Whoops, did you notice I skipped a week? No? Just both Blob’s grandmothers? Well then. (Hi Lesley and Mum!)
I think my brain needed a little break from thinking about being pregnant. It’s a weird thing, being pregnant. It’s not like it requires any real mental effort, it’s just something my body is doing all by itself. But it’s always there, taking up a little bit of brain power. Or a lot of brain power.
Thank you for all the supportive comments/tweets/emails after my last post, I really appreciate that you (and you and you and you) understood where I was coming from. The doctor didn’t touch me excessively or inappropriately, it was just that I had put a coping mechanism in place, well in advance, and it failed me. My next hospital visit is next week, and the first thing I will say to the doctor is, ‘have you read my psych care plan?’ And if they say no, I will tell them I will wait while they do.
I also think I’m going to drop a unit from Uni. It seems crazy to drop out when there’s only a couple of weeks left, but when I look at the amount of work I’m supposed to do in that time? It would be near impossible, nearly half a semester’s worth! If I was at my best, mentally and physically, then I could get the work done. But I’m not. And that won’t magically change. I find it very hard to differentiate between avoidance and stress management. Avoidance is my main coping strategy for my anxiety, and it works very well! The problem with avoidance is that you avoid this, that, and the other, until eventually you’re avoiding being alive. However, I think I’m just managing my stress levels. I’m not completely dropping out of Uni, just one unit. I think that’s ok considering my anxiety disorder and the fact that I was very very ill for much of the semester.
So, how have the Blob and I been? Well Blob has been busy building something. That’s all I can imagine it’s doing in there. Possibly some kind of escape hatch for the developing exit plan. I’ve been much the same, nauseous in the mornings, heartburn all the time, and spending way too much time doing nothing but sitting and feeling my belly. I’ll never get sick of the flips and flops and pokes and prods. I had my first intense food craving, I desperately needed canned tomato soup and crumpets, with the soup in a mug. It was so good, my belly was very happy!
I’m hoping that now that I have less on my uni plate, that I’ll be able to put something on my crafting plate! And then I’ll have something pretty to show you, instead of just my words.
This week was hard. Blob was good, but mentally, everything else was just hard. My anxiety has been pretty bad. Super bad, actually. I had to make a really hard decision, between something I wanted to do, and my family wanted me to do, and doing what was best for my mental, and therefore physical health, as well as my uni work and finances. I chose my health, which means I won’t see a lot of my family until after the Blob arrives, which I feel horrendously guilty about. I shouldn’t feel guilty for doing what’s best for me, but I do.
I also had my first antenatal appointment at the hospital. It was horrible. An absolute nightmare for someone with social and generalised anxiety. We were there for 3 hours, in a loud and busy waiting room. I had my blood pressure taken, was weighed and peed in a cup, which took a total of about ten minutes. The other 2 hours and 50 minutes were spent waiting, and being told things I already know. The doctor I saw has also clearly not read the psych note in my file. Because I’m very aware of my anxiety and what my triggers are, I organised to see the psychologist at the hospital to have a note put in my file to let the doctors/midwives know how I need to be treated. I have past sexual trauma, so it’s basically simple things like, tell me where and why you’re going to touch me, ask my permission before you touch me (anywhere, not just ‘down there’), and just so they’re aware. I understand that doctors are busy, but when a patient is flagged as having an anxiety disorder and has a brief note regarding it, it would be nice if they read it! I know it’s a bit silly, because he’s a doctor, but I did feel violated when he touched me without telling or asking me. It triggered a lot of anxiety, and I ended up binge eating that night, something I haven’t done in months. I wish I had of said something to him at the time, but I completely froze and just sat there.
To complete this anxiety trifecta blog post, I have about half a semesters worth of uni work to do, and about 3 weeks to do it. Enough said.
In perfect timing for this post, today Beyond Blue launched a campaign to raise awareness about anxiety disorders. If you don’t have anxiety, or are not sure if you do, I really recommend watching the ad, it very accurately portrays what it’s like to live with anxiety and might help you understand what we go through. If you do have anxiety, don’t watch it! It very nearly gave me a panic attack.
Anxiety is more common than depression, but it doesn’t get as much attention even though it destroys lives. It nearly destroyed mine, and I’m determined to never go back to that place. Which is why I will get this uni work done, I will see my family when I see them, and next time a doctor touches me, I will ask them if they’re read my psych note.
Looking forward, Blob deserves a Mama who can do anything. Not one who binges and hides when something scary happens.
I really want to be that Mama.
Half way there! Eek!
It’s not really half way there though, because for the first two weeks of ‘pregnancy’ you haven’t even ovulated yet, then for two weeks you usually don’t even know anything has happened while the little zygote is busy rolling down a fallopian tube and nestling into a cosy uterine wall. And then, if you’re me, you spend a week pacing around the house knowing full well you’re pregnant but not wanting to take a test because you’ll be really sad and cry if it’s negative, even though you weren’t actually trying to get a zygote to burrow into your uterine wall.
(Flashback – the pregnancy test changed so quickly that I had to wait until I’d finished peeing before I could go and dance around the lounge room with my little plus sign. That’s the advantage of waiting until 21 days past ovulation to test, I suppose!)
So. I’ve only really known for 15 weeks. Which means I’m not even half way there yet, plenty of time!
This week I seem to have acquired a belly. I saw my reflection in the shops today and had a moment of, huh, so there IS something in there. I can also feel the weight of it when I’m trying to sleep, I’ve already found myself a belly pillow to rest my belly on. I also have four pillows to prop myself up so I don’t get heartburn, so I’m a bit of a pillow hog at the moment.
We get to see our little Blob on Thursday for the structural ultrasound. We won’t be peeking between its legs, but hopefully we’ll be seeing a good little heart and all its other bits, and then I’ll have some more pictures to show off!
I think my belly is starting to change shape, but it’s hard to tell. Like I said early on, I already have a big squishy belly and I think the only real change is that it’s getting less squishy! The internet tells me that the Blob is the size of a mango this week. Again, I’m confused. A sweet potato is bigger than a mango, yes? Does the baby shrink from week 18 to 19? Very suspicious.
My hormones have been doing funny things this week, yesterday we went to a market to get fruit and veggies. We got there really early so it wouldn’t be too busy, it seems the other people who get to the market really early are people with their children! I got a bit teary when I was watching a father feeding his toddler a croissant, and again when I saw a little boy dancing on a chair. I haven’t been teary for the rest of the pregnancy, nothing in ultrasounds, nothing when folding itty bitty clothes, but there was something about seeing these little people out in the world that really set me off! I think it was he realisation that I’m going to have the privilege of knowing an awesome little person who I get to spend all my time with, I get to show them the world and take them to markets, and it’s going to be amazing!
One more week and I’m halfway there!
Blobby is the size of a sweet potato this week. I think Sweet Potato is a pretty cute pet name, so I might keep that in mind for when I can hold my Blob, and give my little widdle sweet potato lots of kisses. I think if Matt ever leaves me it’ll be on account of my despicable baby-talk habits. It’s bad enough with the kittens.
This week was awful with the nausea/vomiting/bloating/burping/refluxing. But it’s getting easier because I can now feel Blobby jiggling around more and more. It’s a good reminder of why I feel so awful, so I can remember it’s all worth it in the end.
I planted out my veggie patch this week. Squats are a most excellence exercise for pregnant ladies, especially when they want to deliver in that position! But I find it hard to motivate myself to do them, it’s so repetitive and boring (It’s fair to say that I will never be a gym junkie… ). So I planted some seeds with a squat for every one, and I pulled a bunch of weeds, doing a perfect squat each time. With the season finally turning into autumn the weeds will pop up in no time, so I’ll have plenty of opportunity to get my squat on without getting bored. Plus, fresh veggies in the garden! It’s win-win!
It seems like I’m running out of time to prepare, but 22 weeks is a long time! It’ll fly by, I know, but I still have time to get all the teeny tiny clothes in order. It’s strange to think that the broad beans will arrive before the Blob does!
This week The Blob is as big as an onion. Which is weird, because last week it was a pear, and the pear I ate today was bigger than the onion I chopped up for dinner, so I’m really beginning to question the scientific validity of the fetus-fruit size comparison.
We got to see little Blobby this week, which is always very exciting. It’s such a relief to see that flashing patch of screen on the blurry blob which indicates the heart is pumping away and doing its job. I think I can also confirm that my child will have ears, so that’s good to know.
I’ve been feeling ok this week. I only threw up once, which is still too many times, but it’s an improvement on previous weeks. I’ve now been hit with heartburn and wind, which leads to belching sessions the likes of which you wouldn’t believe. I’m pretty confident that I will be able to burp the baby well, since I’m now so good at burping myself.
Is there room for one more baby photo? I think so.
Aww, my sweet blobby Blob. I can’t wait to see that little button nose.
How is it possible to love a fetus so much?
It’s funny how every week it feels like such a long time, and suddenly the week before feels so tiny. This week I can’t believe I thought 15 weeks was exciting, and I’m sure I’ll feel the same way next week, and so on until I pop. And then it will start going in the other direction and I’ll find myself saying, I can’t believe I thought this baby was old at one week, now it’s one month/year/going to university/where is the time going/make it stop.
An exciting milestone for this week was the beginning of some little flutters! I’m not 100% sure that what I’m feeling is the baby, but I can’t imagine what else it could be. It’s a fluttering/vibrating in the same spot, and I can only feel it when I sit a certain way. I guess I’ll know for sure when it gets stronger!
This week was another rough week. I was less constantly nauseous, but still had some really bad days. And the last few days have been full of mega-heartburn. I didn’t think that started until the baby was pressing on your stomach! I’ve also had a lot of headaches, which I think is from stress. Yes, stress, it’s getting bad. I know I need to manage my anxiety now more than ever, but everything is getting away from me. Uni work and house work just feel so hard and I don’t know how to push through it when I feel so exhausted.
Homesickness was another theme for the week. My Grandad had a heart attack last week, and while it looks like he’s going ok at the moment, it’s still scary and I want to see him. I live over 3000km from all of my family, and it’s hard sometimes. I suspect this whole year will be hard in that respect, there’s something about being pregnant that makes you desperately want to be with your Mum – or maybe that’s just me. I should be able to go home for a visit at the end of next month, so I can’t wait for that. It’ll be the last time I see my family before I start my own new family.
I’m sorry for the lack of cheery crafty/cat posts. I keep meaning to post more during the week, but if I’m going to sit down and write it should be about my assignments, not kittens. On that note, I should
get some work done snuggle up with Daisy and watch some mindless TV.
We decided to delay Easter until next week because we’re broke and chocolate will be on sale this week. Also, I mostly eat toast and crackers these days, and chocolate is kind of gross. I hope your chocolate wasn’t gross and you had a wonderful weekend!