28 weeks and 32 years

I am actually nearer to 29 weeks now. I had my 28 week midwife appointment last week. It went really well. My urine sample was clear, my blood pressure was normal, my bump is measuring spot on and Jellybean’s heartbeat was great. I love hearing her heartbeat.

Pregnancy wise I am doing well. The midwife was shocked at how active I am but said it goes to show how it is helping. I still cannot eat loads of food and heartburn is more of an issue now. Jellybean is super active and I am feeling her move right up by my ribs a lot now.

Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. I have had a lovely weekend. On Saturday, my friends, Mum and sister threw me a surprise birthday party. I was really not expecting it and was so touched. They had been planning it for ages.

There was a theme to the party to do with the name we have decided on for Jellybean…

Yesterday we went for a curry with my family. It was delicious. Today, Dave and I are round at my best friend’s. Her two little girls have made me birthday cards. Tomorrow, Dave is treating me to a day out. We are making the most of being baby free!

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27 Weeks

I am now 27 weeks pregnant. My pregnancy feels like it is flying by.

Last week, I didn't think Jellybean was moving as much. She just seemed a lot quieter than usual. I decided to phone up the hospital that I am giving birth at. They were amazing and said for me to come in so they could check everything was ok.

I ended up not telling anyone at the time and went the hospital on my own. I messaged Dom's Dad as I was due to pick him up for 10am and he said to collect him whenever I was ready.

Looking back, I have no idea why I didn't tell anyone in my family. I just calmly phoned the hospital, had a quick cry and drove myself to the hospital.

Jellybean was and is absolutely fine. They put a doppler on me and gave me a clicker. I was asked to press it whenever I felt Jellybean move. The midwife went and got me a drink and as soon as she left the room, Jellybean started moving! I was given tips on how to get Jellybean to move in future if I feel like she isn't moving as often.

So I did eventually tell Dave and my family that I had been to the hospital. Not surprisingly, I was told off by them all as they felt I shouldn't have gone on my own.

Since I have been into the hospital, Jellybean has been making up for having a brief quiet spell. She has been moving so much! I love feeling her move. It is one of the most incredible experiences.

I finally got round to doing yoga last night. I absolutely loved it. I have been continuing to do this pilates, zumba and bodycombat. I also continue to walk Walter each day. I really believe staying active will help me during labour and after Jellybean is born.

I have my 28 week midwife appointment next week. They will start measuring my bump. The week after we have our 4D scan. I can't wait to see Jellybean. I am doing a hypnobirthing course through the hospital which starts on Sunday. I have heard good things about it so hoping that will be beneficial when I am in labour.

Besides pregnancy, we really enjoyed having Lola here for two weeks (as did Walter). We managed two dog play sessions and loads of nice walks.

Still spending time with my family and friends regularly too. It is good to spend time with good people. Jellybean will be so lucky to have these fantastic people in her life.

Mummy Guilt

How is possible that at 18 weeks pregnant I am already experiencing Mummy guilt? There are two reasons. The first came about at what I thought was going to be a routine asthma review. 

Last Friday afternoon, I had a routine asthma review. The day after my review, my asthma became worse due to a cold I had getting on to my chest which is just typical. When I arrived for my appointment, the receptionist told me that I needed a doctor’s appointment to discuss my recent blood tests. Luckily, I managed to get an appointment after my asthma review. 

I am taking folic acid and vitamin D and I was told that I needed blood tests in order to receive more. I was advised to take this while pregnant. My vitamin D levels are low. But is it any wonder when I live in the UK? We don’t get enough sun. 

When looking through my notes, the doctor found that I was on paroxetine. She said that I shouldn’t be taking this when pregnant. I felt so sick, anxious and let down. As soon as I knew I was pregnant I saw my GP so I could discuss my medication. I was told paroxetine would be fine to take. To then be told that fluoxetine is a safer SSRI  made me feel so guilty. I have been risking my baby’s health and it could have been avoided. Paroxetine has an associated risk of heart problems in babies during their first few months. The only reassurance I have is that each and every scan we have had, our little girl has had a strong, healthy heart. I have been taking fluoxetine since Sunday and I see my midwife a week today. I need to book an appointment to see the GP next week so they can see how I am doing. 

The other reason I feel guilty is my lack of appetite and nausea which seems to have got worse again rather than better. I have been making a conscious effort to eat healthy. Yet thanks to morning sickness (which by the way, happens any time of day) I threw up all the grapes I had managed to eat. I worry that my little girl isn’t getting enough nutrition to grow and be healthy. 

I think I am dwelling on things a lot more than I normally would. As I mentioned earlier, I have been physically unwell. I am finally starting to feel better. Although I don’t work much, I do have a routine; going the gym, seeing family and friends, walking Walter. All of this has gone out of the window. I have been stuck in the house. Thankfully, I have Dom in a few hours and the sun is shining. 

Rough Runner now feeling rough

Before I talk Rough Runner, I want to say how happy I am that I finally saw my GP last week. He took my concerns regarding my chest seriously. I was told I had bronchitis and that my asthma is now worse. He gave me a brown, preventative inhaler which I was  delighted about and have to use twice a day. We talked about my recent serious low too. He said that as long as I am able to bring myself out of these lows (which I am) that it is not something to worry about. It seems that I really am too harsh on myself when my mental health isn’t so good.

Rough Runner was hard going. I am glad I did it though. It’s safe to say that I won’t be doing it again. I haven’t caught the bug for events like this. Afterwards, some of us got food from stalls at the event. My mate and I both got a hot dog from the same stall. 

Fast forward to Monday evening and I started feeling nauseous. By the time I got home from work, I was vomiting. It got even worse. I was sat on the toilet while having to vomit into the sink. Combine this with horrible stomach cramps, uncontrollable sweating and shivering and I have come to the conclusion that I got food poisoning. My friend started feeling the same yesterday morning. So I am now convinced it was from the hot dog we had on Sunday. 

I have been off work today and yesterday. The stomach pains have finally gone today but I have no appetite and I am so tired. Walter has been stuck to me the past few days, bless him. 

One reason I am not really set on doing rough runner again or similar events in the future is due to a hopeful positive change in circumstances. Dave and I have been talking a lot over the last few months about having a baby. We have decided that once we are settled in our new house we are going to start trying for a baby so at some point in the new year. I spoke to my GP about this as I obviously have a number of concerns. I feel better for talking to him about it. 

In the summer time

During the school holidays, I work more. As a result, I have been slacking in regards to my blog. Thankfully, I have been feeling a lot better since I posted last. But if I feel like it again I will be going to see my GP. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Dom and Faith more than usual. The days fly by and we have been up to lots of things. I have shared a number of photos on my Instagram account (@originalgemskibob) if you would like to see them. 

Dom has enjoyed spending time with Walter. We have taken him for walks and all enjoyed some lovely ice cream. Dom, Walter and I visited my sister at work. Walter was fussed over and Dom made sure everyone was working! Tomorrow he wants to bake a cake for my birthday at the weekend. This is the first time Dom has asked to do anything like this for my birthday. 

Faith and I have done loads this summer; colouring in, played board games, dog walks in the park, watched DVDs, been the cinema, shopped, workshops at Pets At Home and started a reading challenge at the library. 

As I mentioned earlier, this weekend it will be my 31st birthday. Dave and I are having time off work and having some much needed time together. We are seeing a mortgage broker on as we are desperate to have our own house. We are also spending time with our friend and her two little girls and having a meal with family. 

In terms of my mental health, I am doing well. I still experience a dip in my mood and anxiety but I am able to deal with it. It helps that I have a really good support network around me. 

One way I know that I am in a good place is that I am really broody. Dave and I have talked about having children. Once we are settled in our own home, we are going to start trying for a baby. As excited as I am, I am also terrified about having a baby. A huge concern I have is my medication. I would not be able to take the anti depressant I am currently taking. I have had a long struggle to find the right medication for me so the thought of having to talk to my GP about this fills me with dread. 

The Future for our Disabled Children

For those that don’t know, I am a carer for two very different teenagers. For five years I have been working with Dom, a 13 year old with Autism and ADHD. Since September I have been working with Faith, a 13 year old with Down’s Syndrome and suspected Autism.

My jobs are rewarding and challenging. I care a lot about Dom and Faith. As they get older, it is hard not to think about their future. 

The reason I decided to write this post came about as a result of going to the park with Faith and my dog Walter and her dog Bella last week. It is obvious to people that Faith is disabled. The vast majority of the people that come into contact with Faith are understanding of this. 

When walking the dogs, Faith and I came across a group of girls who looked around the same age as Faith. They were sat talking on a bench. As we walked past, Faith said, “hi girls!” All the girls said hi back and smiled at Faith. 

It got me thinking; would the same happen to Dom? Like Faith, Dom loves talking to people when we are out. But would a group of teenage boys of a similar age be as friendly with him? What would they make of him jumping up and down, flapping his hands and asking the most random and bizarre questions?

Faith wants to do things herself. She loves nothing more than being given a job to do. She really wants to develop her independence. The same cannot be said for Dom. He is not as intrinsically motivated as Faith. Dom operates on the mindset of ‘what’s in it for me?’ 

Dom’s autism has changed as he has grown up. It seems to his parents and I that each week there is a new challenge. Dom can display challenging behaviour at home. I am talking full on, violent outbursts. In the five years I have worked with Dom, he has never been violent towards me or in my company. It has taken him years to actually talk openly with me about these outbursts. 

At 13, Dom currently stands at 5’8″. He is going to easily clear 6ft. For the most part, Dom contains his upset and anger when in school. There have been the odd incidents where he has muttered under his breath but there has been no aggression towards himself or others. He is like a coke bottle; there’s only so much pressure and stress he can withstand until it becomes too much. The lid of the bottle flies off. 

Will there come a time when Dom will struggle to deal with his annoyance and frustration in public? I hope not. Dom would be mortified. 

Another difference between Dom and Faith; Faith isn’t aggressive. Instead, Faith goes on a ‘go slow’ as a way of showing her displeasure. She never has a sense of urgency but everything takes ten times longer to do. 

Members of the public react so differently when I am telling Dom or Faith off. With Faith, I get looks of disapproval when I tell her off. It’s as if she should have a get out of jail free card so to speak regarding her behaviour. Like it’s ok for her to be cheeky or ignore me because she has Down’s Syndrome. Yet with Dom I will hear people tut, see them roll their eyes or look happy when I am asking him to use his indoor voice or remain in a queue. 

So my biggest worries for Dom and Faith’s futures are very different. 

If you are not firm with Faith from the get go she will know that she can get away with sarcastic comments, ignoring requests and getting others to do things she is capable of. My biggest worry is that she will not reach her full potential. 

Dom needs to be around people who get him and that he responds well to. There are no grey areas with Dom; he either likes you or he doesn’t. My biggest worry is that he will be completely misunderstood and so he will end up just being contained rather than being an active member of society. 

Let’s hope my worries for Dom and Faith never come to fruition. If I don’t continue working with them as adults, I really hope that they have the opportunities to live fulfilling and happy lives.

 

From Strength to Strength

It is so nice to be able to say that I am content and happy with how things are right now. 

After struggling with the medication I switched to four weeks ago, the side effects have subsided. It is amazing to get good quality sleep and not feel out of it and drowsy. It was decided on Thursday in consultation with my GP that I would take my medication at night instead of first thing in the morning. This has definitely had a positive impact on my mood and anxiety. 

I have managed to go to a number of different classes at the gym. They have been really enjoyable and I look forward to them. My fitness is improving after each class. I am able to push myself that little bit further. 

Work is great. Dom and Little Miss are doing so well. Dom tried something different for tea last week and loved it. Little Miss is loving going to guides. We went bowling with them last week and she was so well behaved. She did so well waiting for her turn and doing as she was told. 

Last week I met my friend’s five week old baby. My friend looks incredibly well and her baby is adorable. I had such a good time with them. I’m looking forward to seeing them again soon. 

I know that I have posted about my reservations about having children, but seeing my friend and her baby has made me feel really broody. Dave and I have talked about it. I have my obvious concerns about my mental health in regards to having children. But, we are not planning to have children anytime soon. I would want to have a conversation with my GP and a therapist about it all.