2. Veins, veins go away
I’ve heard that with each subsequent pregnancy you increase your chances of things like varicose veins. I still didn’t think I would get noticeable, purple markings on my body. I’ve developed a nasty little cluster on my left thigh which look like spider veins met a rogue blue paintball splat. In the morning it’s quite light in colour, and by the end of the day it looks angry and pretty PO’ed. I find it annoying and distracting, but by no means is it important in the scheme of things. Will it go away? No idea. Our blood volume doubles in pregnancy, and the added pressure of being pregnant can make out bodies do some weird things. On the annoyance scale, I’d give it a 1.5/5 stars.
3. Early onset abdominal separation
I was diagnosed with diastasis recti at 21 weeks. My midwife said I already had a three finger separation, which was a shock because after giving birth to my second baby I had a four finger separation. This legit freaked me out because I, very rationally, did the math and calculated the I’d for sure develop a three fist separation by the time I was 40 weeks. Funny thing is, I'm on tracking with my growth. I'm not overly big, and my belly is measuring 25 cm at 25 weeks, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be. I believe it to be a combination of factors, such as: a third pregnancy and having to carry my one year old since she still isn’t walking.
I went to the physio and was given some exercises to help support my TA, low back and glutes. Strengthening these intrinsic muscles will help to feign off horrific back pain later in the pregnancy. I will be sure to share some of these exercises on my insta stories.
For now I’m doing the exercises twice a day, doing my pelvic floor work at red lights and being mindful not to over stretch when practicing yoga. The relaxin hormone is great for helping our bodies give birth, but it is important not to overstretch your ligaments just because the added laxity is there.
I love my GP. She is so lovely and knows me and my family well. I marched into her office with my 3 year old, wishing to make the appointment speedy (because they were already an hour behind schedule).
“Hey Dr G, I think I have a poo obstruction.”
This probably wasn’t the right tactic, but I told her I was bloated and she did an abdominal exam. She asked me a few standard questions and then asked me if I could be pregnant. I laughed out loud and smiled,
“No. That’s impossible.”
She finally convinced me to take a pregnancy test, but as I sauntered off to the bathroom I couldn't help myself, “This really is a waste of time you know. I've only missed 2 periods in my life and they were both when I moved house. So that’s all this is.”
I peed on the stick and then the nurse asked me to wait in the waiting room for the result. At this point we were now an hour and half past our original appointment and my patience was waning with my bored toddler. She called me back into the room and at this point I was peeved and just wanting to go home. The tiredness was coming on strong, as was dinner, bath and bedtime for the kiddos. She walked up to me with her hands closed around something and moved in a delicate manner, as if she were cradling an injured baby bird. My interest peaked. She made her way over to my chair and opened her hands to reveal the pregnancy stick with two distinct pink lines.
I find it difficult to put into words what the next few moments exactly felt like, but my entire body went numb and I felt like I was being swallowed whole. I burst into tears, crying while my toddler looked on, perplexed. I couldn’t speak. All I could do was muster a broken stutter of something like, “I just….. I dunno. How is this possible? Are you sure?”
I imagine that the first minute of knowing is similar to what someone experiences before they die- a slideshow of thoughts, memories and feelings experienced in a single millisecond.
Mine went a little something like this:
We were done.
I don’t want any more babies.
Life is finally getting easier. Finally.
I am so tired.
Three would be nice, but I’m spread too thin as it is.
I sold our baby stuff.
Emerson is too young.
How could YOU be so ungrateful?
You don’t deserve this.
The baby won’t survive in your broken body anyway.
Don’t get attached.
My doctor had trouble reading my reaction, and I assured her that we were 100% keeping the baby. I explained to her that my shock was simply attributed to the fact that we had such a struggle to conceive years before, for both of our kids. Even though she was my GP she didn’t know the extent of our infertility issues. When I explained the backstory, a huge smile crept over her face and then she said, “Well I guess this was just meant to be then.”
We decided not to jump on my traditional pregnancy protocol of severely lowering my immune system. It seemed my body had finally reset and knew what it was "supposed" to do. I decided to trust my body for the first time then and there.
My GP left the room and I just hugged Ry and I cried and cried and told her how much I loved her. In that moment I felt so much guilt because I knew yet another baby meant that I had to give her even less of myself.
I zombie walked to the car and called my parents first. I was on the phone with them when I arrived at the appointment and assured them that I would call them on my way home. It’s all a bit blurry, but I think the conversation went something like,
“Soooooo.... it’s not a poop obstruction. I’m actually pregnant!”
Squeals. Excitement. More tears. I expressed my joy and my subsequent fear. The fear of losing the baby and the fear of what we were going to do, falling pregnant at such a precarious time and still without a lick of local family help or support. I drove home the rest of the way on autopilot and decided that I wanted Ry to hand deliver her daddy the stick and film his reaction. After all, I’ve never peed on a stick before.
It was never that easy for us.
This was a first.
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