This is my story, written by me during my second pregnancy with my daughter Nikita who was born on 02/01/2018. Let me warn you – it’s raw, emotional and up front – it’s not meant to be used as a scientific resource so if that’s what you’re after then head to the resource section of my website where you’ll find plenty of helpful articles. This is just me and my thoughts as I survived the world as a pregnant lady…..
24 weeks pregnant:
24 weeks……… I can’t believe I’m already at the stage where this baby would possibly survive if she was born now (but I DEFINITELY don’t want her to be born now, especially considering I’m in Thailand at the moment on a work trip!) Sometimes it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever and I can’t remember how it felt to train and eat and move non pregnant and then other times it feels like this pregnancy is rocketing through so quickly. Even though this is going to be my last pregnancy (I’m absolutely 100% certain that I am happy with 2 children), I’m not one of those people who will be sad when it’s over because I’ll never be pregnant again. I’ll be cheering and drinking champagne!! I’m coping fine with being pregnant but I’m not “loving being pregnant” and it’s definitely not the best time of my life by any means. These next 16 weeks can come as fast as the Japanese bullet train if they want too…..I’m ready for summer and to have this baby (but only when she’s fully developed).
So I’m in Thailand as the team doctor for the Under 17 Australian Women’s Football (Soccer) team. It’s been an average of 30 degrees celsius with a humidity of 70-80% each day. I know pregnant women are not supposed to like or cope well with heat but I’m loving it! I’ve always loved the heat and it doesn’t seem to be affecting me at all over here so hopefully that lasts for the rest of this pregnancy seeing that I’m due right in the middle of Australia’s summer. Can’t say the same for the poor girls I’m looking after who have to play 90 minutes of football in these conditions and are being affected by heat exhaustion and dehydration, losing up to 4% of their body weight in sweat each game. They lose weight and I put it on! It’s been a struggle to get them to eat enough protein here as they’ve been put off by the look of some of the Asian dishes and there is certainly a predominance of carbs in this diet…..I don’t normally eat rice and pasta at home but have needed to change my diet here to ensure I get enough calories for the long working days. This is a catch 22 because eating simple carbohydrates when you’re not used to them in your diet can make you feel sluggish but so can lack of total calorie intake. I found a supermarket and have supplemented the Asian food provided with nuts, yoghurt and cheese and it seems to have made a good difference. I have managed to stay well, as have 22 of the 23 girls (with one coming down with a bout of travellers diarrhoea). The good thing about being here pregnant is that when the girls start to get fussy and avoid the food, I can say to them that I’m eating it pregnant and I would never risk the health of my baby and then they are happy to try the dishes, so that’s an unexpected secret weapon I have on my side!
I’m very fortunate to have a gym here so have been able to train in air-conditioning each morning, which has also helped keep my energy levels consistent. There’s really only dumbells and plate weights to work with but I have also discovered the crosstrainer which is my new best friend as I feel like it’s close enough to running without the impact of running which must be what affects my pelvic pain and stability cause I feel great using it. I’m like a kid in a toy shop when I jump on the crosstrainer each morning and pump out a few km’s! I don’t think Asian’s are used to seeing pregnant women exercise though, because I always get a few funny looks (and wonder what I’ve done wrong because I forget that it might seem strange to some people to see a pregnant women training, especially cause I always have my belly out to help with the heat!)
This last week I’ve started to notice that my body is stretching each day (actually it feels like I’m getting bigger by the hour!!). By dinner time it seems as though I can’t fit my full meal and my baby in there, which is disappointing cause I love to eat! It’s like I’m a balloon that has already been blown up before and then had the air let out of it. Blowing it up again is easy for the first half and then it gets harder again as the resistance kicks back in. I think my balloon belly just hit the hard part……..going to be a fun 16 weeks to come then!!!