We are a blended family, and my partner has 4 children from a previous marriage. I grew up in South Africa, although I'm English born, which also causes confusion! We have been together for 5 years and have a gorgeous two and half year old daughter. We decided this mix of teenage drama and toddler tantrums isn't enough craziness for us, so now I'm 17 weeks pregnant with baby number two.
I loved every minute of my first pregnancy.
Even though I was so sick for about four months, and had awful hip issues for the remainder of the pregnancy, nothing was going to get in the way of my excitement of finally being pregnant. I just could not wait to hold my gorgeous baby and live the perfect life I had always imagined.
Things didn't go quite as planned.
My daughter would not feed after birth, started to vomit green bile and had not passed her meconium. Although we were allowed to go home, our concern for her was overwhelming. I called my midwife first thing the next morning and she rushed over. She was also very concerned and we were rushed up to the neo-natal at Exeter RD&E and then late that night up to Bristol Children's Hospital. What should have been the most joyous days of my life turned into the most traumatic.
A few days later our daughter was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, which is a rare genetic condition meaning she is missing ganglion cells from her bowel, resulting in a complete blockage and inability to even pass wind. So before I learnt to bath my daughter, I learnt how to give her rectal washouts twice a day.
After becoming accomplished at caring for her we were sent home for two months, until she was strong enough for an operation. Her operation was now over two years ago,and you would never know she had any problems. I think my partner and I still bear a few emotional scars, but we feel it made us all very close and strong as a family.
What a difference this second pregnancy is to my first. I have a lot more fears this time.
There is a 10% chance of our next baby inheriting the same rare disease. So this is at the back of my mind. But I think it's mostly due to the fact that when you already have a child it's very hard to have time to sit and day dream about your next one. It's difficult to get excited and very easy to worry about those labour pains!
Today? Well today is a good day as I got on the scale. Normally the worst thing for me to do! This time however, it was a pleasant surprise, as I'm 7kg (around a stone) down from the start of my pregnancy. Yes, that's how bad my nausea is!
Strangely, my cravings this pregnancy have been for fruit and salad.
No, I'm not a health nut, quite the opposite. I think it must just be my body letting me know what it needs. I'm considered high risk because of my weight, so can't wait to see my midwife again and climb onto those scales. I'm just going to add that in my first pregnancy I gained a lot... and a lot after... and then some more! I told you first and second pregnancies are very different!
Follow the Baby Project 2.0, our blog on pregnancy the second time round, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook page. Our blogger is juggling the aches and pains of pregnancy alongside her two year old daughter, who despite being born with Hirschprungs Disease, is your typical cheeky monkey, plus her four stepchildren.
We've just had the most wonderful day in the sunshine at the local botanical gardens. Special quality time with my mum and daughter. I really do find the sunshine immediately lifts my mood and makes everything seem brighter. Yesterday was a slightly down day, so I'm glad I managed to turn it around.
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