Baby W – 3rd Trimester
Seriously, where did the time go? Next week this time…we’ll be responsible for a human. A teeny tiny baby. I’m currently at 38 weeks and will be induced at 39 weeks. I’ve had loads and loads of questions, so I’m just going to put the whole story here because its kind of a mouthful. So if you’re interested on whats been going on, here’s the scoop:
You may have heard me on social media, especially if you’re on snapchat, talk about how hard this year has been for us. Its been one of the most testing and trying years of my life. And while we’re overjoyed that its going to be the year our daughter is born, we both honestly can’t wait for 2017 fast enough. There’s a TON of things that have happened, almost to a point of it being comical, but lets just focus on the pregnancy for now.
The Medical Stuff
So, a little back story on me. I’ve always had issues with blood levels. Somethings sometimes are too high, some are too low, anemia…the list goes on and on. I found all this out right after high school and have had to get B-12 injections 2x a month ever since (and will continue to have to do so for the rest of my life). My blood reads like I have some sort of auto immune disease, except they’ve never really been able to categorize it. Essentially, my body fights B-12 (which is in charge of everything from memory functionality, vision, and basically when you get too low you have nerve damage). Its not that my body doesn’t proesss it from food. It actually fights it. So the only way I can have even below average levels of B-12 in my system is to get them injected directly. I don’t process them from food, from drinks, pills, or anything else. I also have very low blood pressure and have had several fainting spells in the past. All of this I’ve had to deal with over the past 14 years, I knew that when the time I became pregnant, it was probably going to rear its ugly head.
I regularly go to a hematologist, and so once we found out we were expecting, the OB immediately made us loop him in as well. So for every OB appointment I have (which if you’ve never been pregnant…there’s a lot of them), I also have to go to the hematologist. Needless to say, we’re so over being at the doctor’s office. The irony is that my blood is so very very precious at this point and I have to go get it drawn every week. Go figure.
So when they initially begin watching me, they noticed several things. Pregnancy only seems to exacerbate any current issues you have and some things are very typical. But if you’re anemic like I am, and pregnancy generally can make you iron deficient, it tends to almost be worse. So I had to get on some hardcore iron supplement (like this medication is over $100 a month). Wasn’t expecting that. I thought I could just throw back a few more over the counter pills but apparently they weren’t doing the trick. Then they noticed my Vitamin D was dropping. The irony there was that I was actually walking Ozzy more than I probably ever have in her life. So had to take extra medication for that. Then, they noticed that my platelet levels were dropping (which is what makes your blood clot) at a pretty rapid pace each month and that I have Immune thrombocytopenia or ITP if you want to google it. Obviously you want our blood to clot if you bleed, and when you give birth…you’re going to lose a good deal of blood. The other problem is an anesthesiologist won’t give you an epidural if your blood levels aren’t at a certain point.
I have always known that I wanted an epidural…like always always always. I have no interest by trying to go natural and I don’t knock anyone who wants to go that route, but its just not the choice for me. Its literally the one thing in my pregnancy that I was adamant I wanted: as pain free of a delivery as possible (kind of like how all I wanted to do was get married on the beach….and a tropical storm and flood hit…you see where this is going). So for our hospital (Piedmont Atlanta), that number is 100,000. I was at 60K and dropping about 10-12K each month. So the plan was positive thinking it would correct itself, but if not, then in my last month I’d begin steroids in hopes that my body would boost itself. So I started taking prednisone. I haven’t had any side affects really except the water weight really increased (although the first time I took it, Thomas was so nervous and watched me so intently, I acted like the incredible hulk once I swallowed them and started roid-raging in front of him. I thought it was hilarious).
At this point, I was at about 30K when I started taking steroids. The first week, it bumped it up 10K units. We knew it wouldn’t cover the spread at that rate, so we gave it another week in hopes it might jump up ever further. And wouldn’t you know it, that freaking number actually went in reverse. So as of this week, I’m at 29K units. So time for Plan B.
Plan B is what they call IVG – Immunoglobulin therapy. They basically are going to give me a transfusion of antibodies on Monday and Tuesday. Its not a blood transfusion but a mixture of antibodies. The process should take about 6 hours a piece both days – I’ll basically be hooked up to an IV all day Mon/Tues of this week. The side affects of all this can be pretty scary, but we really don’t have much of a choice in the matter so we’re rolling with it. Whatever gets our baby girl out safely and me safe, thats the plan. Oh…and this procedure. Its $10,000.00…a piece. #gulp. Our insurance has been a whole other issue this pregnancy (Piedmont dropped our insurance carrier so we had to file for continuity of care, and blah blah blah). I’m normally a girl scout about this kind of stuff and want all my ducks in a row, but so much has happened in the past few months that we’re just attacking things as they come. I don’t have the mental capacity to prepare for future “what-if” situations. So fingers crossed its covered because we haven’t really been able to get a straight answer this far.
Which leads me to the induction. Everyone’s asked why I’m being induced and this whole long story is why. Basically our doctors want to know that my blood levels are at the highest they can be before I go into labor, hence being induced. So the schedule is:
- Monday – IVIG
- Tuesday – IVIG
- Wednesday – Rest
- Thursday – Go to the OB and make sure she’s in position. Check into the hospital and begin Cervidil that night (a drug used to soften your cervix so you can prepare to go into labor, otherwise this would happen naturally on its own if you weren’t being induced).
- Friday AM – start the Pitocin, which is the synthetic form of Oxytocin, the hormone your body produces to make your uterus contract and forces you to go into labor.
Pretty detailed plan. And if you know us…NOTHING EVER GOES ACCORDING TO PLAN. There are so many curveballs that can come at this thing. Baby girl could not want to wait till I get my IVIG. She could come at any minute. She could not be in the right position and in which case I’d probably just have to have a c-section. The IVIG could not even work….
BUT…we are staying positive over here that things are going to work out as planned. That the IVIG covers the spread enough that I can get an epidural. That she’s in the right position. And that we have safe and as painless of a delivery as possible with a healthy little ginger asian baby as the result.
Exercise during Pregnancy:
If you had asked me at the start of all this if I would have been active during my pregnancy, I would have answered with every fiber of my being “Yes!” I was a girl who lived and breathed getting her sweat on. Not in an unhealthy way, but it was just a part of our routine. Wake up, work, gym, sleep, repeat. That’s been my life for a decade. But all of this…drama…I realized that the best thing I could do is rest. There’s a ton more I can talk more about in the a few months of why, but basically something in my life had to give, and unfortunately working out was it.
It started out more ego than anything I think. I was jealous I couldn’t do what I used to be able to do as selfish as that sounds. And I didn’t want to watch others in my classes do what I no longer could. I was pumped to watch the other gals hit their goals and see their confidence grow, but I felt a pang of guilt that I was left out of the fun.
Eventually, I quickly got over myself after a while and started doing the pregnancy safe exercises, walking and swimming. I found a great online resource for prenatal yoga, Stretch and Glow Yoga. She’s based in Australia, but she has a ton of free content and videos. It really helped me with some of the issues I was having in my 2nd trimester with SPD.
But this last trimester, all of it crept to a complete halt. A nice combination of not enough time in the day, not enough energy, and figuring that I should be kind to my body and let it rest vs pushing it to go sweat for 20 minutes. For 32 years I’ve realized how unkind I’ve been to my body. The things I said to myself. How I tore it apart. How I would sacrifice sleep over skipping a workout. And with this pregnancy, with everything we’ve got going on, I just had enough. So if I’m tired, I sleep. If I’m hungry, I eat. Maybe I eat a vegetable, maybe its Chick-fil-A. And if I feel so inclined to workout, I will. Now I might whistle a different tune after the baby comes and I’m trying to get back into shape, but honestly I hope I don’t. I hope I remember what my body did for me this past year. It grew our child. And if its got some flab, cellulite, and stretch marks at the end of all of this, I think I got the better end of the deal.
By the way I didn’t come to this mindset 100% on my own. Its taken years of struggling and battling inner demons. Luckily my friends Amanda & Ander, right at the time I needed to change my mindset, came out with an amazing program. If you don’t follow them, you need to. Its the refreshing breath of air any woman needs to start loving her self again, to stop with the diets and the detoxes, and to just get back to enjoying life.
Yeah so thats my pregnancy so far 🙂 I’ve received tons of messages from people talking about the struggles of it from my last two posts and thanking me for being so honest. So I figured I’d give everyone the whole story to recap the last trimester. To every single one of you who have texted Thomas or I telling us you’re thinking about us, or checking in on us, sending us gifts, or offering any and all help – we’ve been blown away by the love and support we have around us. We knew we had amazing people in our life, but to know that love will spread to our daughter has truly blown us away by how lucky we are. XOXO.
And here’s the last trimester of belly pics so far. I’ll take one next Thursday in the hospital at our official 39 weeks.