Good Afternoon Beautiful People. I’ve reached another significant milestone in this wonderful, ever evolving journey called pregnancy… Last Tuesday saw me reach the 28th week mark (7 months exactly) and am officially in my third and final trimester aka the home straight. Whilst I have never been the type to take anything for granted, I have alot to smile about as I am beyond blessed to have reached this point without any complications, abnormalities detected, sickness or major concerns PLEASE GOD.
I also have news just in that I’ve passed the awful Glucose Tolerance Testmaking me very low risk of contracting Gestational Diabetes(pregnancy related) Overall I am feeling great and in good spirits. It has also dawned on me that in under 11 weeks and subject to a safe birth, delivery and overall health, our little one will finally be here please god!
It’s kind of crazy just how fast the time has gone by and given that I kept the news of my pregnancy quite (except for close family and a few friends) until I was 6 months pregnant I thought I would use this opportunity to bring you up to speed and give you an insight into
My Pregnancy Journey So Far….
Before We Found Out
What I’m about to discuss may seem slightly off topic but has its place in my pregnancy journey so thought I’d share it with you so you get the full picture. Mid November 2014 saw me finally take the plunge and inquire about a potential bunionectomy operation on my left foot to my GP. I had lived with bunions on both feet since the age of 10 and they got progressively worse as the years went by. This is something not many people knew I had as I was faaar too embarrassed by them so rarely showed my feet to anyone!
My love for sports and all things fitness related surely didn’t help either as the bony bit would often become inflamed after my kickboxing sessions and sporting activities and knew I had to get this sorted out sooner rather than later as my feet could have a negative impact on my walking abilities later on in life which I didn’t want at all.
By early December 2014 and after a few visits to my local hospital, I was advised by my consultant that he would arrange for the operation to go ahead by mid 2015 the latest but had to stop taking the oral contraceptive pill with immediate effect in order to clear it out of my system as it could potentially cause blood clots during surgery. I took his advise despite being on oral contraception for over 10 years and didn’t experience a period until March 2015.
During this time I gained approx half a stone in weight and my breast sized increased by 1/2 a cup size. Whilst my beloved partner and I had been together since college days (13 years) discussions about starting a family of our own were always on the agenda but didn’t feel ready within ourselves and was quite frankly was very much happy living life as a couple and enjoying each others company so we decided to use another form of natural contraception to reduce the risk of conceiving ahead of my foot operation scheduled for early June 2015.
The Moment We Found Out We Were Was Expecting
Now this is a story in itself as my pregnancy wasn’t confirmed until I was 1.5 weeks shy of 12 weeks (almost 3 months). I know what you’re thinking, how on earth did I manage to go shy of 3 months before we / I knew I was expecting? There is a reason, along with a whole load of anomalies which made it somewhat difficult to detect so let me rewind back to the middle of this year and enlighten you.
Back in mid May 2015 I left my twenties behind and started a new chapter in my life as a 30 year old woman. The occasion was to be celebrated with my other half which coincided with a complimentary press trip to the wonderful grounds of Stoke Park Country Club and Hotel.
As well as reviewing the hotel’s offerings we also ceased the opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge just how far I had come since we met all those years ago and what I have managed to accomplished during that time having left high school with no GCSEs. It was also a time for me to let go of any negative experiences that occurred in my life and focus on the future ahead.
On 3rd June 2015, I underwent my successful Bunionectomy. I was also given 5 mg of morphine for pain relief immediately after surgery and went through a whole packet of Anadin Xtra and Paracetemol during my 7 week recovery post op at home. During this time I had missed a period and immediately took two pregnancy tests, both of which turned out to be negative. I sought advice from my GP who advised the medication I was taking is known to interfere with ones menstrual cycle and told me not to worry.
Meanwhile I was in pain, not only from my foot operation but was suffering with really sore and severe tender breasts, one of the tell tell signs of pregnancy but having taken yet another another test that also showed up negative I put it to the back of my mind and concentrated on recovering from my foot surgery.
Alarm bells started to ring when I missed my second consecutive period in mid July 15 and by this time I began to panic! Not for a second thinking I was pregnant due to the previous negative tests a month earlier I started to deeply worry that something serious could be wrong with my overall health.
Having spoken to my other half about my concerns of missing yet another menstrual cycle we collectively agreed that I take another pregnancy test, just to rule it out before booking an appointment with my GP, but wasn’t at all prepare for what was to come. I took the test and there it was! A very faint double line but was evident nonetheless. I stared at the test in a state of confusion, as mentally I wasn’t prepared and after taking a second test it also showed up as positive.
Two tests cannot be wrong! Thinking back to my birthday celebrations we did take a risk. We had prior knowledge that my ovulation was only 7 days ahead when using the Natural Cycles appat the time so we knew there could be a small risk of actually conceiving. I’ll leave it at that 😉
I recall saying ‘Baaaaabe’ in a way that he knew the test was positive but surprisingly he was the one that was more calm and collected about the whole situation than me. We both stared at the test before he placed a kiss on my forehead, hugged me and reassured me that everything will be ok. Just like that our lives had changed forever.
No longer were we a couple, we were soon to be a three and even though I may have been admittedly nervous the moment we found out I honestly couldn’t be more happier to be finally starting a family with my childhood sweetheart, my life partner and best friend I call Boo. I wouldn’t change my currently situation for the world!
We both count ourselves extremely blessed to be able to conceive in the first place as some people have been trying for many years to no avail and whilst my pregnancy may not have been initially planned, we came to the conclusion that it was a blessing in disguise and was meant to be. We are now looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.
Booking Appointment and First Ultrasound Scan
As soon as my pregnancy was confirmed with my GP, I took to my trusted friend Google and began researching hospital reviews local to me as I wanted my baby and me to have the best care possible during this new and unfamiliar journey. I was thrilled to have learnt that my self referral for my 1st choice of hospital was accepted despite living outside of the catchment area. This was part due to the hospital accepting some expectant mothers who live outside of the catchment due to our local maternity units no longer existing following NHS cuts.
My booking appointment was on the 5th August 2015 where I had to give depth details of my medical history, lifestyle and my partners background . I also had to undergo two blood tests and a urine sample that was sent off as well a Midwife taking notes of my height, weight and blood pressure which is all recorded in my newly gifted maternity notes that now never leaves my side!
In no less than four days (10th August 2015) we were back for my first of two hospital based ultrasound scans. I was filled with nerves and anxiety as you can image but was immediately put at ease from my awesome sonographer. After struggling to initially see the baby due to not having a full bladder we finally got to see our baby on the screen and my was that a memory that I will cherish for a lifetime and beyond.
I managed to hold back the tears of joy and happiness felt but was further moved when we heard our little one’s heartbeat. It was fast and sounded like a horse galloping into the distance. That’s when it hit me, I was actually carrying a little life inside of me, I am responsible for carrying my baby to full term and was overcome with all sorts of emotions!
Our little one was in a difficult position for our sonographer to get exact measurements to complete the Downs Syndrome Testand was advised to go for a short walk, drink some water and jump up and down in a bid to get the baby to move. This worked and our sononographer was able to get the measurement needed and overall, was happy with our baby’s development so far. We left with wonderful pictures of our baby at 11 weeks+6 days old, in two of them he / she was staring right at us and admittedly had a little cry once home (tears of joy obviously).
Midwife Appointments and 2nd Ultrasound Scan
My 16 week midwife appointment was to go through the results of my blood tests taken at the booking appointment. Everything came back fine and no causes for concern were detected. No protein or sugar traces were found in my urine sample and I also learnt that our baby was a very low risk of having Downs Syndrome. Before we knew it, another 4 week had passed and it was time to see our little one again, only this time, this appointment would be in more detail to see if any anomolies could be dectected.
Having learnt my lesson from the previous scan I made sure I drank 1.5 litres of water and somehow resisted the urge to use the bathroom prior to my appointment. We had a different sonographer this time round who double checked with us if we wanted to know the gender of our child. My partner and I had previously discussed this and we mutually decided not to find out and wait till Baby S’ arrival as mine and our baby’s health throughout our pregnancy was most important.
Once again our sonongrapher could not obtain exact measurements from head to toe due to baby to being in an awkward position which resulted in this scan appointment taking way longer than usual.
I did everything I could to get our baby to move. I was told to lie on my side, go on all fours, complete a 360 turn all may I add on a single trolley hospital bed, empty my bladder at least three times as well as do a few body weight squats before our baby finally moved to an optimal position to take measurements. After a lengthy 50 minutes my ultrasound concluded and was told that our little ones growth and development was in accordance with Baby S’ age and no abnormalities were found.
No Morning Sickness or Nausea To Date
Onto pregnancy related symptoms and health issues. This is not gloating by any means, I am just sharing with you that I have been extremely fortunate not to have experienced any type of morning sickness or nausea to date which I am truly thankful for having heard and read horrendous horror stories of expectant mothers experiences during their 1st trimester.
I guess I am just lucky enough to make up the statistic of those 25% of women that do not experience the unpleasant side effects of morning sickness, but have had my own minor pregnancy related issues that has caused discomfort one way or another.
Tender Breasts, Round Ligament Pain, Itchy Skin and Heartburn!
Apart from tremendously sore and tender breasts which has seen my bust size increase to a modest 34B to 40DD AND still growing, bouts of round ligament pain in the early stages of my second trimester were experienced (similar to period pains but much sharper in the lower sides of ones abdomen) These were very painful and being a first time mum to be this did worry me an awful lot but was ultimately reassured by various calls into my hospital’s dedicated midwife helpline.
Itchy skin is another common condition many expectant mothers get during pregnancy and I haven’t managed to escape this just yet. I wouldn’t say I itch uncontrollably but is rather annoying and somewhat discomforting. To help ease this I have been using Neal’s Yard Remedies Mothers Balmreligiously since week 18 and has been a lifesaver at keeping itchy skin and stretch marks at bay (I have none to date).
I also suffered with extreme tiredness throughout the majority of the 2nd trimester, to the point where I would come home from work with zero energy and if left to my own devices, would crawl into bed and sleep until 5 am the next morning.
This very blog and related social media channels has suffered greatly during this time hence making it my pregnancy public news and apologizing to you lovely readers for dropping off the radar. My energy levels are much better now but am anticipating severe tiredness to strike again with a vengeance the closer I get to my baby’s due date please god.
During the last two weeks, I have been getting extremely bad heartburn which may I add is NO FUN! I can’t enjoy my food, and the pressure in the middle of ones chest very very uncomfortable. My bouts of heartburn tends to strike at night often resulting in major disruption to mine and the Mr’s sleep! So far Gaviscon prescribed from my GP has not worked and the only way I can control the heartburn at night to a degree is by adding additional pillows and lying on my back for a bit.
Diet and Nutritional Intake
In all honesty, nothing much has changed since I first found out I was expecting . I am still eating the same portions as I did pre pregnancy as I do not believe in the common saying of ‘eating for two‘. For me, this is not excuse to pig out, go mad and consume ridiculous amounts of added calories. If anything, pregnancy is a time to watch what you consume for everything you pass through your lips will be fed to your unborn child.
Knowing the crucial role nutrients play in the development of a fetus, the only significant lifestyle change I have made is by incorporating juicing into my daily regime with the help and guidance of Erran Taylor Founder of Go Juice Detox.
I have nothing but good things to say about this bespoke programme, which aims is to nutrify the body by consuming specially made juices that feeds ones cells the micro nutrients your body is low on / deprived of following the results of an in depth bio energy scan that takes place during your 1st consultation. You can look forward to reading my experiences of the Go Juice Detox Programme in a 5 part series that will be published over the next coming days and weeks.
As I’m a natural grazer, laymans terms for eating little and often, I find myself eating small meals throughout the day an whilst my diet mainly contains eating nothing but wholefoods such as poultry, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruit, whole grains and yoghurt I’ll be brutally honest and confess to deviating away from my regular diet over the last few weeks especially to satisfy cravings such as cake and custard, chocolate, pickled onions, Chinese / Indian takeaways, salt and vinegar crisps and biscuits to name a few.
Do I feel guilty for sometimes deviating from my normal diet? Not at all! I believe in a healthy balanced diet (80/20 rule) and so long as a health conscious approach to eating is undertaken in general along with regular exercise I don’t see why anyone would deprive themselves to indulge in a treat every once in a while. Balance and moderation is key beautiful people.
11 Week Countdown
If you have made it this far, I sincerely thank you for reading and really do hope I haven’t bored you to death by the length of this post! Soooo much as happened over the last 7 months or so and given I was initially in two minds to document parts of my pregnancy journeyvia this site and relating social media platforms I’m glad I did as after all this very site is an extension of my thoughts, experiences and recommendations.
I am thoroughly enjoying this journey called pregnancy and am already finding ways of bonding with the little one by playing the tapping game. I gently tap my parts of my stomach and the little one responds instantly with multiple jabs and kicks leading me to believe we’ll have another ninja in the house please god. I’ll also sing songs / nursery rhymes and the alphabet when baby is moving about and can often been seen stroking / patting my stomach, no matter where I am!
I find the whole experience and journey of gestation an extremely fascinating one and honestly struggle to put into words just how in love and besotted I already am with someone I have yet to meet!
Here’s to praying this final stretch goes just as smoothly as the last 7 months please god. For someone that didn’t think about starting a family 7 months ago I’ve completed a 360. My maternal instincts kicked in straight away and feel more than ready for my soon to be lifetime role as Mother and Parent please god.
My love and appreciation for my significant other has also increased over the months and feel closer to him than ever before. I guess it’s the bond we now share in creating a life that is part of us which for me, has taken our relationship to greater heights and has given it a whole new meaning.
I will leave at that before this post nearing 3000 words ends up becoming a novel of some kind but do stay tuned for more pregnancy related posts including pregnancy skincare, the reasons behind our choice to use disposable cloth nappiesas opposed to known high street synthetic brand nappies, safe pregnancy workouts, our green parenting approach, thoughts on breastfeeding vs formula whilst also shedding light on the best free pregnancy apps and other benefits expectant mothers are entitled to.
Thanks as always for reading and have a blessed Saturday Beautiful People whatever your plans 🙂
Danielle is a 1st Dan Kickboxing coach / Assistant Instructor under the PKA Kickboxing Association who is also a health, fitness, green beauty, wellness and lifestyle freelance writer / digital journalist. Her passions include encouraging others to lead an active, health conscious lifestyle whilst leading her Breakin' Boundrez team on various fitness related challenges.