Side sleeping in pregnancy is best!

At Week 19 I am doing pretty well.  Each day I go for a walk and complete my pregnancy yoga, I work on our business for three to four hours, do the house work, drive the hour and a half round trip to collect my kids from school, take them to their after school activities, cook the dinner and manage my kids homework/study/bedtime – even though they are definitely old enough to manage these things themselves I enjoy the time it gives me with them, and with the new baby it is nice to show them they are still my top priority as well. 

I am coping OK as long as I get enough sleep over night.  Sleep definitely seems to be the key when you are pregnant at 47!  If my husband has a particularly bad night with hay fever,  which makes him snore terribly,  then I don’t get enough sleep and consequently my energy levels the following day will plummet, and it seems to be cumulative, if there are a few disturbed nights in a row then I will have a day where I am pretty much unable to do anything very well and certainly not drive the long journey along winding country roads.  I had one of these last week, but I rested the whole day (my husband picked up the slack) and that evening I made my husband take an antihistamine who then slept like a baby and the next day I was back to normal energy levels again.  My husband is not a fan of taking any kind of drugs, even necessary ones that help his wife sleep, but when he sees how terrible it is for me to not sleep properly he will concede that perhaps medicines are necessary at times.

I am now sleeping on my side as recommended by medical professionals for the safety and good health of the baby.  Apparently sleeping on your back in the last trimester means there is 3.7 time increased risk of the baby dying in utero and still birth.  This is because when you lay on your back when pregnant the uterus compresses down onto the abdominal aorta, which carries blood flow to the placenta, resulting in the uterus getting reduced blood flow and the baby less oxygen.  Over a few weeks or even over a few days the baby will become more lethargic due to less oxygen in its system, so the mother will notice less movements, if this continues and the back sleeping habit is not corrected the baby may possibly not receive enough oxygen over night to sustain its life. 

I am already at an increased risk of still birth due to my age, as are women who are carrying too much weight in pregnancy, so I have started the habit of side sleeping early to ensure my little one is getting all of the oxygen he needs to thrive.  And if kicking is a sign of thriving then my little one is doing just fine.  A week after feeling the very first kick, he started kicking often, he is one very active little man and somehow he even managed to kick me hard enough that I saw my abdomen move very slightly.  I know I am quite slender and there is not much between the bump and the outside world but I am sure I don’t remember seeing movement or kicking until much later with my other children.  I will ask my midwife about it when I see her tomorrow for my four weekly check-up.

As a family we have moved on from any niggles and issues about the baby coming and we are now all chatting quite happily about what it will be like, except where baby names are concerned.  There seems to be no coming to an agreement on a name, we all like different names, and really don’t like what each other are suggesting 🙂 it is quite comical really.  But my favorite thought for the moment is that a few weeks after the baby is born my kids will be having their summer break from school, which means lovely weather, no driving to and from school or activities, and best of all a whole seven weeks just being together as a family at home getting to know our new arrival…

pregnant at 47!
Bump at 19 weeks

 

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