Love Jenuine

So, I thought I’d post an update of my June fitness progress, especially as I am having a total fat day so need to get motivated!!!!!!

Week 1: 2nd – 8th – disappointing!
Only did two Fitstar sessions and still no runs! Harry has cut down his morning naps to about 40 mins – 1 hour so I chose to do Fitstar, as these only take 30 mins and my run is at least 40 minutes, and I hate having to stop before my app program finishes. I was eating unhealthy but I did probably have a drink every night! I vowed the rolling week I would be better.

Week 2: 9th – 15th – an improvement
I did 3 Fitstar sessions this week, and three two mile walks with Harry, plus I cut down my alcohol consumption! I also started hula hooping. This was really hard, I did ten minutes, and in that only managed to continuously spin for 25 seconds! I have got a play hula hoop, after a quick Google I soon realised I needed a proper fitness hula hoop if I want to take this seriously. I read an article written by a mum vying to loose her baby weight through hula hooping. This has inspired me to continue, but not sure I want to invest in the real deal hoop until I know I will continually make use of it.

Week 3: 16th – 22nd – getting motivated
I am writing this on the 22nd, having been on holiday with my parents, Rich an Harry in Cornwall most of the week. I did my Fitstar, and a 4 mile hike on Monday and Fitstar again on Wednesday and Thursday and I did ten minutes of hula hooping too. I am really proud I still did my exercise whilst away, my healthy eating went a bit off track as mum only bought white bread (rich is in heaven as I only buy wholemeal) and we have had a couple of drinks each night. Today I am having a day off, mainly so I can get this blog post out!

As motivation to continue my exercise, I decided to take a picture and post it on here (feeling brave!!!!)

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Waist: 30″ / Hips: 36.5″

In August I am going to post an update picture (gives me chance to recover and make up for holiday drinking in July). Fingers crossed I will have trimmed at least an inch.

I am also considering buying a FitBit Flex, my sister has one and loves it, and a couple of my friends have them. This is a wristband that records your daily movement and documents everything in an app. It also monitors your sleep (and I am not a great sleeper). Recording how long you slept for, how many times you woke up and also wakes you up silently so you don’t wake your partner up. This may help me find out why I don’t sleep great, whether it’s my diet, my exercise or lack of.

If anyone has used a Fitbit please let me know whether you would recommend one? They are fairly expensive so would be a big investment for me.

Hints and tips welcome for eating health eating as I really struggle for non-carb based breakfast and lunches. I am having a juice for either one at the moment.

Wish me luck!!

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We were given the information for The Fetal Medicine Centre in Harley Street. They provide the Harmony Test, a new technology for testing the baby’s DNA through the mothers blood, checking for extra chromosomes, trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) or trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome). We spoke to my mum who works for the NHS with women and children, she discovered this is a patented technology, hence why the NHS don’t provide it yet, but it would be coming soon. She advised a colleague in her work had indicated that the results were 99.9% correct. This test could be done at any point from 11 weeks, so we could have it immediately rather than having to wait another 3/4 weeks for the NHS Amniocentesis test. 

We contacted the clinic the same day and they could see us the following morning. I felt so relieved that we were going to be able to get a definitive result, without putting myself or the baby at risk. 

Typically I spent most of my evening Googling ‘markers’ of Downs syndrome, I couldn’t relax, and wanted to be completely clued up for our trip to the clinic. 

We arrived at the clinic, both anxious as to what we would find out. Before taking my bloods, we had an in-depth scan of the baby. This was the equivalent of our 20 weeks scan with the NHS, only the Fetal Medical Clinic had the technology to get the same results earlier (I was 13+ weeks by this point). The scan checks for additional markers (those I had researched) of Downs syndrome,  such as anomalies to the heart, development of certain bones and fluid pockets in the brain.

The scan took an hour, and it was amazing to watch our baby for that long, move and jump around, but heartbreaking at the same time when we remembered why we were there. The consultant confirmed she was more than happy with our baby’s condition, and couldn’t see any additional markers, and had no concerns about the nuchal translucency. I can’t explain the relief, I wanted to cry and jump for joy. We didn’t want to get too excited, as we still needed to have the results from the blood test. We left the clinic with lots of scan photos of our baby, and the details of the scan, confirming the baby was currently in good health. We came away feeling much more confident, but didn’t want to get our hopes up. 

We were due to go away a week later, and knew we would receive our results, very latest, at the end of our trip. We decided to just carry on as normal, and put it to the back of our minds, but I kept looking at the scan results, and just hoping for good news. 

Three days in to our holiday, and we received the news, our ratio had been revised to 1:10,000, and my blood didn’t show any traces of the trisomy 21. I cried with happiness. It was the best £500 we had ever spent, and we got to relax during the final days of our holiday.

I thought it was important to share our experiences about such a sensitive subject. When I initially found out about The Harmony Test*, it was difficult to find information and experiences about its success and the process. Also this technology isn’t widely publicised, and you certainly aren’t told by the NHS unless you are classed as a ‘high-risk’ pregnancy. Regardless what ratio you are given, even if it is 1:5000 (as someone has to be that one). I would still recommend this as an extra test if you can afford it. Some people may argue, that it should remain unknown, but taking the test doesn’t necessarily imply you are going to terminate the pregnancy. If the results are positive, it can allow you to prepare yourself and others for the extra care your baby will need. 

I am happy to help, talk or answer any questions of anyone who wants to know more or is going through a similar experience. 

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*The Harmony Test is available at other clinics, but the Fetal Medicine Centre was recommended too us, and is part of The Fetal Medicine Foundation who funded the research for this new procedure 

02. 06. 2014

Our little man is 6 months today!!!

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As mentioned in my previous post ‘Part 2: when it all became real’ at our 12 week scan we were told the fluid at the back of our baby’s neck (Nuchal translucency), was slightly larger than it should be, and that this was a key indicator for Downs syndrome. Going in to the scan, I was just so excited to see the baby, and of course I wanted to know it was healthy, but being in my twenties, I naively presumed everything would be okay. So I really wasn’t expecting to hear any differently.

The nurse at the scan told us not to be concerned, but advised us get the blood test for Downs syndrome. As far as I understand this blood test checks the hormones that your placenta is producing are at the correct levels. The output of combining the scan and blood results gives you a ratio that your baby will be affected by Downs syndrome. If your ratio is less than 1:150 you are classed as a ‘high-risk’ pregnancy and the NHS provide extra services and options for your pregnancy.

I received a call from the hospital a week after our tests, as soon as the midwife introduced herself, I knew something was up. When she told me the news, I couldn’t hide how upset I was, I was devastated. She explained my tests had resulted in a 1:60 chance of our baby developing Downs syndrome. She explained my hormone levels had been unbalanced, combined with the nuchal translucency being slightly larger than normal, had given us a ‘high-risk’ ratio.

The midwife was extremely helpful and once I got off the phone, I spoke to Rich. I called him and explained exactly what the midwife had said (best I could, as I was still a blubbering mess), I then did the same to my mum.

Once Rich got home, we sat down and went over everything the midwife had told me. I was just so upset, and just kept going over things in my head, questioning ‘why us?’, especially after having a miscarriage, I kept thinking ‘this isn’t meant to be’, ‘I am never going to be able to have a baby’. Rich and I raised the questions of ‘would we keep the baby?’ we had completely different responses, but both with very good reasons, and agreed that there was no point in discussing this unless we really had too. We needed to stay strong for each other.

At this point we decided to keep the news to just our parents. I felt like talking about it, was making it more and more real, and i just wanted to make it go away.

The next day, we spoke to the specialist midwife, she explained the options provided by the NHS;

1. Continue with the pregnancy, and await the arrival of the baby, though the 20 weeks scan may show more markers, but by that point it would be more difficult to terminate the pregnancy. Plus emotionally you are half way through your pregnancy, and I imagined feeling very attached to the baby.

2. Continue with the pregnancy, and at 33 weeks a test could be carried out to check for downs-syndrome, and if the baby becomes distressed, they can deliver, and there is much less risk to the baby and mother – however if you reach this point, you might as well just continue to 40 weeks, and put neither the mother or baby at risk.

3. An Amniocentesis test. This is the only test offered by the NHS. It involves injecting the placenta at 17/18 weeks and taking a sample of the amniotic fluid, which is then tested for a number of conditions, including Downs syndrome. This test has a 1 in 100 risk of miscarriage, but you get your results in 3 days. We were informed if you did miscarry you wouldn’t know until up to 14 days after the test, and you still have to the deliver the baby. The results of this test gave you a definitive yes / no to whether the baby would be affected.

At this point, I couldn’t bear the idea of putting the baby at risk, I felt like I was living a nightmare, and we were would be forced to go with option 3 as there wasn’t any alternatives.  After giving us some time alone to discuss, the midwife returned and told us about a fourth option. She mentioned the word ‘private’, followed by ‘very expensive’. I didn’t care about cost, if there was a better option I wanted to know. She explained the NHS dont normally refer to private clinics, but this new technology meant a non-invasive procedure, 99.9% accurate, but with a longer lead time for your results, and at the cost of £500. We both immediately said yes without discussing it. I was a little annoyed she never mentioned this sooner, but I was just grateful we had a glimmer of hope…The Harmony Test.

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I hit 28 weeks around the end of August, it was a really hot summer, and my feet had swollen so much I had developed ‘cankels’ luckily, this was just due the heat, and not the weight of my bump, so they went down after a week or so. I do know a lot of people do suffer from swollen feet, and the only advice I can give is to keep your feet elevated.

I think I was very lucky with my pregnancy, I had no morning sickness, a little bit of tiredness, but nothing overwhelming. My skin and hair were great, I looked so healthy. I did suffer a little with heartburn and indigestion but nothing some rennin couldn’t sort out.

My biggest problem was sleeping. I loved to sleep on my front, and now my bump was bigger I was struggling. From 30 weeks plus, my bump was starting to weigh alot, and I would have to wake up to turn my whole body over to the other side. The dreamgeni pillow was a godsend. It seemed expensive at £40 but looking back I couldn’t of managed without it, and it comes in handy when the baby arrives.

Towards the end of my pregnancy I was struggling to sleep much at all, mainly due to being so big. We attended the NHS antenatal classes, so all the other women were at similar stages, and I was by far the largest. I didn’t feel that I was carrying more weight, just that my bump was physically bigger than everyone else’s.  I had expected I would get big as myself and my sisters and brother were all large babies (I was 10.8lbs!!!!). I was worrying a little about whether my body was going to ‘snap back’ as everyone kept telling me it would.

During the final weeks I was diagnosed with SPD . This was extremely painful, and after a trip to the Drs I was signed off work for two weeks (I only had 3 weeks left anyway). I couldn’t walk up the stairs, getting in and out of bed was a struggle, even getting dressed, and I was told ‘No driving’ and plenty of rest! I wasn’t good at ‘resting’ so I did some research for those who had suffered from it, and was recommended to buy a Nexcare support band. I felt incredibly silly wearing this, but the relief you get when you wear it was incredible, it really eased the weight of my bump, and the symptoms of my SPD eased within a couple of days of wearing it.

I finished work at 38 weeks, check-out my post (coming soon) ‘working ‘Pregnant’ girl’  for details on what not to do when working in a stressful environment and pregnant!

The final two weeks dragged, I stuffed my face and lay on the sofa! Had everything prepped for my baby’s arrival and nothing to do, but clean and clean some more. A friend advised me to read books, as many as I could as I wouldn’t have much time once our bundle of joy arrived. So I signed up to my library (which is at the end of my road) and started reading. I have never been a big book reader, but I started to work my way through 2/3 books a week!  (6 months on, I wish I had read a hell of a lot more, as the only books I read now are Gina Ford baby books)

At long last and 9 days late, our little boy Harry arrived, born on the 2nd December at 8.50am weighing in at a huge 9.4lbs.

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Its not over yet, I still have plenty more to write about. Coming soon will be posts about my maternity wardrobe, our trip to the Harmony Foetal Clinic, Harry’s arrival, my baby shopping list, and much more.

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