19 Weeks and General Update

I am a really erratic blogger at the moment, for which I apologise. I tend to get sucked into projects 110% and then neglect everything else. The last couple of weeks it has been clearing out our bedroom. It was a great job – by the time I’d finished, the husband was inspired and then he chucked out several bags of stuff as well, so our bedroom is really pared down and only has the absolute essentials in it. All my clothes are sorted out, reorganised, mended and ironed, including all my gym stuff (I didn’t iron the gym stuff), I’ve got some new sports bras (that actually fit), sorted out all my jewellery, put several  pieces in for valuation and cleaning (a job I’ve been meaning to do for about 4 years), and cleaned out all my beauty bits and bobs. I’ve ordered some new duvet sets (ours are over 7 years old – yuk) and a fairly cheap, but neutral set of curtains to replace the horrible old brown things we’ve had up since we moved in. I’ve chucked out loads and it feels GREAT.

All I need to do is get a door hung on the cupboard we built and finally hang some photos and our bedroom is finished! It’s only taken 7 years. I’ll post some before and after pics when we finally get there.

19 weeks pregnant today. Woo hoo! My weight gain this week was a whopping 600g, so I’m really piling it on at the moment. I can now feel the baby move every day, usually several times a day, and as with the boys, he or she is most active in the evening and after I eat meals. It’s a wonderful reassuring feeling. Not quite ready to ebay the doppler yet though.

My skin is still not good, but I think I have discovered what it actually is. I originally thought it was acne, but it wasn’t like spots I’ve had in the past. All of them were really small and my skin is just really red and flakey in patches. When my Mum came over and asked’ “What IS that?” I suddenly wondered if I hadn’t realised it was something other than plain old acne.

I asked Dr Google, and found my solution, and I’m 99% sure I have what’s called perioral dermatitis. To save you having to google it, perioral dermatitis looks like this:

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It’s quite distinct in that it appears over the chin and at the sides of the nose. It doesn’t itch, or burn, and is a combination of skin flaking and small pustules (ugh).

Here’s one of my worst pics (I can’t even believe I’m showing you this, so it’s a small version):

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It’s almost exactly the same pattern, and the description fits completely.

Causes? Most often it’s caused by a steroid cream applied topically, but I’ve also found out it can be caused from oral steroid withdrawal. And guess when it started? When I stopped my prednisolone at 11 weeks pregnant.

Aaaargh. I wish I’d realised sooner.

Treatment options?

Apparently the only thing that clears it is antibiotics – usually a 6 week oral course.

I am obviously not going to do that, being pregnant and highly phobic of taking drugs anyway. Not only that, but I just know that if I take 6 weeks of antibiotics I’ll end up with a yeast infection that I won’t shift for the rest of my pregnancy. Yeah, fun. Right?

So… natural options. I did a lot of reading and research, and since antibiotics seem to work in almost all cases, I figured this is a systemic bacterial problem. Now, cutting out sugar will help starve bad bacteria in your body, but I tried that and it only made a small difference. So… I either need to do it LONG TERM (not easy for me at the moment), or I need another approach.

I’ve ordered the highest strength probiotics I can take while pregnant, along with a fructo-oligosaccharide supplement (it’s the plant fibre that feeds good bacteria in your gut), some pure powder form vitamin C (which I can take in small doses several times a day as it is excreted almost immediately from your body if you don’t use it), some sauerkraut, and some raw, enzymatically active honey.

Phew! The theory is that I’ll boost all the good bacteria in my gut (with the probio, plant fibre, and sauerkraut), kill off some of the bad stuff (with the vitamin C) and use the honey on my face topically.

For PD (as it’s affectionately known), almost every standard cream and cleanser will aggravate the condition (which I discovered with a vengeance when I tried to use some anti-spot moisturiser a few weeks back), and exfoliation is totally out of the question, despite the horrible way the skin flakes off, so I’m going with a natural anti-bacterial. Raw honey.

Finally, while I wait for my PD treatment case to arrive, I’m trying some 1% anti-fungal cream, as that has worked quite well for a lot of people. I’m on day 2 and to be honest I don’t think it’s made an iota of difference, but I’ll persevere.

I actually feel a sense of relief that I know what it is – and I can deal with the “dermatitis” label psychologically. It’s easier for me to accept and it somehow makes me feel less self-conscious.

Finally, EXERCISE.

I know I need to be doing more some. I have really struggled with this and I think I don’t have the right mindset. I’ve spent some time trying to work out what’s going on, why I can’t commit to a routine, and I think it’s because I am really stressed about the spare room not being clear and all the stuff I want to sort out before the baby arrives.

So, I’ve decided to stop beating myself up about not exercising, to focus on emptying the spare room and I’ve promised myself I will start a full-on committed pregnancy exercise regime once that’s done.

I’ll keep you updated 🙂

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