WEEK 18 – ANOMALY SCAN RESULTS IN FEAR + ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Weekly Baby News
Baby size can approx. 19cm long.
Taste buds are forming, bub has plenty of room to move and should be taking advantage of it. Some mums may be able to feel him/ her move around and practice flexing arms and legs, while it might be a few more weeks for others (it was week 20 for me). Being active through the day helps bub to sleep so you may find that when you are still at night this is the time when they decide to seek your attention. Hence why being rocked, driving in the car, or walked in a stroller after they are born helps them to sleep.
The blood vessels are still visible through the skin, ears are in the correct position and the protective myelin is beginning to surround the many nerves throughout the body. Interestingly if you are having a boy the genitals are now visible and at the 18-week scan they will be able to confirm the sex. If your having a girl her reproductive organs are in place and will also have over 2 million eggs in her ovaries (not that she will need them for a very long time), quite amazing though isn’t it.
Between week 18 and 20 the conventional approach is to have the BIG 18 week scan, called the anomaly scan. This scan checks all organs, measurements etc to ensure baby is growing ok. It can take 45 minutes and will be the longest scan you have. From a holistic view if you chose to have this scan and would recommend to use some sort of protection for bub, you could take into the scan to hold some clear quartz crystals in your hands or sit near your belly. This will energetically dispel the negative harmful energy from the ultrasound, also you can help by visualising white light around you and bub. While there is no evidence supporting these methods there is evidence indicating the discomfort bub experiences during the scans, so why not do all you can to support your growing baby, proven or not.
Toxins to Avoid during Pregnancy
Over-the-counter medications: always check with your medical practitioner or pharmacist before taking ANY medications. Naturopathically I advise to always weigh up benefit vs risk, especially as you may get conflicting advise between practitioners with one saying ‘yeh it is fine to take’ then someone else telling you to stay clear, then google can tell you ‘only a small dose and not frequently’. Therefore I ask myself: Is it absolutely vital for me to take? Is there a natural alternative? What could it harm in my body? For instance before you reach for painkillers for a hormonal headache best to sum up the above questions. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are reported to be harmful in some stages of pregnancy however safe in others. Naturopathically there are many alternatives to try before reaching for the meds. Pain relievers can not only affect bub but also affect your gut lining that can then interfere with absorption of nutrients not to forget your digestive health is already at snail pace due to pregnancy.
Alcohol: there is no specific amount of alcohol consumption that has been identified as ‘safe’. Frequent or heavy drinking is associated with impairment of the development of your unborn. Naturopathically I’d advise NO alcoholic beverages to be consumed. Also being mindful of Kombucha if you brew it yourself to check the levels of alcohol left in the finished product you intend to consume.
Cigarette smoking: this including passive smoking. The toxins that are released from smoking will impair the growth and development of the baby. I HIGHLY recommend if you are in the vicinity of any type of smoking that you leave or even cover your mouth as walking past the smokers. Some of the complications are; ectopic pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, premature labour, mental development, low birth weight that will increase risk of stillborn, illness and disability in newborns. Also increased risk of allergens and immune dysfunction, plus almost guaranteed respiratory conditions for you bub. If you are a smoker I would recommend you do EVERYTHING in your power to quit smoking quickly and permanently, as smoking around infants will also affect their long-term health. There are many natural options to help you quit including correct neurotransmitter nutrient support, acupuncture, hypnotherapy and psychological support.
Recreational drugs or natural highs: while this should be a no brainer, for some people it may be difficult to stop or think that natural highs are still ok. If something is natural this doesn’t mean it is safe not only during pregnancy but any time. Just like there are many herbs and nutrients we avoid in pregnancy. Please be mindful of your choices and seek help if required.
Other Toxic chemicals: these chemicals including what you may use around the house to clean with. Swapping to natural cleaning alternatives is recommended, see below a natural cleaning formula that you can whip up yourself. Other toxins to avoid: the fumes from fuelling up your car, painting fumes around the house, vehicle exhaust fumes, insect spray and repellent, deodorants, perfumes the list goes on. So best to follow your nose, if you can smell it – back away. If this means your partner has to fuel up your car, finish the house painting and put his deodorant on outside, like my husband has to, so be it!
Pregnancy Safe Cleaning Product: ¼ cup vinegar, 1/8 cup bi-carb soda, 3 drops each of lemon and eucalyptus essential oil combined in 1L of water. Can also add 30mls of Colloidal silver for some extra natural killing power.
18 week ultrasound happened this week. This is to be our 2nd and last ultrasound of the pregnancy and it was an interesting one, to say the least. Sheeds and I went along to the Xray place and I was quite nervous due to the knowledge I have around scans and how they are uncomfortable for bub (refer to Week 8 for more information) however thought if I was to have one this would be it as it checks over all the organs to ensure all is on track. Also acknowledge if there was anything that can interfere with a healthy natural birth we should know about. However…. This scan while it was cute and surreal to see the baby it only resulted in birthing a huge amount of fear. This is exactly why I didn’t have the 12 week scan as I believe that scans simply deliver fear which is not nice to carry while pregnant and can have negative affects on the pregnancy. I do trust in the process of growing a baby and therefore the need for a scan to check everything is ‘OK’ is unnecessary, however saying that I did fold and had this 18 week scan.
So happens that the scan revealed 2 x cysts on my baby’s brain, called Choroid Plexus Cysts (CPC). When you hear your baby has 2 cysts on the brain the amount of fear, worry, upset that arises is a new level of intense emotion. I do now understand the worry a mother can experience. Before my midwife could talk to me I did the stupid thing of a google search (which I recommend to all my clients NOT to do) and gosh this just gave me more fear. Thankfully my midwife rang later that evening and explained in more detail the findings. She had spoke to an obstetrician and the cysts at this stage are insignificant due to no other concerning factors. They recommend the next scan at 34 weeks to double check, and she also offered another scan from the best radiographer on the coast if we wanted. So basically nothing we can do at this stage and just accept these cysts can be a part of growth and should disappear, they aren’t common however they aren’t uncommon either. So at this point regardless of what the midwife advised me I was too far gone in fear, panic and beside myself with emotions. This was a struggle for the next 48 hours to be able to let go of these thoughts of ‘what-ifs’ that popped into my mind. I knew I needed to stay positive and let the fear go however it was quite difficult for me. After talking about it to my sister, mum, mother-in-law (who is a midwife herself), one of my best friends and endlessly to my husband I was able to regain some strength to change my thought process around the news. I still have slight concern however understand that it is what it is either way. And we wouldn’t choose to terminate due to a ‘potential’ risk factor (that actual turned out to not be a risk factor at all), so staying positive is the only path. Tapping into my intuition and trusting it will be ok and I’ll have a healthy baby. Going through this did help increase my communication to my unborn and also my meditation, plus pulling out my crystals to help energetic healing. We now sleep with numerous crystals in our bed, something I haven’t done in a long time however do feel it helps. Currently we have clear quartz, Jade and Rose Quartz. I have actually slept better with these guys in our bed, with holding them or placing them on my belly or just beside me. I have also got an appointment with my Psych next week, which will help breakdown this fear cycle that I have let come up and help process through it. A good lesson for me this week has been to listen to my intuition rather than go along with pressures or expectations. The full conventional medical approach does not sit with me due to the fear-based aspect therefore I wont be having another scan, instead I need to focus on trusting myself and the pregnancy that has been chosen for me.
This week took everything to new heights!! My emotions were heightened all week, and while I could blame on hormones it wouldn’t be fair as I also do have the potential and history to have these heightened emotions haha. In came pouring fear of the unknown, resentment towards myself and anger that I haven’t gave my pregnancy the time and love it deserves. What a glorious week of terrible energy!
Something I am awesome at is putting pressure and unrealistic expectations on myself as well as the other side to that is super ambitious and the need to constantly be achieving. Now while this has served me in life to a degree it has also been harmful, I have been putting all this pressure on myself to kick certain goals this year career wise when not understanding or acknowledging the weight of pregnancy and having a baby. This week highlighted that my goals for the year were ridiculous and that perhaps this is the time in my life where I need to just be happy with sitting still and embracing the ‘what is’. Accepting the present and being ok that growing a baby and family is enough, and really more than enough. I did touch on this last year through some of my yoga study is one of the 5 yamas of the 8 limbs of yoga, being Aparigraha = Non-striving. This became present to me last year when I was doing too much, which was a challenge for me however great practice that I am enough in this moment and while being the age I am I don’t need to concur the world at this moment, there is plenty of years to achieve more of my goals and ambitions. This was very helpful for me last year and helped me to step away from the busy planning traits of myself and instead to become more present. But then we went to South America and fell pregnant to which since finding out I am pregnant I’ve been in this crazy panic to achieve, strive, kick all the goals I thought I needed to prior to children, as though the ability to achieve all this would end as soon as I gave birth haha. Thankfully this week taught me otherwise and with being surrounded by some inspiring mentors and giving myself space to think and be (even if it was stimulated by a meltdown) I was able to recognise that I have so much time post-kidlets to still do all these amazing dreams I have professionally and personally. Where I am and what I have achieved so far is enough in this moment. So calling upon my Non-Striving mantra to help me stay present and grateful for the current position I’m in. By allowing myself to take a step back opened up the space I was seeking for my connection to bub, also bringing excitement for the journey of baby growth, birth and beyond. Taking the pressure off myself has enabled me to breath deeply again and appreciate the random days pregnancy delivers. Now don’t think I have completely got through this and am in a current bliss bubble, this is a work in progress for me and takes constant reminders to stay on track, present and not to pick up the stress that I’m confronted with. Utilising tools/techniques are important to ensure I hold myself to this, e.g reading helpful books, meditation, morning walks with Miss Meeka, daily yoga and giving myself quality time to disconnect from work.
Acknowledgement is the first step (which is a BIG one) however implementation is the challenge.
Yours in Health
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Guest Blog written for Ana Davis at Bliss Baby Yoga. Click the link below to be taken to Bliss Baby Website or read on below. http://www.anadavis.com/ana-davis-blog/entry/8-wellness-tips-for-a-holistic-pregnancy This month Bliss Baby Yoga Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga...