The first time I fell pregnant I kept my fit bit on, did my 10,000 steps a day, went to the gym three or four times a week and stopped playing squash. I read somewhere that pregnant women could keep up with whatever exercise regime they already had (but this is not the time to start a new regime or diet the literature warned) but aggressive contact sports were to be avoided, and so I told my squash coach that my Dr had advised me to stop playing for a while and stuck with spinning, the treadmill and the elliptical. I knew that growing fat whilst pregnant would be unavoidable, especially for me, but I hoped that sticking to my usual regime would keep the fat gain reasonable. “Maybe I will only go up by a dress size or two maximum, and post pregnancy I can be like Victoria Beckham and all those celebrity women, do a radical diet, and loose all the weight quickly” I said to myself.
From the day that my pee on the stick told me I was pregnant, to when the gynecologist in London told me, “I’m sorry, there isn’t a heartbeat”, I had spent 11 plus weeks working my regular job, taken my mum on holiday to Benin, and travelled to Mexico and Toronto for work. I stopped drinking, fought off the permanent feeling of nausea with constant snacking, chewed a daily vitamin C which also made me feel nauseous until I switched to another vitamin C I could swallow, took a daily folic acid, stopped eating sushi, stopped eating cheese to be on the safe side because I wasn’t sure which of the cheeses I could eat, and which I couldn’t, I wasn’t sure which fish I could eat but I knew tuna was off the menu and as a pescatarian that was tough. Debated whether I should start eating meat but hadn’t felt a craving for it yet even thought I had heard lots of vegetarians crave meat during their pregnancies so decided not to bother unless I started craving it later.
After I miscarried one friend told me, “if I knew you were pregnant I wouldn’t have allowed you to go to Benin, the roads are very bumpy.” Another friend told me, “let me just give you some advice, next time you’re pregnant don’t travel for the first three months.”
Now I sit wondering whether I have the strength to give motherhood one final go. Stealing myself for the nausea that I know will come, the sense of permanent tiredness, the need to carry on working multiple jobs like everything is normal because surely you cannot tell anyone you’re pregnant so they give you a break when you’re less than three months pregnant. When you don’t know whether the pregnancy has come to stay or will go.
This time round what should I do? Do I listen to the Doctors and carry on as normal. “Miscarriages just happen. We don’t test until you’ve had three miscarriages in a row” said the Dr. who had a chat with me before I was wheeled in for surgery to remove what was left of the cells inside my body. Surgical Miscarriage Management – I googled the term, I watched videos explaining what SMM was. Miscarriages affect every woman differently they said. Some women take a long time to get over it. Other women are able to get back to work straightaway. The question I ask now is, how do you try again when you’re scared of another miscarriage?