24 May 2012

Pregnancy FAQ

So in an attempt to blog more, here's some info about what's going on with me.  It's kind of been a crazy Spring!

So the baby is due 12th of January.  That puts me at 7 weeks on Saturday.  It might have been a little early to announce, but it wasn't anything everyone was going to notice since I feel pretty gross right now.  So I thought it best to just go ahead and tell family and everyone else.  Plus I can't keep a secret, not when the news is this great!  

Three has always been our magic number (even when I tried to convince myself one way or the other that it wasn't.)  So while we weren't actively "trying" to get pregnant, we weren't stopping it either.  I was kind of hoping this would happen a couple of months from now so the kids would be 3 years, 2 months apart exactly, but I'll take what I'm given.  So yes, the baby is due the day before Bryson's birthday, we'll see how that plays out.  I'm thinking we'll have to celebrate Bryson's birthday a couple weeks early, just in case.  

Some of you who know about my medical concerns might be wondering how this all plays out.  First off, let me explain a bit of what's been going on in case you don't know, or maybe my (well meaning) husband led you to believe that my head is about to explode.  Back as early as right after Christmas last year I was starting to experience visual auras, not unlike what some people get with migraines, but without the headache.  This went on for a couple months, getting increasingly worse, until one of my friends mentioned that maybe I was getting diabetes (I'm not).  So since it was about time for a physical anyway I emailed my doctor and asked if we could do the blood work first.  When it came back normal, she suggested I visit the eye clinic (which I was due for a check up there, as well.)  

After seeing my normal eye doctor, he observed swelling of my optical nerves, so he referred me to the University of Wisconsin eye clinic for further tests.  Which they did, lots and lots of further tests, including a super fun (not) MRI and a lumbar puncture.  The diagnosis?  Psudotumor Cerebrei, which is a fancy way of saying there's nothing in my brain causing the swelling, but it's swelling.  The best I can explain it, is because I'm obese, the pressure from the weight is causing pressure in my spine which is making my brain, and therefore my optical nerves, swell.  The treatment is possible medication and weight loss.  At the moment my doctor feels that the medication is not necessary because I'm managing it with my weight loss.

How much weight loss you ask?  Well, in the past 75 days, I've lost 25 lbs.  (If I wasn't pregnant I'd still have 60 lbs to go to reach my goal weight.)  The good news is that when I went for a follow up today, there were visible signs of reduced swelling.  I'd say in the past 3 weeks, I've only had one serious case of visual aura, and I was pretty dehydrated.  The nerves are not completely back to normal, but we're getting there.  The concern now is to manage and still have a healthy pregnancy.  

I've been very active before I got pregnant.  My friend (who is 20 weeks pregnant) and I attend our gym 6 days a week.  I want to continue being active throughout the pregnancy.  I'm not "dieting" (which is a word I detest anyways, but a rant for another day), but I believe that I can have a healthy pregnancy and continue losing a few pounds, at least for a while, but I definitely don't want to gain the type of weight I gained with the first two pregnancies.  I'll be working close with my OB, a nutritionist, and the eye doctor, plus I've really learned a lot about listening to what my own body is saying.  

So how am I feeling now?  Like vomit.  All day long.  It started about a week and a half ago and the nausea has gotten progressively worse.  I'm doing my best to control it, drinking water, eating protein.  It's the worst in the mornings when I first wake up and there's nothing in my stomach.  I can't sit around and feel bad for myself like I did with my first pregnancy.  I've got two busy kids and lots to do, so I manage.  

If you're wondering how it compares to my other two pregnancies: this one has the timing of Sariah's, with the aversions of Bryson's.  With Sariah I was sick from about 5.5 weeks to 13.  I lived on water, toast and McDonald's cheeseburgers (true story!)  With Bryson morning sickness waited until 10 weeks and lasted until 20, and I had a strong aversion to beef and dairy (if it comes from a cow, it's a no, no.)  This time around I'm sick starting at 5.5 weeks, we'll see how long it lasts, but I also have the cow aversions.  I'm doing my best with whole wheat, peanut butter, and chicken.  I've been trying to eat veggies and fruits, but the green stuff is a little harder, the first thing I gagged on was a big salad.  I'm just hoping this doesn't last till week 20!

If you're wondering how the kids are doing, well Sariah is taking it super well.  She's very excited for the baby, and she can't wait to help out.  We've been babysitting for a friend on and off for the past year and she's had lots of time to play with the baby.  Bryson doesn't really get what's going on yet.  He still thinks he's the baby.  We've been trying to impress to him what a big boy he is, but he's not having it.  He's also a super clingy momma's boy.  Often when I've been holding our friend's baby, he insists on climbing up in my lap, too.  I'm hoping we'll have lots of loving grandparents and daddy around for awhile to help him with the adjustment.  

I'm really excited about this pregnancy and doing my best to enjoy it since I'm 99.9% sure it'll be the last one for us.  I have that calm feeling that our family is finally about to be completed.  It should be a fun year!  If you managed to read this all without your eyes glazing over, I'm totally impressed.  If you have other questions, feel free to hit me up.  I never know what to write on here anymore and most days can't string to sentences together.  (This took me 1.5 hrs to write, and everyone else is in bed, so it's completely quiet!)


Alan and Denise said...

Thanks for sharing and explaining. Good luck with everything--and hope the morning sickness passes quickly.

Congratulations again!

=0)jessica said...

Beet & I know all about the calm "this is our family and it's absolutely perfect we're done" feeling! =0) very excited for you guys,
love & hugs all around!

PS: Jessica is a fabulous name for a little girl...hehe.

Andrea said...

Maren!! I don't know how I lost track of your blog...I just noticed you hadn't posted on the other one for a year and decided to check out what was going on! Shows you how much I read blogs anymore! Anyway, I'm glad to read that you are doing better. I am also pregnant with my third and feeling like "vomit" as you so eloquently stated (in fact, reading your blog made me a little queasy) and all I want to do is lay around sleep. But alas, the kiddies keep us busy. That's a good thing though. Makes it go by faster. I'm hoping this one will be better than the last two, but I'm not sure how that's shaping up. I'm due January 23rd, so we're about the same. Good luck with it all and I look forward to keeping up with you again!