Woo hoo 6 months down and only 3 months to go!!!
I can’t believe that I’m already 6 months pregnant, Baby G is officially due 3 months tomorrow. This pregnancy seems to be flying by to me, I’m sure that it didn’t go this quickly with the first 2 children. I think this is for several reasons;
I’m not as worried about every little thing this pregnancy. This is bizarre seen as I’m having more problems this time round. In a weird way I’m actually enjoying being pregnant. I know this is going to be the last time and I’m just more relaxed about the whole thing.
Having a 6 & 8 year old already means that I’m constantly busy. With all they have going on they have a much better social calendar than I have. Also because they’re older now they are more independent and can help me. I know if I had a toddler at this point there’s no way I’d be coping.
Blogging – I started this blog to follow my pregnancy and parenting journey having had spinal fusion. Writing down my experiences and meeting some lovely people via the blog and social media sites has really helped me enjoy this pregnancy and is making it go really quickly.
It seems like only yesterday that I found out that I was pregnant. I was completely over the moon although a little bit worried about the effect this was going to have on my back. At first I put these thoughts out of my mind and concentrated on getting to the 12 week point. If all was well with the baby I could then think about back issues.
I then started looking for information and stories about pregnancy after spinal fusion. I really couldn’t find much information. This is why I started BacksnBumps to share my story for any other women who are in a similar position. Although every pregnancy is different maybe reading my experience will help give them some reassurance.
Here’s my take on the first 6 months of being pregnant;
The first trimester was mainly blighted by the morning sickness that I was suffering. I didn’t experience this with the boys and I felt quite drained by the whole thing. At the very beginning it was really hard to hide this from friends and colleagues. More so to find excuses why I wasn’t drinking frozen cocktails to my close friends, I think they guessed pretty early on! The morning sickness continued on and off until about week 17/18 when I finally started to feel more human and more like my old self.
With both the boys I had awful heart burn from about week 20. I would always have a bottle of Peptac with me. Top tip Peptac is identical to Gaviscon but about a third of the price, just ask your pharmacist. This time I haven’t suffered from the acid reflux symptoms but from week 7 I’ve had the gastric pain in my stomach and under my ribs. Maybe it’s because my stomach is extra sensitive after taking all the medications for my back over the last 3 years. I’ve been taking omeprazole daily since week 7 and this has pretty much kept it under control apart from the other week and my little hospital trip.
When I was pregnant with Ben I remember the first 15 weeks I had really bad back ache. My womb leans back quite far and until the baby popped forward it was really sore. I was expecting this to happen again during the first trimester but it didn’t. Either the back surgery has solved this problem or the nerves and sensations in this area just aren’t as sensitive anymore. I had some aches and pains in weeks 11/12, my pelvis wasn’t in line and I was having some loss of sensation in my leg. Due to the back problems I’ve had I wasn’t overly worried about this. I know for me it was a nerve getting compressed and that with some rest and physio it would get better.
Throughout the second trimester I’ve had the usual aches and pains that I’ve managed with paracetamol and heat packs. This is no more than I was suffering before I was pregnant and to be expected. I am concerned this will change in the third trimester as I start to put on more weight and my bump gets even bigger.
This was my biggest area of concern when I found out I was pregnant. Not only was I worried about the pain that the pregnancy could cause but I was also worried about how my changing body would affect my back long term. I had my metal work removed in February 2015 and fell pregnant 10 weeks later (oops). I was concerned that the bone grafts they put in place wouldn’t fuse properly if the pregnancy affected my spine. Well 6 months on and this doesn’t appear to be the case. I’ve had no more serious pain that would indicate there was something wrong and although I’ll need to have an Xray after the baby is born, so far so good.
I’ve been concious to watch what I am eating during this pregnancy. Obviously I am going to put on weight and I am certainly not dieting. What I am doing is trying to be sensible about what I’m eating, the more weight I put on the more pressure and strain it will put on my back. So far I’ve put on about 11lbs in the first 6 months. I did lose quite a few lbs in the first trimester due to the morning sickness so this has probably evened things out.
This time round my bump is much bigger though, maybe it looks this way as my spine curves more and pushes the bump out. Also my back muscles aren’t strong at all, I’m not standing in a very good posture like a ‘normal’ person.
During the third trimester of my second pregnancy I experienced SPD. I was expecting that towards the end of this pregnancy I might experience the same type of pain. Unfortunately for me this has been the biggest problem that I have had during this pregnancy. Talking to my physio and doctor it may be due to the back surgery. Where my spine is fused at the base of my back it is not going to move. This is a good thing from a spine point of view. What this means is that the only thing that can move to accommodate the growing baby is my pelvis.
With my second pregnancy I had the occasional pain. Now the pain is constant. Rather than just at the front where the pelvic bones meet it also travels underneath my pelvis which is not nice. It started around week 22/23 and has left me unable to walk without the use of crutches. Due to the level of pain my doctors put me on Zomorph which is a slow release version of morphine. This has minimised the pained allowed me to continue to function and pick up the kids from school etc… Using the crutches is not so bad, I had to use them for 4 months after my first back surgery. At least people who see me out and about can see there’s a problem and give me a wide berth.
Time to stop work
I’ve now been signed off work which has helped with the pelvic problems. It means that I am resting and just concentrating on getting through the last 3 months as comfortably as possible. Although I am getting slightly bored at home I’ve got more time to read all the other lovely blogs I’ve found so that’s a positive!
I don’t want you to think that this is doom and gloom. Check out my post from last week, top 5 moments over the last 6 months.