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):


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 🙂

Day 9 + 10 Skin Detox

So… it was fathers day on Sunday and not the greatest eating day.

Breakfast: porridge, almond milk, blueberries

First lunch (11:30): out to eat with the family. I had a peppermint tea and an amazing butternut squash and goats cheese gluten free tart.

Second lunch (2pm): the boys said they were still hungry and I was starving again. Gluten free burger, fries and salad, with an appletiser. I also had a sugar free chocolate bar from the health food shop afterwards.

Evening snacks: no proper dinner as we were all full. I made a bowl of guacamole and ate the lot. I also had a bowl of rice krispies, and a few pieces of homemade raw chocolate:

Day 10

Feeling SO much better today!! Sinus pain gone, gum pain gone, even skin looking less red and horrible.

Breakfast: porridge,  almond milk, blueberries.

Snack: chia/almond/cacao drink. Few pieces homemade choc.

Lunch: salad with two baked sweet pots and some organic bacon – lovely. Also had a bowl of cornflakes afterwards as was still hungry. Need to drop the cereal thing – it’s just sugary rubbish.


Dinner: rice, sweetcorn and meatballs.

This post is late and I’m losing track of days and food, so not sure what to do at this point… will have a think!

18 Weeks – At The End Of The Tunnel

I think I have finally emerged from the first trimester. 

My nausea is 98% gone.

My sinusitis has 99% gone.

My gum infection has settled.

Even my skin has calmed down.

Phew! My energy is mostly good, but about once every 7-10 days I need an additional daytime nap, which I’ve managed to fit in either when the boys are at preschool or the husband is home.

I was really worried about the baby last week and it’s only just subsided. I have been getting some aches and pains the last few days which I automatically (of course) attributed to impending miscarriage. However, turns out 16+ weeks sees a growth spurt, and given my right ligament has been playing up again after being quiet for a few weeks, and my youngest’s swimming teacher’s remark that I have popped a bit since she last saw me (7 days ago), I’m guessing it’s just growing pains.

This weeks weight gain is a whopping 700g (1.5lb), and I have hardly been eating for two. Total weight gain is now 3.5kg (7.7lb), so that would confirm my theory.

I’ve finally started a list of things to buy  (big milestone!) and while the spare room still doesn’t look much better, I’ve sorted out a lot of stuff from downstairs to make space for things from upstairs.

Overall, I am finally feeling physically well, hooray! And mentally like I’ve gotten to the next level – like I can start thinking about buying necessary things – it’s no longer some kind of crazed fantasy. Actually getting the cot out. Thinking about birth plans. Maybe doing some emotional work on clearing the decks of the previous births. An 18 week first trimester is not an easy ride, and I am very glad to leave that part behind.

Day 8 Skin Detox

I think I might be about to turn a corner. My sinus pain was much less today (no painkillers!), and my skin is finally calming down (I think). Don’t want to get my hopes up too much, but… fingers crossed.

I was tired and hungry today. I slept for an hour in the afternoon while the husband watched the boys and I have had a big appetite. A few aches and pains too. I read there is a bit of a growth spurt after 16 weeks. Hopefully nothing is wrong and it’s just growing pains.

Breakfast: porridge, almond milk. Chia/almond/cacao drink

Snack: Er… Gluten free cheesecake and herbal tea. My friend took me to an amazing gluten free cafe and it would have been rude not to sample anything! It was awesome.

Lunch: Large salad with ham and egg.

Dinner: green thai curry with broccoli and mushrooms

Snack: gluten free cornflakes with almond milk

Day 7 Skin Detox

Had a small pity party this morning. Sinus pain still bad, gum infection still sore, skin still breaking out.

Went to my eldest’s sports day at 11am so had to pick myself up and the rest of the day was better. I had decided when I started that today was a treat day, so we planned a takeaway curry for dinner.

However, I’m going to carry on blogging my food for the next week and trying to make better choices as I really think it will make my skin better if I give it a bit longer. No ‘after’ photo this week, as I still look horrible.

Here’s hoping for some improvement over the next 7 days. I’m allowing at least eggs and red meat this week, and won’t be quite as strict as I was last week, but still staying away from the evil sugar.

Breakfast: porridge, almond milk, blueberries

Snack: Chia/almond/cacao drink

Lunch: large salad with avocado, smoked salmon and pine nuts, apple, granola bar (6g sugar, it was leftover from sports day picnic I took for my son).

Snack: brazils, walnuts, goji berries

Dinner: takeaway curry: mushroom dhansak, rice, chicken tikka and one poppadom.

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