The Third Trimester

On Monday I reached 28 weeks pregnant. The third trimester! I still have a long twelve weeks to wait before meeting this baby, but getting close to half of me is now anticipating that we will actually get there without something going wrong.

The boys are heading back to, and starting, school, so for the first time in 6 years, my days will very soon be my own. I am both nervous and excited at ‘starting over’ with a new baby. Nervous because it will be another 5 years from now before my youngest will be at school and I will be 45 by then (eek). Will I cope with 5 more years of sleep deprivation, tantrums, and awful toddler and baby groups?? I have not always found motherhood to be the easiest of responsibilities. Will I look old and ancient in the playground compared to other mothers? I have struggled, deep down, with the appearance of grey hairs and wrinkles – they make me sad. Then on the other hand, despite my rapidly advancing age (and the fact that I never, ever, planned to have babies in my early 40s), I am eagerly excited to do it all over again. This time with the wisdom and (hopefully) calm that comes from experience, and of course with boundless gratitude that we have been able to do this at all, given our chances seemed pretty much nonexistent at one point.

I haven’t got another midwife appointment until I am 30 weeks pregnant, and in total in 6 months of this pregnancy I have seen a midwife just three times. I know this is in part down to me booking in so late, but I have not been called for the whooping cough vaccine, nor for a glucose tolerance test… I am feeling a little like I’ve just been left to get on with it. My husband says if it was the other way around I would be complaining about people hassling me when it wasn’t necessary, and he is probably right.

However, I am starting to feel nervous about the birth. With my oldest son I haemorrhaged so rapidly and so badly that I lost consciousness, ended up in theatre, needed an emergency blood transfusion and manual removal of the placenta. With my second son I had the same issue with the placenta, and another massive haemorrhage. I have all the usual concerns about the birth, but I am absolutely terrified about how we are going to get the placenta out. I will research this once the boys are at school and make a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup, backup plan, but I am frightened and there is no real way for me to appease that fear. Given that one of my miscarriages also resulted in a haemorrhage so bad I was in hospital for three days on nil-by-mouth with another emergency blood transfusion, I think I can safely say that my concerns are very real and they need to be addressed by the staff at the hospital so that they can plan for what might be.

Sigh. I’m feeling a little down this morning. Can you tell? In other news, my weight gain at 28 weeks stands at 8.2kg, or 18lbs. My pelvic pain is dull and constant and this baby feels very low compared to the boys at this stage. I want to do more exercise, but anything, even walking, aggravates my pelvis. In all honesty, I’m ready to have the baby now. 40 weeks (+3 days as it was for the boys) can’t come soon enough. Having spent so long trying and trying and trying, and having failed pregnancies over and over, all we want is for this baby to arrive safely. I won’t be sad to be leaving pregnancy behind, which is a feeling I never had with my second. I won’t be sad to be focused on family life and never have to worry about peeing on a fucking stick ever, ever, EVER again. I have already started to clear out old maternity clothes that no longer fit – I am saving nothing this time around and it gives me a sense of immense freedom to know that we are moving forward and will not be repeating this, that all the clutter and paraphernalia and pregnancy STUFF can all just be let go.

When the kids are older I want to travel with them, see the world, to do all the things that we haven’t even thought of for three years because we have only had one focus – completing our family. The husband and I have come up with a plan to attempt to pay our mortgage off early. It’s a crazy plan, but we both realise that the financial freedom this would give us would be life-changing. We can see the future now, and make plans, and I feel in awe of the pleasure that this gives us – something that as a couple now we have ignored and ignored and ignored, until we ‘got number three sorted’.

So, final words (gosh, I’ve written a lot – I didn’t mean to write an essay this morning). As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been consolidating everything digitally. I’ve gone back to using the Day One app as a record of thoughts and statuses, and it now has new functionality that lets me share to twitter, Facebook, linked in or whatever I like. I LOVE this, as it’s a central private database and I can share the information I want to share really easily. So, I’ve managed to delete un-needed profiles and tidy up my method of recording and sharing things.

Blogging-wise, I’ll almost certainly write here until the baby is born, but as I already mentioned I’m moving over to a new blog where I’m going to share as the Real Me – part of my larger plan to bring the fractured parts of my personality together. We’ve reduced so much in the house, and I’ve cleared away/given up so many other projects that were consuming my energy in a negative way, that I’ve suddenly found time and motivation to do things I’ve been putting off for years. I’ve started writing again, and am working on a novel, which I’m really enjoying, especially as I’ve been meaning to do it since my brief encounters with success and publication last year. I’ve been a better mother, as I am stressing less about all the things I have to do (because the list is drastically reduced). I should update my impossible list, as I’ve ticked off a lot of things on there recently. I may move this onto my new blog. We’ll see.

One last thing, I saw a counsellor last week for my first session and it went well. She is a lovely lady, who bore just the right expression of concern as I talked nine-to-the-dozen for 50 minutes, including some uncontrollable sobbing where I literally couldn’t speak. I will blog about this separately – it’s still early days and my second appointment is this evening. I have no idea where we’re going to go with what I’ve told her, so we’ll see what happens.

And I think that’s about it 🙂 I’ve had a wonderful summer with the boys. I’m psyching myself up to actually order some real, physical, baby things (we still only have a moses basket and no newborn clothes, baby bouncer, pram or anything else). I’m writing. I’m feeling relaxed in my free time. I’m content. For the first time in so, so, SO long, I’m just content when I sit down and everything is still. It’s such a peaceful feeling it makes me want to cry with the beauty and simplicity of it. I feel endless, endless gratitude that life has reached this point, and that somehow I have been given the chance to be here. I can feel the autumn in the air, the close of another summer, nature’s final push before settling in for the long winter, and I am welcoming this change with open arms. Autumn has always been my favourite season. Darker nights, colder days, the stillness and inactivity. I want to gather my whole family around me, to stay warm and close until spring returns.

26 Weeks

26w

Things are all going well., although I’m finding that I’m feeling a lot heavier now.

Total weight gain so far is: 6.9kg (15.21 lbs)

This last week I’ve had a complete break from exercising. When I went out for my 5k run the previous Friday, I had pain in my groin right from the start. I thought that’s fine, I’ll just walk it. So I walked 5k, but even that was too much I think. When I got home I was in pain all day long.

It didn’t ease over the weekend, so I’ve had a complete break for the week – my symptoms are exactly those for SPD, so I suspect that my pelvic join at the front is loose/strained and there is, after extensive research, NOTHING I can do to correct that while I’m pregnant. I’m seeing the midwife on Thursday, so I’ll ask her about it then. I’m a bit fed up about this as I was really enjoying the exercise, but almost everything I did was making the pain steadily worse, so for now, I will rest up. Maybe I’ll be able to pick up again, but from what I’ve found out, it seems it gets worse as the baby gets bigger.

My other interesting “side-effect” at the moment is a HUGE varicose vein on the back of my right thigh. It is AWFUL. I didn’t have this (or haemorrhoids) with the boys either before or after the birth, so I am unsure why it’s suddenly popped up (literally). I guess my body is just older and finding it harder to deal with. I’m really worried about it – it looks so horrible and now I’ve spotted it, I’m conscious of it aching and itching on and off in the day. I’ve always had thread veins on my legs too (since I was a teenager, pretty much), but they have gotten a LOT worse over the last few weeks, especially my right leg again. My legs are turning into proper ‘old lady’ legs, which isn’t fun to witness.

Other than that, I’ve had a good couple of weeks. I’m sleeping really well (although I’m going to get a pillow asap as I’m finding it harder to get comfortable and I really worry about squashing the bump). I always seem to wake up on my back, which doesn’t help varicose veins (it compresses the main artery and can affect blood flow to the uterus, pregnant women should ideally sleep on their left side). I’ve been trying really hard not to sleep on my back, but when I’m unconscious it still seems to be my preferred position.

My appetite is finally dropping back a little (thank god). And the sugar cravings, although still high, are not the out of control things they were. I’ve gotten my calorie average down a little this last week, so I’m hoping to build on it this week and try and moderate my eating back to a sensible level. Thankfully my stomach now has less room, so food seems to last longer 🙂

Not only that, but the idea of eating salads, and even juices and smoothies, suddenly doesn’t seem so ‘yuk’. I’ve had a real aversion to them over the last month or so, and have eaten carbs and nothing else. I’ve been stricter with remembering my vitamins and things this week as I’m worried I’m not getting anywhere near my full complement of everything, but slowly I’m getting fruit and (more importantly) veg back into my diet.

I should be due a blood test at some point, as I was anaemic at week 16 when I booked in. I’m just under the threshold, so I haven’t worried about it yet as a certain level of haemodilution is totally normal (and studies show women who are mildly anaemic have better labour and birth outcomes than women who are very anaemic, or not anaemic at all). My blood measurements are very  important to me, given my haemorrhaging history, so I was also really pleased to see that my platelet count (which helps clotting) was in normal range at 16 weeks (with both other pregnancies it was low – never mentioned by a doctor – and I bled profusely both times). I’ll ask the midwife when my next bloods are due.

What else… ah – the whooping cough vaccine. There’s a national program in effect in the UK (and some other countries) to vaccinate third trimester women against whooping cough. This is a new thing, since I was last pregnant, because of the rising incidence of whooping cough, and the recent death of several newborns who were under 2 months (vaccination age).

However, the vaccine (for cost reasons) is the same vaccine given to non-pregnant women and also contains diptheria, tetanus (and polio?). The manufacturer of the vaccine in the UK has “Not suitable for use in pregnancy” clearly stated on the vaccine label. I’ve done a bit of research on this, but it’s hard to find reliable figures on loss given the program has only been running for a couple of years. Out of the babies that died from whooping cough after birth, two of them HAD received the vaccine via the mother in pregnancy. So it’s not a guarantee. However, with two boys at school (and a father-in-law who volunteers in a hospital), I am erring towards having the vaccine at the moment. There is a Facebook group set up by a lady whose baby died (in utero) a week after she received the vaccine, and she was calling for the release of information about stillbirth figures, but it hasn’t been active for a long time. So…

I don’t know at the moment.

I think that’s about all. We’re now two thirds of the way through the summer holidays, so only two weeks until my youngest starts school, sigh.

I’m looking forward to my counselling session, and having some time at home to focus on this pregnancy as it speeds into the third trimester.

24 Weeks

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Excuse the floor mess – we’re in the middle of changing the furniture in the boys room, so their clothes are temporarily all over the floor in here!

Firstly, I’m overwhelmed by the messages of support on my last post – I cried reading them, and am hugely, hugely grateful. I will reply to each one individually.

Phew. So – 24 weeks. VIABILITY.

The baby has a chance of survival if born now, and medically, if I lost the pregnancy, it would no longer be a ‘miscarriage’. It’s been a milestone I’ve been waiting to reach and I think last week I was also anxious about something going wrong in the final days/hours before reaching this point.

But I made it!

So, last weeks stats:

Weight gain
0kg (YAY!!!!!!!)

God knows how as I averaged 2,259 cals per day over seven days, but there we go.

Exercise

Monday
20min strength
40min run (4.43km)
Tuesday
15min cardio
40min yoga
Wednesday
20min strength
20min run (2.3km)
Thursday
15min cardio
40min yoga
Friday
53min run (5.6km)
Saturday
REST
Sunday
REST

Step count

M 10,196
T 5382
W 8254
T 6469
F 9435
S 3345
S 3061

Total 46,142

I have to say, by Thursday/Friday last week I was feeling tired – really worn out and I had a waver of commitment over getting up and getting moving. My emotions were running really high (hence last weeks post).

However, the two rest days at the weekend are really restorative and I was up at 5:40am this morning looking forward to my run (well, my walk/run) and it went beautifully – the morning was warm, I felt really fit and strong, and ran for longer than I have at any point so far. The endorphins kicked in properly and I was bouncing when I got home. It feels awesome to be 24 weeks pregnant and still so mobile – and getting stronger. Really awesome.

Food-wise, I finally got my head down and planned a weeks worth of food and did a proper weekly shop at the weekend. We’ve been eating freezer stuff and takeaways for the last few weeks, and I really needed to get on top of cooking and dinners. I feel so much better for having a meal plan taped to the fridge, even if it’s just simple dinners for all of us that aren’t massively health conscious. One step at a time. Green smoothies are hopefully on the horizon…

I think there’s a great deal of emotional relief at having reached 24 weeks. If I suddenly go into labour, I just have to get to the hospital and it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. I’m just a mere 16 weeks away from the big day (16 WEEKS!!!!). I’m loving being home with the boys over the summer, and also really looking forward to them starting school so I can get down to the serious business of clearing aside all the mental clutter I have surrounding the birth (all on hold for now ;-).

Emotional Fallout

Sigh. I’ll try not to make this post too rambling and all over the place.

This is a long post – 3,400 words.

I’d suggest that you avoid it if you’re not feeling up to a journey through someone else’s messed up head!

I am suffering from an extreme case of self-loathing at the moment. My head is like a bubbling cauldron, full of a million and one things, mostly from the past, but also anxieties about the future, and I’m having a really hard time maintaining a ‘stable’ outlook.

Okay, so to try and break down what’s going on, I’ll try and lay out what’s bothering me (again, please don’t feel you have to read – simply the act of writing this out will help me get my thoughts clearer in my head).

1. Self-loathing

This is the big theme, and I think it’s a side effect of the other things I’ll talk about below. I am eating junk, every day. I’m not cooking proper meals for my family, we’re eating too much takeaway food, and instead of lunches, I just pick all day long at stuff that is no good for me. It is like an addiction, and I hate it. I think eating crap all day every day is also affecting my mood (loads of studies about sugar and depression). I don’t seem to be able to get control of this at all. And I think the reason for it is the comfort that it provides me while I’m eating. That nice feeling that sugar/fat gives you when you eat it (oh so brief, sadly). I seem to be hanging onto those pleasurable moments of actually eating bad stuff as some kind of crutch to get me through all the other stuff that’s going on in my head.

But then of course, because I’m aware of how important diet is, and how important it is especially now, I literally can’t bear myself for eating this way. It’s a horrible cycle of desire, brief happiness and then self-hatred. I know this is edging towards the emotions of a genuine eating disorder, and that scares me. My diet right now is the worst it’s ever been in my life.

There is a part of me, as well I think, that is rebelling for having spent three years obsessing over everything I eat in case it was affecting my fertility. The irony of it is that now I’ve actually got a baby to support, I’m eating the absolute worst ever. Yesterday for example, I had cereal and milk and a hot chocolate for breakfast. Then I ate food in the canteen at Ikea (chips and cake). I had an ice-cream in the afternoon, and egg fried rice and a glass of wine for dinner. I mean – practically ZERO nutritional value in that lot, and that’s just about a typical day.

Sigh. Anyway, as I said, looking at it objectively, this is in large part a crutch for my other emotions and in smaller part a rebellion of three years of being on the straight and narrow. Phew. So now I’ve quantified that issue, let’s look at all the other shit.

2. Parental angst

By this I mean angst about my own parents (primarily). In particular my mother. Becoming a mother for the first time resulted in such incredible feelings of love and protection that very slowly I drifted into total disbelief at the way my parents looked after me and my brother. Becoming a mother focused the reality of my own childhood and in a way, it took it away from me. I knew that my upbringing was different – I was aware of that even at the time, but it wasn’t until I knew how it felt to be a mother that I realised the enormity of the responsibility and how immensely my own parents failed to take that on board.

I’ve done a bit of work over the years, trying to move to a place of acceptance about my parents, and I think with my father I have finally got there.

He was overly critical of me and my brother (criticism was pretty much all he said while we were growing up), and very judgemental of us, but knowing him as an adult I get the sense that a) he is aware of this on some level because he always makes a point of encouraging my boys and telling them well done – words I never, ever heard as a child, and b) I can see other traits in him that I misinterpreted at the time, but that I can now see as a deep caring for my and my brother’s wellbeing. For example, my Dad is nervous of everything that could cause an accident. He’s the same with the boys – he tells them don’t touch this, stay away from that. And it’s because he fears for them. He was exactly the same when I was a child (and I have picked up this trait with gusto, inadvertently). But it comes from a caring place – a fear, as a parent, that a child could get hurt. I understand that now. When I was growing up, being told that everything I did was never good enough, and being told to stay away from everything that could cause me any danger at all made me  rebellious and angry, and sowed a deep inner feeling of low self-worth. I understand all of that now.

My mother on the other hand.

This is a relationship that I didn’t even realise had hurt me until I had children of my own. It will take too long to go into detail over this, but to summarise:

  • My mother is the daughter of an abusive parent. She had an alcoholic father and a mother who beat her (and did other things – locking in cupboards, force-feeding until sick, just horrible stuff), for 17 years until she left home and married my Dad. She’s tried to commit suicide several times and been in and out of mental hospitals.
  • My mother hardly ever hit me – I literally remember one or two occasions where she lashed out.
  • She was so depressed throughout the majority of my childhood that she mostly slept on the sofa, watched the washing machine, stared out of the window and generally did not interact with me very much at all.
  • She had pets – birds, dogs, fish, tortoises – and they all got as much, if not more attention than me and my brother.
  • She avoided any kind of public encounter and pretty much hid herself away if my friends ever came to play. I walked to school by myself from age 5/6 and on one notable occasion aged about 10 I spent an hour waiting on a platform 3 miles from home, for a train, in the worst snow the UK had seen in ages. I was so numb and cold that I cried with pain when I finally got back from school after a near two hour journey, door-to-door. My mum was sat at home the whole time. With her car on the drive. I don’t know how long it would have been before it occurred to her that I might need help. Personally, if my 10 year old was two hours late coming home from school in a snow-storm, I’d be concerned enough to go looking. I have hundreds of stories like this.
  • She did the absolute minimum for me and my brother as kids. We didn’t get trips to the hairdresser or dentist. We didn’t go anywhere with her at all. I started cutting my own hair at age 10, and I was buying my own clothes in jumble sales at age 11 with my pocket money because my mother had stopped clothing us. I did 5 years at school wearing the same shirts I was bought when I was 11 (yep, they were miles too small).
  • She laughed at me for my entire childhood. I don’t really know how to explain this, but my mother’s emotional abilities were (I can see now), severely damaged by her upbringing. She has three main moods. Vacant (where she is going over the past, which she could do for hours at a time), angry (where everything is an annoyance, including me when I was a kid), and amused. She never really displayed love. She laughed at me all the time. It was her way. I see it now with the boys. One of them needs sincere attention over something, or the two of them are trying to explain something to her in earnest, and she laughs at them. She laughs in that “oh aren’t they funny” way, but she applies it to everything. She just laughs at you. Have you any idea what it is like to grow up with a mother who laughs at everything? Who laughs at your first period (and then sends you to the shops with your Dad to buy sanitary towels)? At your first bra? Jokes about your small breasts? Who laughs at your prettiest clothes? At presents people buy you? She simultaneously made me terrified of upsetting others and saying the wrong thing, and yet ridiculed almost everything I said and did by laughing about it. It wasn’t nasty laughter, it was just that she seemed to find everything inconsequentially amusing. I had clothes I couldn’t bear to wear because she’d laughed when I’d tried them on. I detested pink, and make-up, because she laughed at my attempts to be a woman. You can imagine that, combined with my father’s constant criticism. Fertile ground for a fucked up child, huh?

Anyway, I could go on and on and on about my mother. The facts today are that I love her, in some way, because she is my mother. I mean, I’d be sad if she died (possibly more for what never was than for what we had). But I do not really like her. And I am angry that I missed out on a decent mother. I have no idea what people are thinking when they post mothers day tributes to their own hard-working mums on Facebook. What a nice feeling that must be, to have a mum that cares for you and looked after you.

Hah. Anyway. The whole point of this is as follows:

1. I still have a lot of unresolved anger and self-pity for what I didn’t even know was wrong at the time.
2. I am absolutely terrified that this baby will be a girl and how the fuck will I know how to be a good mother and a good role model??

So there, I’ve said it. I was so relieved, SO relieved, when I gave birth to two boys. But this time around – this pregnancy has been different… I just think it might be a girl… but then it might not. I don’t know. If it isn’t, then that’s fine, I can do boys, I looked after my brother to a certain extent as a kid. Boys and mums – a bond that is unassailable.

Girls? Jeez. How can I ever be good enough for a daughter? How can I teach her self-respect, to stand up for herself, to look after herself, to make the most of herself, and to be a kind person?

I am terrified.

When I was 5 my Dad took me to the hospital to visit my mum after she gave birth to my brother. Back then, having a baby was a several day hospital stay, so Mum hadn’t been home for a while. I remember Dad gave me a drawing to give to Mum of her and the new baby, which he’d done himself. He told me to tell her that it was from me. I was embarrassed because I knew that she’d know I hadn’t drawn it, and it seemed silly for me to pretend. But most importantly of all, I wasn’t even missing her. As a 5 year old, I didn’t miss her when she wasn’t there. Because when she was there, she wasn’t really there either, she was off with the ghosts from her past.

And I am terrified that my children might feel the same way about me.

So yeah. That’s a lot of parental angst floating around in my head at the moment.

3. Getting older

My god, I think often about the fact that I am forty. Forty!! And here I am with a big pregnant belly… I see other girls half my age carrying bumps and I feel… embarrassed. A kind of niggling embarrassment that “at my age” I am having a baby. I never gave age a second thought with the boys. I felt a LOT younger at 36, when I had my youngest, than I do now. And I looked younger. 5 years of parenting two boys, many miscarriages and a whole pile of emotional stress has left me looking older, and more importantly feeling older. I know now that people look at me and can tell I am older. It’s a hard thing to deal with, ageing. Especially for women – you lose your looks, your figure, your hair greys, the end of your reproductive years looms… For men (if they look after themselves), they become distinguished, wise, mature. A mature man is a good thing. A mature woman? Not as good as a supple and fecund young woman, eh?

Sigh.

So, I know in part this is all about self-perception, but dammit, I just feel OLD some days. It’s not a lack of energy, or physical problems (thankfully), it’s just that I know I don’t look as fresh as I used to. The plumpness of youth has vanished. My cheeks are more hollow. I have the beginning of jowls (they run on both sides of my family). My eyes have clear wrinkles when I smile. My legs are developing thread veins at an alarming rate, like old lady legs I used to stare at when I was small. I wonder if the boys look at me and think I’m a pretty mummy or not. If I have a girl… (back to the girl thing again), she’ll only ever see me as way past my best. I would never want a daughter of mine to grow up afraid to make the most of herself (like I was), covering herself in ridiculously baggy clothes and hiding her youth and beauty. I have mum friends who manage to be super-glamourous and their daughters follow their lead, with an interest in clothes and make up and fashion. I wish I could be more like that. How can I teach a daughter about dress-sense and fashion, when I have so little of my own? I still cringe at the idea of painted nails (there’s my mum laughing again), but I know mums who paint their own nails and their daughters nails to match. What a wonderful thing to do – how I would have loved that when I was a child! To be initiated into the grown-up world of beauty instead of being laughed at for my attempts (from a woman who wore neither make-up, nor nail varnish, nor perfume, nor much in the way of jewellery).

This might seem a highly superficial concern, but the fact is, our outward appearance, whether we like it or not, has an impact on the way we are treated all through our lives. So I have a double issue here – my own ageing process, which is alarmingly rapid these days, and the fact that I want to be a mum that my kids are proud of – not a baggage lady!

You might say kids don’t notice these things – but my Dad admitted to me once that he was embarrassed by the way his mum used to hide at the back of the crowd on the school run, with no make up on, while all the other mums were dressed up and looked so pretty to him. He used to wonder why she wouldn’t just wear some make-up and dress like everyone else did. How awful would she have felt, if she’d known that’s what her little boy was thinking?

4. Expectations and Anxiety About The Future

Now’s not the time to get into my whole breastfeeding saga – I’ve written more than enough already – but this, among other things, is weighing heavily on my mind. The birth, the aftermath, feeding, how we’ll manage… how it will all go down. Will I be as broken as the previous times?

And then – family. VISITS.

I’m pissed off already that everyone will want to visit. People will want to congratulate. Hold the baby. Sit in our house and expect tea, and nobody will bring food or anything to help. I’m angry about how everyone imposed themselves on us before, spending hours and hours here, expecting tea and lunch and more, when all I wanted to do was cry over my bleeding nipples and have a house that wasn’t full of other bodies, upsetting my newborn with all the passing around. A week after giving birth to my second, I still hadn’t made it into the shower (yeah, gross I know, but I had a toddler to look after and was sleeping maybe three hours a night), and my in-laws were here for HOURS. In the end, the husband had to ask them to leave. It was awful. I just wanted a wash, and to be left alone. Awful.

I’m already angry about what hasn’t happened yet! I’m fantasising about booking myself into a birth centre for days after the birth so people can visit only between certain hours.

With my first baby, I was in the kitchen making lunch and my mother in law (who is a smoker) sat with my brand new, perfect baby on her lap and put her finger in his mouth for him to suck on. She got my father in law to take photos and I missed it all – I was in the kitchen.

When I later saw the pictures I was absolutely livid. I was trying to breastfeed and was paranoid about “nipple confusion” (bloody midwives – don’t listen to them, babies never get confused about what a nipple is), I hated the fact that she ‘tricked’ him into sucking her finger, not to mention I freaked out about the idea of nicotine residue making into my son’s system… I was so ANGRY and felt like he’d been violated while I wasn’t there.

And of course, because my mother never taught me how to set boundaries and be assertive, none of this was ever confronted, or assertively mentioned. We just let it all go, swept along on a tide of crippling exhaustion, desperate to make it to some kind of shore of stability as soon as possible.

And as if all that isn’t enough, I’m still carrying a lot of anger and resentment over how everyone has dealt with our miscarriages. Fuckers!! Seriously – the thought of them being all happy and wanting to get involved in holding the baby and cooing over the baby… eugh!!! The same people who told us it wasn’t meant to be, that a third child wasn’t a good idea, that things happen for the best. FUCK all that. Hypocrites.

So yeah, I’m pretty much dreading all the excitement and cooing that will happen when this baby is born.

(Hey, maybe it won’t. Maybe everyone will leave us alone! Then I’ll really have something to complain about, lol! I wonder if I can arrange emmigration to a warmer country before the birth? Might be a bit optimistic. Perhaps book an extended holiday in New Zealand for the 5 of us? Hmm. Possible. If I win the lottery. Ha! How AWESOME would that be??)

Anyway, I’m feeling tons better already having written all this out. I sure have a lot of shit swirling around in my head, and I need to get it all straightened out before my due date. Clearing my todo list right down has given me more time to think about things, which is good – I need to get them sorted. And partly this is, I suspect, the aftermath of three very stressful years with zero support from our real life folks.

I know I need to be more assertive, and clearer about my boundaries and what I will and won’t accept. I know I need to reach some kind of peace over my mother. I know I need to lay to rest these thoughts of not being a good enough parent.

I’ve just got to work out how.

23 Weeks

This is going to be a numbers heavy post.

Weigh gain this week: 900g (1lb 15oz)

FAR too much for a single week.

Again.

My weight gain is really driving me crazy. It seemed to plateau last week, but for the first time since I got pregnant I’m now starting to feel heavy. I hate it, and I don’t want to end up a big fat heffalump like I did with the boys. I’m getting quite a lot of inner thigh/groin pain as well at the moment, which I’m terrified is the beginning of SPD. I didn’t have this with the boys – it was all in my hips and coccyx.

The thing is, I’m totally responsible for what I put in my own mouth and having tracked my calories daily for three weeks, I’m still coming in way over what I should be each day – TOO MUCH! I really don’t know how to control my cravings for sweet, fatty foods. I know in part this is biological – we are predisposed to scoff in pregnancy because in caveman times, food was always scarce.

However, when I can get a chocolate bar or ice-cream anywhere, at any time, it’s a Very Bad Thing. I have never struggled so much to stay away from it all. Multiple times a day I will eat something I know will not help me.

Sigh.

Gotta work on this.

 

Exercise log for last week

Mon
20mins strength and core
43min hill run
Tues
15min cardio
55min yoga
Weds
20min strength and core
20min walk to preschool and back
20min short flat run
Thur
15min cardio
50min yoga
Fri
55min long slow run
15min yoga
Sat
REST
Sun
REST

Step count

M: 12,513
T: 7,441
W: 13,202
T: 3,275 (first day of school hols and a tv day at home with boys!)
F: 11,186
S: 7,827
S: 6,340

Week total: 61,784

Other stuff

My skin is very slowly calming down. It’s still a long way from photogenic (ha!), but at least it’s not a daily embarrassment.

I’m getting to the end of my to-do list, for the first time in my life! We picked up a sofa for the conservatory and some other bits from Ikea at the weekend, and very soon, very soon, the house will be completely cleared out, and comfortably live-able, in the way I wanted it to be before the baby arrived. Hurrah!

I’m enjoying being at home with the boys. I’ve gotten super-organised and ordered school uniform for both of them for September and this week we’re on an intensive swim course.  Life is much easier, and much more fun, with a 5 and almost 4 year old than it was two years ago with a 3 and almost 2 year old (that summer was not a happy one!).

So, alls well.

Just got to get the eating thing under control…

Here’s a bump pic from this morning:

IMG_8194

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