I am currently one day off being 29 weeks pregnant and I have to admit, I went into this with total ignorance. Why? Because I never quite realised that every pregnancy is different and no matter what experience you’ve had before, you’re not quite guaranteed the same outcome a second or third time.
I know that our family will not be complete without another child and with the age of 35 fast approaching and a recent engagement, I was adamant that our family would be complete sooner rather than later, but my goodness to get to this point has taken it out of me physically and mentally.
My last pregnancy brought this positive mindset/hormone set along with it that I have never experienced before and I absolutely adored. I loved being pregnant with RLT; I felt the happiest I have ever felt. I went all hippy and healthy too (with exception of the masses of chocolate I ate). Even at the most testing of times moving home and my other half living in London when I was heavily pregnant, I was so positive, happy and embraced every little milestone.
This pregnancy has felt very different from the start and I’m absolutely devastated by this, as I know it will be the last time I carry a baby. From very early on, I have closed my eyes and yearned for the moment that the baby is in my arms. Nine months seems too long and at times I’ve wondered how dark the cloud could get. It’s been totally terrifying and I have never felt more lonely in my life. Yet I am surrounded by people and never on my own. It has been bizarre.
From early on the panic set in, even though I have had a successful pregnancy since I miscarried in 2015, I have been utterly terrified that something bad is going to happen every day. I think it is related to the fact that from early on I have physically felt how I felt in my first pregnancy when I miscarried, so I have brought those feelings with me and they’ve never gone away. There were the cysts on the ovaries which were bigger than the baby too, then the tests to check that they weren’t cancerous and then the stress that work brought on – a similar pattern to what happened in 2015. My other half’s job was also pending change… a change that seemed to go on forever and never stick to the timeframe, salary, or general information given, all of this has just put me under a black cloud for the past few months. The only joy I have been able to get is through watching RLT change and grow. I’ve been a really bad partner, an emotional wreck of an employee and just general negative nelly. My little boy is literally the only thing that has stopped me retreating to bed and not getting up.
I have been to various people for support as I thought I was spiraling into pre-natal depression; newsflash, there much isn’t any support out there. Pretty much everyone has treated me like a hysterical woman, I even asked my other half to speak to people for me because he was a man, they may listen. That isn’t me, that isn’t something I’d usually do, I don’t rely on anyone.
At my worst, I contacted the union I am a member of, in the midst of a panic attack, I emailed them to ask for help on an issue I was having in which I felt I had no support – I detailed everything in there, only to get a reply that I either had to ring (I didn’t feel able to do that as I was at a low point) or visit them 30 miles away at the parent-friendly time at 7pm on a Friday evening. I felt this was disgusting, why am I paying for them to represent me as a working mother but the parameters are set to be anything other than supporting to the working mother? I wasn’t being hysterical, my email was factual and no emotion in there, but I was falling apart. It must be about six weeks on from that email and they have not phoned or contacted me to follow up, neither have Pandas who I also contacted. The difference is I pay this union for this terrible treatment, Pandas is operated by volunteers! I don’t feel confident of having a job when I am scheduled to go back to work, my position in the workplace just feels incredibly sidelined and of no value. I walk into meetings and feel that everyone has had a conversation about me that I am not privy too, it’s sad. I put my heart and soul into that place for a very long time and feel that I’ve been put in the reject bin like a raggydoll.
Going into the third trimester, the black cloud has lifted slightly, I’m still having all of the issues I was, but I seem to be in better control of my emotions, or I’ve just got better at being me again and keeping a lid on them. However, I’ve now got another trouble to add to the list – pelvic girdle pain. OH MY DAYS. I’ve had issues with my left hip all of my life. I had clicky hips as a child, discharged too early from hospital for them and had issues all of my childhood with no Cartledge forming so my joints running bone and bone, this has caused me to compensate and walk at an odd angle putting muscle on the wrong part of my legs etc etc. But it has been on and off and manageable – it even felt great in my last pregnancy. SO I WASN’T PREPARED FOR THIS TIME! If you’ve given birth once, lots of things are already looser than they were before – so there is no accounting for how you think your body will cope! I’m currently in my second week of what I can only call AGONY. Back, hip and leg. Physio has been offered, but only as a third option after I refused a sick note and codeine. Surely codeine can’t be good for your child as there is a small addictiveness to them if you take them as an adult over a prolonged timeframe? No way was I taking that risk, which unfortunately means physio and pain. Driving absolutely sucks, as does any amount of walking, moving, coughing, sneezing and generally living life.
So there should be about another 11 weeks of this left. Every day I am looking at my google pics from two years ago and that is getting me through. Come September it will all be worth it, I’m under no illusion that as hard as I have found the last 29 weeks, the first 29 weeks of having a baby and a toddler will be hard, but that is definitely a place I want to be. We’ve even been putting some practice in with the pram.