Little Pricks

My midwife thinks I am “crazy” but she agreed to let me do blood sugar monitoring for a few weeks instead of the 3-hour glucose test.  “You know, MC, you are the only person who has ever requested this.”  I would so rather test for the rest of my pregnancy than do that horrible test.  I only need to test 2 times a day (one fasting; one postprandial), twice a week for two weeks to see how my numbers look.  If they are okay, I just stay on the ADA diet.  If they are not okay, I start to test more frequently.

My mom gave me my dad’s old glucometer.  Last year, this would have really upset me.  This year, I am too spent to invest any emotional energy in being upset about it.  I need to buy new test strips tomorrow.

In a strange twist, the steroids I have been put on for the colitis have nearly eradicated my nausea.  I can eat!  I can keep down prenatal vitamin!  I actually have energy!  It is awesome, actually.  Too bad I am on a 4-week taper because eventually I expect all this to go away, but for now it is such a nice change of pace.  I can also eat vegetables and tolerate dairy (with my Lactaid) so I am hoping she-beastie is storing up all these nutrients.   I even gained a whopping pound!

I am at week 31 as of tomorrow.  I regularly have about 30 minutes of Braxton-Hicks contractions when I lay down at night, which are just tightening at this point and not even painful.  My sciatica is starting to act up again, so I am wary of walking long distances.  It is actually a good thing I am not in Europe with my students.

We are starting to really work on the nursery.  I have three major projects before she-beasties arrival: 1) downstairs:  oversee building of a first-floor laundry room/new flooring; 2) nursery: paint/clean/furnish/stock; 3) research: finish article/send out book proposal/write book review.  I have a babysitter for 4 hours twice a week for S, my mom will take him another afternoon, and he goes to his play-care (2 hours at a day-care providers house, mainly for socialization), so I hope I have time to get all this done.  Unlike last time, I know that I will get nothing done once she-beastie arrives, so here’s to a few super-productive weeks.

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May 24, 2010. Colitis is Fun (Not), Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

Oh! OH!

(The answer to all of these is, “why, it’s MC!”)

Guess who flunked her 1-hour glucose tolerance test?

Guess who has to schedule her 3-hour glucose tolerance test this week?

Guess who just got put on Prednisone, a drug known for raising your blood sugars?

Guess who is going to flunk her 3-hour glucose tolerance test this week?

Guess who is going to just going to ask her OB if she can start the gestational diabetes protocol instead of taking that awful test?

Guess who is going to be put on a ADA-approved diet?

Guess who can’t stand meat or tolerate dairy and is not allowed to eat nuts or raw vegetables (bad for colitis)?

May 16, 2010. Colitis is Fun (Not), Pregnancy #4. 4 comments.

Life’s Not Fair

It’s not fair that I had two miscarriages.

It’s not fair I had hyperemesis while pregnant with S.

It’s not fair that I have ulcerative colitis.

It’s not fair my dad killed himself 5 days after S was born, and that is mostly what I remember about S being a newborn.

None of it is fair.

So here I am in pregnancy #2.  Migraines.  Hyperemesis.  So not fair.

My colitis is now also flaring.

I finally had to admit today that this was getting really bad really fast.  (You’re welcome for not sharing the details.)  I was worried about nutrients anyway due to all the nausea/vomiting, but now that it is coming out the other end, too, I am trying not to freak out.  I am forcing down the prenatal vitamins (because I puke anyway, right?) and drinking Ensure, just hoping that something absorbs.

I had to start on Asacol and Prednisone (4-week taper) per my GI doctor, in addition to the probiotics and fiber I was already taking.  All of this is class “A” (i.e. fiber and probiotics) or “B” (Prednisone, I guess, is technically a “C” but my OB and GI told me they both think of it as a “B”), but I am so sick of swallowing handfuls of pills while pregnant.

I am 29.5 weeks so about 10ish weeks to go.

As long a she-beastie is okay, though, I can suck it up;  I just need for her to be okay.

May 14, 2010. Colitis is Fun (Not), Pregnancy #4. 4 comments.

The Low Down

She-beastie is so low, it feels like I have a bowling ball between my legs all the time. It’s worse when I stand or sit, but I still feel her when I lay down.  I am carrying, once again, “low” and “small,” so I guess this pressure is not surprising.

I can barely get the Monistat applicator thingy in because my baginjo is so, er, short (is that the right word?).  And no, we are not having sex.  Everything feels swollen in my lady parts and this added pressure is just making it worse.  It’s also compressing my bladder, so I pee tiny amounts all day long.

She didn’t drop or anything; she has been really low the entire time.  I guess she just got big enough for me to feel it.

11 more weeks of this?

My mom said she carried my brother like this and the only thing that helped was swimming.  I also read on-line that you can use ice-packs or frozen vegetables to help numb the pain but that it will not take away the pressure.

Does anyone have any other ideas, short of spending the rest of my pregnancy doing handstands?

May 11, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

Warning: I Am Going to Complain Again

I have a raging yeast infection.  My bajingo felt like it was on fire until the Monistat cream had a chance to work its magic.  I think that everything down there is a little swollen and tender anyway (I don’t remember this before, but I chalk any and all new physical weirdness up to pregnancy) so adding the yeast infection to that was awful.

I also projectile vomited again today, this time while changing S’s stinky diaper.  The poor kid.  He is so used to me puking that he doesn’t even seem to notice, and usually just plays with the scale in the bathroom while I do my business.  This morning, I finally managed to haul out his little potty training chair to ralph into while making sure he wasn’t going to roll off the changing table.  Have I mentioned that I am done after this pregnancy?

Today I bought she-beastie a dress.  I am trying to make her feel more real.  She is, like S was, super-active in utero but I still have a mental disconnect from the reality that there is an actual baby in there.  We also need to get working on the nursery, which I suppose will help as well.

I laid down at 6PM while Mr. MC was putting S to bed and woke up at 10:30PM.  I am now just waiting for the Benedryl, my evening antiemetic of choice, to kick in so I can stop the nausea/retching.  Welcome to my Friday night!

Additional Saturday bitching: sciatica started today down my left butt cheek and leg.

I haven’t posted a picture of S in a while, so here you go:

May 7, 2010. Pregnancy #4, The Magnificent Baby S. 1 comment.

Oh, Goodie

I flunked my one-hour glucose screen.  The cutoff was 140; I was 149.

Now I get to take the three-hour glucose test.  The problem with this test, aside from having to spend three hours in the lab, is that if you puke, you have to start the test all over again.   While pregnant, I am a puker.  Telling a puker NOT to puke is like telling someone telling you NOT to think about an elephant, because then elephants are all you think about.  A completely empty stomach usually means ralph-city for me; downing that nasty sweet drink and then continuing to eat nothing for three more hours is a recipe for disaster.

Last time, the nice ladies in the lab let me lay down in a back room and only woke me for the draws.  It was the only way I could keep the stuff down, and even then I was using Jedi-mind control to will myself not to vomit.

Oh, and I think my colitis is flaring again.  Either that or the antibiotic I took for bronchitis is still messing with my intestines.  I am downing copius amounts of probiotics, which are actually good for both conditions.

One thing at a time, though.

May 6, 2010. Colitis is Fun (Not), Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

Grateful, Sort Of

Given that 50% of my pregnancies ended before the first trimester, I know I should be more grateful to be at 28 weeks.

I am, of course.  Thrilled, actually, and very excited.

But being pregnant, at least for me, sucks.  I still regularly puke.  I am still nauseated most days.  I get at least one migraine a week.  I am starting to count down the weeks (12) I have left.  What scares me is that I am not even that big and I know as the belly gets bigger, things get more uncomfortable.

Walking around pregnant while holding S’s hand in a restaurant led one woman to actually remark that I was “very fertile.”  Obviously, explaining to her about the uterus of death, the two miscarriages, and the daily shots I take to sustain this one, was out of the question.  I just weakly smiled.   Sure, whatever.  Fertile myrtle I ain’t.

I am grateful to be pregnant.  I am grateful that all indications are that this is a healthy baby girl.  I am grateful that I can still get out of bed and go to work, even if I have to pump myself full of anti-puke medicine.

Still, I will be glad to deliver this baby and be done with the whole pregnancy thing.

May 3, 2010. Fertile Myrtles, Pregnancy #4. 2 comments.

Why, Yes, I Would Like Some Cheese with My Whine

I was sick this weekend.  It started off as a cold and progressed into bronchitis.

The bronchitis made me cough like crazy, which made me a) pee my pants and b) puke, a lot.  Then, my entire GI system got mad at me and staged a coup.

You can’t take cough suppressants while pregnant but you can take plain old Robitussin, an expectorant.  It helped but did nothing to stop the a) peeing of the pants and 2) puking.  Yes, it was awful.

I could not get out of bed for three days.  Mr. MC had to take off work to take care of S.

I lost 5 pounds in 4 days.

This was supposed to be the week where I started “eating well” (ha!) as I have my glucose test on Friday.  I still find most food repugnant and have virtually no appetite.  When I do eat, a tiny bit fills me up.  Then I go back to being nauseated.

And I think I am getting a migraine.

The good news: coughing and puking must sound awesome from the inside because I was always treated with a burst of activity from she-beastie.

Maximum weight while breastfeeding: 217 (ugh)

Weight at beginning of pregnancy: 210ish?

Weight last week (26 weeks): 198

Weight last night (27 weeks): 193

This is the most effective diet I have ever been on.

April 26, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

Where Was I?

Pregnancy brain is real.  As for the “magic” of the 2nd trimester — still puking, still nauseated, still losing weight and just barely showing — I am not convinced.  I am 25 weeks.

So much to write.  So little energy to do just about anything, especially things work-related.  The fatigue is relentless and it is all I can do to watch S.  It’s pretty pathetic, honestly.

I can feel her moving around a lot, which is very reassuring.  When she moves too much, I have a Braxton-Hicks contraction, which is not a cause for alarm, but is often uncomfortable.

What else is there to say?

Some random observations:

Pregnancy is much less dramatic the second time around.  I often forget how far along I am and have to look it up.

I am more confident in handling a newborn yet terrified as to how all this is going to work with a toddler around.

I am getting the epidural this time right from the start.  I don’t like pain.

I am just now starting to show and still losing weight, which is an odd combination.

I am looking forward to being out of the conception/pregnancy/birth lifestyle.  I am ready to put this phase of my life behind me and just focus on being a mom.

Where was I?

April 14, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 1 comment.

Poop

I am 22 weeks and still nauseated and still getting migraines.  Not all that exciting, actually.  Nauseated is now my “default” setting.

Within the past week or so, however, I have been hit by awful diarrhea.  I had the opposite problem previously due to the narcotic pain killers, so this was a complete surprise.  My mom and Mr. MC also had the runs, so we just assumed it was something that we all ate.  Theirs went away; mine did not.

I think my colitis might be flaring.  Last time, pregnancy threw me into complete remission.  It did this time to, at least for the first half.  I am going through my usual rationales: “it’s something I ate;” “perhaps it’s just a bug;” or “I have been really stressed lately.”  I am giving it another week and then I am going to have to call my gastroenterologist.

I already take two antidepressants, baby aspirin, thyroid medicine and Lovenox shots, so this is far from an “au naturale” pregnancy.  I just hate to add two more meds (that are class B and “safe”) to my routine.

Oddly enough, with my bowels so, er, active, she-beastie is following suit.  She moves a lot and I have slowly been able to ween myself off of the doppler.   We are also slowly staring to prepare for the arrival, even though it is still months away.

March 23, 2010. Colitis is Fun (Not), Pregnancy #4. 4 comments.

She-Beastie!

The migraine –> vomit –> dehydration –> migraine cycle is back so I have not been posting.

I finally got goooooooooood painkillers that make me high as a kite, but do actually help with the pain.

We had the 20-week ultrasound today: a healthy, maybe baby girl!!

I am sure I will be more excited when the urge to vomit/throbbing pain behind my right eye goes away.

A girl!

March 4, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 6 comments.

Number Game

Results of NT test:

Odds of genetic abnormality for my age: 1/490

Odds of wee-beastie having a genetic abnormality: 1/10,000

Very good odds.

The cost of dry-cleaing my coat: $18.00

The cost of having someone else steam-clean my car: $25.00

Showing up on your mom’s front porch covered in puke from head to toe because you just projectile-vomited in the front seat of your car?

Priceless.

February 5, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 5 comments.

The Return of Pukeapalooza

… it’s baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.

I am 15.5 weeks today and still waiting for the nausea to abate.

I was back in the ER last weekend because I was dehydrated from all the puking (like four-times-in-one-day puking; like projectile-vomiting-all-over-my-car-while-driving puking) and had developed a wicked migraine (like the- kind-of-migraine-that-didn’t-respond-at-all-to-8mg-of-injected-morphine migraine).  Two bags of IV fluid and a hydrocodone script later and I was almost as good as new.

It’s not as bad as last time, but it is still very difficult to watch S, work, write, and regularly succumb to bouts of debilitating nausea.

I have an OB appointment tomorrow.  Nothing terribly exciting happening as no ultrasound is planned.

Good news?  I continue to lose weight.

February 3, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 2 comments.

The Lesson Is Stool Softeners (Edited)

Pregnancy can cause constipation.  Codeine can cause constipation.  The two in tandem, well, pretty much guarantees constipation.

I was, ahem, using the loo when I looked down and saw bright red blood in the toilet.  My heart stopped and I heard myself gasp.  After two miscarriages, bright red blood scares the crap out of me.  It took me a few seconds to realize that it was not coming from my bajingo, but instead was due to, uh, constipation.

Then the adrenaline hit and I started shaking and threw up.

It’s the only time in my life I was actually glad my ass was bleeding.

Pregnancy is so glamorous.

Edited to Add: I am not making this up.  I could not make this up.  Someone typed in this phrase a few days ago and found my blog: “do miscarriages go through the butthole?”  This was before I put this post up.   Yeah.

January 19, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

Uncleanching and Exhaling

The NT test was fine.  Good, actually, with a low 1.3cm measurement.  I still have to wait for the bloodwork, but there are no “soft” (i.e. visual) markers for a chromosomal problem.  The wee-one was also moving quite a bit and giving us all an entertaining show.

I was finally able to sleep this afternoon after tossing and turning most of the night.

Now back to our regularly scheduled evening puke session.

January 18, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

NT Eve

I tried to watch the Golden Globes tonight and ended up puking halfway through.   Nothing to do with the awards show, but instead an on-going symptom of my “evening sickness.”  I may never eat vegetable tempura again.  Pregnancy, at least the first 16 weeks, is a fantastic weight-loss regime for me.  To date, I have dropped about 10 lbs. since I found out I was pregnant.

Tomorrow morning we have our NT screen.  I am terrified.  Please, please, please let everything be okay.  The little heartbeat was nice and strong on my doppler, so I am trying to be positive.  The perinatologist just has me totally freaked out about my age and it is hard to be optimistic.   Based on my age, the odds are 1/400, which are pretty good odds.  But still.

Tomorrow I am 13 weeks and classes start again on Tuesday.

January 18, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 3 comments.

Another Milestone

I am 12w1d and that means one important thing: NO MORE PROGESTERONE TAMPON THINGEES TO SHOVE UP MY BAJINGO!!!

I used the little yellow capsules last time and they stained all my underwear.  This time I had a white cream in a tampon-like applicator, which made a horrible farting noise when you squeezed out the cream.

Nausea/vomiting is still here but is only debilatating in the evening.  Benadryl seems to be the only thing that works as I throw up all the other stuff, including the prescription Zofran.

I am scared shitless about the nuchal translucency test on Monday.

January 13, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 2 comments.

Say What You Mean to Say

My OB wanted me to see a perinatologist because I am now taking two different antidepressants and thyroid medicine, in addition to all of the recurrent pregnancy loss drugs.  She was pretty sure there was no problem with anything but just wanted a second opinion.

I arrived for my appointment 5 minutes early, only to sit for 45 minutes because the office staff could not process that I am covered under my husband’s insurance and he has a different last name.  In the meantime, I got to see a Juno-esque couple, who look like regular acne-covered geeky kids, except that she was about 7 months pregnant.  They were there with her mom and both of his parents.  There was no way they were older than 15 and, needless to say, I found the whole thing utterly fascinating.

I finally get back to see the doctor for a consult (no undressing; no bajingo probe) and we talked about all of the medicine I was taking.

Here is what he meant to say:

Yes, you take a lot of medicine, but it is all medically necessary.  They do not pose a high risk to your fetus and are, as much as any drug really can be, considered “safe” in pregnancy.

Here is what he said:

“After looking at your file, the highest risk factor in your pregnancy is not the medicine you are taking, but instead is the fact that you are over 35.  You are of  ‘advanced maternal age,’ which is a scientific construct, but carries with it increased risks of genetic abnormalities and pregnancy complications.  Your antidepressants are not what are putting you in the ‘high risk’ category but the potential diminished quality of your eggs due to age.”

So, in summary, no, I should not worry about all of the medicine.  I should, however, be on the verge of panic about my age and if I were any sort of responsible person, I would have started having kids when I was 15, when my eggs were still nice and fresh.

January 8, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 5 comments.

One Wish

I wish that I could take all the women who have said things to me like “I looooooved being pregnant” and “I had really bad morning sickness too … I even threw up once” and “why, I just never had any nauseau — I just breezed right through the first trimester” and lock them all in one room and throw up on them.

January 7, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 4 comments.

11w0d

How many pregnancies?

“Four”

How many live births?

“One.  So far.”

See?  I can be optimistic.

I am back to my regular OB.  No more weekly ultrasounds, but I can now pick up the heartbeat on my home doppler, which is very reassuring.  I am still nauseated and vomiting, but I am hoping that it will ease up soon.  The depression, thanks to 300mg of Wellbutrin, is getting better, too.

I am of “advanced maternal age” so I am having the “Sequential Screen” done in 2 weeks.  It is bloodwork, a NT exam, and then more bloodwork 3-5 weeks later.  Needless to say, I am terrified something will be wrong.  I hope they get the results back fairly soon, as I am going to be a wreck until then.

January 5, 2010. Pregnancy #4. 1 comment.

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