A few weeks ago I posted on social media about not enjoying pregnancy and this one has been far from plain sailing. I couldn’t believe the response it got and how many people also felt the pressure to love every minute of pregnancy, but like me have struggled with it for one reason or another.
So with that in mind I thought I’d delve a little deeper and share some things about this pregnancy that not many people are aware of, and that will hopefully make others who’ve had similar experiences feel like they aren’t on their own.
My first 18 weeks of pregnancy were similar to many other women’s…I felt sick constantly, and the only time I didn’t was when I was shovelling cheese, crackers and olives down my neck.
Week 19 was brilliant. The sickness kindly departed and I was no longer struggling to get my back off the bed on a morning.
Then on the Saturday after my 20 week scan, I started getting contraction-like pains. I was sat at my laptop and could feel the exact same feeling I had when I went into labour with Heidi. I tried to ignore it, thinking it would pass but after half an hour I was lying on the bed, crying and timing 5-6 minutes between the pains.
It’s Not Braxton Hicks
When I rang the ante-natal ward they initially suspected it was Braxton Hicks, however after examination they realised that they were in fact contractions.
In the weeks that followed I had many trips back and forth to the midwife, the ante-natal day assessment clinic, doctors and consultant…all of whom concluded that I had an irritable uterus (what a wonderfully glamorous sounding condition). Still now, at 33 weeks, they’ve not been able to find a cause, but I continue to have contractions every day…somedays I have 5-6 a day, some days I have 9-10 an hour, and it’s fair to say that it’s had a significant impact…
Bye Bye Fitness
At round 22 weeks, the doctor told me I could no longer exercise and wasn’t even allowed to walk my dogs, so the most I have been able to do exercise-wise is walk round the corner to do the school run and the odd bit of walking up and down the swimming pool. I pushed myself to do a photoshoot I’d been booked for one day, and I paid for that for about 3 days afterwards.
Exercise is a huge part if my life, not just in my work, but it makes me happy. Being in pain everyday and also being unable to exercise, coupled with the worry of not knowing if each contraction was becoming the ‘real thing’ has really got me down…it really highlighted to me the positive effect thank being active has on your mind as well as your body.
Bye Bye Business
Not only that, my inability to be physically active or at times go out has also meant that I’ve had to give up my share in one of my businesses, Guilt Free Kitchen. The catering world is a busy, hands on one with lots of dashing about…and being put on rest doesn’t lend itself well to such a fast-paced business at all, so in August I made the very difficult decision to give up my shares in the business and something that had been a dream of mine for over 5 years. Sometimes putting your health first just has to be done, but at least I handed over the business knowing that I’d managed to achieve my goal and build a good customer base, even if, due to bad timing and health, it was short lived.
The Uterus of Wisdom 🙂
One thing is for certain, this Irritable Uterus of mine has taught me never to take health or ability to exercise for granted. It’s also taught me the importance of having a business that is flexible, which thankfully my other businesses, www.powah.com and www.katiebulmer.com are.
It’s also taught me the importance of great family and friends who have all looked after me super-well.
There is huge pressure on mams-to-be to enjoy pregnancy and think it’s a wonderful time…and there is also a guilt that you feel if you don’t. Well I can say with my hand on my heart, that the only part of enjoyed is seeing our little baby on scans and hearing it’s healthy heart beat…and of course I can’t wait to meet our little boy or girl. I’ve felt like a pregnancy failure at times, and kept it to myself, but I’ve written this blog to let other people know that it’s OK not to love it and to make people aware of the condition that not many have heard of.
Another Story For Another Time
Getting pregnant this time wasn’t easy (hence the 8 year age gap we will have between Heidi and baby number 2), which I think adds extra pressure to be the happiest pregnant person in the world and therefore the added mam-to-be guilt…but I’ll leave the fertility story for another blog post.
If you’d like to read more about Irritable Uterus, then grab a cuppa and check out these links which I think explain it most accurately:
Thanks for reading,
Love Katie ‘on the final countdown’ Bulmer-Cooke xxx