As I entered my twelfth week of pregnancy, I had what felt like a new lease of energy; I was able to work out and practice yoga more comfortably and at this point my
in-utero daughter was very small and so what I could do physically hadn't changed much from before I was pregnant and I had the all clear from my doctor to continue my physical endeavours, so long as they felt comfortable and let intuition guide me.
Weirdly (and this is common as I understand) I didn't feel particularly pregnant as 12 weeks hit, this had me concerned and subsequently relieved as scans showed baby was doing well and my body was adjusting to the hormones. It was around this time that I'd realised how unhelpful forums can be - I'd type in 'Is it normal to feel X,Y, Z?' and for every 10 reassuring posts you'd read, you'd come across a sad story and that was what you'd focus on. I decided to stop looking at forums from that point as it did nothing to quell any arising anxieties.
Oh pregnancy is sexy. Let me share.
Around 17 weeks, I woke up one morning with awful stomach cramps, I was writhing in pain, utterly convinced it was the end and we'd lost the baby. I sobbed and asked Damian to book us in to see the OB. He started to rub my back and to my surprise it was helping;
"Maybe you have gas?"
Well I did eat an entire bag of pretzels at a Christmas party the night before.
My wonderful hubby did chiropractic treatment to my stomach and intestines, this resolved in a MASSIVE FART, sweet relief and a much needed trip to the bathroom. Still we went to the Obgyn, and the scan showed baby was well and kicking. What did I learn from this? Don't panic, stay calm and skip heavily processed wheat products.
After this we purchased our own Fetal doppler to listen to the heartbeat as reassurance and we used it maybe 3 times in total. It's generally not recommended as they can potentially cause false alarm or false reassurance. From our trainings as Osteopath and Chiropractor we knew how to use a doppler properly and to discern between my heartbeat and the baby's, although Damian was much quicker at finding it than I was!
I was ravenous for all the things we preggos are not advised to eat... Smoked salmon bagels, biltong, salami, rare steak and sushi. I was drooling over my husband's rare ribeye and settling for a slightly pink in the middle steak (sigh) the side of fat chips and peppercorn sauce partially made up for it.
On the upside, my appetite had returned and I was eating more healthier whole foods again especially after the whole pretzel fiasco. Salads, veggies, meat, fish, less beige foods and more colours of the rainbow on my plate. So what if I had my meat had to be cooked through, and made sure the eggs were pasteurised? I'd get to eat it all again in the future. My search history is full of 'is xxx safe to consume in pregnancy'. I had a minor freak out when I read that lemon grass tea is not safe during pregnancy, however, on further research you'd have to consume something like 11+ cups of lemon grass tea for it to have a detrimental effect.
Hong Kong Maternity Services
Now we'd graduated from the first trimester, I enrolled myself in the public system for maternity care. I'd heard from several women that whilst the care is very good (and free), its very time consuming, communication isn't always clear and you can feel like a number.
They were not wrong.
Registration alone took 3 hours and all I'd done was fill out some forms, proved I was who I was with my ID card and showed my letter confirming my pregnancy from the Obgyn I'd been seeing privately. After sitting for 3 hours, the helpful receptionists gave me my appointment slips for when I'd be seen again. To my surprise there was no scan until 20 weeks where they'd check the baby for any structural abnormalities. We already had 6 weekly scans with an Obgyn so I wasn't fussed about this, but I really felt for those who had to wait until 20 weeks to see their baby for the first time.
You cannot fault the service provided - you have all your prenatal tests, I get extra because I'm deemed 'Advanced maternal age', prenatal vaccines and although you don't have scans (except the 20 week structural scan) the OB checks baby's heart beat monthly with a doppler and measures your tummy, blood pressure and weight.
28 week bump and 11kg heavier