Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Rainbow Pregnancy - 24 Week Update


24 weeks means we have a viable baby! She's been viable to use since day one but in the eyes of the law and medicine, she is viable and that is a good feeling. If anything untoward happens, if the complications with the Antiphospholipid syndrome become a reality and she needs to be delivered early, everything will be done to help her. I know it might seem like an odd thing to even think about but the milestones are always going to be a little skewed in a rainbow pregnancy!

As I wrote my 22 week update so late I've really only got a week to talk about. However, it's felt like a big week. I think both Mr D and myself seriously underestimated how important the cardiac scan was for us. A huge weight has been lifted knowing Poglet is absolutely fine at the minute. It feels odd knowing that this is the point where we became aware of how poorly Aneurin was. It puts another polar opposite between my two babies which in some ways is helpful because it reinforces the idea of different pregnancy, different baby, different outcome. I don't think either of us realised how convinced we were that something would be wrong and the relief from knowing that there isn't is overwhelming. We both came away from the appointment and said it was the first time we truly felt that glimmer of 'we might bring our baby home'. Even now, a week later, I find myself getting little flashes of hope and it's a lovely feeling.

Over the last week or so I've been allowing myself to think about birth a bit more. Thinking about that feels safe in some ways because I know that whatever happens, I will give birth. Although Aneurin's birth was a really positive experience (which I realise sounds crazy because we knew he had already died) and I feel very confident in the fact that I have done it before and I can do it again, I know this is likely to be an entirely different experience. And one full of anxiety now we know all the eventualities. With that in mind we're looking into doing a hypnobirthing course. I dipped my toe into it briefly before and the techniques I used were incredibly helpful but I want to go the whole hog this time. We have an introduction session on Saturday to meet the woman who runs it (who rather nicely is a leader with my local La Leche League who gave me some wonderful support when I contacted them about breastfeeding a baby with Down's syndrome.) I think the positive results of the cardiac scan has definitely given me more room to think ahead and it feels good doing something proactive like preparing for birth.

We had our first growth scan this week and although the actual experience wasn't great and unnecessarily stressful thanks to the sonographer, it was another positive outcome. Poglet is approximately 1lb 12oz and her growth is progressing well! I'm going to write a post about attitudes of healthcare professionals in a pregnancy after loss because there are such enormous gaps that would make all the difference to parents. It's hard to focus on the outcome when it's shrouded with upset but we are definitely clinging on to the fact that she is doing really well.

plus size and pregnant 24 weeks
24 week bump!
And to end, here are five good things about the last couple of weeks.

1. I started pregnancy yoga! I had booked classes when I was pregnant with Aneurin but due to the timing of his diagnosis and how poorly we both were I never had a chance to do them. Claire is a wonderful soul and made me feel so at ease. We talked a lot about my experience with Aneurin, his birth, how he's changed my life and what it's like being pregnant with his little sister. The yoga itself ties in nicely with the ethos around hypnobirthing and the relaxation techniques are very similar. It's more holistic than a regular yoga class and is more about working with the body to prepare for the weeks ahead and labour rather than giving it a work out. I really enjoyed the holistic aspect of it and how it's designed to empower you. As part of the class Claire asked me to choose a card from a deck containing inspirational and strong female figures such as saints and goddesses. The card I chose made me cry. Of all the ones there, I blindly chose a saint who lost her only son and then made it her life's work to find peace. Normally I don't put much stock into things like that and even if it was just a coincidence, it made me feel pretty wonderful! I can't wait to go back this week.
2. Poglet has started to settle into a proper little pattern now and I know when she's going to be active and at what time of the day she makes certain movements. She likes to stretch her legs out then bring her knees up to her chest a lot, which we've seen her do in scans a few times, and almost always does it three times in a row. She had been laying across the bottom of my tummy for ages but she shifted upside down this week so her legs are tickling my ribs!
3. My birthing ball arrived! We abandoned our other one in the hospital after Aneurin was born which was probably a bit silly and could have saved us £28 but I don't think either of us could face having it at home. Thankfully though I found the exact same one for a bit cheaper and it's already pumped up and been bounced on!
4. I've been getting stuck in with my volunteering for MAMA Academy this week. I'm really enjoying learning a few new things and being able to support them. Which reminds me...if you're not signed up for their newsletter, you definitely should be! ;)
5. Technically it hasn't happened yet but I'm looking forward to it being half term next week and having Mr D at home. We're spending bank holiday at my mum's for a garden party with all our family. We've had a tough time as a family this year with losing my uncle and cousin to cancer so close together so having a bit of time together will be really lovely. Then we're spending the rest of the week clearing out the spare rooms and doing a few bits around the house. I almost feel like I'm nesting but very apprehensively!

Love,
Mrs D x
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