The Down Side

Hyperemesis is a bitch.  I had it with both pregnancies but with S it nearly went away after week 17.  This time,  I was still barfing the week before I gave birth, usually in the morning as soon as I woke up.  The first 20-odd weeks, though, I puked any time of day, set off by a smell, motion, hunger, or eating (sometimes just thinking about eating) the wrong food.

I started this pregnancy at 210ish lbs.  When I gave birth, I was 198 but most of the pregnancy I was in the low 190s because of all the vomiting and lack of appetite.

Today I am 188lbs.  I went in to get my staples out and I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the scale at my OBs office.  Is this the upside of hyperemesis?  (Technically, I guess it is the downside?)  I got pregnant and lost a little over 20 lbs.  Go figure.  This is exactly the weight I was when I got pregnant with S back in 2007.

On the up  side (up?  get it?), all the vomiting ruined my teeth.  The stomach acid is really damaging to tooth enamel and I will begin the dental repairs in August.  The dentist hopes she can do just a filling instead of a crown on one of my molars where the stomach acid ate through things.

July 6, 2010. Pregnancy #3, Pregnancy #4, South Beached Whale. Leave a comment.

There, I Said It

Niobe put up another  Niobe’s True Confessions.  I found the first edition horribly unsettling (is everyone really cheating on their spouse and/or having suicidal thoughts?) and I can’t bear to read the second.  Instead, I will post my own version of “true confessions.”

1) I do not enjoy breastfeeding.  On 22 June, I will have made it a whole year.  Baby S has refused to nurse for over a month, so I pump between 2-3 times a day.  I do it exclusively because the health benefits for him, which are particularly important given all the auto-immune issues in our families.  I don’t even remember loving it when he was actually nursing.  There were days when it was okay, but mostly I felt like it was a chore.  Still, it is a minor chore and may bring him a lifetime of health benefits, so I pump.  And pump.  And pump.  I will continue to pump until I go back to school in the fall.

2) Giving birth was not a transformative experience.  Having a baby was/is a transformative experience, but pushing him out of my bajingo did nothing for me except, well, to get him out.  I would have been fine with a C-section if it had been necessary.

3) I weighed 30 lbs. less when I was 9 months pregnant.  Fuck.

4) I have the worst acne I have ever had while breastfeeding — huge, cystic zits that really hurt.  I have gotten facials, I have applied zit creme, I have used every product imaginable; nothing seems to work.

5) The only thing that keeps me from wanting to try again for another baby right away is my trip to Europe scheduled for next spring.  It’s the hormones talking, I swear.  My logical mind is no match for my hormonal mind.  A 2+ week European trip, however, is no match for my hormonal mind.

6) Having my own biological baby has made me more interested in adoption.  Go figure.

June 9, 2009. Another One?, He-Beastie's Big Debut, Life With Baby, Post-Pregnancy Fun, Ramblings, South Beached Whale, Way Too Much Information. 6 comments.

Another Example of When It is Not Good to Hear a Medical Professional Say “Wow”

Me to my CNM: “Uh, yeah, I was wondering if I could get a thyroid cascade done this week?”

CNM: “Are you symptomatic?”

Me: “Well, my carpal tunnel is acting up and I am tired, but I am mostly asking because I just got on the scale and I have gained almost 30 lbs. while breastfeeding.”

CNM: “Wow. . . .  Yes, I will have the orders ready for you at the lab tomorrow morning.”

April 13, 2009. Life With Baby, Other Sucky Things, South Beached Whale. 2 comments.

Frackity Frack

Baby S is 9 months, 2 weeks, and 6 days old.  (We have a ticker on his blog; I am not actually that anal retentive).

I am still breastfeeding and plan to continue until he is at least a year.

It is my gift to him.  As I mentioned before, the risk of developing colitis is cut by up to 75% if one is breastfed for 12 months.  We are only nursing 3-4 times a day, so it is really not so bad anymore in terms of time commitment.

Except for one thing: the weight gain.

When Baby S was born I weighted 181 lbs.  I got on the scale this week and weighed 209 lbs.  HOLY FRACK!

I was never hungry when I was pregnant but breastfeeding makes me hungry all the time.  I eat almost everything put in front of me, even my veggies.  It is an even more intense hunger that when I was on Prednisone (steroids for treating colitis) and my CNM told me just to listen to my body as it is determined to make high-quality breastmilk.  She also pointed out that I did not eat well at all while pregnant, so my body is just trying to replenish lost nutrients.

But almost 30 lbs of weight gain while breastfeeding?

I joined a gym this week because if the apetite is going to be like this, something else has got to change.  I had to go out again and buy more “fat” clothes.   I read somewhere — and I am too lazy to go find it again — that 22% of women gain more than 15 lbs. while breastfeeding.  I was never told this.  It would not stopped me from breastfeeding, but it would have made me feel like less of a freak.

April 11, 2009. Colitis is Fun (Not), Other Sucky Things, South Beached Whale. 5 comments.

The Magic Number of the Week: Eight

8 = number of months pregnant I am, as of last Thursday (32 weeks)

8 = number of weeks I have to go in this pregnancy, assuming he-beastie arrives on schedule

8 = number of minutes to took he-beastie to pass the “kick test” this morning (you eat, you wait 20 minutes, you lay down on your left side, and you count how long it takes to feel 10 fetal movements. For some babies it can take up to two hours; for most it takes less than one hour; for “active babies” it usually takes less than 15 minutes).

8 = number of pounds I have gained this pregnancy

Yup, 8 pounds. Granted, I lost a few pounds (like 3 or 4) during pukeapalooza that I gained back, but my net gain is still only 8 pounds and I did not gain any more weight in the past two weeks. I am pretty sure I could gain all sorts of weight if I could indulge in lots and lots of yummy, delicious, carbohydrate-y goodness, but it is really hard to gain weight eating salad, yogurt, and lean proteins. I am still fighting nausea, which seems to have picked up this trimester again. I am not vomiting, but I have to take the Zofran for severe nausea, especially when I get out of bed in the morning and again at night, and I still have the dry-heaves several times a day. I think this is what “normal” first-trimester morning sickness feels like? This phase, although the nausea never really went completely away, started up again at about 28 weeks.

I have another ultrasound scheduled on the 30th of May, just to assess he-beastie’s growth and make sure it is my body that is atypical. My fundus (which still sounds like a dirty word to me even though I know it just means “top of uterus”) is measuring right on track at 32mm (it should match the number of weeks you are) and my tummy is getting bigger, so everything is assumed to be fine. My mom will be here for the shower, so she can join us for the “let’s make sure everything is a-okay” ultrasound, which thrills her. Now, of course, I have started to worry that everything will not be a-okay, but there is nothing to indicate otherwise, so I am just trying not to focus on it.

He-beastie and I have agreed, however, that he is going to stay put at least until Friday, June 27th. That is the day of the final in the summer-school class I am teaching, and I have a small class, so I can get them graded right away. After that date, he can totally make the call as to when he would like to schedule D-day. I know it may sound crazy to teach in the summer instead of relaxing, but I find nothing relaxing about huge amounts of unstructured time, especially when hot and pregnant. The thought of staying home for the next few weeks really scares me (the horrible stuff one can read on Dr. Google and blogs these days!), and teaching will also force me to get up, shower, and walk to campus, at least Mondays through Thursdays. Oh, and I get paid, too, which will allow me to fix some stuff up around here before he arrives without really worrying about finances.

I have also started going to prenatal yoga (my first class was yesterday), and will continue to go twice a week until I deliver. It is hard to breathe and find my balance with he-beastie mulling around in there, but I just take it slowly. I wish I had started earlier, but I guess starting at 32 weeks is better than nothing, right?! I am also going to try and use my video once a day as my sciatic pain is much better after all of the stretching in only one yoga class. I am also hope that all the breathing exercises and the exercises to promote an “open pelvis” pay off come D-day.

I am bringing my Prenatal Yoga Pack (yoga flash cards) to read while I go and eat yet another salad for dinner. This time, however, I am going to Pizzeria Uno and getting a small pizza with my salad. As long as I watch the portion size, it is allowed. My stomach is so small these days that if I start eating the salad first, it will be a challenge to even eat one full piece.

May 18, 2008. Pregnancy #3, South Beached Whale. 4 comments.

Well, He-Beastie is Excited

I have to redo the dreaded 3-hour glucose tolerance test Wednesday morning.  This time I am bringing my own blanket and pillow so when the inevitable lightheadedness and nausea hit, I can lay down on something familiar.   

I have been on a very low-carbohydrate diet since I got the dreaded news last Wednesday (the test was last Tuesday) and I have read that even doing that for a week can significantly improve your insulin resistance.  Admitedly, I was eating a lot of bad carbs before the first two tests.  Even worse, I was drinking a soda a day because it helped settle my still-sensitive stomach in the late afternoon.  Even if I “pass” this second 3GTT, I am going to keep eating like this for the duration of the pregnancy.   

He-beastie, by the way, thinks glucose tests are fantastic fun.  He goes bonkers when I eat something as mundane as salad, so the rush of the 100mg of glucose pounded down in a mere five minutes is utter ecstacy.  It looked like someone was popping popcorn in my uterus — POW! BAM! POP! — for at least 30 minutes once the glucose hit his system.  Too bad we can’t combine the glucose test with the ultrasound on Friday as it would be a hoot to watch that kind of activity on an ultraound monitor.   

April 29, 2008. Pregnancy #3, South Beached Whale. 3 comments.


I passed my 3-hour test, but only by one point.  (AGAIN WITH THE ONE POINT!)  They do four draws, and having high sugars for two out of the four warrants the dreaded “gestational diabetes” diagnosis.  I had one high one, and one that was only “not high” by one point.  That is way too close for comfort.   

I am back on, irony of ironies, the South Beach Diet.  Bring on the omlettes!   

Edit: I am going to eat a very low-card diet for a few weeks and then repeat the 3-hour glucose test.  Last time I had to lay down 30 minutes after drinking the orange-flavored, slightly carbonated syrup (OFSCS) so I didn’t throw up and/or pass out.  The nice ladies at the lab let me sleep there for the rest of the test, only waking me when I needed my hourly sticks.  It was not a fun test, but I want he-beastie to be healthy, so I am now back to pretending that sugar-free lime Jello is a delicious dessert.  “Mmmmm…. delicious jelly donuts sugar-free lime Jello.” 


April 23, 2008. Other Sucky Things, Pregnancy #3, South Beached Whale. 2 comments.

South Beached Whale

I have been on the South Beach diet for 2.5 weeks and have lost a whopping 6lbs. I think this is good, but when you start out at such a high number, 6lbs. seems like nothing. Oh, and my husband managed to lose twice that amount in the same 2.5 weeks.

I only cheated during the first two weeks by accident: I didn’t realize raisins were a no-no until the book arrived in the mail and I thought tapioca (in my sugar-free bubble tea) was a vegetable. (Guess what? Tapioca is a starch.) Aside from those two incidents, I have been really, really good.

I know that men tend to lose weight faster (no estrogen) and that I am still contending with a hypothyroid, but I still wish the weight just melted away. I wish I were 12lbs. lighter, too. Between the steroids for colitis and the hypothyroid, my metabolism is sluggish. My thyroid book recommends weight-training, which I actually enjoy, to help kick-start your metabolism. I will go tonight to the gym.

I am now onto Phase II of South Beach where you start to add back “good” carbohydrates. This is good because it gives you more culinary options but bad because it slows down the weight loss. Yesterday morning I made oatmeal, which is allowed, but only if it is not instant. (It took 30-minutes to cook my “Irish porridge” and while stirring it I pretended I was a super-fertile Irish house-wife and this was a nourishing meal for my enormous family.) It was delicious with skim-milk and sugar-free syrup.

I don’t feel all that big but when I see pictures of myself, I think I look like a beached whale — a South Beached whale. I also do not want to buy any more clothes, so I am hoping the weight continues to come off.

Unless I get pregnant, of course.

August 14, 2007. South Beached Whale, Trying Again, Waiting Around is Not For Sissies. 5 comments.

Desperate Times

I am going to do something desperate (no, I am not going to kidnap Pepito, or any other adorable child): I am going on a diet.

I am trying the South Beach/Adkins low-carb diet for two weeks. (I know, I know: the trendy diet alert has been sounded.) I have never actually been on a diet, but I figure I can give it two weeks, right? This is still my month “off” (as in I am not trying to get pregnant) while I let the thyroid medicine kick in, so why not? I like any diet that still lets you eat olives and fresh mozzarella cheese.

I am determined not to have to buy new clothes for the fall. I will lose weight by the start of classes at the end of August. It is equal parts vanity and penuriousness, but this extra weight has got to go and exercise alone is just not doing it.

We are having salad and pesto salmon for dinner. Mmmm.

What is a reasonable weight-loss goal for 4 weeks? I want to lose between 40 and 50 lbs, but I don’t know what a healthy weight-loss rate is. Any input?

July 27, 2007. South Beached Whale, Trying Again. 9 comments.

Vanity, Vanity, All is Vanity

Warning: The Following Post Contains Information that is Exceptionally Vain and Selfish

I am overweight. My BMI is currently 29.4, and anything over 30 is considered obese. For my height, I can weigh 169 lbs. and still be considered “normal,” which is a BMI under 25. This is new for me. I was very athletic growing up and never, ever worried about my weight or what I ate. Youth is wasted on the young.

This whole weight issue started when I had to take Prednisone for my colitis in late 2001. Everytime I would wean down my dosage, my symptoms would come back, so I had to stay on it for over nine months. I gained over 50 lbs during that period and have the nasty red stretch marks to prove it. My doctors were sympathetic but not concerned: it was better to be in remission and have stretch marks than be dangerously ill without them. I really thought (which is funny now!!) when I stopped taking the medicine that the weight would just come right off. I didn’t realize that it would take me over a year to lose 30lbs and the last 20 just refused to budge. This was okay, though, because I was still at a healthy weight.

When you have a D&C, most women are given antibiotics prophylactically to prevent infection. I was and took the 3-day course of antibiotics without even thinking about it. This was early October. In mid-December, I was hospitalized because I had C-diff (click here for more info on C-diff), which as best we can determine, was caused by this three-day course of antibiotics. (I took antibiotics after D&C #2, but they were specifically chosen by my Poop Doc because they don’t tend to cause C-diff.) I had a huge colitis flare. I was miserable and sick and did not even really care that they put me on Prednisone because it helped me feel better so quickly.

Now, as I sit here though, I care. I gained all the weight back from the first time I was on the steroids. I feel fat. I am tired of not fitting into my clothes. I am tired of looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself. I am tired of feeling like my body is not my own. Sounds a lot like pregnancy, right?

Here’s the problem: I am already overweight and it is going to take me months to get back to my normal weight, even with diet and exercise, because of how the steroid messes with your metabolism. I am worried about starting out pregnant at this weight. Vain, I know, but if knowing how pregnant women describe their bodies at the end of their pregnancy, how will I feel then if I feel this now?

I got pregnant this last time and decided I would not let it bother me. Now that I am not pregnant again, it bothers me, even thought I do not want it to. Am I really this shallow? Would I put off trying to have a baby again because I don’t like the way I feel when I look in the mirror?

Can someone who has had two miscarriages even think like this? How can I be worried about my body image when I might not be able to have a healthy baby? If I am overweight now, will I increase my risk of complications later in the pregnancy?

My Diet Coke and I are going for a walk.

Maybe my internal angst will help me burn some more calories.

June 23, 2007. Miscarriage #2, South Beached Whale. 6 comments.