So I decided that I should maybe do another post on where I am at with my pregnancy; be warned it wont be a short read and I am very honest in my posts. I feel I should add a little disclaimer that these are my personal experiences and every pregnancy is different, What I am going through in this pregnancy may not relate to you or even be something you ever will!
If I’m honest I am not having a great time of it; I’m sure lots of women get to 7 months plus and feel fed up and would just rather the babies be here already. But for me its the pain and added extras I am suffering with. Last Monday (yep I have been trying to write this for a week but the fatigue just keeps setting in) I had my routine 28 week appointment with my midwife. I explained about the pain I have been suffering with and that when the pain peaks Button’s movements rapidly reduce. I have repeatedly done the whole eat, drink then lay on your left side quietly for an hour plus with only the odd movement instead of ten in an hour which I believe is the amount you aim for. So she decided after she had finished all her checks that I should be seen by the Maternity Assessment Unit and not leave until I had been seen by a Doctor due to the pain I had been in. I am the first pregnant lady with a stoma she has treated so I do appreciate her erring on the side of caution.
The checks were heartbeat over the doppler which were as expected absolutely fine, urine again fine, she took some bloods, checked my weight and the bump measurements. As it was my first bump measurement there was no “trend” to look for but according to the national averages everything is as it should be. The weight bit was NOT something I wanted to pay attention too but I have gained 5KG/10LBS which is low but fine. I did one of those ‘what weight could I gain in pregnancy’ calculators which I don’t think are too bad because it goes on your pre pregnancy weight and height and can be reassuring, mine said by the end of my pregnancy I could gain anywhere from 11.3KG – 15.9KG so in real money as my Nanna would say 1ST 11LBS – 2ST 7LBS so I am obviously doing okay. Reading that weight estimator has actually improved my mental approach to my weight, which is good because it took a nose dive last week when I was talking to my friend Louise over at Crohns Fighting about my weight and panicked because I unlike her couldn’t see the bigger picture that being pregnant and gaining weight is COMPLETELY NORMAL and that I still have a few weeks left. You would think I have never been pregnant before sheesh!
I have managed to eat more a varied diet than the beginning of my pregnancy which is a really good thing. This keeps me being healthy and Button is getting a wider range of nutrition, although due to the increased fatigue I have noticed I do seem to be eating the more unhealthy snacks. So to try to combat this when I have my “main meal” so to speak I try to pack in more veg or other healthy foods.
In the last fortnight (two weeks for my stateside readers) my output has been all over the shop which makes it incredibly hard to regulate with diet before I take the loperamide; which has been taking a heck of a lot longer to work at the moment but that could be down to the pregnancy hormones who knows! But I always try to use diet before medication to treat the smaller symptoms like high output. I have been trying to keep my fluids up and keeping an eye on them due to the heat wave we have had. Yet it just seems to be a never-ending battle especially as it decides to go high output during the night which means I am getting about 30 mins uninterrupted sleep at a time.
The pain I have been dealing with isn’t just in my stomach – which I will talk/write about shortly, but in and around my hips/lower back. I was told to self refer to a “back and hip” pregnancy physiotherapy course to learn some stretching techniques which should hopefully help or eliminate the pain. I have been suffering a lot with feeling faint even on the days my hydration and nutrition are on point so no idea what that is!
Fast forward to the M.A.U visit, I was in there from 11:30 till 16:15 and I am so glad I went to get some snack food and a drink before I went to the ward because I had to ask for something to eat and drink whilst I was there. I only got a sandwich you know the ones filled with mayo? an apple juice cup plus enough water to take my pain relief with. None of the other expectant mothers got anything either which I think was atrocious. I was put on a heart rate monitor for about an hour and this showed even though I couldn’t always feel Button move I certainly heard them!
I will never understand why the NHS thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to put only one Doctor on to cover three wards and a theatre hardly fair for the Doctor stupid budget cuts! So I was left to wait three hours whilst this Doctor was here there and everywhere, just for him to tell me all the stomach pain was normal stretching and the amount of scar tissue I no doubt have. This was pretty heart breaking as I knew it would happen as it did with Ra-Ra but I ended up crying as I hoped it would be something treatable you know… for a change. He said they would treat the pain with Paracetamol, Codeine and to offset the pain nausea Metoclopramide. The pain relief is fine until it peaks then I feel like I am at square one again, the anti sickness basically speeds everything up (so I take this only if absolutely necessary) but works against the loperamide. He said he would come and sit in my Obstetrician appointment which was on the Tuesday, so he could get more of my history which I thought was fair enough.
So the next day I had my 28 week growth scan which showed Button growing fine and having long legs! Here is something people don’t always let you know; your bag seems to fill up waaaaaay faster than you would expect it too, what with all the extra liquid you have to drink. Or at least mine does, yes if you think logically it makes sense but 00Steve will tell you I don’t do logic….the git. But if like me you aren’t a kneel on the floor to empty sort of girl then it might make things a bit trickier well unless you have been at those kegel exercises religiously!
Scar tissue can also make these scans more uncomfortable too as they really have to press down into your flesh so that the sound waves can get through as scar tissue is a lot denser. I now have a small lump that has popped out due to the wand being pressed fairly hard into a particularly weak part where two scars meet, as the sonographer needed to measure Button’s head but lo and behold baby was being a bugger. It is kind of a hernia, but nobody is fully certain right now, all I can tell you is it is bloody painful!
Due to the pain and all the other factors I have mentioned that is making this pregnancy pretty awful to live with I have opted for a Cesarean section. I just said could they provisionally book me in for as early as they are comfortable doing. I really am struggling with the fact that this time I could have had a natural birth but it seemed like they were only going to let me try for a short while before operating anyway. 00Steve said he always knew it would end up this way but lets face it he is a smart arse ha ha! Due to the upset of not having the type birth I had hoped for I am not being so forthcoming with the date. What is more upsetting is the fact I have people who just don’t seem to want to respect my privacy over this. With Ra-Ra everyone became over involved and again didn’t respect the way 00Steve and I wanted to introduce her into the world, this time I won’t be having the same happen. I want my energy to be used purely for my children and 00Steve not having to deal with other people being overbearing.
My Obstetrician also believes that a lot of my pain comes down to my stoma, but other than literally stretching to 2/3mm so far which is nothing! I don’t get pain in and around my stoma that I can’t account for like the starts of a partial blockage or an elbow ha ha! The only issue I have had with my stoma and being pregnant is purely down to hormones and my skin reacting to the adhesive on the Sensura Mio which caused a mild rash and on the Welland convex the adhesive didn’t stick around my bump very well. Both were easily sorted by changing bags, I am currently using the Dansac Novalife convex bags which I had precut to 30mm when I first had my surgery so I am just using them up rather than ordering new bags; when the NHS is already having issues with cuts I would rather use up what I have especially if there is nothing wrong with the products I have.
It also doesn’t help that throughout my pregnancy different medical professionals keep throwing counselling up into the mix. I refuse to do counselling again as it actually makes me so much worse as I focus on the problems and I can’t shut that off when I leave the session. So focusing on my weight, pain and now the birth just isn’t a smart move and thankfully 00Steve put his foot down in a way and said he doesn’t think whilst pregnant the stress would be a good thing. Talking like this I feel is enough counselling I need as blogging is very therapeutic for me, besides doing it like this is pretty positive for me as I look back and see how far I have come regarding everything mentally.