SISJ PREGNANCY: HALF-WAY – MY JOURNEY OVER THE FIRST 20 WEEKS >
Well here I am, the ‘half-way’ mark! I am 20 weeks and 1 day to be exact. I am feeling particularly amazing and blessed after receiving the great news yesterday at our 20 week scan, that our baby girl is developing well and looks healthy. While I was not anxious or stressed about what we might see or hear, there is always that little niggle/’what if’ in the back of your mind. Seeing her move and dodge while we did the scan was hilarious and really quite overwhelming. Unfortunately my hubby couldn’t be there due to work commitments, but my beautiful Mumma Bear was. What was beautiful was I got a copy of the whole scan on DVD which we both watched last night – and I cannot confirm or deny whether a certain #babydaddy shed a few tears!
So what is today’s post all about? Well I’ve decided to share a little bit about my journey so far. While I am a VERY open and honest person, I do enter this ‘space’ with a small guard-up. I think unfortunately sometimes people take it upon themselves to voice nasty and unwarranted advice or opinions – particularly during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. I really hope that by sharing my feelings and experiences, it doesn’t encourage others to either criticise me or my methods/philosophies. EACH TO THEIR OWN, I say – motherhood is no exception.
If I want your opinion, I will ask you. If I don’t? Kindly respect my choices and back the F off! I do of course welcome positive or constructive feedback and your stories. My views on motherhood are no different to having a career, choices we make in our personal lives and so on. We as women need to empower each other and give each other strength, not tear each other down (out of our own insecurity). I truly don’t mean to start this written journey off in bad light, but I am setting some SISJ ground rules and basic expectations of my readers, family and friends. I hope you enjoy today’s blog post and hearing about my journey. Each experience is unique and we can only learn from each other. Enjoy!
(IMAGE ABOVE: I WAS 12 WEEKS PREGNANT)
MY FERTILITY/HEALTH BACKGROUND: As I was on hormone treatment (about to start IVF the following month – October), we were closely monitoring my progress RE pregnancy. I had been seeing my fertility specialist (Dr Lynn Burmeister) for over 2.5 years, mainly for management of my PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and of course, fertility. We commenced Clomid treatment in Dec 2013 for eight cycles, followed by two cycles of Gonal F injections. It was on our second month of Gonal F where we got pregnant! It was my little sister’s birthday (25th August), when we found out via a blood test at 2 weeks. To be honest, I was in shock. I think as a coping mechanism I had convinced myself we would end up on IVF and have all sorts of trouble – totes a glass half-full girl! Sprung. Of course we were pleasantly surprised when we found out that this wouldn’t be the case. I have so much admiration and respect for couples that go through IVF therapy, it’s extremely invasive, tiring and expensive. If you are going through this now or in the past – I’m giving you the biggest virtual high-five and hug! YOU ARE AMAZING and I wish you all the best on this journey – look after yourself and body.
To all my readers and friends, I cannot recommend Lynn highly enough. I have referred many, many people to Lynn and have heard nothing but success stories > ABOUT DR. LYNN BURMEISTER
(IMAGE ABOVE: I WAS 6 WEEKS PREGNANT)
WEEKS 4 – 12 >
Without writing a thesis, here are some words to summarise my first three months: cravings, naps, cravings and more naps! I should probably also mention copious amounts of calories too! I was super, super lucky and didn’t really experience any morning sickness. I would definitely wake to slight nausea, but I never vomited or felt terrible. My biggest symptom was tiredness – I couldn’t have enough sleep. I was napping most afternoons between 4pm – 6.30pm, with a bedtime around 11.30pm and waking at 8am. My energy levels completely dropped and I stopped my weekly PT and exercise routines. Looking back, I do wish I had stuck to my fitness routines, but you really do need to listen to your body. I was also still in those early phases of worry (pre 12 week scan). My PT (Hayley Roper – Love My Body) has specialised training in pregnancy, which is an absolute MUST because you do need to vary your workouts. I finally had the energy and motivation to start back around week 16.
RE the infamous ‘mummy brain’ – IT DOES EXIST! I had the worst case of this from 5 – 8 weeks (ask my hubby!). I can’t tell you how many times I tried to get out of my car with the seatbelt on and the engine running, I left my keys in several shops, had trouble finding my words and just general weirdness! I was also lucky/un-lucky enough to grow almost three cup sizes in the space of about four days, around the 5-6 week mark. I do have some small stretch marks around my breasts, which was unavoidable due to the speed in which they grew. I have been using my Bio Oil from day one, but there’s nothing it can do when things happen that fast. My stomach, back and legs are going well now at 20 weeks – so fingers crossed it continues this way.
Overall I have been pretty relaxed throughout this whole experience. I started by downloading a few apps and my fave has been “Pregnancy +”. It is simple, informative and really all I’ve needed so far RE info. There are more apps with more detailed info and forums/chat rooms – but my advice would be to avoid those. If you enter that space – be warned. Most of them are women from around the world sharing their views and opinions and also giving advice and making judgements of other mums-to-be. I don’t believe this sort of thing is helpful and can only lead to unnecessary worry and anxiety. If you have any questions, ask your OBGYN or family doctor. It’s very simple. However, like I said above, EACH TO THEIR OWN – if you find these beneficial, go for your life.
In summary… I would say, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you need to sleep, sleep. If you are hungry, eat. Of course you do need to monitor calorie intake (you only require an extra 300 calories per day) and eat a healthy diet. If you feel more comfortable putting exercise on hold, do so. However, with all the changes your body is about to go through, you also need to maintain a love for yourself and your body – so react accordingly. I would definitely suggest abiding by basic food consumption advice for pregnancy – no cold meats, poached eggs (wahh!), non-bloody meat, wash all your vegies, re-heat meals to a safe temperature, avoid alcohol, drugs and smoking completely, unsafe beauty treatments – the list goes on. Just be reasonable and sensible, while still enjoying life. Oh, and one other thing… You will probably pee 2 – 3 times per night – and that doesn’t stop!
(IMAGE ABOVE: I WAS 19.5 WEEKS PREGNANT)
WEEKS 12 – 20 >
The FUN trimester! The magic week for me was week 16 – 17. I FINALLY felt that second trimester glow and energy (aka, back to myself). You actually look pregnant (and not just bloated), you can start to share the news with your friends and colleagues and your morning sickness should start to disappear. Although I didn’t have much/any, I definitely started feeling better in the mornings and having more energy. I went back to regular PT and gym and started feeling more confident in accepting my shifting-shape. At first you will feel a little strange (the shift from first to second trimester), or at least I did. I started feeling a little uneasy that I no longer felt pregnant! Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal and you will learn to love it!
At 12 weeks we decided to do the ‘Harmony Prenatal Test’ at our 12 week scan, along with the normal tests carried out. This test involves a blood test which is sent off to the U.S.A, where they look for any chromosomal abnormalities (Inc. Down Syndrome, Fragile X and a few more). You are also able to see the sex of the baby, as this is yours/their DNA. Of course we were itching to know the sex and of course that our bubba was healthy, so this test was a no-brainer for us. While these results do come back with a statistic (eg. 1/16,000 chance of DS), my OBGYN commented that it’s almost guaranteed/100% accurate. They also eliminate other maternal and fetal health issues. This is obviously also a very personal decision and I can’t say what I would or wouldn’t do if I was told our baby did have one of these conditions. That is an area for every woman and couple that is extremely private and I would never, ever judge another for their choice. This test does come at an additional cost of about $500 and there is a 1.5- 2 week wait for the results. For more info ask your treating doctor/OBGYN.
SLEEPING. Hmmm. Yes, I’ve forgotten what that word actually means. While the need to nap during the day has drastically decreased, I have only had one night in five months where I have actually slept all the way through. Most nights I am up 2 – 3 times doing a twinkle. I am also a much lighter sleeper… So when my darling husband gets up at the crack of dawn to get ready for work, you guessed it, so do I! I guess this is our body’s way of preparing us for motherhood? Yay, ha-ha. My advice from the first trimester applies here too – listen to your body. I still have my ‘off days’, where I have no energy and my brain can’t even answer an email. I definitely at times get angry at myself for not working out or eating better, but I think we need those days every now and again. Take it in your stride.
At 18 weeks and 4 days I felt our little baby move – this was AHHHH-MAZING! I wouldn’t describe it as ‘butterfies’, which I’ve heard so often. I think it feels more like big bubbles or waves of movement. It kind of tickles in a way, but wow, it’s magical. I am feeling her more and more as time goes on – she’s my tiny dancer!
There’s not a lot else to add here, other than enjoy this part. Embrace the changes (and weight gain – ahhh!) and show-off that bump! There are still moments where I think how the bloody hell do women do it? We are amazing, that’s why! This is an amazing gift, to create a life. The life of our child. I feel so privileged and honoured and I cannot wait to meet our little girl in four months.
MATERNITY FASHION / NURSERY STYLING / PREGNANCY BEAUTY & BABY SHOWER INFO COMING SOON.
BANNER IMAGE VIA POPSUGAR