Best Pregnancy Products So Far

Right now I’m entering the ‘too uncomfortable, just please let the next few weeks pass quickly’ stage of pregnancy. I can’t sleep, I can’t sit down and I certainly can’t walk more than fifteen paces without either stopping to catch my breath or being clawed in the cervix.

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So these are the products that are making life just a bit more bearable for a 33 week, diabetic, gluten free pregnancy lady with hip pain and sore feet. You’re welcome.

  1. Bio Oil: I started using this at about week 25 or so. No, it’s not stopped the strech marks, but it does help with the terrible itch and I think its making them less red? Wishful thinking?
  2. Pregnancy Pillow: This thing has been a sleep-saver from the first trimester. Its long enough that it can go under your hip, between your knees, between your ankles. I’ve even used it behind my back to stop me rolling over and getting stuck. Pregnancy is very elegant. Bonus, it can also be used for breast feeding.
  3. Lip Balm: I have hayfever, and being pregnant there’s not much I can do about it. Lip Balm means that my lips don’t get too dry as I snore and snuffle my way through the night. (See previous comment about being elegant)
  4. Tena Lights: Yeah, that’s self explanatory. Moving swiftly on (which I hope this will do after baby arrives).
  5. Water Bottle/Cup/Glass: You need to stay hydrated during pregnancy, and it will save you a lot of money going to the vending machine. Do not let yourself get dehydrated, it will make any and all symptoms worse. You have been warned.
  6. Maternity Jeans: If you are pregnant and haven’t already got yourself a pair then what are you thinking? If you aren’t pregnant just get yourself a pair, you will never want to go back. The elasticated waist of stretchy comfiness. Don’t go squeezing yourself into those normal jeans, just buy some maternity ones and get on with your day.
  7. E45: My skin has been awful throughout the pregnancy. If your skin is dry just buy a big tub of this and slather it on, good for keeping the skin on your tummy stretchy too, probably.
  8. Sun Cream: You burn more easily in pregnancy, so you need to make sure you’re working sun cream and probably a hat. I burnt after standing talking to my neighbour for half an hour, on a cloudy day.
  9. Bubble Bath: It doesn’t really matter what it is, you will just want a bubble bath. It really helps with the pain. We’re doing this thing where I’m using baby products to get the cats used to the smell, then they don’t think baby is weird and new. It isn’t working.
  10. Birthing Ball: For obvious reasons, but also if you’re having any sort of hip and pelvic pain most of the exercises they give you will require a ball. So its worth it.

And the bonus. For the love of God get yourself a comfy chair, get someone to set it in front of the tv and rest. You’re growing a tiny human, you deserve it.

31 weeks pregnancy update

I disappeared, again! There’s been so much going on that before I know where I am I am at 31 weeks pregnant with only another 7-8 to go. We aren’t ready for that kind of reality yet!

What has happened?

Well, I finished work on the 1st July, so am now officially unemployed with a baby on the way. But the rest is nice and I feel like I can get the house sorted for the new arrival. Bad and good points I guess.

Pippin’s room has plaster, and nearly paint. So that only leaves flooring, radiator and furniture before we can actually start to put all baby’s stuff in there. Which is amazing because it means I can get the rest of my house back, and have an office space again, and generally not live in a building site!

I am diabetic. Not the biggest surprise ever, since I was considered high risk anyway with a family history and being overweight and all. But it is a pain, and means we’re having to reconsider birth options, for example baby might have to make its arrival at around 39 weeks rather than allowing for it to choose its own time. At the moment my bloods are keeping stable via diet management, and there’s no reason for me to be on medication, plus Pippin is measuring right along the line, so no worries there either. For the moment I’m having growth scans every two weeks, just to keep an eye on things. Although, being a gluten free, vegetarian diabetic is no mean feat and this little kit has become my constant companion.

I can’t complain about the care I’m getting through, the midwives are doing their absolute best to get me the birth I want, and I do believe that if they can manage it I won’t have the medicalised birth I am more than a little scared of. Can’t say fairer than that really.

My iron levels are still low, even though I’ve been taking one tablet a day from around 20 weeks and two from 28 weeks, so they are a little bit concerned about that. But I’ll be having blood tests to monitor my levels, and hopefully they will pick up. Now, where’s that bag of spinach?

Also, we had the labour and birth class yesterday.

Baby is:

Getting quite big now, by the feeling of things anyway! According to the growth scan Pip is in the 90th percentile. The wriggling is getting far more pronounced now, my whole tummy ends up being thrown around by it, and one of the midwives got kicked in the head four times when trying to listen to the heartbeat! (Sorry, about that!). I like to think that means Pippin will be far less lazy than me and it’s daddy. Baby is also head down, but at this stage that’s probably temporary, but I’ll take the switch. Baby had been breech for weeks, so hopefully it doesn’t turn round again!

Mummy is:

Flipping tired by now. I’m getting sleep in, maybe, two hour chunks if that. What with discomfort, needing to pee and getting too hot, sleeping has gone out the window. For me and the poor husband. Hips are getting more painful, especially at night or if I’ve been sitting or walking too long. So, constantly. Plus baby’s kicks are getting strong enough to hurt now.

I’m having loads of tightening across my bump. Assuming this is Braxton Hicks or something? Generally I’m just feeling quite big and uncomfortable. I’m 31 weeks pregnant, what do I expect really? I have to be honest, this stage is uncomfortable, and I feel it will probably get worse, but it still beats the vomiting nightmare that was the first trimester, hands down.

Baby brain? What Baby brain?

I have heard tell that baby brain does not exist. This is a fallacy. Why else is my memory shot?

I lose my keys around fifteen times a day, my purse keeps going walkabout and it’s very lucky if I have remembered to put on clean underwear in the morning*

Maybe it has less to do with the physical aspects of pregnancy and a little more to do with the fact that I am 20 weeks away from one of the biggest life changes that will ever happen. And am not prepared.

There seems to be so much to take in, remember and learn, plus I am working and juggling everything I was doing before and house renovations. On very little sleep.

Maybe this is nature’s way of preparing us for the sleep deprivation and it’s related symptoms that will follow. I will let you know in 20 or so weeks.

Early Pregnancy Blues

It has been really difficult to say how I have felt about this pregnancy so far, in fact its really difficult to write this post now!

People who know me very well don’t tend to ask this, but with people I don’t know that well (because we all know pregnancy is the time for all sorts of intimate questions!) it is pretty much the first thing I’m asked: “Were you trying?”. The conversation continues in the same way each time:

Me: No, it was a complete surprise.

Well-meaning Acquaintance: A nice surprise though.

Me: *Nods vehemently*

Yes, it is a nice surprise, especially considering our history. But it hasn’t been easy, in fact I’m not sure when I have had a harder few months. Although I don’t mind people telling me it must have been a nice surprise, when I’m exhausted or unwell or have spent four hours waiting at the walk-in centre I don’t necessarily want to be told that.

As I wrote before we found out in the first week of January that I was pregnant. I started my new job on the 4th. We thought I must be around seven weeks gone then.

Midway through that week I had an appointment with the emergency doctor due to cramping and a bleed. So I got booked in at the Early Pregnancy Unit (EPU) for the following week. At the EPU they told me that I was so early, somewhere between 4 and 5 weeks, that they couldn’t see what might be causing the bleeds, so I had to come back two weeks later. Although we were lucky enough to see the little bundle of cells or, more accurately, the yolk sack.

The last Sunday in January and I ended up at the emergency GP again because I was really ill with what I suspected was a urine infection, I was going to wait until midweek to see my GP but had another bleed on the Sunday morning so off we went. After a hellish wait we saw a lovely dr and I got some medication, but I was so poorly I ended up having a week of work.

The following Friday we were back up at the EPU for a follow-up scan and baby, who is clearly a little fighter, was doing well. The Dr put me at about 8+4 pregnant and there was a nice strong heartbeat.

Monday after I was back at the GP again, after they called me in due to back pain as they were afraid the infection may not have cleared and was actually up in my kidneys. Turns out I was lucky it wasn’t a kidney infection, it was just Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) setting in early. So I got some exercises and sent on my merry way.

A switch to flat shoes, more supportive bras and a chair with lumbar support helped a little. Plus my sickness died down a little and I was able to eat more regularly. Though I was still throwing up my pregnancy vitamin half the time, and hadn’t been able to keep down the medication I’m supposed to take twice a day for an ongoing medical problem since getting pregnant. But things were looking better, and I was feeling brighter.

Then I ended up back at the Dr’s on the 1st March, again with severe cramping (though thankfully no bleed this time) and the symptoms of, what I thought, was a pretty nasty cold. It had come on pretty swiftly, between the late afternoon of the 29th and the morning of the 1st I gained hot, burning eyes, a splitting headache, aches all over, a nasty chesty cough and the cramps that were really concerning me.

As it turned out my ‘cold’ was actually the flu. Luckily the Dr thought the baby was fine, and even if it hadn’t been since I was only 12+3 there wasn’t much they could do about it anyway. However he advised I rested. To be honest, I don’t know if you’ve ever had flu, but there’s not really much you can do apart from rest! This culminated in another few days off work whilst I recovered. The cramps passed pretty quickly, and possibly had more to do with me not getting my medication than anything else.

I am complaining a bit, I know, but I was expecting to have some problems with sickness, but I wasn’t expecting to be so run down all of the time! The sickness, though horrible, has been pretty mild – nausea most days and actual vomiting every couple of days – so I know I have been lucky there. The exhaustion has been really limiting though, and the hormones have been horrific, plus I’ve spent a large amount of my early pregnancy poorly.

Not to mention just how afraid and anxious I have been the whole time. They still haven’t identified a reason for those early bleeds, though the best guess is that it had more to do with the urine infection than the baby. I’m not sure I will believe its all going to be ok until I am much, much further along than I am.