I’ve been away from this blog for a while because I haven’t had a lot that I’ve wanted to talk about this publicly. I’m 24 weeks pregnant with our second child, something which we are both thrilled by, but it’s not been easy. It’s fair to say that this pregnancy is well and truly kicking my arse.
A few weeks pregnant
I was expecting a difficult first trimester. Extreme exhaustion and nausea plus looking after a toddler is not a good mix – there was a lot of CBeebies. But we got through it without too many problems and a lot of early nights, and felt incredibly lucky to have a problem free 12 week scan. By 14 weeks I had some energy back and felt like I could handle this, promising my boss I would be finishing a big project before going on a short maternity leave at 37 weeks. I went for my first run in a couple of months and started swimming regularly, I was eating well and after begging and borrowing from friends even felt as though I had quite a good maternity wardrobe.
By 18 weeks my hips and pelvis were hurting every day and they have gotten worse as the weeks have gone on. I’m pretty sure it’s SPD, but on the milder side (hats off to anyone who has suffered with this more severely) and am trying to get referred for physio. In the meantime it’s no to picking-up the toddler, no to cleaning floors, yes to warm baths, yes to 10 minute walks and no more. This aspect of pregnancy has been unexpected and boring, but not debilitating (yet), and really is nothing in comparison to the other fun pregnancy symptom (side affect?) I’ve been experiencing: fainting. Having fainted once when I was pregnant with Freddie at about 32 weeks and knowing that my mum fainted a lot when she was pregnant, I wasn’t overly surprised when it happened at 14 weeks, but then when it happened again at 19 weeks it was a shock. Then it happened again and again. Over the last 3 weeks it’s happened (or very nearly, with me being able to catch myself before I fully black-out) every couple of days and leaves me exhausted, shaky and scared. I don’t know what’s going on and the medical advice I’ve had has only told me what I already know – I have low blood pressure.
This is my blog and my space to write about what I’m feeling, sharing things that I feel might be useful or interesting to those who might come across it, so I’m going to be really honest in the hope that this might help someone else who is struggling with pregnancy: this is hard. My health is bad and I can’t do anything like what I could when I was pregnant before, never mind not pregnant. I’m scared and feel pathetic, as though perhaps I’m actually not experiencing anything worse than other pregnant women and I just can’t cope with it. I’m worried that I’m going to black-out and fall over while looking after Freddie and come round and several minutes (ok, hours) have passed. I don’t want to have to stop work, but I have to admit that I might have to. I’m used to being able to do it all and I can’t. I physically can’t.
The baby is perfect and unaffected, kicking frequently now and reacting to voices. The relief of sailing through the 20 week scan was huge after the stresses of Freddie’s 20 week scan (we didn’t find out the sex this time), so no worries there. I’m hoping that this is just a bad phase and that in a few weeks I’ll be full of energy again and able to go to the office for more than 2 days a week. Whatever happens I keep repeating to myself out loud that this isn’t forever, it’s a means to a wonderful end.
Before I got pregnant I was the fittest, the healthiest and the thinnest I’d ever been as an adult. I could run 10km. I could do a long, busy day at work with an hour long commute at either end and come home to look after my child, cook dinner, spend the evening with my husband, travel at weekends. I made Tom promise that he would pester me to keep up my running throughout my pregnancy, something which seems laughable now. Another thing which is laughable is how bad I am at taking my own advice: between my pregnancies I was forever telling female friends how although pregnancy is wonderful, I wished women would be more honest about how you simply cannot do everything you want to do. Some women do sail through, but the majority don’t. Here I am getting upset because I am finding this harder than I thought I would and still feeling like I should be able to do everything. Why? Who is putting this pressure on me?
Pregnancy is inconvenient and special. It can be painful, tiring and horrible, but it can also be incredible and magical. I wanted to love this pregnancy and in a lot of ways I am. But in many, many others I just want it to be over so that we can meet this baby and I don’t have to be pregnant anymore.