Friday, 11 December 2015

Pregnancy Update - Weeks 24 - 27

Wow, time is really flying now - less than a week until I am in my third trimester! Things are continuing to go well, definitely feeling more uncomfortable the bigger I get which is to be expected obviously, a few more aches and pains than usual, but overall, things are good!

The last few weeks have been busy as usual, lots of family stuff going on, lots of preparation happening for Christmas as well as trying to prepare for our Baby Bear's arrival!

Something I meant to mention in my last post is that we bought a new car!  A lovely 2013 Nissan Pulsar with so much room in the boot and back, and much safer than my little corolla.  It's definitely a family car, and as someone who dislikes driving, it has taken me a bit to get used to, but it is lovely to have a newer, safer, bigger car that I know will make things much easier when our baby boy is here.

I have started to get some lower back pain as my tummy continues to grow (a lot!) and am definitely getting a fair bit of swelling happening in my feet/ankles by the end of the day.  I try to go for a walk to break up the day at work and do lots of stretching, but sometimes I get so busy I forget.  I definitely need to make this more of a priority.  I still go swimming with my sister too which is always good.  Heartburn is another thing I am experiencing with pregnancy that I've never had before - so unpleasant.  I find drinking lots of water throughout the day helps, but it really is horrible when it strikes!  Sleeping is becoming more difficult as I try to get comfy with my growing bump!  I bought a body billow which helps, but as someone who has always slept on my stomach, I just never feel completely comfy at the minute, especially trying to stay on my left side (the ideal position for blood flow etc. to Baby Bear).  Reid's snoring doesn't help either, but he has been working so hard lately I know how wiped he is, and he is stepping up a lot around the house as vacuuming has started to really hurt my back (a chore we usually take in turns is primarily his now) and he is working hard to try and get landscaping/general work around the yard done before Baby Bear is here too, and he works 6 days a week ~ I really do appreciate him more than words can say, I definitely scored in the supportive, wonderful husband department! xo

Something I wasn't going to blog about originally due to fear of being judged, is my current predicament with anxiety/medication.  As many of you probably know, I have suffered with a pretty horrendous anxiety disorder for most of my life.  I started taking medication for this about 3 years ago, and it was like the fog lifted - I was able to cope so much more readily with life in general, and was a much happier and more settled person as a result.  I weaned off this medication a few months before Reid and I started trying for a baby, and that was a real struggle.  In my mind, it was just NOT an option for me to take this while pregnant, it was not something I wanted my baby exposed to.  Needless to say, I struggled a lot.  Emotionally, physically, mentally - I was a pretty big mess, especially during the first trimester.  A family friend recommended I call a specialist in Victoria to chat about my options, as often GP's and the general public are unaware of the pros and cons when it comes to these types of medications in pregnancy and just stick with the "better to be safe than sorry" mantra.  I spoke to this Doctor who explained that it is actually more beneficial to TAKE the medication and have Mum coping and healthy instead of stressed and unwell, releasing a whole host of hormones in the process that can have even worse effects on your growing baby.  He discussed how disappointed he is that most GPs aren't well educated on this subject, and made the recommendation that I start taking my medication (at a slightly lower dose) immediately.  At our first obstetrician appointment, I had another big discussion about it, with her completely agreeing and writing me a prescription straight away.  I was 8 weeks pregnant at this stage.  I still didn't get the script filled... I was so paralysed with fear that something would happen to my baby and I would never forgive myself if it was linked to medication at all.  At my 16 week visit with my obstetrician, I disclosed that I hadn't in fact been taking the medication - Reid and I had talked about it a lot and I had also been talking about it with my sister and a couple of close friends, all of whom could see I clearly wasn't coping and needed help.  I received a little scolding from my OB and she finally convinced me that taking the medication was the right thing, for myself and for our baby.  11 weeks later and I can't believe the difference it has made.  I feel so much happier and able to enjoy this pregnancy even more.  I still bring it up at every obstetrician appointment, just for reassurance mainly, as it still scares me, but the fact that I am healthy, my baby is thriving in there, and I feel so much more able to cope makes it all worth it.  I decided to share this, purely in case someone struggling with the same issues stumbles across this post one day.  Needing medication does not make you weak. You are not selfish if you need to take it, regardless of being pregnant.  Mental health is STILL so widely stigmatised and it needs to stop.  The only way for this to happen is to talk about it - and that's what I'm trying to do. 

Baby Bear is kicking away in there like a champ.  I like to play him some of my favourite music and he always wriggles away, I'm hoping he will find it soothing when he is here, but that could be wishful thinking!  My biggest craving lately has been flavoured milk - oh my goodness, just give me all the milk!  Not something I would normally love, but clearly this baby wants his calcium!  Iced coffee is amazing (no, I never have more than 200mg a day, usually less than that) and so are vanilla milkshakes and the occasional iced chocolate.  I'm not having any major food aversions at this stage and am trying to eat a balanced, healthy, varied diet - although the odd treat definitely sneaks its way in there... I'm sure Baby Bear appreciates it... :)

We have started getting a bit of a collection of baby gear.  We are incredibly lucky in that my brother and sister-in-law are gifting us a lot from our twin niece and nephew, so a lot of our big stuff is covered.  We received our baby carrier this week (Ergobaby brand) and baby bag, we have been buying teeny coat hangers and some clothes and have also been gifted some clothes by generous friends that we appreciate so much!  We have picked the car seat and pram we want, so will be putting these on layby soon.  There are lots of other little odds and bods we will start collecting soon, and we have an empty nursery ready to fill with furniture which is an exciting prospect! 

Our latest obstetrician appointment was this week, Reid wasn't able to come so Mum came along again.  We had to see someone different again as our usual OB is away doing work in Nepal (makes me like her even more!) and he assured us that our baby is indeed a boy, he has a strong heart-beat and is measuring right on track.  It is always a relief to hear these things, I love the words "everything looks perfect!" Three months to go and we will be welcoming our baby into the world and I am so excited! x

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