Friday, June 23, 2017

First-time Mom at 42: The Second and Last Trimesters

(Continued from Part I and Part II) My second trimester was a breeze. I felt a renewed love for cooking. After work and on weekends, I prepared meals for my husband. 

I kept a record of my pregnancy in The Bump’s Pregnancy Planner and Journal. I still kept away from malls and crowded places and did practically all my shopping for maternity clothes and baby items online. I made a list of all the things our baby will need on her first year and was able to tick off the items one by one, thanks to family who sent in loads of gifts and friends who threw me a baby shower. I even managed to get this blog updated and do some spring cleaning to make room for new purchases.

Gifts from my husband's siblings

First tub
One of the highlights of our second trimester was the congenital anomaly scan, a highly advanced ultrasound procedure that can examine in detail if all the baby’s vital organs developed properly. It was quite unnerving but also such a relief to find out that everything—kidneys, skull, brain, lips, limbs, etc.—was all right. It also confirmed that we were having a girl! My husband was ecstatic. My long-slumbering maternal instinct was roused upon hearing our baby’s heartbeat and seeing her outline on the monitor with legs spread out, her lips moving as she chewed on her fingers.

I managed to sustain this energy until the third trimester. I never missed family gatherings, especially because we were all looking forward to the high school graduation of my eldest niece, Joanna. I touched base with dear friends. I even managed to book an Easter staycation at Aruga by Rockwell with my pamangkins.

Bathroom selfie
But as the third trimester progressed, I started feeling the weight of my pregnancy, literally. My butt was in constant pain. I experienced edema on my feet. I wore Fitflops everywhere.

To make matters worse, what started as allergic rhinitis advanced into a cold. My OB-gyne prescribed an antihistamine initially. I took one tablet, which I regretted instantly, fearing the possible sedative effect on my baby. I didn’t take any more.

When my sniffles didn’t clear up and I began to cough and have a low-grade fever, my OB-gyne prescribed an antibiotic. I was against it but my baby was nearing full term and I had to get well before my due date. I decided to go with her suggestion. I got better quickly.

Throughout my pregnancy, my OB-gyne repeatedly said I was likely to undergo a C-section delivery, considering my age, the fact that I was an elderly primigravida (a term referring to a woman older than 35 years who is pregnant for the first time), and that I had only one ovary (one was surgically removed in 2000 due to an ovarian cyst). Yet, despite all the factors working against me, my pregnancy went very smoothly and I remained strong and healthy except for the recent bout with cold.

At my last checkup end of April 2016, my OB-gyne said that, since the baby and I were doing so well, she'd give me the chance to deliver normally, provided I went into labor before the 40th week. She advised me to start walking regularly, especially up and down the stairs.

By this time, I had gained around 25 pounds so walking was not as easy. And there was little free time because I was still reporting to work. But I took her advice seriously and walked as much as I could.

May 8, 2016, Sunday, was Mother’s Day. It was also a long weekend because the next day was election day. My husband and I made arrangements with my parents and my brother’s family to meet in Shangrila Plaza for lunch. I set my alarm clock at 10 a.m. When I got up, I had the distinct feeling that I had peed on my pants. I went to the bathroom to check. I saw blood. (To be continued)

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