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    Pregnancy: Walk in the park for some, bloody hard for others!

    Pregnancy: Walk in the park for some, bloody hard for others!

    So, after a lot of hesitation here I am writing my first blog. Here you will find a bit of me, kids’ stuff and mum stuff.

    My first topic is something that is very relevant to me now as I am 2 and a half weeks off welcoming baby #3 into the world.

    Ok so I fall into the finding pregnancy bloody hard category. To be honest I actually found becoming a full time stay at home mum and dealing with sleepless nights a lot easier than being pregnant. Some people struggle to get pregnant, some people struggle with pregnancy and others struggle with being a mum. Everyone’s journey to becoming a parent is different and unique. Whilst I didn’t struggle to get pregnant, I sure as hell struggled with being pregnant. I struggled with nightmares, stress, anxiety and constant hurdles. I never experienced that pregnancy glow and ended up covered in a road map of stretch marks. Whilst I appreciated the miracle of my body growing a human, I have never once felt beautiful during pregnancy. I can honestly say I hate being pregnant. The only thing that got me through each day was feeling my baby move. That was the only part I loved about the whole journey. And this is why…..

    With baby #1, it started with all day nausea, debilitating tiredness and whole lot of hip and lower back pain (because just before we found out we were pregnant my husband and I visited the local water park with our neighbours for some water slide fun. Well let’s just say I came down the slide got a little stuck stood up and slipped straight over landing like a baby giraffe who is trying to walk for the first time. It was hilarious, but my god was it painful), which continued throughout my whole pregnancy. I suffered with what I now know to be anxiety. My heart would start racing, I would feel like I couldn’t breath and have an overwhelming fear of something being wrong with me or my baby. It was such an awful feeling and one I was too scared to share with anyone. From early on in my pregnancy I suffered high blood pressure and I had this feeling deep inside that I wasn’t going to make it full term (which turns out I was right!). At around 20 weeks I experienced double vision, I couldn’t focus or see. One minute I was fine and the next I couldn’t see. Panic set in, after eating, drinking water, taking some Panadol my sight finally returned to normal and we headed to the hospital just to make sure everything was ok. After some monitoring the nurses were satisfied the baby and I were ok and we were released. From that moment on I was even more on edge, I hated to be left on my own, in case it happened again. I hated driving, I just wanted to stay safe at home until the baby was born. Around 32-33 weeks I became unwell with the flu. I was completely bed ridden and the sickest I had been in my life. Not being able to take anything meant my recovery was long. I was so scared what effect it was having on my baby. After just over a week of being in bed I started to recover and thankfully my mum and sister came to the rescue, they cleaned my house and got my hospital bag packed for just in case. That following Wednesday I had my routine Obstetrician appointment, I was getting ready for work when for some reason I asked my husband to put my hospital bag in the car, lucky I did as that was the day I was admitted to hospital. I went to my regular appointment and because of my blood pressure I was sent for a blood test and foetal monitoring. It was during the foetal monitoring that my obstetrician walked in and shut the door and I knew straight away it was bad. My bloods had shown my liver reading was double the normal. It was concluded that I had developed pre-eclampsia and we were going to be delivering within the next 48 hours. My heart sunk. Being my first pregnancy and only being 35 weeks pregnant I was petrified. After an examination, I was told my cervix was not favourable for a natural birth, that I could still try naturally but would more than likely end up with an emergency C-section or I could have a planned C-section. Emotionally I was in no state to be making decisions, I was trying to wrap my head around what was happening so I looked at my doctor and said to him I will do whatever you tell me is the safest for both me and my baby. He sat and considered what I had said, I literally could see him assessing both choices, after a few minutes he looked at me and said let’s schedule a C-section. I said ok. To be honest I was still recovering from the flu and not sure I would have even made it through natural labour. So, after 2 shots of steroids and a tour of the Neonates ward (as all babies born under 36 weeks end up there) and a rundown of what to expect – baby would be born and taken to Neonates and I would be taken to the ward, I wouldn’t see the baby until the next day, the baby would be in hospital for 2 weeks and I would be going home without my baby – I was somewhat mentally prepared. We got to Friday 35 + 3 days pregnant – delivery day – I was prepped for surgery and the wheels were in motion. I was a bundle of emotions, from petrified to nervous and excited. The staff were amazing they had my husband and I laughing and had created a very comforting and relaxed environment. As my doctor was preparing to deliver he said to me I am glad we are delivering today as your bloods this morning showed your liver reading was almost 5 times the normal. Lucky the liver is good at healing itself. It wasn’t long until our beautiful baby boy was born weighing a very healthy 3.17kgs. I was completely in love. I saw him for about 20secs before he was taken through to Neonates and hooked up to Oxygen. The next 24 hours were the longest and hardest, I was on the ward and he was in Neonates. I had just had a baby but he wasn’t there with me, instead he was Neonates. Deep down I knew he was in the best place for him, it was still a struggle though as I just wanted to hold my baby. I was expressing every 3 hours with my husband running between me and our boy. Finally, the time came when I was unhooked and allowed to be up and moving. I was wheeled down to Neonates where I got to hold my little boy for the very first time. It was the most amazing experience EVER! He was the biggest baby in Neonates and looked like a fraud being there. But the fact that he was born so big was a blessing as he was healthy. He took to feeding like a superstar and was a little champion, so much so that we left the hospital together a week later.

    Fast forward 11 months and we were pregnant with baby #2. This time around I did feel better, I wasn’t as sick or tired. At about 6 weeks I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid and told I needed daily medication. There was a chance it was brought on by pregnancy but given my family history it was most likely a lifelong thing. I was under 30 and told I was more than likely going to have to be on daily medication for the rest of my life. It was a lot to swallow and took a while for me to get my head around. I found myself feeling anxious and stressed again. I had a fear of ending up with pre-eclampsia again, even though the chances were lower and because of my previous history, I was classed as a high-risk pregnancy. We got to our 12-week scan to be told that our baby looked perfectly normal on the scan, but my bloods were showing high chance or Down Syndrome (1/187). After a chat with my doctor I was told the bloods could actually mean 1 of 3 things – Down Syndrome, blood pressure issues, or growth defects -  I was taken by surprise and had no idea how to process this information. I cried a lot and shut down and didn’t want to talk to anyone. There was nothing anyone could say, I resented anyone who tried to tell me how I should be feeling. I needed to be left alone with my own thoughts. We were told about further testing and all our options. We opted to have the harmony test, it seemed the safest and most accurate. I should add, the results didn’t matter we were still going to have our baby, but I needed to know. I needed to know because we already had another child and I needed to prepare our family for what might be. It was a long 10 days but the results came back – 99.9% no Down Syndrome. So now we only had the other 2 possibilities to worry about. At our 19-week scan, concerns were raised about our baby’s kidneys. I just thought here we go again, I had more tears. It seemed as though every time I got over one hurdle there was another one just around the corner. We were told that we would need to have another scan at 32 weeks and once the baby was born the kidneys would need to be checked again to determine if any treatment was needed. I took the time to mentally prepare myself for the worst case scenario. The 32 week scan was all positive so finally I felt some relief, but I didn’t let myself get too excited. The time came to have the discussion about whether I would have a C-section or try for a natural birth. My obstetrician said he was happy for me to try natural if I wanted to and gave us all the facts, but we opted for what we felt was the safest option of having another C-section. I am just going to say our decision was based on the fact that the complications that could have arisen from trying natural were catastrophic and we not prepared to take that risk. I wasn’t prepared to take that risk just so I could experience natural child birth. To me that felt selfish. I know people successfully have natural births after a C-section, but personally for me I felt it was too risky. Finally, we made it to our C-section date 38+2 days and were blessed with a beautiful healthy little girl.

    And here we are now expecting baby #3. This pregnancy has been so much easier on my body and has been going smoothly. It’s amazing as I started out carrying more weight than the others but I feel healthier. I am not use to my pregnancies going so smoothly, so I am still anxious. But nowhere near the extent of my other pregnancies. The fact that I am so busy running around after 2 small children, running a house and a business has helped as I haven’t had time to let my emotions get on top of me. Even though things have been going smoothly, I can’t say I now love being pregnant. I still find being pregnant emotionally draining and stressful. I find myself counting down the days for my C-section date to roll around and praying for a healthy baby and safe delivery. All that aside I am so excited to meet the final edition to our family.

    Amanda xx