Friday, 5 October 2012

Week 6 – The consistency of inconsistency

Weight – 71.2kg

I started this week by looking at child care centres. It seemed so strange to be looking at a child care place for my child in April 2014, but that’s the reality of the lack of spaces at the moment. I looked around at the other children, facilities and teachers and scanned their every move and interaction. Having worked in child care for 8 years in a previous life, I was probably more on the ball than most. This, coupled with the fact I took my Mother who was a primary school principal for over 10 years, meant we had everything sussed out.

It was hard to determine what a good centre would be. I couldn’t base my decision on the staff as they probably won’t be there come April 2014. I could really on go with my gut feel and the fact that food and nappies are provided. They were some excellent tips from friends with kids!

Other than that, the first half of week 6 went ok. I caught up with a friend who had a baby 6 weeks ago. I was shocked to hear she had no real symptoms throughout her pregnancy – no nausea! It made me realise that the only thing that is consistent about the pregnancy experience is it is totally inconsistent! Not only is it inconsistent between woman to woman, but also within yourself. I started reading some website forums and all the women say the same thing – I was feeling sick now I’m not. I had sore boobs now I don’t. I was feeling exhausted now I’m not. And all of this can be within the space of a few days. I expected that I would have some symptom and feel them every day. But no, it comes and goes. Clearly it’s dependent on what I’m doing during the day so funnily enough, when I spend the day lying on the couch, I don’t feel so bad. For the days when I have to come into work early, I feel crappy until about 12pm then it comes back in the afternoon. 

While it’s nice to know that other women are experiencing the same thing, it’s sad to also know that we all experience such anxiety about it as a result. We worry over every little twinge, twitch, pain, ache, gush, or stab. Everything is new. Everything is weird. And everything has the potential to spell disaster. But I’m trying to put all of that to the side of my mind as this week also brings my first obstetrician appointment. I am so desperately hoping we get to have a scan and see a heartbeat. I’m not afraid to use my hospital experience to my advantage and tell them we should do one just to make sure everything is ok. Surely something positive should come out of the experience! But, I must admit I am feeling nervous about it. I’ve already booked in my 13 week scan without having gone to this one. But, I’m telling myself I’m now over half way to the magic 13 mark where, hopefully, that scan will go swimmingly well and we’ll finally be able to share the news with the wider world.  But, we’ll get through this scan first!

The night before my appointment I burst into tears. I think it was a mix of emotions and all the bad stories I had read of women going to scans and finding out their babies had died. I just couldn’t imagine anything worse. My husband, in all his wisdom, told me there was no possible way we could prepare ourselves for that if it happened. So worrying about it was pointless. He also told me that I need to listen to him and put my Ipad down! He was right!

As is often the case, worrying was futile as I didn’t have a scan. I have to wait until I’m in my 7th week so the midwife gave me a referral to have one next week. It means more waiting but I’m happy to wait if it means there is more of a chance of seeing the heart beat.

We discussed my medical problems – including my back problems, tilted pelvis and vulvadynia. Given all of that, she told me it was likely I would need a caesarean. She said we will see how the pregnancy progresses, but to prepare myself for the likelihood. I had already thought that so it didn’t come as a shock. I told her I didn’t care how the baby came out – just as long as it was safe and healthy. I also told her I’m not one of these women who think they are less of a mother if they can’t have a vaginal birth. How you bring them into the world does not dictate the type of mother you will be. It’s what you do with them, and to them, that dictates the type of mother you are.

Other than that, I need to stop eating BBQ chicken, eat more red meat and take calcium tablets. I was concerned my calcium was down and she said the OB likes women to have 4 to 5 serves which I know I would be no where near. So off for some calcium tablets I go!

She told me I need to be careful about lysteria because even though it is rare, it happens. She told me a story of a woman who came up to her at a party and told her her child had died at 16 weeks from lysteria. They confirmed that was the cause of death and the only thing they could contribute it to was some pate she ate on a beef wellington at a friends house. This woman hadn’t told her friends she was pregnant so mental note – don’t eat dinner at anyone’s house who doesn’t know you’re pregnant!

It was timely advice as I got back into the car and realised I had left my lunch in the car. It had been an hour so my yoghurt and meat pie and mash had been warming up in that time. It was only 9am so it wasn’t too hot but the story stuck – it wasn’t worth the risk. So on the way to work I had to buy a frozen meal to have for lunch instead as I couldn’t think of any quick food I could get for lunch that would be ok to eat. It was a fairly depressing meal so looks like I’ll be doing some cooking on the weekend!

The last words for this week go to my remarkably insightful aunt. When I told her about my mini-meltdown and cry fest, she said “It amazes me that women are prepared to give up alcohol, smoking, coffee and cheese for the sake of their baby, but they’re not prepared to give up stress.” It was like a shovel between my eyes. She was right. The stress was not doing me, my husband or Peanut any good. It was time for me to start thinking about my family and what was best for all of us. I got into bed and told my husband I wouldn’t be looking at any more websites or reading any more books. I told him he was right and, on this occasion, I would listen to him. I then hugged him and thought wow, this is now a family group hug!

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