Before you become a Mum for the first time, you have all these fantasies about how amazing it will be to be pregnant, to get the glow and have this gorgeous bump growing before your eyes, to feel the babies kicks and movements. Pregnancy is amazing and I am so grateful for the babies that I already have and the one that I am carrying at present BUT as I sat this morning in A&E contemplating my pregnancies I can honestly say that I haven’t really had a good track record with any of them.
When pregnant with Little Bean I suffered with PUPP which was an excruciating itchy rash which started at my belly button and over the course of the last 6-8 weeks of pregnancy gradually worked it’s way to the outer extremities of my body. This was a rash which made me hot beyond your wildest imagination, it itched so badly that even during my fitful sleep I would still scratch it. I had to cut my nails short because I scratched so much that my skin would bleed, my Mum bought me a Nintendo DS so that I could keep my hands busy to take my mind off the itching and to help me get to sleep I would lay a cold, wet flannel on my bump and have a fan on me to keep me cool.
As if the PUPP wasn’t enough, I also suffered towards the end of my pregnancy with severe hip pains, no matter which side I laid on, it felt like I had daggers sticking in them, I couldn’t lay on my back because of the weight of my bump and so sleep became a rarity.
My pregnancy with Beanie Boy was probably the best of the three, I looked the best during that pregnancy, I felt I finally had ‘the glow’ but I had cervical polyps which meant I was back and forth to the hospital because I kept bleeding which was frightening. Each time I had a bleed I had to be monitored to see if the baby was ok and sometimes this would mean trips to the hospital in the middle of the night.
My current pregnancy has probably been my worst so far, definitely a sign that I shouldn’t (not that we’re planning anyway) have anymore babies. For the first 14 weeks I had the joys of morning sickness, certainly not to the extent that many women suffer with it, mine was mainly nausea with the odd attack of actual sickness but during this time I also suffered with feeling light-headed. When the morning sickness stopped, the acid indigestion started. I tried Gaviscon and Rennie and all the usual remedies but these only worked for half an hour at a time until someone on twitter suggested Zantac which seemed to do the trick, of course this also had an effect on my bowels and gave me severe constipation. This was also exacerbated by the fact that I was anaemic and had been placed on iron tablets by my GP.
Next came the whooping cough which was awful, I really feel for children who suffer from this as it knocked me for six. I was given a course of antibiotics but these were to prevent me from passing it onto others, not to help me to get better. For those who don’t know, whooping cough is also known as the 100 day cough because that’s usually how long it lasts (and it did!). Unfortunately, the antibiotics didn’t kick in fast enough to prevent Hubby and Beanie Boy from catching it so we didn’t get to see Curly for 4-5 weeks until we were sure that it had worked its way out of the house (Curly’s Mum had just had twin babies 5 weeks premature so we couldn’t take the chance of passing it onto them). This also meant that we missed Curly’s birthday and had to celebrate it a week later outside in the garden on a cold October evening!!
During a routine blood test the Doctor discovered that my Thyroid was underactive and placed me on Thyroxcine medication to improve my levels but each time I have been tested since, my levels have dropped further. I hadn’t realised the importance of thyroid levels before but it would appear that my underactive thyroid could mean that baby will struggle to get into position and have a difficult birth. It can also mean that baby may be slower to develop motor skills once he is out but obviously we won’t know anything about that for a few months.
Whilst I was still suffering with the after effects of whooping cough and caring for Beanie Boy with his whooping cough, Hubby was admitted to hospital with pneumonia as his whooping cough had developed into something much worse. After 3 nights in hospital Hubby was finally allowed home but was far from healthy so we all rested at home as much as possible (with small children in the house, this is not easy).
For about two weeks we all thought we had finally shaken off the bugs and began to look forward to Christmas but that was not to be as we then took it in turns with the Norovirus, it started with Beanie Boy, then me and finally Little Bean and in the week leading up to Christmas we all started with a different virus. It feels like the flu but we had all had the flu jabs so the Doctor thinks it must be another virus. On Monday morning I felt dreadful so when checking Little Bean’s temperature (40C) and Beanie Boy’s (38.1C), I decided to check mine too (38.6C) and 10 minutes later woke up on the lounge floor with Beanie Boy sitting at my side telling me “I make you better Mummy”. It would appear I had fainted. I spent an hour at the Doctor’s surgery where they gave me and baby a full MOT, then took about 6 phials of blood for testing various things but have basically said that I just need to rest. The Doctor took one look at my rather over-active children and said “well if you can”.
Yesterday, I woke with the most painful migraine I’ve had in years. Little Bean then managed to find a recorder to play (badly) which didn’t help and Hubby took pity on me, asking his Mum and Dad to look after Little Bean and Beanie Boy for the day so that I could spend the day in bed. I slept for the majority of the day but my head was still banging when I finally got up.
This morning I woke up still with a headache, but not a migraine. Little Bean was going back to school and my lovely neighbour helped by taking her for me so I didn’t need to rush around. As I sat on the hall floor building a railway track with Beanie Boy I could feel myself getting hotter and hotter despite having taken some paracetamol an hour earlier my temperature was 38.5C. Then I felt the familiar lightheaded feeling coming so I laid down on the floor until it passed. Half an hour later, my temperature had risen to 38.9C and so I called the Maternity Unit who advised me to go straight to A&E. Some 3-4 hours later I was finally on my way home just in time to collect Little Bean from school. They decided that I have a chest infection and had low blood sugar levels (oh dear more chocolate then!!) and prescribed me antibiotics.
Jelly Bean is due in a little over 2 weeks now and I just hope that I can shake off these bugs before he makes his appearance because the last thing I feel like doing now is enduring labour but when he’s ready, I have to be regardless of how I’m feeling.
Just to add insult to injury, despite the fact that I would welcome a slightly premature birth, my local maternity unit is struggling to keep up with the number of babies being born at the moment and has to keep closing its doors to further admissions. They have been sending Mums to other hospitals which are approximately 40 minutes drive away!!!! I’m trying to stay positive about everything but as you can see, with each kick in the teeth it’s getting harder and harder to do!!
Wish me luck