Monday, May 20, 2013

Why Being Pregnant Scares Me

So, yeah, still (probably) pregnant. Still in a bit of denial here.

Obviously, some of my nervousness comes from the fact that Caleb is so young. He still doesn't sleep through the night (well, maybe 1-2 nights a week he will), so I will go from no sleep while pregnant to no sleep while in the NICU to no sleep with a baby to no sleep while pregnant to no sleep with a baby (hoping to skip the NICU this time). That is a really long time to be sleep-deprived.

The other part of it is that I'm just straight up bad at being pregnant. If you don't want to know about the ugly side of being pregnant, you should skip the rest of this post. For real.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

I was so sick with Caleb that I lost weight while pregnant. People don't normally do that unless they are already pretty overweight to start with. I was probably 13-15 pounds overweight when I got pregnant, and after delivery I was 10 pounds underweight. I got a lot of comments about looking like a pregnant skeleton. The problem was I couldn't eat much of anything except salad and fish. You try gaining weight on that diet. Everything made me sick -- smells, textures, flavors. I threw up a lot. I threw up at work. I threw up in the shower. It was not fun. And then at 10 weeks, while trying desperately not to throw up in the trash can in the waiting room, I "got" to take the glucose drink test to diagnose gestational diabetes. Since I had GD, I was forbidden from the diet I would have preferred -- goldfish and Kraft macaroni and cheese -- and had to cut most of the carbs from my already limited diet. No dairy and very little fruit either.

Regardless of the fact that my body was quite sick with all the hormonal changes, I was not producing enough progesterone. Since I had had a previous miscarriage, it was determined that supplementing my already-crazy hormone levels with extra progesterone would be fun. Yay for twice-daily vaginal suppositories through week 12 that are amazingly nasty and guarantee nothing!

At 14 weeks, I gave into the nausea, and went on drugs. I was like a whole new person. It was amazing. I figured it would be short term (maybe I would be one of those women sick for -- gasp! -- 4 months instead of 3!), but every time I tried to wean myself off, I was right back to miserable and pukey. The last time I tried to stop taking them was (inadvertently) the week I ended up delivering. I took my pile of pills each night, including the anti-nauseal, and was usually able to make it through the day with just one dose. That week there was a day that I was sick all day, and figured I'd have to up my dose. Then I went to take my pills that night, and saw my cute little Zofran from the night before wedged in my little pill container, all sad that it had been missed. That's my proof the nausea wasn't psychosomatic, as some had suggested.

Zofran, while wonderful at controlling nausea, did terrible other things to my body. The constipation was so bad that I was consuming 40 grams of fiber in food each day, while taking psyllium husk supplements, and every couple of days I'd still have to take milk of magnesia to manage to do number two in 30-45 minutes. Truly miserable. For the silver lining, though, I figured I got an opportunity to practice my birthing visualizations and relaxing my pelvic floor and pushing out those enormous "butt babies." Seriously, they were so big I couldn't flush them.

My goal was a birthing center birth, so that meant I had to be "low risk". I was, however, automatically "high risk" because I'm over 35. And then I had GD, and found out that if I had to be medicated for it, that would move me up the risk ladder enough that the birth center would have to transfer me elsewhere. So, I controlled that GD with diet. It was hard, but I learned so much about what kinds of things made my body more resistant to insulin, so in addition to what I ate, I controlled my stress levels (through deep breathing, yoga, exercise, reduced hours at work, etc.). It was exhausting, but I was sure it would be worth it.

And then I up and delivered little Caleb at 32 weeks. No warnings from my body, just POP! goes the membranes, and out comes a baby, three hours later, leading to a lovely 40-day NICU stay. I could get all I-didn't-get-the-birth-experience-I-was-looking-for here, but that's not really it. It's just part of how bad I was and this whole pregnancy thing -- I couldn't even carry to close to term.

So, here I am, 8 weeks along, massively nauseous and hating my body for doing this to me. Again. I have some Zofran leftover from Caleb, so I've taken a few doses to keep from descending into the crappiness that I dealt with before. I've given up on any thought of a birthing center birth or a low-risk pregnancy. I'm hearing the same song and dance about low progesterone, and expect to be on the suppositories by week's end. But I'm hoping -- hoping!! -- that we'll see/hear a heartbeat on ultrasound later this week, and looking forward to starting to look forward to this little baby, even with all the ickiness and such that is certain to be my path for the next 5-7 months.

 And since no one has told me otherwise, I'm eating goldfish for an afternoon snack. I already had mac and cheese for lunch. So sue me. I'm going to survive pregnancy as well as I can until it becomes the miserable hell that I know is coming.


Doing My Best said...

I am so, SO sorry =(! I want to weep every time I hear of a pregnancy like this because I know what that feels like =(. (hugs)

Heather said...

My pregnancy with Caleb was *nothing* like your 5, DMB. Nothing. But thanks for the sympathy.

Emily said...
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