Sick of the heat

My DH says he thinks the heat has been less the last few days, but I’m definitely feeling it more. Maybe the humidity is up? I’ve been feeling ill whenever I’m not in air conditioning (which we don’t have at home, although a fan directly pointed at my head from no more than two feet away does help).

I actually went to the office today, which does have a/c. The journeys either way were rather brutal, though. I and a colleague go in by taxi two days a week, and since the regular drivers are paid a flat rate per journey, they tend to go pretty fast. Between the heat, the humidity, and the motion, I was decidedly queasy by the time we arrived this morning, and then on the way home the walk was atrocious. (We get picked up and dropped off at a central point in walking distance from both my and my colleague’s homes.) Since the gym was barely out of my way home (the other side of the main road) I ended up going in, enjoying their *cold* a/c, and having a shower and changing into some of the clean clothes I’d left there. I didn’t feel up to actually exercising, but I felt so much better the rest of the way home that it was definitely worthwhile.

I’m lucky, I’ve always thought, that I really don’t get morning sickness (in both of the previous two pregnancies I’ve had one incident of real nausea, right at the end of the first trimester, so I suppose that’s due in the next fortnight or so), but as with seasickness, sometimes the queasiness can go on for ages, when a good vomit should clear the head, at least temporarily. Oh well, so long as I can keep cool I’m sure I’ll be fine.

I’m due to see the high-risk doctor tomorrow morning, so I might bring this up. I’ll be interested to see what this doctor says. I won’t be impressed if I get brushed off, certainly.

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Back to the gym

We (DH & I, two daughters) were out yesterday, and on the way home I realised we’d pass the gym and that the childcare would be open, so I thought I should go. I was wearing trainers, so I went to a cheap clothes shop and bought a couple of cotton t-shirts, leggings and socks, as well as a towel, and went along. Also got some reasonable-ish finger food for the girls, since it was approaching supper-time, and I didn’t want them to be grumpy through hunger. I paid for a long-term locker, so I could leave the spare clothes there for the next time. This should make it easier to fit in short bursts of exercise when I happen to be passing there, rather than persuading myself to leave home again after a return.

I didn’t realise till I walked into the exercise area that I wasn’t exactly wearing a sports bra, so I didn’t even last ten minutes on the treadmill (and only three of them were actually running), but I did fine on the controlled weights machines, until the 3.5yo came to find me for the third time. At that point I stopped, told her she had to stay in the children’s area with her sister while I got changed, and had a decent shower.

The kids were fine. The little one had poured her sister’s drink all over herself and the floor (the latter had been cleaned up, without complaints, but since I hadn’t left spare clothes there wasn’t really anything they could do about the former) which reminded me I shouldn’t have left anything but water for either of them…

Saw the new Ob/gyn…

… and I think I like her. She took her time, and listened to me, and seemed interested, and actually wanted to follow up on things. She’s in walking distance of my home, too, which means less than half the travel time, and no annoying waiting for the bus.

She said everything else was fine, but my liver enzymes are high, so she’s referred me to a gastroenterologist to follow up on that, because they shouldn’t be, at this stage. She seemed very unimpressed that I hadn’t been referred to one as general follow up on HELLP, so I feel much more confident about sticking with her as my regular one after all this, too. She also spent time actually talking to me about the various optional tests that the insurance company subsidises but doesn’t fully cover, so I can make up my mind on those.

Too Hot!

This is my third pregnancy, but my first to have the first trimester in the summer, rather than the winter. In the first two I felt freezing in the first trimester (my DH called me Icefoot), and too hot in the second and third. Apparently it wasn’t really about being colder in the first trimester, it’s about reacting more strongly to whatever the ambient temperature is. Right now, that is definitely Too Hot, even with fans, at 11:17pm. Goodness knows what I’ll be like during a winter third trimester. (Although I do want to experience the whole thing, thanks!) Presumably I’ll need all new winter maternity clothes… (I hate shopping, especially for clothes.)

Birth Priorities

It’s a long way off, but here they are, definitely in descending order of importance.

  1. I don’t die.
  2. Baby doesn’t die.
  3. *Everything* gets fully explained to me at every point.
  4. We’re both healthy.
  5. Time to bond and initiate breastfeeding directly after birth.
  6. DH and doula with me as much as I want them.
  7. No-one takes offence if I want to be alone at any point.
  8. Avoid ICU.
  9. No separation between me and baby after birth.
  10. Avoid Caesarean section.
  11. Contact with my daughters during labour and any/all hospital time.
  12. *I* choose the position of the bed, however I’m using it. (Sitting/lying on it, or leaning against it.)
  13. No epidural.
  14. Avoid induction.
  15. Not stuck on bed during labour or birth.
  16. I choose my birth position.
  17. Mobility as I want it and feel up to.
  18. Allow labour to begin naturally.
  19. Food and drink I want, when I want them.
  20. Funny, light-hearted books with nothing to do with birth, motherhood, health, etc.

 

I would love a home birth, but it’s not something I feel safe enough to hope for, let alone organise. I can’t face the disappointment of things not going as I want, again. That’s why I’m making this priority list. I want everything on this list, and just because I don’t get something higher doesn’t mean everything else can be discounted, but it does give me various points to potentially count as success, even if I don’t get to have it all.

This list may well change over the next few months (I’m sure there are things I’ve left off), but here’s the starter version.

 

Two steps forward, one step back

I did a lot of traipsing about in the sun today, but was definitely reminded of how much more effective it is to speak to the administrative staff in the clinics, rather than the central call centre staff for the medical insurance network.

First appointment was the really frustrating one – I turned up on time for my appointment with the new ob/gyn, to find out that it had actually been set for yesterday (when I told them I couldn’t do) and that she is only in two days a week, and Thursday isn’t one of them. I did get to print out my blood test results (although I could have done that later, too), but it was still annoying. The receptionist there was sympathetic, though, and after suggesting generally making appointments online, if I have trouble with the call centre, made me one in person for next Tuesday.

Then in the afternoon it was my first ultrasound, which went well. (There was a quiet but not-so-nice incident before it, among some of the other people waiting, but that isn’t the topic of this blog, even though it does keep playing on my mind. Let’s just say that politics and racism should not be issues in the ultrasound queue.) There was a definite (single) foetus, with a heartbeat and a head, and at 2cm long, on track for 9 weeks precisely, which fits the probable date of my last period. (Forgot to write that down at the time.)

So now I have to believe it, I suppose!

On my way out of the central women’s health clinic, I asked the receptionist (who seemed in a rare good mood, or maybe she just likes having her advice asked, rather than being treated as a pure paper-cruncher) to suggest doctors with specialist knowledge of pre-eclampsia and/or HELLP syndrome. Her response to that was to confirm I was talking about high-risk pregnancy care, and to offer to make me an appointment with a high-risk doctor there, even though I told her I don’t have a referral for that yet.

So I haven’t seen the new regular ob/gyn yet, but I have a proper appointment with her for next week, and with a high-risk one the week after, and both the blood tests and ultrasound out of the way. Of course, I barely got any of the work I’m paid for (hourly) done today, since after all that I was shattered and slept all evening (it’s the middle of the night now, so I’ll go back to bed after I post this), but I’ll make that up.

As much as I could tell as a complete non-specialist, the blood results looked fine. My platelets were good – up at my normal from my platelets donation days. Obviously I’ll let one or both doctors confirm that, but at least there’s nothing I’m panicking about.

Children are strange

Her whole life, including the winter she was born and the depths of the three since, my elder daughter has kicked off any kind of bedcover, and preferably bedclothes, no matter how cold the weather or the room. (This is the kind of child baby sleeping bags are wonderful for.) Tonight, though, I went into the bedroom and couldn’t see her at all. In the middle of a summer heatwave she unearthed a full quilt, and wrapped herself entirely up in it (including draping it over her face)!

Obviously as soon as I found her that way I pulled it off her, and she’d evidently been able to breathe fine, but she was dripping with sweat. I stayed in the room with her for most of an hour while she cooled down (still asleep the whole time) and longer, and then got DH to reassure me she’s not breathing too fast, so I’m sure she’s fine, but it just reminds me of all the reasons (good and bad, large and small) I want to be around for my girls, and my husband.

Seriously, I don’t let myself worry about actually dying (although it’s a possibility, if the HELLP recurred badly), but I do worry about being in hospital for extended periods of time, being ill or incapacitated, even temporarily, and so on. A day or so is one thing (I go out to work, and socialise with my friends) but the unknown and unexpected absence is scarier.

My DH is a wonderful father, and better at many of the day to day things (cooked meals, bedtimes) than I am, but that doesn’t mean our daughters don’t need us both. Need me.