Pregnancy Update from Han!

Pregnancy Update from Han!

18 Week Update
Han McKimm

I’m 18 weeks as I write this, sitting on the beach in Fiji. I’m not sure if it’s technically a ‘babymoon’ when you bring your toddler but it’s the next best thing! 

Everyone told me that pregnancy number 2 would be completely different to the first, and that has been very true for me. Falling pregnant with Harper was probably more stressful than I realised at the time. I’m sure a lot of women can relate to the feeling of uncertainty, wondering whether it will even be possible for you. I think I pushed this feeling down and tried not to give it any air time, but now that I’m reflecting, I was pretty worried that I might not be able to fall pregnant at all. 

I was diagnosed with Hypothalamic Amenorrhoea when my period didn’t return 12 months after I stopped the contraceptive pill. Oddly, I’d always had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right with my cycle, but because I had taken the pill consistently for so many years, I wasn’t aware that I didn’t naturally menstruate at all. 

This sparked a complete up-haul of my lifestyle. I had to stop running, cut caffeine, change my diet and gain weight, so I just didn’t really feel like myself. On top of this, there were seemingly endless appointments; acupuncture, naturopath, fertility specialist, dietitian to name a few. I felt ashamed that I’d let my body get to this state, guilt that I couldn’t naturally fall pregnant and so much regret that I hadn’t started this process earlier. 

So this time around, I’m in a much better headspace and I feel both physically and emotionally so much stronger. I had hoped that my period might come back once I stopped breastfeeding, but it didn’t so I went through the same process to fall pregnant again (I’ll write about my experience of period loss in a separate piece). I went into things with a lot more confidence this time and thankfully our first round of ovulation induction was successful and we fell pregnant in February. 

Not only was the lead up a different experience, the pregnancy itself has been completely different this time as well. My body has changed much more slowly, although it seems to have caught up now! The nausea I felt in the first trimester this time really affected my appetite and I just didn’t feel like eating. Whereas last time, I had no nausea and basically could not stop eating in the first trimester. The weeks are also flying by so quickly, I’ve barely looked at the app so I couldn’t tell you what fruit we are and apart from my belly, I’m not really feeling ‘pregnant’.

I’ve been able to keep running fairly consistently this pregnancy, which I really missed last time. I have always run and I notice a big shift in my mental space when I don’t run regularly. I bought a treadmill when Harper was 4 months old so I can jump on for a quick 30 minutes before she wakes up. We also bought a jogging stroller, so Matt and I take Harper for a run on the weekends and head out for brekky afterwards. This is honestly one of my favourite things to do, it’s crazy how the simplest things become so special when you have a child. 

In addition to running, I try to keep strong by doing Pilates at home and squats/lunge with my 5kg dumbbell. I’ve been filming so many classes lately for Our Pilates that I haven’t had much time to follow any of our classes or start our prenatal program. I am really excited to follow the program from a user experience, particular for all the educational videos we created with our women’s health professionals. 

My birth experience with Harper was really positive and my recovery has been so much better than expected. I was pretty afraid of giving birth, having seen the issues and dysfunction that women can experience through my work as a physio, plus I felt overloaded with negative birth stories during my pregnancy. I decided to completely switch off from birth plans and stories and put my faith in my body and my obstetrician. 

Although everything went very well and my birth was completely uncomplicated, I do think a little planning may have helped the experience. So this time, I look forward to going into birth suite somewhat prepared. Of course anything can happen, but I’d like to have a few labour positions in mind and some phrases Matt can use to help me through those contractions rather than the two of us going in blind and hoping for the best. 

Harper will be just over 2 at my due date and this feels like a great time to add to the family. She keeps me very busy, but brings so much happiness and I cannot wait to see her become a big sister. 

Han x

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