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Diary Of A Pregnancy

Introduction
My name is Katrina Tomlinson and I am 31 years old, I am married to John, 32 and we live in Stamford, Lincolnshire with our 17 month old daughter, Lara. John, and I both work full time and Lara goes to a local Nursery which she enjoys very much.
We have recently discovered we are expecting our second baby at the end of May 2003. We have been very lucky as we this was the first month we tried to conceive. Although I don't mind which sex we have this time, I would be happy to have another girl, especially as we have so many girlie toys and clothes. I think secretly John would like a boy this time.
Lara was born two weeks late by emergency Caesarean after I was induced. I hope to try to give birth naturally to my second child but am remaining open minded at this stage.

Week 8
I am two weeks late for my period now, a week even going by my longest cycle of 37 days. After taking three home pregnancy tests in the last 10 days I took a sample of urine into my doctor's for them to do a pregnancy test for me and the result was positive. Fantastic!

Week 9
I already feel sick and am hoping I dont have the same 18 weeks of continuous nausea that I had with my last pregnancy. We had booked a week in Corfu some time ago and I found this very relaxing and the sickness abated for most of the trip. Lara was an absolute angel too.


Week 10
Back on home ground and the sickness returned. I think a brisk walk seems to help my feelings of nausea. Getting some fresh air in my lungs really made me feel better this week. We had some friends over at the weekend for something to eat but I had to leave John with them at around 10pm because I was just too tired to stay awake. John thought it was a miracle I had managed to stay up that late
anyway.

Week 11
I had my first scan this week and they have confirmed by due date as 27th May 2003. This makes me 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant. The lady who did my scan found a little cyst on my left ovary which she said is nothing for me to worry about as it will probably go away as my pregnancy progresses but I will have another scan at 15 weeks to check anyway. My sickness really is calming down and as long as I eat regularly then I can control it. We are wondering if perhaps this means I am having a boy.

Week 12
I am decorating a friend's wedding cake as a gift and am wondering now if I have bitten off more than I can chew. Not so much the work involved but more the worry as I want this to be perfect for my friends wedding in three weeks time.
I also have lots of work to do with regard to the Baby Exchange Fayre. Something my sister and I run on a three monthly basis at the local junior school. This is a nearly new sale specifically for baby equipment where people can bring their goods which they wish to sell and we put it in the sale that afternoon in the hope that we can sell it for a commission. Our sales are very busy and there is a lot of work to be done each time in the weeks leading up to a sale.

Week 13
This weekend was my friend's hen weekend to Dublin, I decided I couldn't go as I would be too tired to face pubs and clubs and unable to have a drink so I would be like a fish out of water.

Week 14
I had a nasty cold this week which set me back a little and had to have a couple of days off work. I went to my friend's second hen night which she had locally, but after about an hour in the pub I felt dreadful due to the incredibly smoky atmosphere so I went home to bed and woke the next morning with all the symptoms of a hangover even though I had not had a single alcoholic drink!!

Week 15
Finished the wedding cake at last and I felt a huge release. The wedding was fabulous fun and I managed to stay up until 10.30pm!! Just as it was getting a little smoky.
The Baby Exchange Fayre. I have had a couple of headaches this week but presume this is down to how busy I have been lately. I had to have my second scan this week to check on the cyst, luckily it has reduced in size and is collapsing so the consultant is not at all worried. I also had my blood tests today to assess my risk of complications such as Downs Syndrome. The midwife was very nice and I was at the hospital quite some time. We chatted through my pregnancy to date and any worries I may have. (I always save my worrying until I know there is definitely something to worry about) We also chatted about the possibility of my having a natural birth this time around having had an emergency c section only 18 months ago. They have assured me that this does not follow that I will have problems again and that if I wish to have a natural birth there is no reason why I should not have one.

Week 16
At last things are beginning to calm down and I am now looking forward to Christmas.
Apart from headaches, I have felt fine this week and seem to have regained some energy. This weekend I had my work Christmas meal and John's work Christmas do too. Both were great fun and not too smoky so I managed to stay until almost midnight on both occasions. My results from the blood tests came back today and I am low risk. I am feeling fairly energetic although I have headaches every couple of days at the moment so I am trying to remember to drink lots of water rather than resort to paracetemol. My midwife has suggested relaxation massages, which I am definitely going to try.

Week 17
I took a couple of days holiday at the end of this week and only have 11/2 days to work next week so I am getting ready for the Christmas break. I have been really organised this year and most of my Christmas shopping is already done. I am really looking forward to some time with Lara and, as we are going to John's parents for Christmas and Boxing day, a chance to relax.

Week 18
I finished work this week for Christmas and now have a good two weeks off. We travelled up to Yorkshire on Christmas Eve and had a wonderful Christmas. Lara was very good and enjoyed herself immensely, especially as this year she was able to appreciate some of her presents quite a bit more. It did take us two days to open them all though. I felt great over Christmas too. The escape from the hectic daily routine really did me good.

Week 19
I spent New Years eve as official driver and we went to John's brothers for a meal and party of about 20 people. I darted between that and my sisters where Lara was staying the night and my parents were round for a buffet and party games.
I had my first relaxation massage with the alternative therapist at the hospital and I felt a bit of a fraud as I was still feeling so relaxed from my Christmas break but my therapist found plenty of tension knots which needed releasing so it was well worth it anyway.


Week 20
I went back to work this week, which was tough after such a long time off. I had my 20 week scan on Thursday. John and I got quite excited when we saw clearly the limbs and face of our baby. We had some fabulous photos to take away. I have to have another scan at 30 weeks as my placenta is still quite low.


Week 21
I am starting to feel the pinch at work now. Christmas is out of the way and I want to think baby and house all the time. This makes it very hard to concentrate at work although I am very busy organising an event coming up in February. I have decided I will start my Maternity leave at the beginning of Week 38 but will take holiday before then so that I can finish at the end of April, week 36. So 14 ½ weeks left at work. Huff....still seems a long time off yet!

Week 22
I made a visit to the doctors this week for a general check up and all was well. We listened to the heartbeat and discussed how I was feeling. I feel great in comparison to my last pregnancy and even forget I am pregnant sometimes. I just can't believe how quickly the time is passing this time. We have been decorating Lara's new bedroom. (Well John has done 90% of the work I have mainly done the supervising and inspecting!) I want to get her moved into it as soon as possible before the baby comes so as not to create the impression that the baby coming has anything to do with her changing bedrooms. The pink (Japanese cherry) is darker than I thought but as two walls are cream it still feels light in the room. I will be able to furnish it with pale coloured bedding and curtains for a pretty girlie look.


Week 23
I slipped on the stairs on Tuesday morning this week and jarred my back a little. I went to see the doctor to be checked over and everything was fine with baby but I had pain in my back when I walked or bent. I was advised to stay mobile but also to take it easy when bending or lifting so I worked from home for two days by which time the pain had worked it way up into a stiff neck and then gradually got better. I went out with my Mum, Sister and Grandma for a girlie meal in one of my favourite local restaurants to
celebrate my Mum's birthday at the weekend and we had a lovely time.

Week 24
This was my very busy week at work with an event, which I actually really enjoyed and was less stressful than I had imagined. I had another massage in then later part of this week and my therapist found some very bad knots in my shoulders and neck which she worked hard to remove. I felt a bit sore for the next day or two but never the less more relaxed and sort of lighter!When the bay kicks now when I am in bed I am able to let John feel it kicking. The baby's movements are really quite visual sometimes now, which brings back wonderful memories of my pregnancy with Lara and watching her move when I was in the bath. Also of John kissing my bump and Lara giving a real hard kick just at that moment so she ended up kicking him in the mouth.

Week 25
This week was unexpectedly busy for me at work and at home so I was very tired and subsequently hormonal. I had some Roses for Valentines Day delivered to me at work and John and I went out for a nice quiet meal on Saturday night at a local village pub.
I am starting to suffer with indigestion daily now but am still managing to treat it with two or three pints of milk a day!!!
I also have a mad urge to hold bath sponges to my face whilst in the bath. The texture and the lovely smell is addictive. This was a strange craving I had during my last pregnancy too. Lara copies me with her bath sponge and saying mmmmmmn.

Week 26
I have had a cold this week and felt completely exhausted and run down. On Thursday of this week I went to a health farm for the day with my elder sister. (A present from our husbands at Christmas). This was exactly what I needed and was totally relaxing and calming. I had Friday off as holiday so as not to ruin the relaxing effects of my previous days treatments.


Week 27
Lara had a cold over the weekend which progressed into the week so I had to have two further days holiday off work as she was unable to attend nursery. She slept for long periods in the afternoon so I managed to get some rest too. I am beginning to feel I would like to have a regular afternoon nap but will have to wait until I finish work in 61/2 weeks time. Now another strange craving that I had in my previous pregnancy has also returned. I love to crunch gravel or sand under my feet (with shoes on). I can't explain it but I love the gritty feeling as it grinds!With this and the sponges it is rather odd I know but I would prefer it to a craving for burgers or chocolate. At least it won't make me put on excess weight!

Week 28
I obtained my MATB1 form this week from the doctor which I handed in to personnel at work.. Normally I think you need to provide this earlier but as I work for a small company, the person who deals with personnel had said that there was no hurry for it until she needed to use it for Inland Revenue purposes. I had another complimentary therapy massage at the hospital late this week where my Therapist worked on my lower back.

Week 29
When I was pregnant with Lara I suffered with numbness in my legs in the evenings and would find myself running up and down the stairs several times in the night to try and regain some feeling in them. It is happening again this time so I visited the Doctor to see what might be causing it. It drives me crazy and is usually worse after I have been standing a while or particularly active. The doctor described this as 'restless legs' and advised that this quite a common pregnancy complaint and there is unfortunately not a lot you can do to abate it other than try massaging the legs. I seem to feel more heavily pregnant at this stage of my pregnancy than I felt last time at the same stage even though it has passed quicker and I have suffered less sickness and ailments than last time.

Week 30
We had a very busy weekend this weekend as there was some sunshine and we bought Lara a wooden summerhouse for the garden. This took us a lot longer to erect than we initially thought and by the time it was all painted and dry. There was not much of the weekend left for Lara to play in it. However the weather has been nice enough after nursery and work for her to play in it for a while before tea.
I had Thursday and Friday off work this week and although I felt tired, I really enjoyed being able to rest or have a bath to relax when I felt like it. I had a scan to check if my placenta had moved up which it has so it appears I may still be able to have a natural birth this time around. I can't help thinking that it would make life a lot easier afterwards if I do as another Caesarean will mean I am unable to lift Lara for some weeks, which could cause us serious problems with her feelings towards the new arrival. I am concentrating on researching some advice for sibling rivalry and how best to avoid it and or deal with it so I am well prepared. At the moment when I show Lara my tummy and tell her Mummy has a baby in it. She points to hers and says 'Lara's baby' and then to John and says 'Daddy baby'. She loves playing with her babies though and feeds them and puts them to bed which I am encouraging.

Week 31
This weekend I washed all the pram linings and figured out how the carrycot attachment goes together with the wheels and fitted the toddler seat the pushchair attachment. It seems nerve racking to think I will soon have newborn baby again but this time with an active toddler to entertain. I have pangs of guilt about how Lara will feel. She is so much fun at the moment and is developing at such a rate. I hope the next few months will not pass in a misty haze of exhausted nights and hurried days so that I am able to appreciate how wonderful this time is with Lara and that she will feel confident and encouraged.

Week 32
I have arranged with Nursery to cut down Lara's days at Nursery when my maternity leave starts. Once I am in a routine with Baby I will reduce these days again as although she loves it there and I think it has helped her development, it would be nice for her to spend more time with me plus we will struggle financially when I am no longer earning my usual salary.

Week 33
I am looking forward to finishing work next week as I am getting tired and still have lots to do to make sure I am ready for the baby. Plus I am really looking forward to spending more time with Lara. I am beginning to note patterns in which my baby is awake and asleep. I wonder if this pattern will continue after the baby is born?


Week 34
I finished work this week which is a great relief. Now I can bath, sleep and shop when I want to. I started sorting through the mountain of clothes, toys and baby equipment which was stored in the loft. I can't believe I have so much stuff. The nursery is completely full of stuff. I am not sure where it will all go.

Week 35
Work has started on the conservatory this week which we are having built to double up as a playroom for all the toys as we think we will run out of space when two children are playing with different sets of toys. We have ordered the flooring which we will also have laid in the dining room and a new floor for the kitchen too. I intend to paint the kitchen cupboards to give my kitchen a new lease of life without the cost of replacing it. Although I have a cleaner for a couple of hours a week, I needed to spring clean everywhere and so I started in our bedroom and Lara's wardrobes this week. I washed copious amounts of baby clothes and sorted them into sizes and vests, sleep suits, outfits etc.


Week 36
I went and bought some paint for the playroom this week. I have opted for a bright blue which reminds me of the colour of outdoor swimming pools. We also ordered a cream leather sofa so we can sit in here in comfort whilst the children play.
I have been overdoing it this week and am therefore tired. I painted my kitchen cupboards and we put new modern handles and knobs on all the doors and drawers too which look fantastic.

Week 37
I went shopping to our nearest city this week with my mum. I was very tired early on so we went home just after lunch time. I had bought some lovely things for baby and Lara. I am convinced that I will have another girl so I bought things accordingly. I can always return them or exchange them afterwards if I am wrong. I had a bet with my friend on the sex of my baby as she is convinced I will have a boy this time and has been buying boys outfits on the strength of her feeling. One of us will be returning to the shops with egg on our face!!


Week 38
After a routine visit to my midwife she was concerned about the position of my baby so decided to make me an appointment to see my consultant as my baby could possibly be breech and with my previous C Section she did not want to risk me going into labour with an undiagnosed breech baby .I desperately hope that all is well because of the recovery period with a Caesarean. My guilty feelings of 'How can we possibly want more than our beautiful Lara are really starting to take a hold of me. I have bought her a present from baby and we are still talking about the baby in Mummy's tummy but are showering Lara with attention and praise for her developmental progresses all the time. We are preparing diligently for the best way to behave when baby comes and hopefully this will pay off.

Week 39
This week I woke on Thursday morning and started to have some contraction type pains. They were on one side and felt like a low dragging pain right at the base of my abdomen. After I had had about three within an hour John and I thought maybe this was the start of my labour. We started painting the playroom as planned and just monitored the times of my pains. They were rather erratic and did not gain any strength. Then about 3.30 in the afternoon they stopped completely. I read about this in a baby book I had and decided this had been a 'false labour' but was encouraged to discover that this usually means that labour is imminent. I saw the consultant this week and he advised that all was very well with my baby and that it was completely engaged. So anytime soon!! At the weekend I went to a craft fair and bought a beautiful clock, height chart and bright fairy tale castle pegs for the playroom. The room looks fantastic and I cant wait for the floor to be put down which is coming in a couple of weeks.

Week 40
When my due date passed I was despondent and worried that I may have to be induced again. I felt fine in myself but anxious which was made worse by the constant stream of phone calls enquiring when I was going to have my baby!! I went swimming with Lara on Wednesday and other mums in the pool thought I was very brave to go swimming as I was one day overdue at this time, but my
thoughts were that I needed to carry on as normally as possible otherwise I would be more upset that I missed opportunities unnecessarily and Lara loves the toddler swim at our local leisure pool.

Birth
Friday 30th was my birthday and I began to have some pains again in the morning, I did not want to get too excited but thought how wonderful it would be if baby came today. Later in the afternoon some friends came to see me and I could not help but tell them I have had several pains today. By the evening the pains were still coming but not regularly and not particularly getting any stronger. So we decided to go to bed but I could not sleep as I felt this really could be it. I got up without disturbing John and called the hospital to enquire. They suggested that I was not established and should try to get to bed and not to think about it until my contractions were at least five minutes apart regularly for an hour. So at 10.30pm I went to bed and immediately had a contraction which was followed five minutes later by another and then every five minutes for an hour! I called Naquita, my sister who was my second birth partner and she came round about five minutes later, by this time I have had two more contractions three minutes apart. They swiftly went to two minutes apart and so we decided about 35 minutes later to call my Mum to come and stay the night with Lara and we woke John. Bless him as soon as I called him he jumped out of bed and said 'Its time isn't it?' I felt a mixture of anxiety and excitement as we loaded the bags into the car and I grabbed a towel just in case for on the way to the hospital. Once in the car and on the way my contractions slowed to about five or six minutes apart.

When we arrived at the delivery suite I answered a few questions and the midwife explained the gas and air to me and then we were moved to a suite where I could sit in the bath and Quita and John could sit with me. Once in the bath I felt relaxed again and almost bored at the prospect of all of us sitting around for five more hours before anything might even happen. I felt guilty for making John and Quita sit around all night waiting also.

After an hour in the bath the midwife came back and I was told I would have to move to another delivery room as they wanted me closer to the theatre due to my previous Caesarean which I could not quite understand but did not argue anyway. They put a plastic tube into my wrist in readiness should I require it. This really hurt and I was a bit angry that they seemed to be a little too prepared for a possible further Caesarean.

As the pains were getting quite severe and I was struggling with gas and air my midwife gave me another examination and suggested I seriously consider other pain relief as I was only now 4cm dilated. She also explained that my bowels were full and therefore I would benefit from an enema in order to make it easier for the baby to come down the birth canal. I agreed to this and almost 15 minutes later after the success of the enema my baby began to move down rapidly and the pains were excruciating. My midwife strongly advised an epidural now and I consented. As the doctor arrived to discuss this with me I had a very strong pushing urge and he stepped back for the midwife to check me. She decided that I was about to deliver and from then on nobody really told me anything other than Quita who kept saying 'You are going to do this, you can do it'. I was panicking as the last thing I had been told was that I was only four centimetres dilated but I was getting the urge to push which was what had happened during my induced labour with Lara so I just saw history repeating itself again.

However after four or five pushes which I went along with, and I can only describe as an immensely exaggerated constipation pain, the midwife said she could feel my babies hair. I was panicking as I was not informed that I had further dilated and worried what was going to happen next. I was under the impression that all was not well and I was therefore not ready to deliver. Then another push and somebody said the head was crowning and Quita said she could see my baby's head. Then I had a burning sensation followed shortly by another and my baby girl was born at 4.58am on 31st May weighing 7lbs 11 0z. I was given an injection to speed up the delivery of the placenta which followed after about five minutes or so.

My little girl, Poppy May Hollie was placed on me skin to skin and the relief that it was all over was fantastic and that I had managed a natural birth with gas and air. Poppy was put straight to my breast for her first feed.

The weirdest thing for me was that I was up and about immediately after the birth and out of the hospital in less than 12 hours. A complete contrast to my previous birth experience with Lara.

_____

You can contact Katrina by email by clicking here.

Readers in the UK may be interested to know that Katrina and her sister run regular baby exchange fayres at their local school where people bring baby items they wish to sell to the school in the morning and they display them in the afternoon at the fayre.


 

 

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