Pregnancy – The Un-Glow

I was lucky – very lucky I fell almost immediately and only managed to spend about £100 on pregnancy tests… Due to extreme excitement tinged with paranoia.

Pregnancy was horrendous and I did not sail through it like some luxury yacht, with a shiny exterior and gorgeous smooth lines..

…No I was more like an overladen passenger ferry full of sea-sick passengers struggling through a choppy sea.

I threw up from the day I found out the joyful news, until delivery day waiting to go back in the delivery suite after a waddle around the hospital ‘to get things going’.

As well as the attractiveness of being sick, (and doing it very publicly), I also had swollen feet, that looked the size of a baby elephant’s.  I developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, so the wearing of attractive beige coloured wrist splints was obligatory for the last three months or so.

I carried on working throughout the pregnancy and that brought some cringe worthy moments in itself.  Like the day fairly early on, when I found myself dry heaving in the work car-park.. Unfortunately I didn’t look like a pregnant lady radiantly glowing with a tiny little bump.  No the bump merged with the cake – and I just looked slightly fatter than usual.

So dry retching – looking slightly fatter than usual and very green – I got some very odd stares – many – to me seemed that they were in disgust .. Then somebody kind said “Are you quite alright?”.  Yes I’m fine I’m just pregnant. – and no it doesn’t suit me.

Along with the various pregnancy related illnesses the biggest trauma for the Daddy and I was when we were informed that I had received a high risk triple test result back for Downs Syndrome.  I was in total shock – as at the age of 29 I hadn’t even thought that I would be at risk.  We barely had enough time to let the gravity of the situation settle in (although it doesn’t settle, does it?) – We then had to face the next decision – amniocentesis or not.

Just the description of the procedure was enough to make me run for the hills, then there were the risks, a 1:100 chance of a miscarriage… this particular hospital had a better success rate and the odds were 1:200..  It’s then that you really can’t help but compare the whole thing to a lottery.  And I really didn’t want to gamble with my unborn baby’s life.

Still advice was sought from those closest to us and unsolicited advice was received (some welcome – some not).  The decision and the gamble was finally down to the Daddy and I.

On the day we decided to go ahead and have the test – I was still not 100% that I would go through with it.  With two medical staff in the ultrasound room, the procedure was explained.  I knew afterwards that I was a bit sore and uncomfortable.  The size of the needle would have been scary to anyone – but at that moment I didn’t care about anybody else except for the little human growing inside me.

I focused on the flickering black and white image on the portable screen, and before I knew it – it was over (I didn’t feel anything).  Accept it wasn’t – at the time the NHS in my area could only get the results back within 6 weeks, we paid and got them back within the week.

The results came back negative and we decided to find out at that point what we were having – our first born; a little boy! – We were over the moon!

It later became clear that the triple test result was skewed, due to undiagnosed gestational diabetes… I was a trainee midwife’s dream – I literally had everything going!

And so began the regime of blood tests and four injections a day – as well as watching what I ate – really difficult when I was feeling constantly sick (it was like a permanent hangover, without the fun from the night before).

I also developed the mask of pregnancy – a beautiful condition that along with the stretch marks has never completely gone away.  Basically I have patches on my face that are light and dark – not obvious unless I have a tan.

Arriving at my mother’s one day my sister-in-law asked “Have you been Gardening?”- Thinking “Yes, finally I am starting to look healthy – maybe even developing a slight glow!!” I answered “Yes – Can you tell”… before she answered “You’ve got mud on your face…”… “No…. That’s my skin… I am a pregnancy babe!”.

I think the final thing was a positive Strep B result – which basically means that  I carry a natural bacteria in my body’s ‘flora’ – on one hand sounds beautiful, almost like a bouquet of flowers – but yes it is a ‘germ’ – gross.

This positive result meant that I would need antibiotics immediately and during labour – as there was a risk to the baby developing respiratory distress as a result of the bacteria.

I think that’s it:

  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Streptococcus B Positive
  • Swelling
  • Stretch Marks
  • Melasma (Mask of Pregnancy)
  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum (Severe Morning Sickness)

Happy Days! – So yes I was a non-glowing pregnant lady – and of course the end result was totally worth it. – But I still have the question in the back of my mind, did any of this contribute? – I guess I’ll never know and I don’t need to know…





  1. Laura Thomas · July 28, 2016

    As a mam to an almost 2 year old boy that is starting the process of assessment to explore whether his developmental delay could be autism, I’m eager to read more of your experiences. Even before this, I can appreciate the difficulties of someone in your situation, and tip my hat to you for being brave enough to let outsiders in.


    • The Autism Mummy · July 29, 2016

      Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your kind comments – I really wanted to put it out there what life is like – and I’m glad you’ve had chance to read my blog. There are lots of things that I will be blogging about – some historical and some as they happen. I will certainly be talking about our journey to diagnosis. Good luck – I know it can be a long road to getting the help you need. Kindest regards Gemma


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s