30 May 2019
Hi Corinne! First of all, congratulations on being Mum-to-Be of the month!
Thank you very much for asking me!
Tell me, how many weeks are you now and how are you feeling?
36 weeks. I have definitely found this pregnancy harder second time round! Mainly because I suppose you don’t get chance to stop when you are constantly running around after a 4 year old, juggling work and family life etc… So I am feeling tired (and heavy!) now too.
What aspects of pregnancy are you enjoying?
I love being pregnant. Having undergone fertility treatment for the second time (both of which thankfully were successful), it’s taken over the last 6 years of our lives; not knowing if we would ever be blessed enough to have another child. So I am feeling pretty fortunate right now. And keep having to pinch myself!
I also love the baby kicks! You can’t beat that feeling.
And the not-such-fun bits? Can you share with us a little about your IVF journey?
Lack of sleep has definitely been the hardest part this time round. I have been surviving on 1-4 hours sleep a night since the beginning of the second trimester, which hasn’t been fun!
Physically this pregnancy has been more challenging too – I have suffered with varicose veins/throbbing pains in my legs and buttocks from early on, which I did not get last time and they have been the main cause of my lack of sleep as they are so painful. (They have also resulted in numerous emotional meltdowns….!!)
But by far the most stressful part of this pregnancy has been baby not co-operating by being in breech the whole time! And I have tried EVERYTHING (as you know Jo!) – Pelvic tilts (basically lying more or less upside down on an ironing board), leaning forward inversions off the sofa (more time upside down!), acupuncture, moxibustion (burning mogwart sticks near my little toes – ouch!), visits to the chiropractor for the Webster Technique, a 1:1 Pilates session, swimming, various exercises and positions on all fours, crawling around on all fours, rebozo sifting, homeopathy (pulsatilla pills), sitting on my fit ball and checking posture, shining a torch low down on bump, playing music low down on bump, cold compress at top of bump and warm water bottle at bottom of bump and definitely the most scary – facing my fear of being under water by doing underwater handstands (once I purchased nose pegs and borrowed by daughter’s goggles….gamechanger!) And NOTHING worked! Baby has long legs and big feet apparently! (I am blaming my husband for this!!).
So an ECV it was (External Cephalic Version). Eeeeekkkk…..! I had this at 36+2 weeks and I can honestly say, it was most definitely not as scary as I had heard! I was feeling extremely anxious and slightly pessimistic about it working if I’m honest. But it didn’t hurt at all and it barely even felt uncomfortable. I was able to zone out with headphones in listening to hynpnobirth tracks and within 2/3 minutes, baby was head down! Just praying baby stays that way now!
The IVF journey has been incredibly tough over the years. Fortunately for us, our fertility treatment worked first time, on both occasions, but that hasn’t come without stress and heartache each time. I had a burst appendix which was removed when I was 10 years old (on Mothers Day actually!) and then a pelvic abscess requiring further surgery. It is thought that these left with me with blocked fallopian tubes, requiring yet again more surgery in order to even attempt IVF. The emotional journey that infertility takes you on, especially when those around you (as in EVERYONE (or it certainly feels like that!!!) is making lovely pregnancy announcements and carrying on their normal daily life. Whilst we were going through surgical procedures, saving as much money as we could, adjusting diet and lifestyle, researching as much as possible, trying alternative therapies to compliment IVF etc…All whilst trying to ‘relax’ because stress can of course contribute to difficulties conceiving!!! It is indescribable to those who have not experienced it. But despite being emotionally and financially broke, we feel SO blessed to have baby no. 2 on the way and it has certainly made us more grateful for what we have and for each other. And I have an amazing circle of friends who are facing/have faced similar journey’s (some in secret and some not), who continue to support one another daily. This has been a lifesaver for me.
What’s been your favourite pregnancy gadget?
I am not a gadgety person at all (understatement!) but this pregnancy, I have relied on my fitball daily and my ironing board (for pelvic tilts due to baby being breech!!) I never thought I’d use my ironing board 2/3 times a day!! Shame my ironing pile is sky high!!
You do your pregnancy fitness with me but have you always been active or is this new?
Yes I love being active. Prior to starting IVF, I was exercising almost daily – an early morning run – between 3 – 5 miles and a gym session in the prison at lunch – yoga, circuits, weights etc…3 x per week. And then often at weekends, a longer run with friends. I ran the Ramathon (Derby half marathon) last June (after vowing to never do one again after the Nottingham half about 8 years ago!) I also love walking.
Are you into healthy eating? What’s your all-time favourite dish?
Yes, especially during IVF and the lead up to this. It was all about plant based protein! I was mega healthy.
My all time favourite dishes are probably a chilli-lime sweet potato rice salad and a Goan Fish Curry that myself and my husband love to cook (and eat!) In the summer, I love fresh salads with quinoa and halloumi etc…
How do you find combining pregnancy with work and can you tell us all about your job as I know it’s pretty amazing!
I work part time now so I have found that helps to manage a better work/life balance. Although I have been working a day extra a week on an overtime basis for the past 18 months to help pay for IVF so I feel ready for maternity leave now! (I finish at week 37).
I’m a Probation Officer and I am currently based in a closed female prison. My workload consists mainly of life sentence prisoners and high risk determinate sentence prisoners. I work with them to address risk factors linked to their offending behaviour and help to prepare them for release. A lot of my job is also dealing with daily problems which they encounter in prison, managing the risk they pose to themselves and/or others in custody and working on building their confidence and self esteem. The majority of women I work with have experienced horrendous of upbringings and are extremely vulnerable (as well as a risk to others/self). It is demanding and quite stressful at times, but I love working with females and having the opportunity to explore such personal issues with them and to build that working relationship.
Are you looking forward to maternity leave?
Yes I am looking forward to maternity leave and meeting baby now. Nesting has begun so I need to finish work fast!!
And what about the birth? Thinking about it or a case of bury your head in the sand?
I am always over prepared for everything!! So with this baby having been breech up until 36 weeks, I have felt really quite stressed and overwhelmed as the birth has felt like such an unknown entity. We have the home birth team involved so depending on position of baby at our 39 week scan, will determine where we plan on giving birth. Ideally, a home water birth. Failing this, a hospital water birth. If baby decides to return to its former breech position, then as long as it isn’t footling breech and the angle of baby isn’t too risky, I would like to attempt a vaginal breech delivery in hospital. Failing that, it will be a planned or emergency C-section. This is something that I am desperate to avoid if possible, particularly given our heavily medicated conception. An empowered, intervention free birth has therefore always seemed even more important to me.
My daughter’s birth four years ago was a wonderful, intervention and medication free hospital water birth. I loved it! And it allowed me to enter motherhood feeling on top of the World. We therefore naively presumed this pregnancy and birth would be the same and that we would be ideal candidates for a home water birth this time. Fingers crossed.
What are you most looking forward to about motherhood second time round?
Being a family of four. Over the last 3 years, there have been so many times when my heart has broken, thinking we would never get this opportunity. To see my daughter be a big sister, which she has wanted for a long time now (and she has made no secret of this!) and finally being able to put our fertility journey behind us and relax into parenthood with no more emotional or financial pressure to extend our family.
We all need a bit of “me time” when we’re mums. What will you be squeezing into your “mummy me time”?
Coffee and cake most definitely! And exercise classes. Oh and child free runs to clear my head!
Thanks so much Corinne. It’s honestly such a pleasure having you in my classes
Thank you Jo. I love attending your classes and workshops.
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