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.

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