Monday, September 24, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Preggo.

It's been a while between blog posts (again!) and not due to a lack of ideas, just due to a lack of energy and motivation (well, I AM pregnant after all!). Right now, I'm sitting up in bed after a nice hot shower. The Englishman is watching the Grand Prix and while I am tired, I'm not quite ready to go to bed. So I thought it might be a good time to bite the bullet and get a post in while I have a little bit of motivation to do so....

Tomorrow is officially "32 Weeks" of pregnancy, which, when you get the pointy end gets a bit confusing. Pregnancy is 9 months, right? and I have 8 weeks left which is roughly 2 months, so I am '7 months pregnant'....but 32 weeks of pregnancy divded by 4 is am I 8 months pregnant or 7 months pregnant? The discrepancy (I figured out) is due to the 'weeks' of pregnancy being measured from last period, not from conception. So I'm 7 months pregnant but in the 32nd week of pregnancy. Nothing is ever simple is it?

I have been taking a "Bump Photo" every Wednesday (originally Wednesdays were the day the 'week' ticked over) and to look back over them, I can see when my bump really started to 'pop' - around Week 22. Since then it has just grown and grown and I'm having trouble imagining what it will look like by the time I hit 40 weeks as it seems huge already!

 Week 22
 Week 24
Week 26
Week 31

I think I have been pretty lucky with my pregnancy as I have not had any complications which have landed me in hospital or on any medications. I have however, had my fair share of 'issues'. Some I was expecting (morning sickness/nausea anyone?) but others really caught me out.

For posterity as well as sympathising with other preggo ladies, here is a list of my 'pregnancy ailments': all the worst bits of pregnancy so far!

Word of warning for the non-pregnants: Read on at your peril! But remember this is just my experience and every pregnancy is different (plus I promise I'll end the post with some nice stuff as well.)

* A few old favourites first - heartburn, constant urination, tiredness
These are pretty much a given for almost every preggo lady, I think. My mild level of heartburn is fixed with a chewable minty Quikeeze or two, others are not so lucky. The constant need to pee thanks to the baby monkey dancing on my bladder is increasing, as is the tiredness which seems to be due to a lack of sleep, carrying a growing foetus around 24/7 and actually providing nutrients for the growing of said foetus 24/7. 'Nuff said.

* Pregnancy Congestion and Nosebleeds
Why does no one ever mention this as a pregnancy symptom? The first I heard that nosebleeds were associated with pregnancy was my pregnant Sister in Law, who suffered a bloody nose often towards the end of her preggo time.
Since early on, my nose has been stuffy and blocked. Think post-cold nose, the one where its not all clear and clean but its no longer running like a tap. You need to blow it good to get the gunk out a few times a day and when you go to bed it makes you breathe noisy or breathe through your mouth (and end up with lips like a snow-hiker). In the last few weeks this has progressed to a bit of bleeding when I blow it too much as well - ick. Lucky I'm not a nosebleeder so it stops quick and I dont have to stand over a sink until it stops dripping!

* Tailbone (and other 'down there bone') Issues
At some point around the 20 week mark I started having a sore tailbone if I sat for too long. It gets stiff, and achey, and I moved like a heavily pregnant woman when getting up WAY before I should have been! My midwife sent me to see a physio who wasn't really that helpful, although she made some common sense suggestionst that I really should have worked out myself, like, dont sit for more than 30 -40 mins at a time, then get up and move around.
So the tailbone thing is still an issue but I'm handling it ok. I try to lie on my side at home and at work I have a chair and a fit ball which I alternate between.
The 'other' stuff down there is a  mystery - I often feel like I've been for a loooong bike ride. It's painful and awkward and I can't figure out how to help or fix it. The physio had no ideas. So at the moment I'm just trying to take the same tack as the tailbone issue, and sit all different ways or not sit for too long. I suspect its more to do with the baby monkey pushing on everything with his head than anything else now!

* Calf cramps
These are nothing too new for me, I used to get them when I played netball/ran a lot/was a LOT more active than I now am. Now I dont get the cramps so much as the pre-cramp feeling all the time, especially when I'm in bed. It's just weird, and appears to be waiting to launch a sneak-attack on me one night.

*  Numb arms
Another bedtime ailment and only a recent one. You aren't supposed to sleep on your back when preggo, however when I sleep on my side with my arms bent (because otherwise I'll hit the Englishman in the head), my arms go numb, so numb it seems to take minutes for them to come back. WTF?? Can't sleep on my back, can't sleep on my massive basketball tummy, can't sleep on my sides.........WAAAHHHHHH!!!!!

* Gestational Diabetes
Yep, that's right kids, I got the Diabetes! And yes, I've been fortunate enough (so far) that I have been able to manage just by changing my diet a little and watching what I eat. Over the last 3 weeks I've learnt how to test my blood glucose levels and have lost count of which finger I used to do so countless times each day. I've figured out that chicken schnitzel wraps have too many carbs/sugar in them and that I CAN have a Ferrero or two for dessert if I want. I actually don't mind eating heavily grainy bread/toast and enjoy having to eat my breakfast before I leave the house. I've got my fingers crossed that I can continue to manage this particular ailment, although as its hormone related I may have no choice but to move to using insulin at some stage. At least it goes away once the bub pops out :)

* General uncomfortable/awkardness
Sitting/standing, getting in and out of cars, moving around furniture, carrying groceries.......all of a sudden they are just a bit awkard to do, can feel uncomfortable or just plain painful. It's not a bad one, and its one that I think is pretty universal, but it is strange to notice yourself being really careful about the way you do things without even thinking about standing up from a lounge chair. You just have to lever yourself to the edge and then push your way out, there's no other way to do it!

* Cray-Cray Mood Swings
Every so often, I've had a day or two where I just want to burst into tears at all kinds of things.
Ok, so its been generally once a week at least and often its at nothing at all!
I had one week where I got super upset - both the Englishman and I were having trouble sleeping as we were keeping each other awake with snoring/heaving breathing. One night I had a go at him about it, which made him have a go at me, which ended with me going and sleeping on the lounge and crying until i got to sleep....then crying some more in the morning when the Englishman found me on the lounge and asked if I was ok.....then ended with me in hysterical laughter at this photo:

Anyway, I keep reminding the Englishman that at least the mood swings have stayed being just Happy/Sad swings. No moody/cranky/bitchy ones - thank goodness!

There's Good Stuff Too, I Promise!!

While all these ailments add up to make this Miss Holly pretty tired and uncomfortable most of the time, it has not been enough for me to say that pregnancy is horrible and I would never do it again. There are all kinds of amazing, awesome parts to it as well!  Here are few of my favourite things:

* Maternity Clothes
Yes, you have to buy a bunch of new clothes that cost money and you can only wear them for 9 months or so, and if you don't have kids in the same seasons you may never get to wear them again.
So what? That can happen if you put a few too many kgs on or if you become a marathon runner.
They're still NEW CLOTHES!
And while it can be hard to find nice, good quality maternity clothes sometimes, when you find them, they rock!
When I was non-preggo, I was very careful to choose clothes that hid my slightly-flabby tummy. Hence lots of slighty flowy tops.
Now, I just want EVERYONE to see my bump so I choose lots of tight, fitted or clingy clothes that show off the Bump to the world!The rest of my body hasn't changed too significantly so I feel pretty good about how I look. I LOVE my bump and for the first time have a pair of skinny jeans that are comfy and don't show my bumcrack to the world when I bend over.
I've also been lucky enough to have two lovely friends lend me some of their maternity clothes. This has been a lifesaver and has given me some different outfits I may never have chosen myself but have LOVED.

*Preggo body
I was pretty sure I would be ok with my body changing shape during pregnancy, and I was right. I love the shape I am and have grown into. I have put on a bit of weight all over but it seems minimal, and my belly is quite a tight, round shape. Even better, the Englishman seems to love it too :)

* The little monkey Movements
It's quite a surreal experience, having something growing inside you, and one I still can't quite fathom. It's hard to believe that if for some reason the little monkey had to come out now, he would be a little baby, a real little baby.
Still, he has been making his prescence known regularly for quite some time now, so its not like I ever forget what's going on in there. The little quivers at the start, the punches, kicks, elbows and knees, the full-on tumbles, the hiccups.....these movements are a bit bizzarre and a bit strange but they are also really, really cool.

* The Englishman's Excitement
My wonderful Englishman was happy when I showed him the pink stick with the two pink stripes on it, and has been involved and excited throughout my pregnancy. But this has gotten more and more and MORE, to a point that I never expected. Some days I think he is more excited than I am! He is constantly rubbing my belly, putting his head to it, kissing it, talking to the baby,........he bought a toy for the baby for the first time yesterday and was stupidly excited about it. He got all teary the other weekend after we came home from having a baby shower at my Mum's because, he said  "I get it now". He has lovingly restored the family cot so our little monkey can sleep in the same cot (different mattress though) as his Pa, his Mum and his Aunties. He is selling his beloved car, Ruprecht the Peugeot and has given in to the pressure to buy a 5 door car. He tells me I look beautiful all the time and that he can't wait for the little monkey to arrive! For a man who claimed he was 'too much of a kid to have my own' only 12 months ago, I'm so happy and excited that he gets it and is so happy and excited, too.

They're probaby my favourite, and the most nicest, parts of pregnancy. There are heaps more but quite a lot of them run to more material things (like baby showers and presents, and little toys and clothes and setting up nurseries and reasons to go to Ikea.....amongst other things).
One I would have previously included was "Being able to eat whatever I want, whenever I want" but that's no longer the case. The Diabetes beat that. On the plus side, I'm unlikely to put on too many extra kilos as a result!

So that, in a nutshell, is the last few months and what it has been like for me. If I can motivate myself, I will try and blog some more as I have heaps of stuff in my head at the moment! It's just getting it out through my tendonitis wrists/tired brain/sore tailbone situation.

So come on readers, what were your unexpected 'ailments' during pregnancy, and what were your favourite bits??? Or what are you worried about/looking forward to after the little pink stick shows 2 pink lines?

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