Pregnancy Diary Week 18

This week of pregnancy has been good. My headaches have pretty much gone away (typically, as I had an appointment with the doctor about them) and I’ve had more energy.

It’s been back to school though and I worked three consecutive days after three weeks off, which resulted in a pretty bad sore throat and I felt pretty exhausted half way through. A bit of honey and orange (we didn’t have any lemons) did the trick for the throat and thankfully it didn’t develop into anything else.

It was interesting going back to school as I am becoming a bit of a regular at a few schools now so people have noticed the difference in my size – both adults and children! Adults seem to ask me how I am constantly, which has resulted in the typically British response of fine leaving my lips every five minutes! It’s true though, I have been fine this week and it’s been nice to feel like I’m doing something productive (and earning some pennies!).

I was particularly amused by one class I worked with this week – I taught them for a whole week back in November and obviously am showing a lot more now than I was then – cue a lot of whispered speculation from the children which made me chuckle. It’s funny how some children can’t gauge age accurately and I’m pretty sure one child thinks I’m going to be a teenage parent – he asked another teacher last time I worked with him if I was old enough to be a teacher (I’ve been teaching for over 8 years)!

Anyway, I heard another child stage whisper to him, “she’s a grown woman, she’s allowed to have a baby!” Haha! I did the old teacher trick of wandering over and asking, “everything alright over here?” To his credit he immediately blurted out, “Mrs W, are you pregnant?”

“Yes I am pregnant, and well done for being brave enough to ask. You might want to watch that in future though, just in case you ask a lady who’s just fat!”

Another lesson well taught I feel!

PD week 18

Pregnancy Diary Week 17

This week we had our second midwife appointment. I’ll write a bit about what happened as I didn’t know what to expect, and if it helps others in some small way with their pregnancy then why not? However, it’s worth bearing in mind that I’m not ‘normal’ – my kidney disease means that I may not have the same pregnancy journey as most other people. This one was nice as, being in the Christmas holidays, hubby was able to come along with me.

Anyway, the midwife appointment was a lot shorter than the first one (it was scheduled to be twenty minutes – but I think we ran over. I may have had quite a few questions!) and she ran through quickly the results of my blood tests from the first appointment (all fine) and checked the due date provided by the first scan. She then asked if I had any questions.

I asked particularly about the cold sore that I was so worried about a couple of weeks ago. She reassured me and said that I’d probably had the virus for ages and it had likely come out during my childhood and I simply didn’t know what it was or had forgotten about it. She also reminded me that during pregnancy I am likely to get everything going. Joy!

The midwife asked if I’d felt any kicks yet (I haven’t) and said it could be any time between now and 22 weeks, and told me not to expect them to be regular at this stage (which I’m glad she said, as I would have worried about this…of course!)

We talked about the Aspirin I’ve been prescribed by the obstetrician and agreed that I should write to my kidney consultant to check he is aware and happy that I’m taking Aspirin daily (I did, he is).

Then for the good bit! The midwife used the hand-held doppler and we were able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. This was really reassuring and it’s good to know that the pregnancy is going as expected. Phew!

PD week 17

Pregnancy Diary Week 16

I remember chatting to someone on twitter in the early days of my pregnancy and they were 16 weeks and thinking, ‘gosh, will I ever be that far along?!’ and now here we are! I know I’m still a bit behind in publishing my posts (I’m trying to do one per day but you know, sometimes life happens!) so week 16 actually encompassed Christmas Day and all of the craziness that goes with it!

The only thing that has bothered me about an alcohol-free Christmas is the lack of proper buck’s fizz on Christmas morning. I tried making it with alcohol-free sparkling wine but it just didn’t work and tasted awful! Despite the fact that I intend to be permanently alcohol-free after this pregnancy so that I can look after my polycystic liver a bit better now that I know about it, I think a glass of buck’s fizz on Christmas day will have to stay part of my tradition! (I’d like to point out that no medical professionals have told me that I need to stop drinking alcohol; if at any point they do of course I will stop completely!)

Hub and I managed to produce a pretty decent turkey dinner despite me being pregnant (mum seemed to think being 16 weeks pregnant might somehow prevent me from achieving this feat!) and we had both sets of parents with us for Christmas dinner. There was lots of ‘it’ll all be different next year’ being bandied about!

The day was going swimmingly until I opened a maternity/baby-related gift voucher from hub’s parents and father in law said, “so don’t let us down!” I responded, “Do you mean by losing the baby? Because I have no control over that!!” I didn’t let it upset me too much because I know he didn’t really mean it and things like that do tend to just fall out of his mouth, but it does show how some people (particularly the older generation) think the woman is somehow at fault if something goes wrong during pregnancy. He also said ‘well done’ when we told him we were expecting! Hopefully everything will be fine and he’ll have the sense not to make too many more similar comments for the remainder of the pregnancy!

PD week 16

 

Pregnancy Diary Week 15

Cold sores. This week has been all about cold sores!

I woke up on Tuesday morning and just *knew* I had been struck down. My top lip felt as though it was taking over my entire face. I was horrified. I’ve never, ever had a cold sore before and was bereft as I had been smugly confident that I would never have to worry about covering my head with a motorcycle helmet a la the woman in the Zovirax advert.

After much googling and reading of the NHS website (which explained that if you’re pregnant and have a cold sore you should consult your GP), I called the doctors. They booked me in with the nurse practitioner, who told me I’d probably had the virus for ages without knowing and that it’s fine to use Zovirax when pregnant. (Sob, I was hoping she was going to tell me that I was mistaken and it wasn’t a cold sore at all!)

So off I went to the chemist, bought the unbranded cold sore cream to save some pennies and happily applied the cream confident in the belief that it would just go away.

Until Sunday morning.

On Sunday morning I woke up with a scab the size of an average sultana stuck to my top lip. I duly freaked out and began googling again, wondering what on earth I was supposed to do now.

I’m not sure how the pregnancy first-time cold sore-related search term differed from the first time I googled, but this time I was faced with a whole host of potential complications for my unborn child, ranging from loss of sight and/or hearing, to infant death. Now I was really starting to freak out. I must learn to not read Daily Fail articles!!!

I’m sure these are worst-case, highly unlikely scenarios and everything will be fine.
And hopefully this cold sore will clear off, too!

PD week 15

Pregnancy Diary Week 14

This week has been mostly spent reflecting on the scan experience of last week. I didn’t mention it in last week’s post as I didn’t want to run on and spoil the feeling of ‘specialness’ that came with seeing our baby for the first time.

However, it wasn’t all sunshine. I think I’ve mentioned before that I have polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to write about this on the blog but given that it’s something that doesn’t seem to be talked about a great deal, I think it’s worth a mention. Especially as when I was looking around for someone else in the same position as me when I was in my early twenties and unsure of what to expect, there seemed very little discussion around the issue (in the UK, anyway).

If you’re not familiar with ADPKD, it’s a condition where cycsts grow on the kidneys, gradually taking over the healthy kidney tissue until the kidney no longer functions, resulting in kidney failure. There is no treatment and the only option it to have dialysis and then (hopefully) a transplant once the kidneys have given up the ghost (although I believe there may be a breakthrough treatment on its way; fingers crossed!).

It’s also on the dominant gene, so there is a 50% chance that I will pass it on to the baby. Which sucks. On the bright side, if the baby doesn’t have the gene, it’s impossible to pass on, so the gene is eradicated from that line (yay!).

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what on earth this has to do with the scan. Well, it is not unusual in cases of ADPKD that cysts can also affect the liver, pancreas and spleen. It just so happened that the sonographer’s brother also has PKD so she decided to ‘have a look while she was there’.

Sorry, what?!

It was quite enough of an emotional rollercoaster just seeing our baby, hearing the heartbeat and knowing everything looked alright. I wasn’t ready for an impromptu diagnosis.

Spleen, clear. Phew.

Pancreas, clear. Great!

Liver, well, I could see for myself on the screen which the sonographer had helpfully left in front of my face. Cysts all over it. Crap.

Not entirely sure what this all means other than they have done some tests to check my liver function (which I assume have come back fine as I’ve not heard anything about them) and an extra long while the registrar and consultant have a good chat about me. Although to be fair I think that would have happened given my kidneys anyway.

We’ll have to wait and see how it all unfolds…!

PD week 14

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Pregnancy Diary Week 13

So, this week the first pregnancy scan happened. I’m not going to lie, I was bricking it.

The appointment wasn’t until after lunch so hubby had gone to work for the morning and I spent the morning, well, irrationally worrying if I’m honest. Largely due to the fact that I’d been experiencing regular discomfort on the left side of ‘that’ area from early on, I’d decided that either the pregnancy was ectopic or I had a massive tumour taking over my womb. I know, I did say it was irrational!

Fast forward to the scan and of course I made the rookie mistake of drinking too much to ensure that I had the full bladder requested in the scan letter, the appointment was delayed and hubby kept reminding me that I couldn’t www or the scan wouldn’t work. Eventually of course when we were called in, the first thing the sonographer told me to do was go to the toilet and empty half my bladder, as she didn’t want me to be uncomfortable and they only needed a bit in there.

Two points:

1) Why on earth does it say full bladder in the letter if they don’t really mean it?!

2) Have you ever tried emptying half of your bladder when you’re absolutely bursting?!!! I had little faith in my bladder control at this point but somehow managed to stop part way through.

Anyway after all that kerfuffle she started the scan. Now I don’t know if this is the same in all NHS hospitals, but there was a tv screen on an arm that she positioned right in my face. I’d never seen this on TV or at any other ultrasound scan I’d had (I’ve had a few, for my kidneys; more about that later).

I couldn’t look. Not until she had told me that there was indeed a baby, with a heartbeat, perfectly fine.

Then I looked. It was magical.

PD week 13

Pregnancy Diary Week 12

This week has been a strange one pregnancy wise. We’re still waiting for the scan to happen next week and my tummy seems to have grown – I’m not sure if it’s bump or bloat but I’ve had to resort to maternity trousers and jeans this week as my regular clothes simply aren’t going to cut it.

As a consequence, I just look all-round fatter around the middle and I think it’s pretty obvious that something is going on there! Hence a few very awkward moments during a meal out with some friends who have all had babies. They could definitely tell but I didn’t want to say as the scan hasn’t happened yet and I’m too scared to get excited about this pregnancy until that’s gone well. Clearly my scarf wasn’t the great disguise I was thinking it was!!

Added to this, an old uni friend has just announced her pregnancy on Facebook. I’m torn between being super excited that we’re due around the same time, and feeling a massive fear that everything won’t be ok for us at the scan tomorrow and I’ll spend the whole of her pregnancy wondering what might have been for us.

I want to think positive, I really do, but I am so aware that not everyone gets the happy ending that I’m so hopeful for. Fingers crossed for tomorrow!!

PD week 12

2015: My Year in Review

Gosh, so much has happened in 2015! As 2015 chimed in I was unmarried, childless, working a very well-paid yet challenging job and feeling optimistic about the year ahead.

Well, as we get ready to see in 2016 everything has changed (apart from my optimism hopefully!).

There have been highs and lows (fortunately mainly highs!) but since January I have:

  • Suffered a stressful period at work and taken the courageous (some might say crazy, I say courageous!) decision to put myself and my health first and resigned from my job as a senior teacher;
  • Married my best friend and love of my life (yay!);
  • Become a supply teacher (and rather a good one too, if I may say so myself!);
  • Started this blog (which I am hopeful will grow from the tiny seed it currently is);
  • Fallen pregnant with our first child (so unexpectedly wonderful; I thought we’d be trying for years before it happened).

What a year! Despite some really difficult times around half way through and feeling like the world was going to end for a minute or two, that pales into insignificance given all of the wonderful ways in which life has changed for the better this year. Yes, we have far less money than we did before and mentally I still have a little way to go, but money isn’t everything and life is so much better now as we head into 2016.

I’ve just welled up knowing that none of this would have been possible without the unswerving support of my husband. I’m not going to gush too much because I’m not interested in presenting a ‘my life is perfect’ impression on my blog. Because it isn’t, he isn’t and I don’t want to give him a big head!! But sometimes you realise just how important someone is to you and for you and it doesn’t hurt to recognise it for a moment.

Thank you, Mr W for helping me, loving me, supporting me and sharing every moment through 2015. Here’s to 2016 and more adventures ahead!! x

I hope you’ll all tag along for the journey too; I’ve met some super blogging people already and can’t wait to make more friends in this brave new world! xx

2015 review

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Pregnancy Diary Week 11

This week we decided to tell our parents about our pregnancy. We weren’t sure how they were going to respond; both sets of parents are quite practical people so we weren’t expecting any gushing or tears!

We decided to have them all round for a meal to tell them all at the same time (my mum’s 70th birthday provided the ideal excuse) as we didn’t want there to be any potential for perceived ‘favouritism’ over who was told first.

My husband is very lovely but also can be quite hilariously formal. He had decided that he wanted to make a proper ‘announcement’. But instead of tinging a glass or banging the table, he just stood waiting for everyone to stop talking. Which of course they didn’t. Until his mum noticed him looking awkward.

It went something like this:

I’d like to announce to you all that we are expecting our first child together. (While I quietly cringe next to him!)

Cue surprised faces, a ‘took you long enough’ from his father (we have been married four months!!) followed to a return to talking about television aerials after around thirty seconds.

I think they are excited really!

PD week 11