As I said in the intro to this blog, my pregnancy was fairly mundane. No morning sickness, no drastic changes to daily living except I needed to wee a lot more than usual. I carried on training at my gym (which is all carried out under direct supervision by trained coaches) and felt pretty good until later in pregnancy. So, the coaches knew I was pregnant and tailored my workouts to suit each stage of my pregnancy. I missed being able to complete workouts with the gruelling ‘finishers’ but I also understood that my body was changing and growing a little person and I accepted the changes reasonably well (except I hated my body and how it looked…..shock horror!!).
I mean I hated being pregnant. Hated it. I didn’t like being bigger than I was used to, I didn’t like not being able to just wear anything I fancied, I hated having boobs, they were painful and just ugly! I don’t understand women that love pregnancy but I guess we are all different, I like being a size 10 and I am not ashamed to say it! What I did love was what my body was doing. Week by week this little person was developing more and more and yet I was able to pretty much just go about my daily business. Work was a little tricky, as I work in a mental health crisis team and with that comes a degree of risk. To manage this I had very little direct patient contact which I am certain my male colleagues were somewhat disgruntled by. But again, I didn’t care! There was no way I was ever going to put my little person in any unnecessary danger. In fact, the day I found out I was pregnant, I was on a late shift. It was a fairly standard shift and me and a colleague went to see a patient in the assessment room. Unfortunately the patient we saw was very angry and had a history of being violent to health care staff. The patient threatened me and my colleague and I thought that was it, that was how I would lose this baby I had just discovered I had inside me. Thankfully the patient was so angry that he stormed out of the room and me and my colleague were able to get away. The colleague I was with is someone that I always feel safe with and even he was scared during that assessment. It was that moment that made me stay away from direct patient contact for the remainder of my pregnancy. I stuck to mainly night shifts so that I wasn’t too much of a burden on the team and if I have another baby, I will not do that. Night shifts and pregnancy do not mix well.
Throughout my pregnancy I was anxious about having a miscarriage. I would constantly be looking at statistics about miscarriage and how the risk reduces as the pregnancy progresses. I thought if my sister and sister in law are pregnant, surely something bad will happen to one of us. I would go to the toilet every ten minutes to check if I had bled. But as my bump grew and grew I started to relax a little more. Once I hit 35 weeks I even posted a photo of myself on Facebook, something I had not done all pregnancy. Little did I know that when I took those selfies, my little puffling (we called the little person inside me puffling as it’s the name for baby puffins and we saw lots of these in Alaska!) was struggling inside me. Looking at those pictures now makes me feel quite sick, but I have left them on my social media pages because they are part of this story and they are a reminder to me to never get complacent again.
The picture here is what I sent to my friends on Christmas day to announce my pregnancy. I was 13 weeks.