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Did you love or loathe your pregnancy?

Don’t get me wrong I think the experience of being pregnant and having children was such an absolutely amazing experience but we can’t all be blessed with great pregnancies.  Whilst researching this blog I discovered that 75% of women suffer from morning sickness in the first trimester of pregnancy!

My Mum was one of those women who “absolutely glowed when she was pregnant”.  My sister and I roll our eyes as we both suffered through nausea and vomiting with all our pregnancies.  I have friends who “had so much energy and felt better than they’d felt in their life!”  My Nanna (my Mum’s Mum) had 8 pregnancies and 8 children without any morning sickness at all.  Unfortunately, my experience was not as easy.  I realised I was pregnant before taking a pregnancy test due to the insatiable thirst I get and my sense of smell becomes like a blood hound.

You may think a keen sense of smell is a great asset but when coupled with morning sickness it can be detrimental.  I’ve also dispelled the common belief that morning sickness only lasts a few weeks in the first trimester.  They should rename morning sickness, 24/7 pregnancy sickness!  Some of us aren’t so lucky to be able to go to hospital like Princess Catherine when we have acute morning sickness.

During my first pregnancy when we lived in London, I would walk to work retching along the way and then when at work I regularly had to make a mad dash to the bathroom with my hand clapped over my mouth praying that I wouldn’t vomit all over the floor.  To paint the picture further, I was working at an investment bank on a trading floor where there were 99.9% male and a meagre 0.1% female staff.  It was certainly a challenge to “hide” the fact that I was pregnant in my first trimester!

There were some bond traders on our floor that somehow managed to get around the workplace health and safety regulations and were able to keep a commercial popcorn machine in their work area.  So every afternoon they’d be popping their popcorn in a pool of butter sending out sickly smells just to add insult to injury.

I couldn’t cook food in the first trimester of both my pregnancies and so that duty was passed on to my husband.  There are also the foods you just couldn’t bear during pregnancy – fish especially salmon was one of my food aversions whilst pregnant.  I also found that sweet food (icecream or candy) in my second pregnancy would make the nausea worse.

During the first few weeks of my second pregnancy my first child gave me gastroenteritis this coupled with morning sickness was not very fun.  There were times throughout my pregnancies when I would vomit so violently that I burst blood vessels in my eyes!

I tried all the suggested remedies for morning sickness including rest, yoga, aqua aerobics, walking, herbal remedies, sea sick bands and the old wives tales too all to no avail.  I found the best thing for me was to keep distracted and keep up with my routine.  It can be difficult though and we’ve all had the hormone driven melt-down which usually occurs in front of people that a) you don’t know too well and b) don’t even know you’re pregnant!

I had a scare at 12 weeks into my second pregnancy when I started to bleed late one night but thankfully the bleeding stopped after a day.  My Obstetrician termed this a “threatened miscarriage”.

Then I progressed on to the back pain which started in the second trimester of both pregnancies and only abated once the baby had dropped, towards the end of the pregnancy.  This was very uncomfortable, I would start out fine in the morning but then the pain began to increase during the day and the only relief was to lie down which isn’t possible when you’re working full time.  I had physiotherapy during my first pregnancy but even the physio suggested that there wouldn’t be any relief until the baby was born!

During the third trimester of my first pregnancy I developed Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and it became quite bad so I had to wrap my hands in bandages and wear pressure stockings at night because the pins and needles were fairly uncomfortable.  The Carpel Tunnel Syndrome was at its worst just after my first child was born, it became so bad that I couldn’t even hold a pen.  I’m thankful that I escaped Carpel Tunnel for my second pregnancy.

During my second pregnancy it felt like the foetus was just going to pop out at any moment, my pelvic floor was shot.  My advice from bitter experience is please heed the warning and religiously do your pelvic floor exercises!

During the first and part way through the second trimester of my second pregnancy I had peri-oral dermatitis which would usually be cleared up with antibiotics but unfortunately can’t be taken when you’re pregnant.  I’m very lucky that it cleared up without antibiotics.

I think every Mum loves to feel their baby move whilst they’re pregnant, it gave me such a buzz but why do they come alive so much at night!  I think it’s a sign to prepare mothers for what is to come after bub is born.  Then you start to panic when they don’t move or have a quiet period.  I remember calling the hospital in a panic during my first pregnancy when my son went very quiet.

Toward the end of my pregnancies I experienced many false labour pains/Braxton Hicks.  I had to be induced with both my children.  With my first child I was induced a week after my due date.  With my second child I was so exhausted and had laboured breathing.  After an internal exam my obstetrician asked me whether I was ready mentally and physically to have the baby, I said “absolutely”.  I was already 2cm dilated so she did something called “rimming the cervix” and said you’ll definitely be having this baby today but on the off chance that it doesn’t happen we’ll book you in for induction in 2 days.  When she walked into the birthing room 2 days later she said “I can’t believe you didn’t go into labour earlier” – nor could I!

Many women suffer through the symptoms of pregnancy and some are very serious conditions, much more serious than morning sickness.  I was very fortunate my babies were reasonably healthy and I didn’t have to endure any issues at all with my children during pregnancy.  I have many close friends and family that have had very tragic experiences and as such I do feel very lucky.

How was your pregnancy experience?  Are you able to suggest any remedies that helped you with morning sickness?

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