Cut Yourself Some Slack

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If you are going through the grueling process of trying to get pregnant and it just isn’t going to plan don’t beat yourself up about it. It isn’t your fault. You are not to blame. Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.

Acupuncture & Reflexology

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In parts of Asia, acupuncture has been used for centuries to jump-start labour. But does it work? Research is inconclusive. One small study at the University of North Carolina found that women who got acupuncture were more likely to go into labour without a medical “push.” The study included 56 women who were 39.5 to 41 weeks pregnant. Half of the women got three acupuncture sessions, while the other half did not. Seventy percent of the women who got acupuncture went into labour on their own, compared to 50% who received standard care. The women who got acupuncture were also less likely to deliver by cesarean section — 39% compared to 17%.

9 months ago, to accompany my IVF treatment, I used acupuncture. I found the process very relaxing and positive. It was calming and restful, in fact I fell asleep! So last week I decided to give it another go as there are suggestions that it can be a a safe natural way to help bring on labour.  I was told to have two sessions which combined acupuncture and reflexology. The first was in week 38 to prepare the body for labour, and the second, scheduled for today, to induce labour. Watch this space!

Mind Reader

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Wow she took the words right out of my mouth! After enduring the heartbreak of three miscarriages Emmerdale’s Adele Silva is finally looking ahead to the birth of her first child, despite her past traumas having made her cautious. Like me she is less than six weeks away from welcoming her first child and like me she has found that suffering previous baby losses, three consecutive miscarriages in her case, has stifled the potential joy that comes with making last minute preparations for the new arrival.

Here are some of her feelings which she shared in an interview with Lorraine Kelly.

‘As soon as I got pregnant again I had this massive plan of action on what action to take, stages to go through and so on, so each stage has kind of been bittersweet because although you’re like “brilliant I’ve got to this point” or “brilliant I’ve got to that point” you’re still not completely out of the danger zone.’

Scans Glorious Scans

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So I caved again. I decided that the wait for the final scan (scheduled for 37 weeks) was too far off and I needed some reassurance that the baby was well. So yet more money was spent on yet another neurotic moment. However, as I told my husband, surely my peace of mind is priceless. Aptly named the reassurance scan, it did just that. Thankfully all is well and my fear that the placenta had been failing or was detaching from my uterus lining were unfounded. The little one looked well, has hair and is in the head down position ready for action. Now I must just plough on through the remaining 6 weeks. Not long now…When will I actually believe that there might be a baby?

Losing My Sh*t

When you want to be pregnant nothing is more depressing than an endless stream of pregnancy announcements. It sounds awful but that feeling isn’t from a malicious place where you begrudge others their happiness. Don’t feel bad. The truth is it hurts and serves as a reminder of what you want and feel unable to achieve. Hang in there. And stay away from Facebook!

Another Milestone

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Yesterday was a significant day. It was the day we reached 20 weeks, which for many is poignant enough, but for us it also marks the stage we reached in our last pregnancy. It was at 20 weeks we received the earth – shattering news which resulted in us deciding to terminate. Thankfully all seems well so far and we are causiously optimistic about the future. In fact we have disappeared to Israel for some much needed sun, rest and relaxation. I am currently at a spa in a fluffy white robe. Bliss!
In 2 weeks we will have another scan and so that is our next mini milestone to work towards. For now we will just breathe a sigh of relief that we have passed the halfway mark and are, please g-d, in the less risky half of the pregnancy.

Support Our Midwives

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It’s been an eventful week. Last Thursday the anticipation of Monday’s scan became unbearable and I decided to visit the hospital. I just wanted to check the heartbeat and ensure all was well. The midwife was wonderful and so understanding of my lunacy. She told me plenty of women who have lost babies have similar moments and that I am welcome to visit whenever I need to. She said she will happily do Doppler checks whenever I need. Most importantly she understood why I am still expecting something to go wrong.
All the midwives I have encountered have been, without exception, outstanding. Kind and compassionate women who have really given the best care I could imagine. From the women on the labour ward during the horrendous ordeal of losing our baby, to the ladies who take bloods and accompany us to scans, we have been in the best hands.
On Monday health professionals, including midwives went on strike over the governments refusal to give staff a 1% pay rise. I support them and value their hard work, commitment and compassion. Do you?

Step Away From Google

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If you were to see the things I have typed into Google you would refer me for psychological help. Often a specific worry will pop into my head and I will have to Google it immediately. I am clearly not the only lunatic out there though because all my searches generate a multitude of search results from other equally neurotic women.

At the moment my concern is due to the fact that it has been 3 weeks since I have had a scan and now I am anxious that I have had a missed miscarriage during that time. Each day I tell my husband that the baby is dead. Aren’t I fun to be around?! I think in the next month, when I start to feel the baby moving, I will take comfort in that. Until then I am trying not to interpret, or misinterpret, certain feelings and movements. At the moment I worry that my bump is shrinking and my boobs have stopped aching and that this indicates a pregnancy loss. Grrrrrr….

Luckily I have a scan in 7 days. Not that I am counting!