted despite doing not a lot.
  • Nesting has begun! I was up at 7am cleaning the outside windows one morning, and yesterday I completely emptied the spare room and dismantled some furniture in there ready for baby boy’s room. I’ll start painting it this week, and I’m going to see about getting some new carpet put down if I can afford it.
  • I hit the sales this week and got SO MUCH STUFF! M&S were marking down all the baby clothes while I was in there on Monday, and I was getting things for Ā£1. I got a huge bag full of jackets, cardigans, onesies, t-shirts, bibs….etc for Ā£35. I also got a little storage tower for his room and baby hangers for his clothes, and picked up my free Emma’s Diary pack with nappies and wipes. It all helps! My sister’s also given me 2 huge bags of my nephew’s newborn clothes so I’m pretty much set for the first few months. No doubt I’ll get lots as gifts too!

On to 26 weeks, and finally applying for my Maternity Allowance!

24 weeks pregnant – goodbye, B Belly!

Holy moly, 24 weeks. Baby B now has a whopping 40% chance of survival (better than last week’s 19%!) Of course I’m hoping that he keeps growing for another 13+ weeks but it’s good to know that if anything should happen and he needed to come out that he has a relatively good chance at surviving. Keep baking, baby!

This week sees the disappearance of my B-Belly. Plus size mamas will know what I mean! My belly is getting larger, rounder & firmer and I have almost no ‘band’ around my midriff anymore. I still have an innie belly button, but even that’s getting shallow now – I don’t think it’ll be long before that’s gone too.

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(ignore my messy hair! Having an admin day and it’s a wonder I even got dressed ha)

Much to my dismay, I still don’t feel him moving too much. He’s moving, no doubt about that, but I don’t feel much. That frustrates me – after all I’ve been through to carry him, I feel slightly robbed that I’m missing out on this incredible stage. All I feel is gas bubbles at night when I sit on the couch or go to bed. Honestly, if I didn’t know I was pregnant I would just think that they were my gut acting up, it’s that minimal. What does he do throughout the day? As I work from home I’m usually sat on the couch working from my laptop, so why do I feel him at night when I’m doing just that but nothing during the day when I’m also doing that? He should only be sleeping 90 minutes at a time so what the heck he’s doing in there is beyond me!

I was super shocked to find out how big he is this week. I don’t know why I thought differently, I was still imagining him to be so much smaller (possibly because of the lack of movement) so to find out that he’s the size of a freaking eggplant/demi-baguette actually freaked me out. That’s huge! Where is he hiding? How can I NOT feel him if he’s that big? Then, combined with the increased survival rates, I thought it a good idea to look at videos of 24 week premies on YouTube and OMFG – that’s an actual, living, breathing person. Yes, they’re tiny, but they’re huge compared to what I imagined him to be like in there.

I’m clearly not one of those people obsessed by my pregnancy. I don’t have pregnancy apps on my phone, I don’t really look into what baby is doing now or what I should be experiencing. I don’t feel the need to – I just “enjoy” how it is for me and get on with life. It’s still not real that he’s on the way to be honest, I don’t know when it’ll hit me that he’ll be here in 3-4 months.

My mum and I went shopping to Mothercare the other day. I only had to pick up some crib sheets I’d ordered but she dragged me through the aisles looking at things and splurging on things for baby. I bought a couple of babygrows/sweaters, she bought a bag full. She also wanted to buy a cot bedding set but I refused to let her – she seriously carried it throughout the store for an hour before finally admitting defeat. I liked it but not enough for the price it was (they are so ridiculously expensive) so I agreed to keep looking. I won’t even have a cot until he’s 6 months old so there’s no rush. She’s bought me so many outfits it’s unreal. She’s literally hit every shop having a post-Christmas sale and bought everything they have left up to 12-18 months. My sister has given me a bag of newborn and tiny baby clothes. My cousin has given me a playmat her son no longer uses. I have lots of things and I’m so grateful because I’m quickly realising how much babies need and how absurdly expensive it all is. I can get a bedding set for my double bed for Ā£30, yet the same for a tiny cot is over Ā£100?! Total rip off for new parents I feel.

 

Goodbye, 2017

Last year may have given me the baby I so desperately wanted, it was still one of the most difficult and darkest years of my life. Infertility sent me into a spiral of depression, it turned me into a person I don’t know and don’t like. I missed out on my sister’s pregnancy and blocked people out and made myself reclusive because of the horrible place I was in.

If I could go back and talk to myself I would say that I needed time for me, I needed time out. I needed to get myself into a better place before trying again. In the end, IVF and the desperation of having a baby caught up with me and I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.

Pregnancy was fraught with fear, worry and anxiety. I didn’t have a chance to catch up and rebuild myself. It’s only now that I’m almost 24 weeks that I’m finally starting to come around and come out of my shell again. I’m not right, I won’t be for a while, but I’m getting there. I’m trying to rebuild the relationships I lost, I’m trying to get a grip on my anxiety and just be happy.

Now that Baby Boy is nearing 24 weeks (how did that happen?!) he has a 40% chance of survival should he be born now. How crazy is that?! He could actually survive OUT of me now. It blows my mind. It eases my anxiety somewhat because I no longer fear miscarriageĀ as much. I still worry, of course, but less.

So, adios 2017. I’m glad that you brought me my baby boy after all these years, but aside from that I’ll be glad to see the back of it. I hope that 2018 has great things in store. I hope that I can once again be happy, struggle less with anxiety and just be happy as I am without constantly looking for improvement.

And I truly hope that all of you find your happiness in 2018. I hope it brings many rainbow babies, many happy moments, and less stress.

23 weeks pregnant

I can’t believe how quickly time is flying by! Christmas has been and gone and it was surreal to receive gifts for the baby this year, thinking that he will be in them in 4 months time.

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As you can see, bump is suddenly getting very big! I’m experiencing more stitch-like pains, and rolling over in bed/getting up is getting more of a struggle. Very concerned about coping with work over the remaining 4 months as I’m going to be busy and bound to be in more pain/be more restrictive. The shower is my best friend and I have two a day for as long as I can – hot and aimed right at the small of my back to help with the aches and pains! I can also say that until pregnancy I never understood the appeal of ‘putting your feet up’ to relax, but oh my god getting to elevate my feet and lean back on 3 cushions is the best feeling ever! All worth it for my little boy šŸ™‚

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I’ve also bought a pram! After speaking to a few friends, there was no consensus on a particular pram BUT there was one very common theme – everyone changed their minds and bought a lighter pram after 6-12 months! I went around and around the different options until my head was about to explode, and in the end decided ‘screw it’ and bought a second-hand iCandy peach in my favourite colour (turquoise!) that a friend of a friend was selling. It’s big yet sturdy, but it’s immaculate and works perfectly well and I only spent Ā£135 so I won’t feel guilty about changing it for something else in months/years to come – in fact I’ll probably easily sell it for Ā£135 and get my money back! It has the seat, the carrycot, rain covers, car seat adaptors, umbrella and cosy toes all included so I’m set for now. My mum (and her husband…) were adamant that they were going to buy me a brand new pram but I had to put my foot down with this one (plus it feels like he only wants to buy me the pram as a bargaining chip so that I’ll let him be called ‘grandpa’ which is NOT happening). I’ll let them buy my car seat and/or base instead if they want.

I’ve also ordered a few bits and pieces in the sales, a blanket, a swaddle, some moses basket/crib sheets, hats, bibs, and I can’t remember what else. My sister has graciously given me a bag of newborn clothes and is lending me her moses basket so I’m set there. I’m not going to bother with bottles, steriliser or anything like that as I’m going to try to breastfeed, and they’re all available almost immediately thanks to Amazon Prime anyway so I can get them if and when I need them.

22 weeks & emotions

This has been a difficult week. I’m not sure if it’s the pregnancy hormones, the holidays (which are always hard for me) or a combination of both. Most days have been spent crying and/or fretting, which tires even me out. I feel guilty that I should be so happy right now with baby on the way yet I’m just so down and sad all the time and I cannot snap out of it, no matter how hard I try.

I’m missing my dad a whole lot lately, I always do around Christmas. I would give anything to have him around, to be able to celebrate with him and it breaks my heart that he’s not here.

I also found another lump on my dog. I won’t be removing this one for testing because it seems to be just like the lipoma he had removed in October, plus I can’t put him through another surgery so soon. It still makes me worry because he’s my fur baby and I don’t want anything to happen to him.

I’ve also had some “family” problems (well, step-family problems) which have played heavily on my mind and made things difficult.

Last but not least, I’m feeling incredibly lonely on so many levels. Seeing all my friends posting on Facebook about the Christmas parties they’re going to, swapping gifts, and I have nobody to do it with. As I’m self-employed and work entirely alone I have no work colleagues to have a party with. I made a jokey Facebook post with a photo of my pyjama clad self eating chocolates at home alone and captioned it about how that was an office Christmas party when you’re self-employed. One “friend” made a comment about how she’d have invited me to theirs had she known (she knows…she says it every year and yet I’m never invited). I’ve been trying to arrange a curry night for said friend and a few others for months and they keep telling me they’re too busy. Then last night I walked into an indian restaurant in the city to buy gift vouchers for someone this Christmas, and lo and behold, all of my so-called-friends who have been too busy to get together for a Ā curry with me for months were sat there eating and drinking together. Talk about awkward. They saw me and avoided eye-contact. I cried all the way home at being omitted once again. It always happens. I don’t think it was necessarily done maliciously, I was just forgotten about. I left the office 4 years ago and despite keeping in touch, they no longer treasure the friendship with me the way I do with them. New people have started at the office and I’ve just slipped off the radar. But the truth is that these people are the only friends I’ve considered myself having, and I realised that I don’t have them after all. No effort is ever made to meet up with me or include me in things. I have nobody. I tried to arrange a breakfast date with my mum and sister today and they were too busy.

In 2018 I really need to combat this loneliness. I want to get a part-time job, I want to make friends, I want to have people I can meet up with and form bonds with. I want to start dating again, I want to have someone to share my life with. This has totally come at the wrong time because I highly doubt anyone would want to date a pregnant woman or a new mum but maybe someone will…

Single pregnancy is SO much more lonely than I ever imagined. I wish I had someone to come to appointments and scans with, someone to tell that my baby is finally moving, someone to go through it with me and care. I fear that once baby arrives I’ll be even more housebound and lonely, and for the first time I ever-so-slightly regret that he only has me. I doubt I’ll ever have another baby, and it breaks my heart to think that once I’m gone he’ll have nobody but an aunty, an uncle and one cousin. He has one parent and one grandparent and that’s it. I really need to start trying for baby #2 as soon as I am ready so that he can hopefully have a brother or sister to share life with and not end up so lonely as me. I hope that I’ll meet a man who will love him as much as me and will be a good role model for him.

I am so, so grateful but also so shocked because this is not how I expected pregnancy to be.

21 weeks & birth partners

(I did post last week, but for some reason it won’t show in reader! If you missed my 20 week scan update just head here to read it)

I’m 21 weeks now! Baby is finally starting to kick and turn hard enough for me to feel him. Very weird sensation!

I had my consultant appointment today. I was referred to consultant-led care purely because it was an IVF pregnancy, but everyone has told me that the consultant would discharge me as it wasn’t male-factor infertility. Wrong. Because my BMI is one measly point over the 30 limit I have to remain consultant-led (although the consultant did say that if I don’t get gestational diabetes that she may allow me to at least have a midwife led birth which is something). All it really means is more appointments and scans. I get to see baby again in 12 weeks.

I’m also being asked to think more about my birth plan – that scares me! Having experienced the pain of my miscarriage, I don’t particularly want to go through a natural birth. Kudos to those who manage it, but considering how anxious I get I would rather be pain-free via epidural and try to remain as calm as I can throughout the birth. Hell, I’d rather be knocked out altogether but apparently that’s not an option. All along I’ve only even considered giving birth alone (with midwives and doctors, anyway – no birth partner I mean) but my mum was shocked and horrified that I was leaving her out. I think I’ll cope better with her being there if I am under an epidural. If not, I’ll panic and everything she does will annoy me and stress me out and it’ll be a horrible experience.

I have to say that this point in my pregnancy is one of the first times I’ve truly felt alone and wished I was experiencing it with someone else. When things happen, like baby’s first movement, I’m dying to tell someone but there’s nobody to share the moment with. My dog doesn’t understand! And picking up my phone to message a friend about it seems silly since they’ll not really care about it like I do. I’ve gone to most of my appointments alone, including my 20 week scan. I invited my mum but she opted not to go. I just want someone to share these things with. I’m also struggling financially, and wishing I had someone else to help cover the bills while I’m off work and to buy things I need for the baby with. It’s a huge burden alone, especially when you’re on a low income anyway. I keep telling myself that it’s only going to be tough for another month or so, and it’s only difficult because I’ve had to refund so many weddings and lose out on the income they’d still be bringing in, as well as have unexpected expenses (like paying my NI upfront to be entitled to maternity allowance, my dog’s vet bills and him having to go on special, expensive food). Things WILL even out, but in the meantime I’m really scraping by so I’ll be glad when it does.

Halfway point!

I’m 20 weeks today! I had my anatomy scan this morning. Everything was fine, baby is still a boy and looks perfect and healthy. I got to see him drinking, playing with his hands and his tiny feet. I really am so in love

Nausea continues, sickness a few days a week still. General aches and pains. Still no identifiable movement which sucks! Can’t wait to feel him, it’ll make it so much more real then.

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18 weeks pregnant

Inching closer and closer to the halfway mark…

This week sees the final lessening of the vomiting. I stillĀ feel sick most of the day, I’m still off almost all food that isn’t beige, but for the most part I’m not being sick, so that’s good.

Baby is about the size of a sweet potato this week! Still not really feeling movements yet (I’m blaming that on my anterior placenta, dammit) but yesterday I did feel a very strangeĀ turning sensation in my belly. It was very odd and definitely not something I’ve ever felt before. Sadly, as someone who is generally plagued by what my friend affectionately callsĀ bubbly gut, I never know if the rumblings I feel are my usual stomach issues or baby movements. I’m holding out for the definite kicks I’ll no doubt feel soon enough.

This week I’ve made my first big baby purchase – a crib! It’s a beautiful gliding one from Mothercare and is already set up in my bedroom. My dog wasn’t too sure about it to begin with but I wanted him to get accustomed to it being there over the coming months. I’ve also started a very small stockpile of nappies and wipes, and treated myself to a box of breast pads. Pregnancy is great…not.

Worries and concerns this week have been mostly financial. I’ve had to accept that I’ll have no choice but to eat into a good chunk of my savings to get by the next few months, in order to purchase things I need but also to pay my bills while I’m off work. Next financial year I only have 5 weddings booked and that scares the hell out of me! Hopefully I can do a sale in January and get some much needed bookings in. I try to remind myself that I would have had 9 so far which isn’t bad, but I had to cancel 4 of them (and one is still up in the air!) I’m currently selling a load of things I no longer use or need on ebay so hopefully that will help add to the baby funds. Between unexpected vet bills, Christmas and having to pay a lot of NI to be entitled to maternity pay, it’s going to be a very expensive few months.

Accomplishments this week have been naming baby boy and clearing out what will be his nursery (well, starting to clear out…)

It’s a boy!!!!

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Baby B is a VERY active but healthy boy. He sure gave the sonographer a run for her money this morning šŸ™‚

I can’t believe I’m going to have a son! I’m so excited