I just got back from my 24 week ante-natal appointment and I was honestly surprised to see that I’ve not gained 10 kilos, haven’t developed Gestational Diabetes and my blood pressure is, if anything, a little on the low side. Thank goodness my placenta is so awesome, because I am doing a terrible job of doing things differently in my second pregnancy. Which is a shame, because I started out with the best of intentions.
1. Cut the crap and eat healthy, low GI foods.
During my first pregnancy I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes at some ridiculously early time like 20 weeks. Basically, I was still seeing a normal GP who, after ripping me a new one for eating four pieces of white toast smothered in strawberry jam for breakfast, sent me off to the Ob/Gyn, where I was given an absolute tonne of great resources on how to manage my diet, was referred to a fantastic dietitian, and had more than a few run-ins with jerk specialists who thought that because I was young and fat, clearly I was also stupid.
Well, I showed all them haters when not only did I manage to control my GD with nothing but diet and exercise (They said that Insulin injections would be unavoidable because I was diagnosed so early), but I also did not have to be induced at 38 weeks and my baby wasn’t a complete monster at birth (He was born weighing 3.62kg/8lb — still on the larger end of the spectrum, but not a beast with a heart condition by any means).
With this pregnancy I had no intention of waiting until I got GD to pull my head in and eat good food. I started off so well, too, but when my appetite finally came back after morning sickness had effectively killed it off, it was like I had regressed back to my obese days where the unhealthier it was, the more I just HAD to have it.
Throw in a previously unheard of sweet tooth and I just do not understand how the scales aren’t screaming my dirty little secret from the rooftops: bad mama here has been eating from the wrong end of the food pyramid.
2. Don’t bail on exercise
The day I found out I was pregnant I was on my way to a Roller Derby training session. I was regularly walking the dog. I was contemplating robbing a bank so I could start Michelle Bridges again. Basically, I was well on my way to kicking my couch potato ways — something that I really wish I had been doing when I fell pregnant the first time around.
At my first appointment my doctor asked me what exercise I was doing and I said I was walking the dog. She encouraged me to keep it up… and I don’t think I’ve walked the dog in a good three months now. I’m not completely lazy; my son’s school is just down the road at the bottom of a hill and we walk there every day. But, it would be lucky to be 20 minutes each day. Definitely not enough to prepare my body for childbirth!
I absolutely wanted to have a strong core (Pregnancy the first time around gave me a lovely umbilical hernia – more on that later) and an even stronger pelvic floor, but I have been a lazy little shit this entire pregnancy. I can’t wait for my entire body to just give up on life when I go into labour!
[Edit: My doctor has strongly recommended that I join a pregnancy Pilates class because my back and hips are already causing me problems. Considering how much I like moving, I’m actually going to listen to her and follow through with it. So, yeah. Me. At a class. With other people. Exercising in public. Oh to be a fly on the wall…]
3. Drown my body in Bio-Oil
It will come as no surprise that, considering how fat and lazy I was when I fell pregnant the first time, I ended up with the stretchmarks from hell. For some reason, I also had about a gallon of that Palmers Cocoa Butter for Stretchmarks that I used religiously, even though everyone ever told me that Bio-Oil was better. Pssh, whatever. I didn’t even get stretchmarks for the first 34 weeks!
And then this happened:
Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant this time around I made sure I had some Bio-Oil and I put it on regularly. Still, it’s not the twice a day like the bottle recommends, so I could do much better. I know that there is no fixing the damage that has been done already, but hopefully I can avoid THE INSANE ITCHING FROM HELL that I developed in my last few days of pregnancy with Liam.
4. Speaking of baby bump photos…
For some unknown reason — probably born from a desire to not be one of those people that spams Facebook with bump pictures — there are approximately two pictures of me when I was pregnant with Liam out there on the internet (Three now that the abomination above has seen the light of day). This time around I was adamant that I would take more pictures, maybe even do a week by week snap for my own personal album. Dreams To Do looks absolutely stunning in her weekly journal, and I would dearly like to have pictures like that of my own.
Well, remember that umbilical hernia I mentioned earlier? Apparently my uterus is pushing on it in such a way that it’s about a billion times larger than before. If I look at my stomach side on, it looks like I have a second nose. In fact, it’s so bad that I am sorely tempted to get a permanent marker and draw a face onto my gut. Hell, with all the stretch mark damage from baby one, I reckon I could pull off quite the convincing it’s-a-stomach-that-looks-like-an-old-man photo shoot.
Thankfully, on certain angles, I can make it almost look hidden. Almost. I took the photo below a few weeks ago, before my belly button decided to launch a full-scale revolution against me.
5. Be Positive
My first pregnancy was marred with so much self-doubt and worry that I seemed downright miserable. I had just come to terms with the reality that I was actually pregnant when, boom, the 20 week scan revealed that Liam had something wrong with one of his kidneys. You know, in addition the the raging Diabetes that I had been diagnosed with.
This time around I have so many more reasons why I should be stressed out. We need to move house a month before baby is due, we are living on a much stricter budget, my husband falls just over a month short of being eligible for paternity leave and I could be forced to have a C-Section because my placenta went and implanted itself in the completely wrong spot.
All of this and yet I am just so optimistic. I know that things could be so much worse, but they aren’t. We handled moving to the other side of the country with a one year old and no support network to rely on. We handled watching our son lose his kidney at 18 months old. Even now, we’re putting food on the table, have kept our little indulgences like Pay TV and World of Warcraft subscriptions, and sometimes we even put money in savings. Things are not perfect by any means, but we’re both feeling positive about the future.
It feels amazing to simply enjoy being pregnant instead of resenting it.
So, there are the five things I wanted to do differently this time around. I know I could improve on pretty much, well, everything, but mostly I’m just incredibly grateful that everything is working out well so far.
Fingers crossed it stays that way.