Sometimes pregnancy is just crapola.

Let me preface this post by saying again that I am grateful to be pregnant at all and happy to have arrived at 32 weeks. As many of you know–we’ve had rotten luck with pregnancy (losing our first to a fatal neural tube defect 5 years ago) and then it took 11 months to conceive this time. We are fortunate to even have something to complain about and I don’t want to minimize the struggles of any woman who cannot conceive or has difficulties because even though my story might be different from others…I feel like I have been a part of that pain agony that women with fertility issues face. 

Still, pregnancy is different for every single person and my own personal experiences have been hard ones. I’ve been run down by continuing nausea/vomiting, scared to death by a blood clotting disorder that requires daily blood thinner injections and comes with many risks for myself and for my unborn child, and now I likely have freaking Gestational Diabetes.

I’m going to try to write this post like a dietitian/healthcare person (which I am)  to share my story for those who need the information on managing these issues–but I apologize now for being  just a scared pregnant mom that desperately wants it all to go away.

Yesterday, I went to my 32 week appt and got the usual weight/ heart rate/ blood pressure evaluation. My weight gain has been  18 lbs  total for this pregnancy and on track to gain about 25 lbs total which is the minimum recommended for a woman such as myself who became pregnant at a healthy body weight (BMI 20-25).  My blood pressure was excellent, and the baby’s heart rate was in the healthy range. YAY!

I knew that I had failed my 1 hr blood glucose test and took the 3 hour test last week to determine whether or not I have Gestational Diabetes. However, my nausea is so intense that I did not tolerate the test and threw up the 100g glucose solution before the 1st hour mark. My doctor gave me 2 options at the appointment: retake the test with anti nausea meds or use a blood glucose monitor for a week to track my blood sugars on my own.

I opted for the monitor and was issued a big brown bag of medical goodies–lancets, alcohol swabs, testing strips, and monitor. For the record–these puppies just get better and better as medicine advances and it isn’t as awful as I remember while working full-time in a hospital 4 years ago.

Then, my doctor explained that because of the risks involved with having MTHFR and using lovenox during my pregnancy–I would now be monitored 2x per week for fetal non-stress tests (1 hour of being attached to a monitor while measurements of baby’s activity and heart rate are recorded) The test looks for any signs of distress that are associated with normal activity in an attempt to detect any problems that might arise.  In addition, they would begin weekly measurements of my amniotic fluid levels to ensure that there was neither a surplus of fluid or a lack of it….both being problematic.

I am scheduled for a growth scan next week as well–the baby was trending at the 19th percentile for growth last month when my first test was performed and anything below 10% is considered intrauterine growth restriction. So the goal will be to avoid any decrease in growth because that would be a sign that I might have blood clot or problem with the placenta that is interfering with nourishment of our baby.

All of the above carry the risk of preterm delivery and still birth and just scare me.

So with these happy thoughts–I took the elevator up to labor and delivery to schedule my 2x weekly Non Stress Tests and learn to use my glucometer.  The nurse in charge was very sweet and has me scheduled to come in on the same days each week  and briskly walked me through my glucometer how-to.

As of today, I have tested 3 times and my fasting levels are within the normal range and my post prandial (after meal) readings are above normal. If this continues over the next 2-3 days of normal eating I will consider myself a gestational diabetic.  I’m trying to resist the urge to just sit down and wallow in the misery of adding 4 finger sticks and possible insulin injections to my daily lovenox injections (I am a total wuss for needles and for pain)…but I have been teary eyed and sort of shocked since yesterday. A girl has to get a break somewhere, right??

A high risk pregnancy is no fun. I feel like the day to day joy and anticipation have been almost completely eclipsed by fear and worry at times. There never seems to be a safe point or a stop to the “what else could happen?” feeling that follows us wherever we go.  I doubt I will actually take a deep breath until the child is born and we make it home in one piece….where I feel that many women are like–whew! That first trimester is over and everything will be ok…this is not a reality for us.

I get tired of well meaning and well intentioned questions about  if I am “so excited!” or “going to quit worrying”. No dammit, I am not. I haven’t received a magical medical green light and I won’t until it’s over and the delivery was a success.  I get that this part is hard to comprehend for the vast majority of moms who have successfully accomplished what I am struggling so hard to do.  It is what it is.  Be Kind. J and I went through loss once before and we live in fear of experiencing loss again.  I’m not deliberately trying to be a drama queen.

If sharing what is happening helps at all–I am grateful. Bloggers help me to know that I am not alone when it comes to topics that most don’t discuss.

I talked to my stepmom this morning about the next few weeks and baby’s arrival and her advice was simple:Your body, your pregnancy, your experience! She told us to do what we needed to do to get through it and not worry about what others might think. It helps…it really does 🙂

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4 Comments

Filed under pregnancy

4 responses to “Sometimes pregnancy is just crapola.

  1. Ahhhh, Jen, I’m so sorry. This just sucks. Gestational diabetes on top of everything? Ugh. You can complain all you want and feel worried if you feel it. You’re NOT a drama queen. You’re a normal woman. And given what you went through in the past, it’s so understandable.

    You know, Ed and I always knew we wanted to adopt – I knew since I was 12 years old – but so many of my doctors refused to accept that b/c I was “of childbearing age.” (As if there was something wrong with me.) Beyond just knowing what I wanted, being a high risk pregnancy that would have req’d continuous monitoring from Day 1 was a big deal to me. Even though I’ve never been where you are, I understand (as much as I can). I think that women who think of pregnancy as nine months of anticipation and bliss don’t always consider that it *can* be nine months of extreme sickness and a lot of fear. I’ve told you about my mom. I don’t know how she did it two and a half times. I really, really don’t.

    I’m thinking of you and hope that the rest of your pregnancy until healthy baby Elmo is delivered goes as well as possible. xo

  2. Oh Jen.. I’m so sorry you are going through so much in your pregnancy. I was diagnosed with GD at 34 weeks (I originally passed the 3 hour but had to take it again). I was given strict guidelines for numbers of carbs, etc. and was given medicine to take at night. I didn’t have to do insulin and hopefully you won’t either. I had to go in for nonstress tests due to complications and really, it was kind of neat and reassuring to hear my baby’s heartbeat and actions in the womb. It will be okay. You are in the homestretch and are going to have a beautiful, happy baby. Anderson was born a few weeks early due to complications and everything was fine. I’m thinking of you and try to hang in there.

  3. You are totally entitled to your feelings…high-risk pregnancy or not, I think every single woman has a hard time relaxing until her child is in her arms. And you have extra things to be stressed about! I’m so sorry it’s been such a struggle…

    I hope the next few weeks fly by and you’re holding your baby in no time!!! Thinking of you…

  4. monica

    Hi Jen,

    Love your blog! I’m 26 weeks pregnant, and have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was pretty angry about it at first, because all my life I’ve been careful about my health and exercise, and I thought being pregnant gave me a reason to splurge a bit. However, that’s not the case. I won’t see my nutritionist until next Tuesday, meanwhile I’m trying to keep my fears at bay. People have told me that GD is a common thing, but reading articles online about GD and the high chance of developing type 2 diabetes really put a damper on my mood.

    I have a few people constantly reminding me of watching I eat, and staring at me if I even put a morsel of food in my mouth. I know their intentions meant well, but it completely annoys me. I wish they’d just get off my back. I’m an educated woman and will find time to read up on my condition as to what to eat and what to avoid. I’m already scaring myself with this illness, I don’t need anybody else to layer on the unsolicited advice, and give me horror stories of what has happened to their friends’ babies. I wish I could say, lay off! But I just politely smile and slowly exit the room.

    Do you know the chances of developing GD after pregnancy?

    Thanks!

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