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We are due the hottest summer for years and I am really beginning to physically suffer with the heat. My feet and legs have started to swell a bit and everything seems to take me 3 times longer and be 10 times harder than it ever used to be! But movement has really increased and I am starting to recognise a pattern in her movement. I had my regular midwife appointment this week which went well and I was a lot more relaxed during this appointment. My midwife felt my tummy and said that at this stage it is not very accurate but I am measuring slightly bigger than 25 weeks; more like 28/29 weeks! So we could be in for a big baby! It will be interesting to see what she weighs at the growth scan and how I am measuring at my next appointment at 28 weeks.
This week we made a start on preparing a nursery by putting up this wall sticker. Time is starting to go quickly now so we want to begin to prepare but every step we take in getting ready for her to come home is filled with that fear of I hope this isn’t going to go to waste and that she will come home to this room.
I have been admitted to labour ward. I went to the toilet one night after work and found that I was bleeding, I had felt her move all day and hadn’t overdone anything or had a stressful day but at that point I realised I hadn’t felt her move for a few hours. I tried to stay calm but inside all I kept thinking was ‘not again, I cannot lose another baby, not now we are so close’. I called triage and the midwife said to go straight in. The drive to hospital although short was agonising trying not to panic or show my husband how frightened I was when we arrived we had to wait for a room and a midwife to be free. We must have been waiting for about 30minutes but it felt like a lifetime all I wanted her to do was move to show me she was still alive but there was nothing. We finally got called through and I started having urine samples, blood pressure checks and everything else done when finally the midwife listened to find the heartbeat. I tried to listen myself and couldn’t hear anything, I looked at the midwifes face I could see she was worried but was trying to keep a straight face in case she had to break any bad news when finally there it was! Her heartbeat loud and clear, she was still alive! The midwife listened in for about 5 minutes to check everything sounded ok and that there we no signs of stress (my hospital wouldn’t do a monitor trace at that stage) and she was happy with what she heard. Then finally she started kicking and moving the relief was amazing. I was kept in labour ward for about 4 hours in total before being allowed home after having swabs and my cervix checked. That night I was very anxious about going to sleep in case she died that night but I tried to stay calm and reassure myself that she was moving fine now.
The next day all I had was a little bit of spotting so I hoped it was all going to calm down and was a one off. I called my consultant to arrange a reassurance scan and to check the placenta and also called my GP who advised me not to go to work before seeing him and that I needed to rest. When I did see him he signed me off for a month! I thought I would be advised to have a week or so rest but a month! Well whatever is best for the baby. Later that week I finally got to see my consultant for a scan and all looked to be ok she did a full growth, placenta, fluid and Doppler scan and the baby is weighing in at 2lbs 1oz already! But she is on the 50th centile which is what she has grown at throughout the pregnancy so maybe she won’t be so big after all!
We had a second scare this week when my husband called me on the way home from work to ask if I had had my Whooping cough jab yet, which I haven’t as I’m not far enough gone. It turned out that he had been with a client all day when had been coughing and failed to say anything until the end of the day that he had been diagnosed with Whooping cough! I text my midwife to ask for advice and she assured me that everything would be fine until the baby is born (if I chose not to have the vaccination) and then if my husband does get WC he could pass it on to the baby but during pregnancy there is little to no risk of the baby coming to any harm. To be safe our GP prescribed some very strong antibiotics to kill off any infection that he may have caught (I wasn’t given anything as the GP didn’t want me to take anything unless necessary) with strict instructions to go straight back for blood tests if he coughed at all. We decided to take precautions of scrubbing everything in his car, washing his clothes, him showering and brushing his teeth before being anywhere near me. Hopefully we will be ok but after this week I am just hopping that this is the end of our pregnancy dramas and that we can have an easy ride from now! I don’t know how much more I can take mentally!
The third trimester is creeping ever closer and I am starting to feel some excitement about that, a new part of the pregnancy journey that I have never experienced before. I am also starting to recognise the difference in her movements and how to tell what is a kick, what a stretch is and when she is trying to change position. The stretching feels very strange like someone is rolling a fist all down my belly from the inside. It is my birthday this week and I feel like this baby has really helped me to being to heal in so many ways. Not replace or erase what happened but to heal some of the bitter wounds I have. Last year I should have been 39+3 on my birthday but I wasn’t. I was grieving for my daughter who had died a couple of months before, it feels very strange to think how life has changed in the last year. I hope that next year I will have a 9month old here to celebrate the day with. This picture is at 27+6 on the morning of my birthday.
The third trimester is finally here! Apparently I am now on the home stretch, I hope so! Busy week this week I had a pregnancy massage which was my birthday present from my husband. It was lovely and I think that the baby liked it as well as she kicked loads during the hour. My midwife appointment where I got the results for my GTT which were negative! Fasting sugars were 4.4 and after drinking the sugary drink my levels were 4.8 so my midwife was very pleased with them. I am also quite shocked I had almost convinced myself that I would have GD and I’m really pleased that I don’t. My swabs from the bleeding all came back clear and there is no sign of infection which is great but my blood tests did show a huge drop in my iron levels. My levels at 13 weeks were 142 with reserves of 40 and at 28 weeks were 127 with reserves of 16. My midwife explained that although my initial levels were ok my body had obviously been eating into my reserves which it can only do for a certain amount of time without it being dangerous. She asked me if I had any symptoms of being short of breath or palpitations which I realised I had had both frequently over the last few weeks. These are symptoms that the body is struggling with low iron levels. I felt a bit stupid not realising that this meant something was wrong but I thought it was just because I was getting bigger and it is so hot (the hottest summer in 300years apparently!). She has asked my doctor to prescribe me some iron tablets and will now be seeing me every 2 weeks instead of every 3 to keep a closer eye on me.
The next day I had my growth, placenta, liquor and Doppler scan which I had been very nervous about as I don’t feel like I have been growing much over the last few weeks and that my bump is small for my gestation. The scan showed her to be approx. 2lbs 9oz but with a smaller head (centile) than any other part of her body. I got myself into a state after the scan panicking that in 2 weeks she has gained only 8oz and that I was expecting her to be much closer to the 3lb mark. I decided whilst waiting for my consultant that I was going to push for the next scan to be at 32 weeks not 34. Unfortunately when we got called through it turned out that my consultant was not there and I would not be seeing anyone to discuss the results of the scan. I asked the midwife to ask the consultant on the ward to approve a 32 week scan. He refused stating that if they did the same for every anxious person the NHS would be bankrupt! Now I know the NHS is not a bottomless pit but there is a right way of refusing and it should be done with a full explanation to the parents about why it is being refused and some reassurance that everything seems normal. Unfortunately this has not been done, I have called my bereavement midwife and left a message for her I am hoping she will help me to get either a 32 week scan or an explanation of why the head is falling so far behind the rest of her. I noticed when we got home that no one had even written in my notes that I had asked for a 32 week scan and it has been refused. I’m not sure this is best practice as if something does go wrong that could have been caught at 32 weeks there is no record of my request. On the plus side we did manage to get a lovely picture of her which I am told is unusual for a 28 week scan in ultrasound as they normally cannot get a clear view to make a good picture.
Finally this week I have experience hiccoughs for the first time! I can only describe it as tiny little rhythmic taps every 3-5 seconds which went on for about 5 minutes. They were so tiny if I hadn’t been sat down I would have missed them but it was an amazing experience!
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