The not so glamorous side of pregnancy – PART 2!

The trials and tribulations @ 20 weeks!

So, I am now 20 weeks pregnant (20+5 to be exact) and had my 20 week scan on Monday! It’s always a nerve wracking and detailed scan as they like to check every limb, heart shape and size, the blood flow, kidneys, brain, size of the stomach, head etc and if you have a wriggler (like I do!) it can take AGES! We also didn’t want to know the sex. If you’re like us, look away when they check the legs, stomach and feet just in case you see a little something that will ruin the surprise!!

Side note – don’t try and sneakily record the scan – you will get very told off! My husband tried so we could show my 90 year old Nan as she is baffled by the concept of technology – he was put in the naughty corner big time!

Now the 20 week scan is done and baby has 2 arms, 2 legs etc it does feel like you can relax now and for many healthy or ’normal’ pregnancies, that will be the last time you see your baby until he/she is born!!

During my first pregnancy, I did not know if any of these symptoms below or what I spoke about in my previous blog were normal, Hundreds of mums can relate I’m sure as it was during COVID (my first was born beginning of August 2020).   Face to face appointments were not happening so I would have the midwife centre on speed dial, ringing them every day (or that’s what it felt like!) checking whether my symptoms were normal So I really hope this blog makes you feel like these symptoms are normal, okay and all part of the ‘fun’ of pregnancy!

So now at 20 weeks the harder side of pregnancy starts to rear its ugly head.

Many people say in this trimester, you glow, it’s a breeze, your hair is like Pocahontas in the wind, your skin is glowing like snow white (I love Disney)…. For some, this is absolutely the case! For many…. It is not. I am that many!

I’ll start with cravings. The need for Dairylea Dunkers Jumbo Munch, Salted Cashew nuts and cherry sweets (these have to be in the fridge before I eat them or I feel sick) is real. I am also still loving cheese, chocolate, cake and all the carbs – it’s the energy boost that you need when growing a human, in my opinion!!

A pregnant lady stood on the seafront
Hannah at 20 weeks pregnant

Incontinence

Next, which you would’ve experienced in the first trimester and it only gets worse as the pregnancy continues … the need to wee.

I work 9-5 at Hippychick and counted that in one day I had to wee 11 times – 2 of these were in the space of half an hour (1 before my walk on my lunch and a desperate run back when my walk was over for the next!). It’s also a 40 minutes’ drive home for me from the office too and I quite often play Russian roulette with my bladder.  I find ringing my husband for distraction is a great way to make sure I get home & dry!!

I now have to get up twice in the night to go to the loo so the days do feel a little more tiring due to this annoying wakeup call! Try taking a nap wherever possible and be kind to yourself. You’re tired, you’re getting your 10,000 steps in just going to the loo! I would say get out and walk if you can, it wakes you up and it’s so good for you and baby – I try and do 30 minutes a day, even if I am exhausted from getting up in the night!

The Bump

Now, as I said in my first blog, I am only 4ft11 but I literally woke up one day and BAM – I am huge!! I went on holiday last week with my toddler and husband and on 3 separate occasions, women came up to me and commented on how  brave I was coming on holiday so heavily pregnant  and whether I was about to pop even though I am only half way through!! Be prepared for this if you are showing quite early, for some reason total strangers LOVE to comment on your bump!

The sudden bump also means I have to accept the fact I am now going to have to wear maternity clothes. I don’t mind wearing them but there just isn’t as much choice, especially for the summer. I do find ASOS is good and also New Look too!

A pregnant lady stood against a white wall wearing black leggings and a black sports bra
Hannah’s 20 week bump

Teeth

On many pregnancy pages, blogs and even the NHS website, it states that some women get problems with their teeth in pregnancy, gums in particular.  This explains that whilst you’re pregnant and for a year after the birth, you get free dental care. Well of course, I am one of those women!! In my first pregnancy, one of my teeth cracked and I had to have a crown. In THIS pregnancy, that crown has now failed and I’ve had to have…. A ROOT CANAL!! This was spread across nearly 4 x 1 hour slots of utter hell.  I continue to really look after my teeth but I would suggest, if you think you may be grinding your teeth now in pregnancy, request a free night guard from your dentist as its one of the perks of pregnancy!! Keep flossing, brushing and make sure you go for 6 monthly check-ups instead of 12 – make use of those freebie visits!

Constipation

I won’t dive into this too much as we all know what this is but it’s magnified in pregnancy. A horrible thing that makes you feel even more bloated than you already are.  And do you know what this leads to which no one tells you about? Piles. Thankfully, for me anyway, they go away in a few hours but when it first happened… I thought my insides had fallen out a bit!! But guess what – it’s totally normal just never shared on a glowing picture on Instagram!! If this does happen to you and it’s worrying you or painful, which it can be, call your doctor.  There is plenty of stuff they can do to help and they’ve seen it a thousand times before!

Your bits

Again, I won’t delve too much into this so it doesn’t put you off your breakfast, lunch or dinner but many mums will automatically be with me on this one, especially if you have a big bump early on like me…. Puffiness… down there… I call it sugar puff…. ITS NORMAL AND TOTALLY OKAY. It’s just the pressure of baby, placenta, water and everything else heading south!  Yes, it’s just another feature of your ever-changing body!

A pregnant woman holding her daughter whilst stood in a swimming pool
Hannah and daughter Hollie

Back/Hip Pain

Last but by no means least, hip/back pain. This for me HAS to be my worst gripe and is actually getting me down quite a bit at times. I had this in my first pregnancy, but it seems to be worse with the second.

This may be because I now have a toddler to carry around, pick up, put down, sit on the floor with and I’m working, too.  With my first pregnancy, I was in lockdown, furloughed, I could lie on the sofa all day if I wanted to whereas now its work, toddler and back to normal (which I am happy about of course!) life!

Sometimes, I can be fine, but I can then be out for a walk and literally yelp in pain with my hip feeling like its burning. It can affect both hips or just one (my left one in particular) and it can then be really painful for the rest of the day, especially when sitting down, driving, working at my desk etc. I am waiting to be referred by my midwife to a physio so hoping I can get some help – the fact I can’t sit down on the floor and play with my toddler as its hurts so much is very upsetting and I worry it will only get worse the bigger I get!

If you can relate, I would first of all suggest wearing a pregnancy support belt, they don’t look nice BUT it helps lift your bump up so takes the weight off you a bit. I would also suggest a pregnancy pillow. Hippychick have a great one which doubles up as a feeding pillow too! Its wraps around your body, it’s great to sit on for that extra squishy support and you can also pop it between your legs whilst you sleep which can help your hips/pelvis!! Also, make sure that you work are providing you with regular health and safety checks – Hippychick are supporting me massively on this and giving me regular health and safety checks to ensure I am as comfortable as I can be which is making life much easier!

Positive Spin!

Now, I know this blog isn’t filled with rainbow and unicorns and don’t forget, I have written this blog to show you the lows of pregnancy that people don’t talk about but there are MANY highs!!
I am now starting to feel baby move – a lot. I forgot what this felt like with my first but it is amazing and you almost feel like you are never alone in a really nice way.

Our toddler (who is 2 in August) is obsessed with the baby bump and getting more and more obsessed with babies which is so lovely to see (and reassuring!!) Although she now thinks that she also has a baby in her tummy!

My skin also seems to be clearer and I get hardly any blemishes at the moment – big juicy bonus!

I also have to say, not having a period – DREAMY!!!!

I shall write my next blog when I get to 30 weeks. In this blog I will reveal everything else this pregnancy throws at me but also the essentials to start your 4th trimester (which I didn’t know was even a thing in my first pregnancy) as well as the first few months with baby which will helpfully get you off to an easy, or at least an informed start!

Enjoy and happy waddling!!

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