A look back over my pregnancy – ‘Resident Blogger’ Lindsay

RB pic - LindsayOn the eve of her induction, Resident Blogger Lindsay looks back on her pregnancy as she prepares to meet her little boy. I’m excited to be welcoming another new arrival to the BFB family!

Lindsay blogs at www.newcastlefamilylife.co.uk

It seems so long ago since I wrote my very first Blogs For Babies post introducing myself – I have just been so busy and lots has been going on pregnancy-wise since my last post when I was 31 weeks. I am now 38 weeks and I cannot believe I am now nearing the end of my pregnancy already, so I thought that I would write about a look back on my pregnancy.

I found out I was pregnant with baby number three all the way back in January when I was around 7-8 weeks pregnant, and it was a shock as I had only recently had surgery to remove my gallbladder and my youngest daughter Sophia was only seven months old.

I was really lucky that I sailed through the first trimester with no problems or sickness at all. I had my dating scan in February which showed I was 13 weeks pregnant and was given the due date of 26th August 2014. I was placed under consultant-led care due to my blood pressure being slightly high and having blood pressure problems in my first pregnancy, and it was decided that it was best for me to be put on the blood pressure medication labetalol to control things. I was also prescribed low-dose aspirin to try and prevent pre-eclampsia as I was at risk of this.

The second trimester flew by with no problems; we did not find out baby’s sex at the 20 week scan as it had its legs crossed but when I was 28 weeks I had a routine growth scan and we found out we were having a little boy. I was so shocked at this as I had been so sure we were having another little girl!

The third trimester has been a bit more difficult as baby has been measuring small on the growth scans I have been having throughout my pregnancy, which could be a side effect of the blood pressure medication I am taking. I also had to go into hospital to be monitored due to reduced fetal movements at 34 weeks but thankfully everything was fine.

I have also been so tired and had no energy at all which I had just put down to running around after a one year old and the heat – being pregnant during a heat wave is no fun at all. But I was diagnosed as having low iron and luckily iron tablets have made me feel normal again.

lindsay bump
Lindsay’s lovely bump!

Apart from those few niggles though I am feeling very lucky that I have had such an easy and enjoyable pregnancy. Obviously now I am nearing my due date I am getting uncomfortable, tired and hormonal but I really have loved every second of this pregnancy and I will be sad when it comes to an end.

It has been decided that due to me being on blood pressure medication the safest thing for me and baby is to induce me at 39 weeks so I am all booked in for an induction on Tuesday the 19th August – exactly one week before my due date.

I have mixed feelings about the induction; I am happy to go through with it as the doctors think it is for the best and all I want is a healthy baby. It will also be nice to not go overdue for once as I went overdue with both my girls and it’s not nice. I have also been induced before in my first pregnancy so I know what to expect. But I cannot help feeling nervous in case things do not go to plan and I need a c-section, or something goes wrong with baby, and also because I know from personal experience that induced labours hurt more then natural ones.

It seems so strange to think that this time next week I will definitely have had my baby; it seems like my whole pregnancy has flown over. But I cannot wait to meet our little boy and become a family of five. Look out for my birth story in the next few weeks and I look forward to sharing with everyone what life is like as a busy mum of three with two under two and a tweenager. Wish me luck – I think I am going to need it!

Follow Lindsay on Twitter @nefamilylife

Let me introduce myself – ‘Resident Blogger’ Lindsay

RB pic - LindsayPlease welcome Lindsay, one of our brand new Resident Bloggers. Lindsay is blogging her way through her third pregnancy, a little boy due at the end of August. Here she introduces herself so that you might get to know her a little better.

Lindsay blogs at www.newcastlefamilylife.co.uk

Hello, I am Lindsay and I am delighted to be a Blogs for Babies Resident Blogger as I am a bit a lot baby and pregnancy obsessed at the moment – not in a weird stalker kind of way; just in a pregnant mum kind of way.

Anyway, let me introduce myself properly instead of rambling on like a mad woman. I am 30 years old and I live in the north east of England, just north of Newcastle. I am fairly new to blogging as I have only been doing it a few months and I still have a lot to learn but I love it; the blogging community is so lovely. I live with my partner Lee who works full time for a well-known Newcastle based company (hint – they sell sausage rolls and pasties). I have two girls – Chloe, who is 11 years old (yes, I was a teenage mum – it was hard work), and Sophia, who has just turned one. I am also currently 31 weeks pregnant with baby number three – a little boy who is due at the end of August 2014.

This has been my easiest pregnancy so far but it has also been my most complicated, as I am suffering from pregnancy induced high blood pressure. I am on medication for this which could be making baby rather small, so I have to have lots of extra scans and appointments with my consultant and community midwife as I am also at risk of pre-eclampsia. Thankfully, so far everything is going well and baby is healthy and happy.

I am currently a stay at home mum as I left my job earlier this year when my maternity leave ended, as the cost of childcare for two children was just so expensive! I know that I am very lucky to be a stay at home mum but I am finding it strange not working. I used to work as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems in the community. This basically meant I took them on days out and to college, and helped them learn to live independently. It was hard work at times; sometimes you would get tables thrown at you and attacked, but it was also so rewarding and I hope to return to it one day.

In my spare time I enjoy family days out, going for meals, meeting up with my friends on the rare chance that I get to. I used to love reading and going to concerts and travelling but that’s out the window now for the foreseeable future, and it’s more like a read of Peppa Pig, a trip to Haven and a Union J concert . But I don’t mind as I really love being a mum. Sometimes it can be hard work and lonely; you never get a day off or have time to yourself. As for nights out with your friends and designer shoes, ha, you can forget them as all your time and money goes on your children, and you worry about your children nonstop however old they are – I worry about the 11 year old more then the 1 year old.

But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world as it truly is amazing being a mum, watching your children grow and learn and be happy is worth all the sleepless nights and temper tantrums. And I really love being pregnant, feeling a little person that I made wriggling around inside me wondering what he will be like and what he will look like. It truly is magical and so exciting and such a special time in life. I cannot wait to share the rest of my pregnancy journey with Blogs For Babies as we become a family of five.

Follow Lindsay on Twitter @nefamilylife

Pre-eclampsia and my role as a MAMA Ambassador – Kiran Chug

Kiran pic 1In recognition of Pre-eclampsia Awareness Month, Kiran recounts her experience of pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome in her first pregnancy, and why that experience has encouraged her to become a MAMA Academy Ambassador to help the charity promote positive pregnancies.

Kiran lives in London with her husband and two children, Milin and Jasmin. She says they are ‘a little family who feel incredibly lucky to have each other’.

Kiran blogs at www.mummysays.net

As soon as I heard the phone ring on that beautiful summer’s afternoon, I knew something was wrong. It was my midwife – she said something along these lines: “We’ve got the results of yesterday’s blood tests Kiran. Can you go to the hospital now please. They’re expecting you.” I had just made it to 37 weeks pregnant. We hadn’t yet painted the nursery.

What followed was a terrifying but ultimately amazing couple of weeks. And then I brought home my first baby. Milin. He was healthy and happy and perfect – but I will never forget the fear that went through me the first time I heard the word that changed my pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia.

That was more than two years ago. I have learnt so much about Pre-eclampsia and HELLP Syndrome since then. Although both are serious conditions that can affect pregnant women, I knew very little about them before being told I had them. My story has a happy ending. However, my experience of these illnesses made me realise how important it is to be armed with knowledge while pregnant. It’s crucial, vital, essential, to seek professional help at the first inkling that something might be wrong. And so it follows that it’s crucial, vital, essential, to be able to recognise that something might be wrong.

My pre-eclampsia was picked up quickly because I phoned my midwife and asked to see her – despite not having an appointment scheduled. I was worried about the swelling in my feet and hands which wouldn’t go down. I hadn’t connected it with the unbearable headaches I was experiencing and the excruciating pain beneath my ribs. However, my instinct was to seek advice. I was sent for tests which showed my blood pressure had risen suddenly, my liver function was out, protein was leaching into my urine and my platelet count was very low. I was admitted to hospital with pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome and booked in for an induction.

Kiran pic 2Milin’s growth rate had been slowing down – perhaps because my placenta had stopped working as efficiently as it should have been. By seeking advice from medical professionals, I had placed myself and my baby in the safest hands.

I will never forget being told I was being admitted. I was terrified because I knew so little about what pre-eclampsia was and what it meant for me and my baby. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I wasn’t ready to have my baby, I hadn’t imagined it would happen this way. My lack of knowledge and understanding made me feel like I was losing control over my pregnancy, and I felt very afraid. Since then, I’ve learnt so much about the condition I was suffering from. I went into my second pregnancy far more knowledgeable and confident.

My experiences have prompted me to join a team of ambassadors for the UK charity MAMA Academy. Its goal is to help babies arrive safely and promote positive pregnancies. MAMA Academy educates expectant mums on how to keep healthy and when they should call their midwife for advice. It also supports midwives by keeping them up to date with current guidelines and research to aid consistent maternity care. I’ll be helping the MAMA Academy spread its key messages of promoting healthy pregnancies and reducing baby loss – and you’ll see more on this in the coming months. In the meantime, do visit MAMA Academy to find out more.

Follow Kiran on Twitter @kiranchug

 

Not even a bag of sugar – Kylie Hodges

Kylie Hodges picBlogs For Babies is thrilled that the wonderful Kylie Hodges offered to contribute a post about the premature birth of her son Joseph after she developed pre-eclampsia in 2009. Kylie is an inspiring figure in the blogging world and is someone I have long admired for sharing her experiences so honestly. Her birth story below strikes a real chord with me as I had pre-eclampsia with my son – also named Joseph!

After suffering two miscarriages Kylie finally gave birth to her son at 27 weeks in May 2009. The experience completely changed her world view, and she started her award nominated blog Not Even A Bag of Sugar, and started working with charities and other parents touched by preterm birth. She now works for Bliss in Manchester recruiting volunteers to help support families with babies in hospital care.

Kylie blogs at notevena.blogspot.co.uk

On 7th May 2009 I went to the delivery suite, at 3am with my husband driving nervously. I was 26 weeks and 6 days pregnant. I had a headache. My midwife said if I got a persistent headache to attend delivery suite, so being a good patient that’s exactly what I was doing, expecting to be told I was being silly and that it was nothing.

M the midwife who met me there was reassuring, professional and caring. She ran some tests. My husband left to go to work, and I felt calm and safe. Then suddenly the room got busy. A young female doctor took charge “Mrs Hodges you have severe early onset pre-eclampsia” I felt like a guillotine was over my neck. All pregnancy I had been waiting for this. Something to go hideously wrong.

She went on “we don’t know when we will deliver your baby but it could be today or tomorrow”. I remembered my hypnobirthing and concentrated on my breathing. I was about to have the fight of my life and I needed to be strong. Everyone left and I was transferred to the antenatal ward. I rang my husband and suggested he come back. Before he could arrive I was assigned a locum consultant.

Dr K came in with a midwife. He held my hand and called me Dr Kylie. He treated me like a colleague, not a patient. He said I was amazing, that it’s rare anyone would act so early and by doing so I had bought them time. He had booked theatre for 9am the following day. First I was to have two steroid injections to improve the baby’s lungs, and an emergency scan. My husband arrived just in time.

The scan was the most awful experience of the whole thing. People awaiting scans are usually happy. There was another scared lady with complications, and we held hands and talked. I was taken down. The sonographer said “I’m sorry” and I lost it. Nothing she said made sense and I was sure the baby had died.

I remember so strongly a midwife, my husband and a random grandad in the lift going back to the ward and I apologised to the man for being a mess. I couldn’t stop crying. We finally go to the ward and I heard the midwife say to the consultant “she’s incredibly distressed I am worried for her”; no-one was more worried for me than I was.

Dr K came in and held me close. He explained the baby was alive but he was very underweight for dates, he was no longer getting nutrition from me and that without delivery we would both die. I looked at him “What do you mean, die?” He held me and said “pre-eclampsia is fatal, it’s estimated you have around 6 hours if we do nothing but we are doing everything to keep this baby in and deliver safely”.

Die. Deliver or die.

Joseph Hodges picThen he said words I never ever will forget – “you are a mother, right now. You need to protect your baby, believe in yourself, believe in your baby and stay very strong. You have no time for this”. That was the best thing he could have said and immediately I remembered the last words I read in “Up the Duff” by Kaz Cooke – if your baby is born at 27 weeks they have a very good chance of survival. Ok then.

The night was horrible. I had to be catheterised, I had to have magnesium sulphate and Hartman’s solution. I was not allowed to sleep. My husband went home, and I tried hard to keep focused, singing, looking at pictures and thinking about my baby. Reassuringly my baby was kicking me hard as if to say “it’s ok mum I know what’s coming and I’m ready”.

At 9am the next morning I was taken to theatre, my husband by my side once the spinal was in place. My baby was delivered at 10am. No one told me what the gender was, I didn’t catch a glimpse.

I did hear a cry and I was confused at first and then discovered it was my baby. My baby was crying! I was so so happy and reassured to hear that sound. Then I was stitched up, taken to recovery and it was over. My husband went to see the baby and accompany them to special care. He had the photo and toy to take that I had packed. And I was left with a midwife. Alone with no baby. And I didn’t cry. I knew if I did I would never stop. The anaesthetist came to see me “Hey did you see what I had?” I asked. “A baby?” He replied. “I mean what gender?” Finally confirmation “I think it was a boy”. That’ll do. Joseph.

Joseph was born weighing 1lb 7oz on 8th May 2009. He is coming up to his 5th birthday. He is at reception.

In the words of Wires from Athlete “looking at you now, you would never know”.

Follow Kylie on Twitter @Kykaree