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16 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy week 16
 

 - 16 weeks pregnant | Pregnancy week 16
Feeling low is normal © iStockphoto
I try to be honest when I write about my pregnancy as I think all the different churning emotions are quite normal and shouldn’t be ignored.

This week I went to see the midwife and as soon as I walked in I think she knew that I had a level of depression.

I went without my little boy to the appointment as it gives me more of a chance to talk honestly and be more focused (without the distractions of an 18 month old).

The midwife did the routine testing of my urine and listened to the baby’s heartbeat and it was all fine.

I know it sounds awful but I didn’t get excited about baby Bean’s heartbeat.

I’m pleased baby Bean is OK but I’m bit too wrapped up in my own feelings and my lack of reaction only made me feel much worse and very guilty.

The midwife asked me how I’d been (and probably soon regretted it!) - I gave a whole list of problems. For the last week I have felt dizzy, headache-y and generally very tired. I’d been taking Lemsip for my headaches until my sister told me you are not meant to take them in pregnancy.

That just made me feel worse as I worried I’d damaged the baby but also it was the only thing strong enough to hit my headaches and make me feel a bit more human.

Anyway the midwife said she was sure it would be fine but to take paracetamol and try and lay off the Lemsip.

As for my dizziness and near fainting she checked my blood pressure which was fine, and checked my iron levels from the previous blood test - these were also fine, if anything very good.

My sister is anemic in her pregnancy and is very jealous as she has to take iron tablets that clog her up.

Exercising when pregnant

Exercising when pregnant can be therapeutic © iStockphoto
The midwife then asked if I had any other symptoms and I told her about my sciatica which was so bad the other day I got stuck in the garage and my husband found me 5 minutes later stood against the wall, unable to move, and in floods of tears.

My midwife asked if I’d done any exercise and I haven’t. To be honest I hate the fact that I haven’t been to the gym or swimming for ages as I’ve always found exercise a good mental relaxation as well as a body rejuvenation.

Before my first baby I was in the RAF and therefore fitness was a big part of my life and I loved running.

I wasn’t the fastest or the fittest but I loved getting into a rhythm and day-dreaming or problem-solving in my head as my feet pounded the floor.

Since my little boy I haven’t done a lot of exercise.

However I had just started getting back into it before I found I was pregnant again and even in the beginning I had done some cross-trainer work until the sickness of the first trimester curse kicked in.

Of course, I do understand that the midwife is trying to be helpful by suggesting gentle exercise every day, but it is very difficult to fit in.

Her answer to “make time for yourself” wasn’t what I needed to hear and this is where I broke down.

This week has been very hard for me, for several reasons. My husbands job is a mobile job but he has hurt is foot and can’t drive.

His work is making cuts and we are a one income family (I work but bring in minimal as childcare is so expensive I cant afford to put our child in for longer than one day a week but I need to work in order to maintain my registration - literally my wages pays the childcare - totally crazy) and therefore in order to keep his head off the chopping block I have been running him around the country.

We have wonderful family who are able to look after my little one while I do this but this week I have driven over 200 miles a day, and I’m exhausted.

I obviously can’t turn round to my husband and say: “Sorry can’t drive you today, I’m off to the gym.”

However at the same time the driving takes a huge chunk of my day so when I might have had some free time for me I’m doing the day-to-day stuff.

We have flooring being put in at the moment and I have to be around for that too, so making time for me is just not possible!

I sometimes think health professionals don’t look beyond their framework of solutions to see that sometimes it isn’t feasible do what may seem the simplest self-help route.

I did explain to my midwife that I take my son on a long walk everyday so I do exercise of a sort, but it’s not the right type of exercise to relieve my sciatica.

The midwife’s suggestion (after my emotional explosion) was to go to aqua-natal class.

I agreed and shut up, but I felt like screaming: “When am I going to get the chance to do that?!”

Really all I want is some exercises that I can do at home to help relieve the pain and try to get to the gym as and when I can.

My DIY self-help is to talk to a physiotherapist friend of mine who can help me to find exercises that will relieve my pain, but I do think that this is the kind of help I should be getting from the professionals!

I am excited about this baby and I know when I meet Bean I will fall in love hook line and sinker, but when you’re in pain and feel restricted in your life, career and hobbies, it is hard to keep that little tear drop of depression from falling and cascading into a puddle.

How to blast the blues away

I think the answer is to talk to your partner, and I have to admit my husband is brilliant and was very good when I burst into tears.

Thankfully he didn’t say: “It’s probably your hormones.”

A note to all men in the world whose other halves are pregnant: we really don’t need you to say it, we know it, but we also have genuine emotions that range from scared to excited to sheer panic, whether it’s the first, second or third baby on the way.

I’m also trying to catch up with friends who have children. It’s nice to know you’re not alone.

I know that because I was successful in my career and very busy, forever with some project on, I feel like I’m loosing my identity and that is something I have to come to terms with.

However maybe I need to just change it round that I’m 95% mum but 5% of my time is for me.

So I think from this moment on I’m going to do something for myself every day, whether it’s getting my sewing machine out to make something for the new baby or read a book I really want to but haven’t.

I’m going to have five minutes peace just so I can appreciate what I do have and not get jealous of other people’s lives.

I guarantee those single women who have the career, the holidays, the freedom to socialize when they want, I bet they look at me with my beautiful boy and bump and they have a twinge of jealousy too.

Read more of Roanna's week by week pregnancy blog! 

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Parenting Editor
08/06/2011
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