‘V’ day

I am now over 24 weeks pregnant. I have mixed feelings about getting to this ‘milestone’. In the pregnancy world, 24 weeks is considered to be ‘viability’, the stage at which if a woman was to go into labour doctors would be willing to intervene to keep the baby alive. However, it is still incredibly early and for me it doesn’t feel like much of a milestone given I had my son at 24 weeks and 5 days but still lost him. That said, every day bubs continues to cook has to be considered a success. I am more focussed on getting to 25 weeks as I am hoping if I get to that stage I may allow myself to have a little bit more trust in my cerclage and let myself believe that things are different this time around.

24 week bump

It’s strange though, as when I eventually hit a milestone, all I am thinking about is the next one and so each milestone never feels like a particularly big achievement. My main millstones are 25, 30, 34 and then 37 weeks. Still a long way to go but we are slowly inching forward. This week has been the slowest week ever though!

I have pretty much put myself on house arrest this last week but have ventured out in the car/a wheelchair for a coffee and a cake and also for some dinner. It’s nice to get out but I do find myself feeling anxious and concerned that I am sitting rather than lying down. It’s difficult being on modified bed rest as I am not ill. In fact, physically I am feeling pretty good. I am at the stage where I am not that big yet so I am not restricted movement wise and I actually have a fair bit of energy. Despite this energy, I do find it hard to stay on task and to achieve the things that I want to achieve. Most days I do some French, some sewing, some admin etc and feel a sense of achievement but at the moment I lack motivation. Because of the stage I am at right now, I have been taking it easy on myself and allowing myself to laze around the flat watching rubbish television and mopping around. I’ll be a little stricter with myself in the coming months and give myself more targets to achieve.

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The other week I did enjoy a trip out in my wheels to Craftland and Paper Lane in a lovely little mall, Town Centre, Jumeriah, just next to Mercato mall. I didn’t buy much but got some quilting batting, some more fat quarters (I’m slightly obsessed with them!) and some embellishments.  I will definitely be popping back in the future and I was pleased to find some decent craft stores in Dubai (even though they are expensive compared to those in the UK). Here are some of my current craft projects.

 

Still cooking

So I am now almost 23 weeks pregnant. People keep telling me that the time has flown by, it hasn’t! That said, it hasn’t been too bad, I find the days go quickly but the weeks still seem to drag somehow. I always knew July would be one of the most difficult periods. I started off the month at 22 weeks and will hopefully finish it at 26 weeks. Those of you know about babies and viability etc. will know that it is a particularly key time in the baby’s development. 26 weeks is still extremely early but it will mean I have passed the time which I had my son which was just before 25 weeks.

It is strange to think that just over a year ago we found out we were pregnant for the first time and at this stage of my pregnancy with my son I moved from the UK to Dubai. So much has happened and all of that feels like 10 years ago.

It has been a tough week or so mentally but I have managed to make the most of bed rest, I even managed an hour by the pool with my hubby one evening as it was a ‘cool’ 38 degrees.

Feet up whilst hubby goes for a swim!

Feet up whilst hubby goes for a swim!

June went fairly quickly and I celebrated the end of the month with my birthday. My husband thoroughly spoilt me, treating me to an amazing homemade brekkie (my favourite pancakes with crispy bacon and maple syrup), a pregnancy massage, afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab and he will also be helping me design a bespoke necklace as a present.

My favourite brekkie

My favourite brekkie

I had such a lovely day and other presents included an extremely long book to keep me occupied and some Neal’s Yard Tummy Butter to try to keep stretch marks at bay. Ultimately I couldn’t care less if I got stretch marks, it would mean that I managed to get big and keep this baby in and so that is fine by me. The evening of my birthday was quite amusing…we were both in a sugar coma from afternoon tea and decided to watch a ‘nice’ film. I mistakenly let my husband chose the film and he chose Kajaki. Oh. My. God. I love war films but jesus this film was so graphic and emotional! Brilliant film but not one to watch on your birthday! We both went to bed slightly traumatised!

Afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab.

Afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab.

I would love to report all the things I have been doing but I am struggling to remember what I have done! There have been days where even though I always get up before 10am, the day just passes me by as if I’m in a daze. Not a bad thing really. I’ve been doing lots of Skyping with friends and family which is great.

I have managed to establish a bit of a routine which involves getting myself up, reading at least 25 pages of my current book club book (Margaret Atwood’s Bodily Harm) and then I have some breakfast and do at least one hour of French.  By this time it is lunchtime, so I have some lunch (I’ve been told I am putting on too much weight! It seems doctors in Dubai are much more obsessed by weight than the UK and I exceeded my 1kg a month allowance…by quite a bit!). I have been doing various things in the afternoon including making some more…..yes you’ve guessed it…pillows! The afternoon tends to go fairly quickly and my hubby is usually home by 6ish at the moment as it is still Ramadan.

More cushions! I'm starting to run out of material now...

More cushions! I’m starting to run out of material now…

I will soon be entering week 23 and though I do very little at the moment and very rarely leave the house, for the next two weeks I will do even less. So I plan to lie in bed watching box sets and doing a bit of hand sewing. I’ll continue my French too though I am making very slow progress!!

Aurevoir x

Incompetent me

All in all, last week was not a great week. It was pretty emotional for a number of reasons, not least because I started having random shooting pains around my cervix. It has got better in the last few days but after a mildly panicked call to my doctor I decided to bring forward my next scan so I didn’t have to endure a further week of stress. My doctor will be pleased to know I have already compiled a lengthy list of questions to ask him next week! I am hoping the pains are due to the fact that I have started to ‘pop’. I therefore now have a little tiny bump which is lovely.

Oh and my insomnia is back, yey (it was 1.45am when I originally drafted this post on my phone). Despite being shattered my brain has decided that bed time is the best time to think about absolutely everything and to obsess about everything that can go wrong with this pregnancy. Fun times. Thank God I can nap during the day. I am going to buy some Lavender for my new diffuser (an early birthday present) to see if that helps at all.

Well I’m now a few days into  week 16 and I’m determined to have a positive sunny outlook this week (hmmm we’ll se how long that lasts). I have quite a few things going on this week. And when I say quite a few things I mean about 4 things (wow life has changed!) but I only need one thing happening during the day to help make that day go faster. Then it’ll be Friday and I can tick another week off the calendar which is all that matters.

Thank God I had all those horrifically boring jobs (packing first aid kits, packing raw pork and other fun factory work) during university summers to ensure that I am well practised in day dreaming my day away.

A hubby made brekkie

A hubby made brekkie

To lighten up the end of this blog post, I should say I did have some great times this weekend. Ahead of celebrating our two year wedding anniversary on Monday I received some lovely flowers, had two tasty brekkies cooked for me, got all dressed up for a trip out to a restaurant on the beach with a stunning view and had a fabulous facial. So the weekend has certainly made up for the proceeding week and explains my positive sunny outlook right now.

A nice view at dinner

A nice view at dinner

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What happened?….What’s next?…..

So what happened? Well, the last 6 months has been the most difficult 6 months of my life and it has been full of extreme ups and downs.

In November I moved to Dubai. In December I gave birth to my baby boy prematurely at just under 25 weeks and he died when he was just two weeks old. I may write a post about this in more detail in the future but right now I am not ready to share. I am actually a pretty private person and so writing this blog is a big learning curve for me. It’s therapeutic but also quite an intimidating process as I am sharing much more than I would usually.

I’ve seen/spoken to loads of doctors since this happened to try to understand what went wrong and was surprised at the varying advice I was given in regards to treatment. The diagnoses wasn’t clear but everything pointed to an ‘incompetent cervix’ aka ‘cervical insuficiency’. So my cervix was incompetent/insuficient. Lovely. My cervix is a part of my body that I had never previously paid attention to. I knew about cervical cancer and had regular smear tests but that’s the most I had thought about my cervix. I also didn’t know the massively important role this small piece of my body would play in pregnancy. After a ridiculous amount of research I now feel like I know everything there is to know about my cervix.

January and February passed in a blur and I don’ feel like I was really present during those months. Then in February I found out I was pregnant. We were delighted but also petrified.

My obsessive research continued and after a huge amount of discussion in April I had an operation in the UK to basically sew my cervix shut in the hope it’ll help me get to full term this time. I can’t believe it is now mid May. I am almost 15 weeks pregnant and feel like I have been pregnant forever! I worked out the other day that if (god willing) I go full term with this pregnancy I will have been pregnant for around 15 out of 17 months. That’s a long time.

It’s bloody scary and extremely emotional and I am just trying to tick off the weeks whilst attempting to keep myself sane by keeping my mind as occupied as possible.

So what’s next? Well I’ve stopped looking too far into the future and don’t let myself look much further forward than the next week or so. The biggest adjustment at the moment has been to keep myself busy whilst doing very little (no exercise, walking far, swimming, baths, fun. etc. etc.). I am not on bed rest as such but plan to put myself on bed rest in July and August which will be the time I am most at risk (between 22-30 weeks).

Any ideas for bed rest would be greatly appreciated! So far this is what I’ve planned:

1. Sewing. I’ve bought my first sewing machine to keep myself busy whilst I can sit rather than lie down. If I don’t feel comfortable sitting my mum has given me a hand sewn patchwork quilt which she started many years ago that I plan to finish.

2. French. I am going to try to improve my GCSE French via Rosetta Stone’s online subscription.

3. Website/Blog. I will keep my mind busy by blogging as well as keeping my website up to date with book and film reviews, recipes and reviews of things to do in and around Dubai.

4. Box sets. I need programmes which are lengthy and have plenty of series to watch. So far, I have been recommended Grey’s Anatomy and the West Wing.

That’s about it for now!

x