It is very strange to think that a mere few weeks ago I was in the throes of the first trimester constant hangover feeling, unable to imagine ever feeling 100% again. And now, since 16 weeks, there are whole hours,sometimes days, where I forget that I am pregnant. Although I have been more tired overall in this pregnancy than with my others, the second trimester usually treats me pretty well.
I’m in most simple stage of pregnancy – not too large that simple tasks become difficult, and my energy is (mostly) back. There’s no frustration that pregnancy is affecting every aspect of life (although my bed could be a little comfier). We’re not yet at the stage of having to rush to get things ready, or upgrade our car to one that will fit three car seats.
For now, it’s just life as normal.
Probably the biggest news of this stage of my pregnancy was meeting my midwife at the 16 week appointment. Because I’m planning on a home birth, I see a case-loading midwife (meaning you have a one-to-one midwife for all your care throughout pregnancy, labour, and for the postnatal check-ups, rather than seeing lots of different midwives at different stages). So, meeting my midwife is an exciting moment, because they are essentially the person who is going to be there for every step of the way with this pregnancy.
The home birth team has changed over quite a bit since my last home birth with Rory, and it sounds like there are a lot of new faces on the team. Rory’s midwife is no longer there, but my new midwife is also lovely. Meeting her, I was immediately able to better imagine my experience labouring and birthing at home with this baby.
I previously talked about potentially wanting to be in the hospital birth centre this time round rather than at home. My midwife completely alleviated my worries about the birth centre not always being open due to under-staffing. If I want, my home birth midwife team can open up the birth centre for me and still provide my care there. It’s something called domino care, which wasn’t offered from the home birth team the last time I was under their care. So, no matter where I decide to have this baby, I can still have the support of my case-loading midwife, and there’s no rush to decide until a lot closer to my due date. For now, both myself and my midwife agreed that it would be best to continue the plan for a home birth, but that it would be absolutely no problem if I decide to change my mind later on.
At the point of writing this, I am 19 weeks, according to my (very accurate) dates. The sonographers, however, have put me at a week ahead (impossible), so I’m still going by my dates. But because of the large shift at the dating scan, I am thinking that this could be another big baby. My midwife has mentioned growth scans (although having had these before I know they are not always the most accurate), and taking the glucose tolerance test as I approach the third trimester. Having read more about gestational diabetes in the time between Rory’s birth and this pregnancy, I do wonder whether that was a possibility with my pregnancy with Rory – all his extra weight was around his chest, which is apparently an indicator.
Gestational diabetes means additional risks to the baby, as well as increased size (meaning more likelihood of shoulder dystocia, something I had with Rory and wrote about my worries a few weeks ago). I have to wait until 28 weeks for the GTT, I think, so in the meantime, I’ve put myself on a self-imposed low GI diet. I figure it would be good to get a head start if I think it might be an issue, and it can’t hurt if turns out to be not an issue.
I’m actually quite nervous at the thought of having the glucose tolerance test. I have a history of very low blood sugar and feeling faint and foggy when I go too long between meals (probably all the more reason to be tested), and I’m pretty sure my body is not going to react very well to a night of fasting followed by a 500ml sugary drink on an empty stomach. I always wake up with a need to eat breakfast straight away, and I hate feeling sick and faint… but it has to be done. If anyone has had an OK experience with the GTT or has some tips, I’d love to know!
In my last pregnancy update, I wrote about my mixed feelings in wanting to find out the gender of the baby this time. We did find out in the end, although I haven’t felt a rush to announce our news just yet. I am glad we found out, but for now, it feels like something just for us (and the family that we have told). In all honesty, I’m still getting used to the fact that we know at this early stage. It’s very different to waiting until the birth, as we did with both the boys. I also wanted to wait until the anomaly scan, which is coming up next week, it feels very early days before that point, and I am just hoping there are no unforeseen complications before I can start getting excited about gender, names, buying things, and all of that business.
During our private scan a few weeks ago, the sonographer switched to 3D for a little bit, which was actually really cool. I find the standard black and white 2d scans a bit confusing at times, it’s hard to know what you are looking at. With the 3D scan, all of the movement was so clear, I could see exactly how the baby was moving in a way I’ve never seen before. There was one cool movement where he/she put their hand over their face and I was shocked at how ‘real’ that visual was to see.
I started feeling little pops of movement at around 16 weeks. And now, at 18 weeks, I can feel more movement in the moments that I am lying still. It’s still only very occasionally though. Whenever we saw Arlo on a scan, he was constantly making very energetic movements (to this day, he still rarely sits still without fidgeting or any movement at all). Having nothing to compare it to, I thought that was standard for baby movement. Rory was far more chilled in his scans, and from what I could feel whilst he was inside me. It’s been a surprise that this baby has been even more chilled out in the womb so far – generally he/she is very still on the scans, with only the laziest movements every now and then.
The first trimester dragged, but now, it’s all going so quickly. I can’t believe I’m half way through this pregnancy already.
The last six years of my life have involved pregnancies, babies, breastfeeding, and very little sleep. Yet it feels like that time has been nothing – it’s passed by so quickly, and it feels strange to think of it coming to an end. I’ve found myself only half joking to Sam about changing our plan to four children. I think three is completely perfect, yet to think of this as the last pregnancy, the last baby…it’s almost as if I’m not ready for this stage of life to be over.
It feels like it all went so fast.