32 Week Pregnancy Update: A Trip to After Hours
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This week has been a doozy. I feel like everything kind of came to a head but for the good. My body finally decided enough was enough and brought me to the point where I had no choice but to do something about it.
I also saw the maternity mental health nurse and had a positive experience with that.
There is a fair amount to update you on, so without further ado, I’m going to just get started.
If you’ve read my previous updates from the last couple of weeks, you’ll know I wasn’t feeling great. I had an unsettled tummy and lots of other things that just weren’t lending themselves to me feeling very healthy.
Well, I managed through the week, but everything kind of escalated over the weekend when we went to my parent’s hometown.
On Saturday we dropped Annie off with my mother-in-law to stay for the night. Shane, myself, and Jack carried on to my sister and her fiance’s newly bought house. They were having a big ‘demo day’ and clearing out the overgrown garden.
I took a chair (as the house was empty) and spent most of the day sitting in it and watching what was going on.
I started feeling a bit woozy in the late morning and then after lunch, I felt terrible. My tummy felt sick, I was having contractions, and I felt dizzy.
I ended up going back to my parent’s place with my Mum. That afternoon I just rested as much as possible, but I was having regular contractions almost the entire time. So much so that I decided to time them.
They were coming every 2-4 minutes like clockwork for over an hour. However, they weren’t increasing in intensity. Thankfully, they died down a bit by the time bedtime came around.
However, I slept really poorly. In fact, I felt like I had barely slept at all when the next morning rolled around.
It was Sunday, so the rest of my family left for church and I went back to bed. I was okay for a couple of hours, but as soon as I got up to shower the contractions started again and I felt awful.
When my family returned and my Mum asked how I was doing I dissolved into tears.
I felt like a shell of who I am. Just weak, exhausted, and so incredibly tired. I ate lunch (which was the first time I had eaten that day) and halfway through I started feeling really sick.
Everything got worse again, to the point where my mother insisted I go and see the after-hours doctor.
Honestly, I didn’t want to go.
Because I was sure they were just going to tell me that there was nothing wrong and that it was just part of pregnancy. And my biggest fear with that was how on earth I was going to cope for the remaining weeks I have left?
But, we went anyway.
They tested and checked all the basics and nothing alarming stood out. In truth, I was kind of hoping they would tell me I had a rip-roaring infection and hand me some antibiotics. Then at least I knew I would start feeling better.
That, however, was not the case.
The doctor couldn’t pinpoint the cause for all my symptoms, but his suspicion was a combination of iron-deficiency anaemia, low blood pressure, and pure exhaustion.
His recommendation was to give my increased iron dosage a chance to work and to rest. When he found out I had two toddlers to care for as well, he looked pointedly at my Mum and said I needed help.
While the appointment didn’t show any clear health issues, it did help to validate how I felt. And it really helped that he was the one saying that I needed support.
I hate to be a bother to people, and I really don’t ever want to be labelled as a hypochondriac or drama queen when it comes to health. So, asking for help isn’t easy for me.
It meant a lot coming directly from a health professional.
For the remainder of this week, the emphasis has been on rest.
My Mum was going to come and stay for a few days, but instead, she asked to take both of the children back to her place Mon-Fri.
I was hesitant to be away from them so long, but I knew it was what ultimately needed to happen. I have barely been able to take care of myself let alone the children as well.
So, off they went with her on Monday and they were SO excited to go.
I’ve spent the week doing very little. I honestly thought that after a day or two without the kids my energy levels would return and I would feel great.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. I mean, my symptoms have eased significantly, and I do feel somewhat better, but the minute I exert myself too much they all come back.
I think I’m managing to get my head around it all, but it has taken a while.
You might be wondering what the plan is going forward. I mean, my kids can’t just stay away forever (I would DIE!).
So, they’re actually on their way back home as I’m writing this (Friday morning). Shane is home from work tomorrow and then away at a conference from Sunday afternoon till Friday.
It has always been the plan that I would go and stay with my parents during that time, so that is what we’re still doing.
The week following we are just going to play by ear. Shane will take time off if he needs to and we’ll reach out to different family members if required.
It’s a day-by-day kind of thing. I really am having to put my pride aside though and just accept that it is okay to ask for help.
Based on my previous two pregnancies, I don’t see myself going past 40 weeks (although of course, it is possible). Because of that, the number of weeks left of this pregnancy is limited. If she follows the example of her sister, she could be here in about 5 weeks. That’s not long!
As I mentioned above, I saw the maternity mental health nurse this week. At first, I was going to attend their clinic, but because of how unwell I’ve been feeling, I asked if it was possible to be seen at home.
Many of New Zealand’s health services are community-based, so it is not uncommon for health professionals to come and see you in your home. That is something I am super grateful for! (Especially when it comes to postpartum checkups, etc).
She was really nice and I felt very comfortable with her.
We talked quite a bit about my history and how I’m feeling now. She gave me two screening tools. One was for depression and the other was for anxiety.
My score on the screening for anxiety didn’t come back showing much that caused concern. However, based on the screening for depression I am definitely showing very classic signs.
So, she has gone away to draw up a plan for the how we’re going to manage things going forward. I told her that I was fairly open to most things and was happy to talk through different options.
I will be seeing her again in a couple of weeks.
I was supposed to have a midwife appointment on Monday morning, but she had to cancel. I forgot that September is their busiest month.
Anyway, due to one thing or another, it has been difficult to find a time to rebook the appointment. I was supposed to be seeing her at my house at 9 am today, but she is running late (not her fault). So, I’m still waiting on that appointment and am very keen to see her.
While seeing the doctor on Sunday was helpful, my midwife knows me and is a specialist in her area, so I feel a lot more comfortable seeing her.
I think that’s where I’m going to leave it for this week. As you might have noticed, there is no video. I made an exception because I really just needed to rest this week and didn’t want to add any extra work for myself.
I won’t have great internet next week either so it’ll just be a written update then too. But, there will be one!