18-19 weeks – feeling movements

I didn’t get chance to write about last week because it was Andrew and Tom’s birthday at the weekend and things were a little hectic here! They had a lot of fun, and although it was tiring for me to have so much stimulation from everything that was going on, we had lots of help from family for the party.

18-19 weeks

Most of week 18 was spent with me back on the sofa due to a horrible cold/virus thing, which set me back a bit. Thankfully I had got over the worst of it by the weekend for the birthday celebrations. So there’s not much to say anyway about that week, as I just felt pretty rotten and miserable. The one thing that cheered me up was that I started to feel the twins moving inside! This is so lovely to experience, and I’d forgotten just how amazing that feeling is. I may not be saying that in several weeks time when I get a kick in the ribs from a small leg 😉 At the moment it’s a beautiful fluttering sensation.

Week 19 has seen me concerned about my (low) blood pressure again. Since my last hospital appointment when the doctor I saw wanted me to continue on half the usual minimum dose of a BP lowering drug, I have continued to monitor it about 5-6 times throughout the day from about 7am to 7pm. It has been very consistent in the range 100-105/60-65, which is low for me. However, I have also noticed in the last week or so that it has been dipping even lower than this, sometimes to 95/55, and therefore making me feel very dizzy. I really feel that this is getting too low now.

So I talked with my parents (who are pharmacists) now that they are back from their January holiday. They agreed, and suggested I tried to gradually lower the dose before my next appointment at 20 weeks, and continue to monitor to see how my BP reacts to this – it’s common for BP to rise in a rebound reaction if you stop taking the drug or lower the dose. I’m already on a very low dose, so this involves cutting tablets in half to take tiny amounts at a time.

So far I’ve seen no adverse reaction to this. My BP is still consistently in the 100-110/60-70 range, with the occasional dip, so I hope that I can stay on just two half tablets a day until my 20 week appointment. Then comes the talk with a doctor as to whether I can stop them completely, which I think I can, and I don’t think I ever should have been on them, but opinion has differed on this between doctors, so we will see what comes of this.

There was also the excitement this week of seeing a small amount of milk – or more specifically colostrum – on my nipples after a warm shower. I have seen some tiny crystals of dried, crusty colostrum on the ends of my nipples over the past few weeks too. This is really encouraging for me as I struggled with low milk supply due to my breast hypoplasia and IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) when breastfeeding the boys.

I intend to breastfeed the twins too, and have started getting the equipment ready to top up my supply if necessary (which realistically is probably going to be the case). I found one unused Medela supplemental nursing system (SNS) stored away, which I’d kept as a spare before I’d learned how to make my own SNS when feeding Joel. So that will be useful. I’ve also bought some thin NG tubes that I can use with ordinary baby bottles to make some more of our own SNSs, plus some new teats for the bottles that we kept from before.

Next week we will have our 20 week scan. I’m looking forward to seeing the twins again, though as I’ve said before, I find scans really hard since the one at which I saw a baby without a heartbeat. So I will try to focus on keeping my anxiety at bay.

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