It’s definitely different being in the late stage of pregnancy with a toddler in comparison to the first time, when all I had to think about was myself and my comfort. I can’t even begin to describe how tired I feel and also how bad I feel for my little girl, who is the opposite of me and full of curiosity and energy from the moment her eyes open in the morning. Thankfully I have a lot of support from my husband and family, I’m able to leave her with someone so I can get some rest, I don’t know how mums who don’t have the same support survive.
Last week my husband started back at full time work and I only had go in for one day, Tuesday, for a couple of hours before starting my leave. I was really looking forward to having the week with A and had already planned a number of things to do with her. Lesson number 1) don’t plan anything! We spent Monday with my husbands family, which was really lovely as we’ve been staying with my dad for the last couple of weeks and A really missed her grandparents. We decided to go out for a family meal in London on Tuesday evening to celebrate the start of my year off. What was supposed to be a family meal quickly turned into a rare date night as we decided to leave A with my sister so we could have a couple of hours to ourselves.
I don’t know if it was the drive to Aylesbury or the day’s work but the rest of the week turned into a bit of a nightmare. I was exhausted on Wednesday, I couldn’t get out of bed so handed over all responsibility of A to my father while I slept or lounged about. On Thursday I woke up quite early and immediately felt unwell. I was dizzy, sweaty and running a bit of a low temperature. About half an hour after waking up I did a huge vomit and still felt awful so decided to call 111 and get some advice. I also asked my husband to come back from work and look after A. As it turned out we were advised to go to maternity triage at the hospital so its a good thing he did return. Thankfully the hospital wasn’t busy so I was seen almost immediately. I did feel some kind of way about the attitude of the midwife at the counter, she was dismissive and unfriendly and when I presented my symptoms she practically rolled her eyes at me! I can only assume that she’d been working a long shift which was coming to an end and was tired! The other annoying thing was the hospital didn’t allow children in Triage (which I’m sure is for a very good reason) so my husband had to stay outside with A the whole time, even when I was in my own room! Turns out that I have an infection so was prescribed a course of antibiotics for a week, which I have to say I wasn’t too pleased about. I’m always reluctant to take antibiotics and don’t do well with pills generally but as I’d been feeling so rough over the last few weeks I thought it was probably wisest just to take them. I was also prescribed some liquid iron as my levels were still too low. The Dr advised me that SpaTone only has 20mg of iron compared to what she was prescribing which was 140mg. Unlike my own Drs surgery she was happy to prescribe liquid for me as I can’t take the tablets. Unfortunately most of this week has been spent in the hunt of this mysterious liquid iron. The hospital pharmacy didn’t have it and would need a week to order it in so they advised we go to our GP who would have to write another prescription in order for us to get it from a local pharmacy. Anyway, turns out our GP surgery is closed on Thursday afternoon so we took it in on Friday and were told the prescription would be ready on Wednesday! Is it just me or does that seem crazy? The Doctors at the hospital had already written a prescription but for some reason my GP had to write another on for us to use it at any other pharmacy other than the hospital one and it was going to take them 4 working days, I’m assuming they don’t work over the weekend. We went to collects the prescription on Wednesday and took it to the pharmacy where we were dispensed with tablets even though the prescription from the hospital doctors clearly stated liquid iron!!! Its been such a drama. I told my GP that I couldn’t take iron tablets at least 10 weeks ago and was told they couldn’t prescribe me liquid without the hospital requesting it. Now, when my iron levels have plummeted even lower and the hospital has prescribed me liquid, my doctor couldn’t even be bothered to read a prescription properly to request the correct thing. As of today I’m still without iron, I’m just taking 3 sachets of spa tone every day and trying to get iron in each meal!!!
This week I had my 34 week midwife appointment. I was a bit worried about reduced foetal movements since I’ve been taking my antibiotics but my midwife assured me everything seemed fine. The baby is still measuring a bit large but as I have a scan next Friday she said it wasn’t too much of a concern. This midwife was a really treasure. I asked her a load of questions and she listened and answered them all, having a good midwife makes all the difference to your maternity experience! I hope I have her or someone equally patient when I go into labour.
Around this point in pregnancy many women start to experience Braxton Hicks. I didn’t have any false contractions in my first pregnancy and haven’t had any this time round either. I have had bloody mucus twice this week and I’m peeing a lot more than usual (although I’m also consciously drinking much more). I’ve also got a lot of lower back pain, all of which are signs that labour could be coming. I didn’t have any of these with A, and as they say, each pregnancy is different, so at this stage I’m just monitoring things and trying not to over exert myself, which is actually quite difficult as most of my day is spent running around after my darling daughter. My legs, hips and bump feel heavy/sore most evenings so when Mr A gets home from work I do tend to handover childcare duties to him and spend my evenings sitting down with my legs elevated!
This time around I’ve also noticed that I have a load more stretch marks, oddly around my belly button and they are super itchy. I spoke to my midwife about this and she advised I keep the skin throughly moisturised and crucially avoid itching the area to prevent the skin from breaking, which is actually what causes the stretch marks. With A I was crazy about moisturising my whole body every evening and I think that’s the reason I didn’t get any permanent stretch marks, obviously that hasn’t been the case this time around, mostly due to time constraints and having a toddler to take care of, but as of this week I’m back on it! I’ve been out and bought some lovely oils and give myself a 5 minute massage on my belly every night!
My one objective for this past week was to pack my hospital bag but I’m afraid to report I haven’t done it! I still need to buy a few things, mostly for the baby as I have all the things I might need. I’m hoping we’ll get it done this coming week and then all I have to worry about is the labour 😬 which I’m feeling very anxious about. I keep telling myself it will be fine but I’m really worried about what will happen to A if I have another 60 hour labour, my husband wants to stay with me but I think he should stay with A… I’m so confused! I guess we’ll have to see how things go over the coming weeks, but things get really complicated when you have to think about children as well as everything else! Let me know in the comments below how you dealt with leaving your children during labour, did you leave them with your partner or friends and family?