My 2nd Pregnancy - 0-20 Weeks

Image of a black and white ultrasound picture taken at 20 weeks gestation. To the left of the image is a title that reads 'autistic and pregnant, my second pregnancy: 20 week update,'

They say that no two pregnancies are the same and my second pregnancy has certainly proven this to be true. This is actually the fourth time I've been pregnant but due to early miscarriages this is only the second time I've made it to the second trimester. This pregnancy has been a real eye opener- if this had been my first pregnancy, it would also have been my last. It has been horrific.

It was a week after my first missing period that I even considered I was pregnant. I'd been having quite a few health problems relating to autoimmune diseases and endocrinology and my periods had been irregular for a while. It was quite a shock to discover I was pregnant as we'd previously had several months of unsuccessful attempts then I started suffering with my health and it seemed impossible that we'd conceive- this little bubba had other ideas! It snuck on board just as I'd been referred for further testing- testing which is now on hold until after baby is born.

I'd suffered pregnancy sickness with Iris from weeks 8 through to 18. I was sick once a day, like clockwork, always after I'd eaten lunch. Once I'd been sick I generally felt okay but this time around things were very different. My pregnancy sickness started at 6 weeks and it was intense. I was struggling to keep anything down and at one point I ended up at A&E in tears. I was prescribed Cyclizine which helped lessen the physical act of vomiting but it did nothing for the extreme fatigue, nausea and general weakness I was feeling. It didn't help that these symptoms were present before I got pregnant. This pregnancy appeared to exacerbate all the endocrine/autoimmune symptoms I'd been experiencing prior to becoming pregnant. I spent weeks 6 through to 12 barely moving, constantly crying and sleeping around 18 hours a day. Thankfully family and friends rallied round to help us keep on top of things. Dan was astounding and went above and beyond taking over all my household and childcare responsibilities. It was a really intense period of time and I felt an overwhelming sadness and frustration rather than happiness. Thankfully as the sickness and nausea subsided my mood has increased.

Post-miscarriage pregnancies tend to be marred by previous experiences. I'd had one miscarriage prior to having Iris and I brushed that first miscarriage off as 'a one-off, just one of those things'. My second miscarriage felt very different to my first. The second miscarriage felt like 'something that is always going to happen to me', it wasn't a one-off anymore- it something I would repeatedly have to go through. I think that's why I've been exceptionally worried about losing this baby. I'm waiting for the worst to happen. Even now at 20 weeks I find myself worrying about the baby being ill or stillborn. I've been working through this with my counsellor and found a really helpful mantra to keep repeating to myself.

Square Instagram style post. Reads 'Reminder' in a solid font, overlaid with 'reminder' in a cursive font. Below the mantra 'unless I am told otherwise, I'm having a healthy pregnancy' followed by this blogs Instagram handle @chatterfoxblog

After we had our 12 week scan we told Iris that she was going to be a big sister, she has been ecstatic ever since. She tells everyone she meets, shop keepers, the postman and a bewildered looking waitress. She's voiced a few concerns but we keep explaining how babies work and helping her understand what to expect when baby gets here. She's been amazing so far, letting me sleep when needed, helping me where she can and of course, telling me 'wow mummy you've got a big belly' almost daily! 

We're half way through the pregnancy now. We've had the anomaly scan and it appears the baby is growing as it should. We were very tempted to find out the gender but we didn't. We had a surprise with Iris and it was wonderful, it's more tempting this time as we would really like a boy so we could experience the difference but of course we'll be happy with whoever we meet at the end of this. 

Black and white sonographers image of an ultrasound taken at 20 weeks gestation. The image is of the full length of the baby and shows head, trunk, legs and feet'

It's been a tough pregnancy so far and that precedent seems to be continuing as SPD and sciatica have begun to set in, things I never experienced with Iris. I'm already in a lot of pain and I can't imagine how I will get through another 20 weeks of growth and increased pressure. I've got a support band on order  and have already looked into hiring a wheelchair for further on in the pregnancy.

This pregnancy has been so draining, in fact this whole update sounds a little depressing and downbeat but pregnancy isn't always about blooming and glowing, it can be immensely tough on a women's body and whilst I loved being pregnant with Iris, I have so far, hated this pregnancy and that's okay. I love the baby with all my heart but I am not enjoying what I'm going through right now. It doesn't make me ungrateful, I know how blessed I am but I cannot wait for this to be over so I can meet my newest little love and get my tubes tied because I.Am.Done.

I'd love to know if you've got any tips on coping with SPD and Sciatica?

I'm also happy to hear your gender guesses! 

Thanks For Reading 

Blog writers signature 'Katrina'
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Thank you for supporting me on my journey to raise awareness about mothers on the autistic spectrum. We do exist, we just need people to know we do!

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