Congratulations- week 18 for you!
You are taking Aspirin.
Aspirin reduces the ability of platelets to stick together and so reduces the risk of clots forming. This is generally not recommended in pregnancy but sometimes it is used at a low dose of 75mg a day. There have been studies done to show that it can help if the pregnant woman is at risk of pre-eclampsia, recurrent miscarriages, intra-uterine growth retardation and /or clotting disorders. However taking aspirin when not needed can also cause various pregnancy complications such as increased miscarriages and placenta problems especially if you take 150mg to 300mg of aspirin a day. So you must ask your GP first and only take 75mg a day unless under specialised care.
Most medication is not recommended when pregnant so it is always important to tell your pharmacist or GP . When you are pregnant all anti-inflammatory medicines are not recommended such as ibuprofen and neurofen . Hay fever is just miserable!! However medications for the thyroid are important and so too are asthmatic inhalers.
High blood pressure
Normal blood pressure in pregnancy is below 140/90 and very high is over 160/110. You can have a high blood pressure from hypertension and also from pre-eclampsia. Both need treating because keeping your blood pressure low is important for both Mum and baby. There are blood pressure medications which are safe in pregnancy and others which are not. So make sure you ask your GP. If you have Hypertension, discuss this with your GP ideally before you conceive.
See more post -birth advice in the 2nd edition of ‘Babies All Wrapped Up’ by Dr Winstanley. Also on Twitter @BabiesallWU and Facebook ~ Babies All Wrapped Up.
This week has been an eye-opener in so many ways. It has been a sensorial feast of lessons of a sociological nature to say the least! All of a sudden, with the nice weather and subsequent exposure of baby bump, the world and her aunties seem to want to stop and talk ~most of the time ~simply because of the bump itself. I have witnessed complete strangers walk up to me feeling the need to have a pat on the belly protrusion and share their very own stories of pregnancy , birth, sometimes even the conception for crying out loud! I’ve been left wondering whether there’s an innate vulnerability perceived by people when they see a ‘lady in waiting’ which draws them into conversation. In any other situation, idle chit chat would have been avoided at all costs with these people. Don’t get me wrong; I love it! But one can’t help wondering why such great expectations automatically bring out the better side in otherwise dead-pan or ignorant people.
Take this morning for instance. I decide to poddle along to the local cafe/bistro for some alfresco working with a smoothie or two. As I settle at the table and start de-canting my writing equipment, the bistro manager bounds over with a smile as wide as the grill on a Humvi , stating very loudly ” shut uuuuupp, I never knew you were expecting!!”… ( or rather, “shu’ uuuuuup” in full Towie fashion…. she should start offering out free glottle stops with every 2 lattes..). As well I know she is talking to me, I find myself looking around the bistro to check there isn’t a long lost friend of hers sitting behind me , surreptitiously. … maybe she’s stuffed a cushion up her jumper for a prank! But, no… the colourful display of over-exuberance is indeed reserved for me and before I know it,the normally monosyllabic girl is perched next to me showing me photos of her cousins newborn; cooing and enthusing madly. Once I’ve recovered from the temporary shock, I respond in kind and calmly pass the time of day with her, but all the while think to myself ” why on earth are you being so friendly when during the last eighteen months of my visits you’ve looked right through me with a resigned haughtiness?” I half expect her to announce all coffees on the house and jump up onto the tables, turning all Andrew-LLoyd Webber on us, but thankfully not. Once she’s collectively exhausted the subject , me and herself , she totters back to the till smiling at her latest discovery.
Not content with that, my next stop is for assisting duty at eldest child’s school trip to the local church. Having been halted six times between the bistro and my car, I arrive at the classroom only to be met by 30 excited 9 year olds staring at me as though I’m an extra terrestrial being, then clambering at me for a touch of the baby bump once more. Questions start flying at me from all directions ” are there two in there? how do you know?” “how will they come out?” “”how did they get in there?” (Oh God, how do I get round THIS one??), ” when will they be born?” “” are they heavy?” etc etc etc.. I wouldn’t mind, but it’s all boys crowding round, asking! The girls merely stand around curiously, sizing up the situation , exuding thoughts of ” Lord save me from looking like THAT when I grow up!”. The last week has been very much a constant trickle of happy visitors to baby bump land in this vein of interaction. The cheery, jocular,optimistic comments are welcomed in buckets of course, but being a sociolinguist, I am constantly intrigued by the transformation in the behaviour of people I’d previously observed to actually be quite rude and lacking in social interest. Long my it reign , but I can’t help asking whether these are the people who’ve been dying to talk in the past but have been shy due to no common ground, whether they’re intrinsically miserable in some cases, but are genuinely heartened by the news of new life/lives or whether, in the transient nature of today’s western society, it’s a bit of temporary entertainment~ to become tomorrow’s chip wrapper? Either way, it fascinates me almost as much as the pregnancy itself!
©Tess Egerton 2013
Here we are again; another week and more expansion to behold!
This week, the welcomed sun has decided to emerge after a long and arduous winter. Similarly, after four months of being hidden under jumpers and baggy shirts, the time has finally arrived to get the fitted ‘bump’ tops and flowing skirts out. This, thankfully, coincides with our decision to go away for a weekend celebration on the eve of our anniversary and some much needed rest and respite.
The mere thought of being let loose on the English Riviera seaside has proved too much for me and in my zeal for new summer clothes, I even find myself getting a fitting for new bras and a maternity tankini (emphasis on tank)! Despite my better half being apparently grateful for the ever expanding rack, all I can think about is the aftermath when my mammaries turn into tube-socks and I can tie them around my neck in time for winter, post-birth. This must be avoided at all costs, so ‘comfortable fit with extra strong scaffolding’ support it is then please measuring lady!!
Once all titanium hoists are safely in place and elder children are packed off for an adventure weekend of their own, we head south with gay abandonment… well, cautious abandonment on my part as the babies have decided to sit on a particularly sensitive nerve. They’ve temporarily give me a ‘drunken man with wet trousers’ walk…ever so attractive.
The weekend turns out to be a roaring success, with much strolling, swimming, sight-seeing and talk of the twins going on.There is also excitement abound as I feel the small flutters of movement change to real rumblings of activity in there. The twins have obviously realized we’re on a break and have decided to entertain us with an impromptu boxing match which lasts most of Saturday.
Sunday morning unfolds with an amusing revelation that I can’t actually swim very successfully with an already huge bump to carry around with me. I gingerly step into the pool, and losing my balance, break into a very comedic doggy paddle; clumsily splash-splattering like a deranged Labrador. Himself is in such convulsions of hysteria at the sight, he has to get out of the pool and sit at the side for a few minutes to recover… oh the embarrassment.
Once suitably delighted from the getaway weekend; rested and back home, it is time for our obstetrics check-up with the NHS. It all seems to be happening this week on my little pregnancy update messages….the twins are “growing rapidly this week”, they are causing me to “feel off balance a little” (you don’t say..!), they “weigh around the same as a small turnip” (delightful image) and they may start to cause “ changes in your blood pressure”. This turns out to be true as I see the midwife and the obstetrician and they both tell me my blood pressure is through the roof. I feel as though I’m rattling along now and not entirely happy that every healthcare professional I meet gives me yet another barrel of medication “ because you’re 41 and expecting twins you see”. They may as well be saying ….”you ram-raided a charity shop and robbed an OAP “ by the discerning expressions on their faces. As I raise my eyes to the heavens with obvious despair, the doc makes an attempt at placating with a feeble “ I had a lady in here expecting twins when she was 58 before now”… gee tanks!
So here I go for another week.. heading for week 18 and armed with folic acid, multivitamins, aspirin, emla cream (anaesthetic for all the blood tests) and a partridge in a pear tree.
If I go missing, just look in the nearest pharmacy…
© Tess Egerton 2013
Congratulations nearly half way!!At least with twins you will most likely miss out on the last month of pregnancy! With twins you are always much larger than those with single pregnancies so you must not compare! Also your weight will increase – I recommend leaving your weight for the midwives to check rather than your own home scales and being horrified every day!! So what to eat? You are now hungry. With twin pregnancy there are more complications than with normal single pregnancies so keeping the sugar down is one of the most important things to do. So you ideally have to avoid all sugar – even just one biscuit or a little slice of cake!! That sounds very draconian but when you are pregnant your body is not able to break down sugar as easily as it used to. There is so much natural sugar in the food we eat when being healthy that your body does not need more. If you have sugar lows and really need something then maybe you need more frequent meals and health snacks or as a real emergency a dextrose tablet used for diabetic hypos from your pharmacist over the counter. Ironically the less sugar you eat the less sugar lows you get. Please avoid snacking on sweets – they contain a lot of sugars that you are unable to break down and can only store and cause damage. You need to be on a low GI diet – Gwyneth Paltrow has just written a Low GI book It’s All Good’ and lives off this sort of diet and she looks great!! Possibly a little extreme but you are only going to be pregnant for another 4-5 months so it is not long. However, the benefit to your babies is huge and also to your health and postnatal recovery.
The main drinks and foods to avoid are the carbonated drinks, take-a-ways and sweets. Not to mention the sugar in tea or coffee!!
So what to eat, porridge (1.1grams sugar in 100grams) is always a great start to anyone’s day or a low sugar cereal such Weetabix ( 4.4grams in 100grams). Have a look at the labels!! Or eggs for breakfast – you could just have 2 scrambled eggs on its own. Bread contains a lot of sugar, bagels and sweet breads are even worse. So if you are struggling with weight when pregnant eat less bread or even avoid it. Chapatis and pittas are a healthier option. Lunch can be salads – washed well- make them as interesting as possible or make homemade soup –actually easier than you realise and delicious. For snacks try hummus and carrots or celery or some good cheddar and oatcakes (low sugar ones – some varieties add sugar and wheat to make them more cake like). Nuts such as brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and almonds are also good healthy snacks when eaten in moderation. Evening meal ideally needs to be homemade – look at the calorie and sugar contents of pre-made meals. If you really want something sweet then a little dark chocolate with high coco content is a prefect treat.
Today you tried a slice of’ Feel Good Cake’ to try from a recipe in ‘Vegetarian Cooking Without’ by Barbara Cousins. It is not made with any sugar. It does have natural sugars in it but your body and your babies can cope with that. It is also very filling without the sugar highs and lows of a normal piece of cake. There are a few other recipe books out there – the ingredients look a bit odd but once you have them in your kitchen it all gets very easy. David Gillespie has written ‘Sweet Poison Quit Plan’ and there are other Low GI books out there to give you lots of ideas. This is all good for you and your babies.
Dr Winstanley. ©2013
For further information on bab y care see ‘Babies All Wrapped Up’ by Dr Claire Winstanley on www.babiesallwrappedup.com
Another week has passed and my phone reliably informs me this morning that we are now 16 weeks pregnant….as if I hadn’t realised. Perhaps those soft and fluffy people in baby info land were pre-empting my rapidly decaying grey matter as a result of hormonal surges! The newly installed baby brain could be a good excuse to get away with everything but murder from hereon in however…. forgot the school packed lunch? Because I’m pregnant. Didn’t pay this month’s water bill? Because I’m pregnant. Need new shoes and an Armani handbag? Ohhh, ‘cos I’m pregnant! Of course- It’s easy!
On the physical side most noticeably occurring from this past week has been yet another expansion of the girth kind. Sunday morning , I tumble out of bed bleary-eyed (having been woken up several times in the night by very helpful double flutterings and semi conscious trips to the bathroom), only to realise I have nothing to wear! Overnight, everything has suddenly swollen out to an alarming proportion…I feel like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory; terrified to look in the mirror in case I’ve also turned a deep shade of blueberry as well! It’s no good passifiying me with pre-natal bulletins talking of extra blood pumping round to support the growing babies… or the fluid retention occurring as a result of the whole hormonal change influx. None of these theories help at all considering I don’t eat much but I’ve had three wardrobe changes and still can’t find anything to do up, pull up or fasten around me for modesty’s sake! Finally I resort back to trusty leggings and half~tent ensemble so at least we can all head out through the front door without offending children and elderly ladies. Ironically, we decide to go for a wander around Glastonbury Tor and village. I ponder on the way, mulling over the idea of hiring myself out as a medium sized marquee at this year’s festival; complete with invisible dancing twins for entertainment.
Apparently, the invisible dancing twins are each the size of a large avocado this week. They can practice swinging on the umbilical cord, begin to learn breathing and also begin to limber up for those not-so-cute little whacks they’re going to give me in the kidneys ( perhaps even simultaneously) once they’ve doubled their size and strength in a few weeks’ time. Personally,I can tell they’re about to embark on a growth spurt as I’ve started becoming hungry again for the first time in three months. This is excellent news for the eager little beavers in there, but not so great for my hips, vanity or the pregnancy fashion police when I have to resort to mega maxi dresses as from next week onwards. Quite what my poor suffering ‘him indoors’ makes of this I really don’t know! Ever sweet and kind, he makes all the right noises of encouragement throughout the whole process , but surely must wonder where his energetic, spontaneous, wine bar/cinema/go-karting playmate of bygone days has disappeared to! So far I’ve gone through most of the Seven Dwarves instead.. Grumpy, Dopey, Sneezy, Sleepy and occasionally Happy. Pity they didn’t cater for Crabby, , Fatty, Weepy or Ditzy.. I can play all four in the space of an hour at the moment.
Maybe next week I’ll be able to add ‘freaky’ to my list as we await the next scan. It will be our first on the NHS and we will be meeting our new obstetrician.. Note to self: do not whip trousers off and wave feet in the air like some crazed exhibitionist unless a) he asks you or b) you want to be sectioned immediately.
© Tess Egerton 2013
- Dr Winstanley’s View: Week 18
- Talk to the Bump (though the face IS listening!).
- Dear Diary ~ It’s Springtime and There’s a Lot of Blooming!
- Dr Winstanley on Diet and Exercise in Pregnancy
- Sweet 16 With Growing Pains…
- Children's Stories
- Double Bubble Bump Diaires
- Short Stories
- Tess' Blog
- The Not-So-Secret Diary of A Yo-Yo Dieter