SIX MONTHS PREGNANT
DISCLAIMER: If you are expecting and are anxious or are in a sensitive time with your fertility or just in a difficult life space, I would recommend that you visit this post at a time when you feel stronger and encouraged. I know first hand how challenging it is to read content that affects us emotionally and feel it my duty to be sensitive to all of my readers.
We have officially hit the 24 week mark. What a journey it has been up until this point. As many of you would know, the pregnancy took an unexpected turn that landed baby and I in hospital in my 17th week of pregnancy. It was discovered that I have uterine fibroids and the best way to keep baby and I healthy is for me to be resting as much as possible, which is what I have been doing.
It has been bitter-sweet to step away from the busy lifestyle that I have always been used to. Initially, I was relieved that I would have a break but I also became worried that my productivity would suffer and that the goals I’d been working towards would have to change. I was forced to shift my priorities and, to be honest, I’ve lacked nothing and have gained an incredible amount of support from colleagues, friends and family. Slowing down has forced me focus on what I can do right now and leave things that are not pressing for later (and some of those things will only be worked on again after baby is born and I am completely fine with that!). While I physically feel myself slowing down, the joy is that I am actually getting the time to rest and take care of myself and our growing baby.
I am signed up to two apps to keep me updated with what is happening to my body, namely Baby Centre and Ovia. They tell me more or less the same thing but they are slightly different, so I enjoy reading what both have to say when the new week rolls over. It was in one of these posts that I learnt that after 24 weeks of pregnancy, if preterm labour were to be a reality, that is was when they would give oxygen and support the life of the baby if possible. I learnt this around week 20 and it really made the next four weeks an anxious time for me – I just wanted to get to twenty-four weeks and did not want to do anything that would affect us getting there. In this time, I became incredible anxious about food; oddly, it was where I had placed my anxiety. I did not want to eat food that we had not prepared and I was on google for every little thing I was consuming. Looking back, I realise that my caution was the only physical thing I could do to acknowledge the worry that had built up after our 17 week episode, along with the anxiety to get to week 24. I am so grateful to be here but have to admit that I cannot continue down the path of worry because it is debilitating.
If you follow me on Instagram, these confessions may seem a little odd because my posts do not reflect what I have just shared. There are a few reasons for that being the case which I will try to unpack in this post.
1. I try to deal with my emotions privately because I do not want to be accused of being ungrateful, insensitive or a worry-wart.
2. I am not always in a mental position to deal with all the advice that gets given to expecting moms – it can be very overwhelming.
3. People either trivialise your worry and fears or go to the other extreme and share things that you haven’t even thought about, compounding what’s already worrying for me.
4. I think that dealing with all of this privately is a great way for Wesley and I to bond as parents-to-be and so I share these things with him; it creates a very intimate and safe space for us, which has strengthened our marriage.
The other side to all of this is that I am the happiest I have ever been! I shared a post on Instagram a while back where I spoke about the fear I had around any happy moment being temporary. I went on to share that God freed me from that way of thinking and, if I am honest, he is also the reason that I have chosen to focus on the joy of our baby and not the fears that are ever-present with pregnancy. As with everything, some days are better than others but let me tell you just how amazing God is: when doubt or fear begins to creep in, I soon begin to feel movement to show me that she is okay. She’s even stomping on my bladder as I write this and it brings a huge, toilet-needing, smile to my face! I pray daily for His will in my life and for His mercy; I am humbled and in awe of His grace and do not take any of this for granted.
How am I physically? I’ve started to feel a little heavier and the nagging lower back pain has become a reality. Turning over in bed is challenging and Gaviscon is my new best friend! I have gained a total of 4.5 kilos over the last 6 months (not that I am obsessively counting) and my hips and knees nag now and then. Oh, the joys of pregnancy!
But I wanted to share what I’ve learnt about my uterine fibroids:
1. They stay calm as long as I rest.
2. They are nasty buggers that poke out and make my belly look really weird when I lay down.
3. They don’t like sugar! Seriously, If I have a donut cheat day with Wesley I literally suffer through the night with throbbing pain.
4. They are going to have to be considered when we discuss our final birth plan – but I will share more about that when we get there.
Anyway, I wanted to share an update of where I am at. I am working on a post about how important nutrition has been for us in this time and I am also going to address something that few parents speak openly about, and that is the financial implications of having a child. But that’s for another time.
I am off to have a plate of fruit before settling down for a nap. I hope that you have enjoyed this post and, as always, thank you for taking the time to read it and for sharing in my journey.
I always enjoy reading comments so please leave one should you wish to do so.
Until my next post,