I got my glucose test results back. The office called and informed me that I had passed my test. Big sigh of relief although I eat very healthy, its just always nerve wracking and anything can happen in pregnancy. A few days later I went in for my 30 week check up and told my doctor about my nausea and migraines. He looked through my chart and noted that my blood glucose had come back really strange. I was suddenly upset that maybe the nurse had told me wrong and I hadn’t actually passed. He proceeded to tell me that technically I passed, but my blood sugar was extremely low.
My blood sugar was 31. To put this in perspective, with Sterling, my first son, my glucose test came back with a result of 88 and I was told my results were, “beautiful!” The low blood sugar was likely the cause of my migraines. He said, “If you think you have a headache, those babies aren’t growing because you’re not feeding them.” He told me that though I was not a diabetic patient, he want to treat me like one in that my diet should be primarily consisting of protein and fat.
Thankfully, my diet is already mostly fat and protein so I didn’t have do to a whole nutritional makeover. I just needed to eat more frequently and really push the calories to get myself and the babies gaining weight. I think in some ways that’s every pregnant woman’s fantasy; her doctor telling her to “gain more weight.”
Over the next few days I went to town eating as much as I could. It was a lot harder than I expected. I was incredibly nauseous and sick feeling . I felt like food just sat in my stomach and didn't digest. I was determined to eat a lot though, I was worried about my little baby A who was still measuring small. Baby A was falling behind more and more each week and after my recent blood sugar results, I felt incredibly guilty. It wasn't like I was purposely not eating or trying to prevent weight gain. I was trusting my body to tell me when I was hungry and eat at those times which is what I try to always do.
I felt like I was doing really well eating more consistently and larger amounts then I got the flu. At first, I thought it was just a bad day with the third trimester nausea but it just kept increasing as the day went on and was accompanied by and intense migraine. With my doctor's words echoing in my head, I tried to force down a high protein smoothie before laying down for a nap. I wanted to attempt to sleep off this awful headache. When I woke up it actually felt slightly better but soon returned.
By evening, it had increased in intensity so much that I grabbed a giant mixing bowl from the kitchen to have next to me as I sat in bed reading. I've only thrown up a handful of times in my entire life so I have a hard time telling how close I actually am to the real thing. I didn't trust myself to be able to make it to the bathroom if I suddenly thought I was actually going to throw up.
Good thing I decided to take it because I did end up throwing up into that bowl in bed and I filled it to the brim. I felt pretty traumatized by that experience but my stomach felt so much better after that I was actually relieved. I know most people say that you feel better after throwing up but I normally just don't care. I'm so scared of throwing up that I would rather feel super sick than experience puking.
I threw up two more times at home within the next few hours and although I was drinking warm water between episodes to try and stay hydrated, I didn't know when it was going to stop and I was scared of getting dehydrated. I'd already been in labor and delivery with preterm labor contractions just six weeks ago due to dehydration. I called my OB and told him the situation and he told me to go in to triage and he would order me a few bags of fluids to make sure I stayed hydrated and healthy.
To my horror, I violently threw up again in triage right as the two nurses walked in to take my vitals. I spent about five hours getting two bags of fluid and nausea meds before being discharged and sent home. So much for trying to gain weight. I barely ate at all in the days following this awful night with the flu.
I feel awful.
That really sums up my week unfortunately. I feel like all the pregnancy symptoms decided to hit me all at once. I mean, they do say, “when it rains, it pours…” What symptoms am I talking about? Nausea, fatigue and migraines pretty much every single day.
I also finally got it together and went in for my gestational diabetes test. I botched the attempt last week because I didn’t give myself enough time to fast between when I started fasting until when the lab closed. I talked to my doctor about how I was going to do the test at my last appointment. I initially wanted to use honey as my 50 grams of sugar. It makes perfect sense to me that it would work out using honey. It’s a completely pure source of sugar with nothing else. It was my ideal way of making this test a little more natural.
My OB didn’t really love that idea… he gave me two options: drink the orange drink that is provided by his office or eat jellybeans. Neither of those two options eliminates the food dyes or artificial flavors that I was trying to avoid, but if given the option between a nasty sugary drink or jellybeans (which I was never fond of even as a kid), I’ll take the semi-enjoyable route with the candy.
I called my brother; king of fast food, candy, soft drinks and all things unhealthy and asked him if I could have some jellybeans. He came right over with a big bag to loan me a little handful. I had to look at the nutrition label and do that math on how many beans would equal 50 grams of sugar. Takes me back to my college nutrition lab days when I had to do these calculations! I decided the most accurate way to determine how much I would need, would be to weigh them on my food scale. The amount of jellybeans that made 50 grams of sugar was something like 1/3 cup or so.
I fasted overnight, which is the preferred way of doing the test according to my doctor. When I woke up in the morning I ate the premeasured jellybeans and headed to the lab to have my blood drawn exactly one hour after consuming the jellybeans. Starting my day off with 50 grams of sugar and nothing else in my stomach made me feel awful. I thought I might puke before I even got to the lab!
I know its just coincidence, but ever since that test, I haven’t been able to shake the nausea and its extreme nausea. I have had zero appetite and the nausea doesn’t stop. It’s accompanied by a headache that starts out as an ache then quickly becomes this paralyzing, brain freeze on the side of my head. Normally, it seizes one side of my head/face at a time but its so intense that I feel like my eye and face are going to start twitching from the pain.
I got these cluster headaches/migraines with my last pregnancy also. It is my least favorite part about pregnancy. I never get headaches outside of pregnancy and pregnancy is the only time I’ve ever had migraines. I definitely have a newfound sympathy and compassion for people who live with them chronically.
I also seem to have caught the first trimester fatigue again now that I’m in the third! This past week I’ve suddenly just been absolutely exhausted. I’m sleeping good hours of rest at night and taking a nap during the day when Sterling naps but its just not enough. I was feeling pretty good during my second trimester and all of this came out of nowhere so suddenly!
No bump pictures this week, I felt so awful I was just trying to survive. I know it sounds lame but I just had nothing left and setting up my camera for two quick photos was just too much. THATS how bad I have felt all week.
I got my first hint of a stretch mark right at 28 weeks. I was crossing my fingers that I could avoid getting any stretch marks again this pregnancy. I had my doubts because this time I have two babies in my belly, but I was hopeful because I didn’t get any last time.
I noticed them in the mirror after a shower and they were super faint. I had to strain to try and see what was going on under there in the mirror. There’s no way I can see the underside of my belly at this point so the mirror was the only option I had and that was difficult. I was still crossing my fingers that maybe it was just a few broken blood vessels or something.
Last week I’d looked at some pictures from my previous pregnancy and was comparing belly size. I was pretty sure that my belly was indeed bigger now than it was at delivery (almost 41 weeks) last time but its hard to tell in pictures sometimes. Now that I’ve confirmed these are indeed the dreaded stretch marks, I am positive that my belly is bigger now than it has ever been before.
I’m bummed at this new development but I’m letting it go. It’s only a superficial problem and there are much bigger things to be concerned about. It was a nice thought to think I could maybe make it out of this pregnancy mar free, but I’m not going to loose sleep over it. The pic below is the day I noticed it and yes, I agree they don't look bad at all yet. However, remember that I still have 8-10 weeks of pregnancy left!!!
This week I got two pieces of fitness related advice from my OB regarding what I am doing currently. He is 100% on board with me swimming, he thinks its fantastic and that I should keep doing it!
I grudgingly asked him about inversions in my yoga practice. Everything I know from my training as a prenatal yoga teacher says yes, they are safe as long as it feels good and the mother has a strong inversion practice before pregnancy. He had some interesting thoughts on that one…. He said, the only thing that concerns him is the amount of blood flow to my brain and the potential risk for aneurism for me. Whatttttt?!?! Not the answer I was expecting.
He continued to explain, saying that there is no risk to the babies, only to me. What his is potentially worried about is that during pregnancy, the vascular system relaxes and gravity has a greater impact over the flow of blood in a mother’s body. The second part to that is with a twin pregnancy in particular, the blood volume is not only much greater than in a non pregnant woman, but its also much higher than in a singleton pregnancy. With that much blood, and relaxed blood vessels, he is worried that my body might not be able to control the rush of blood to my brain when I go upside down.
I think that is a scary and weird point but totally valid. Am I going to stop practicing my inversions? NO, or at least not yet. I feel this information is really valuable and I will defiantly be keeping it in mind as I do inversions in the future. If I ever feel a hot, pressured, head rush when I go upside down, I’m going to come out of the pose, otherwise if I feel totally normal, I’m going to stay there comfortably.
I do remember feeling that kind of hot pressure from blood rushing to my face when I very first started doing yoga inversions, but I think over time, my body strengthened and learned to better control that rush of blood flow when I go feet up because I haven’t felt that sensation it in years. I think because I have such a strong practice and have consistently done them from the start of my pregnancy, even with the increased blood volume, my blood vessels must still be holding up and staying in control.
The one other thing he had to say about prenatal fitness is that he despises lunges for pregnant women. He thinks they are so detrimental to the integrity of the pelvis; the pelvic symphysis in particular. The pelvic symphysis is that little area where the pelvis meets in the middle, very low in the front (almost where the zipper of your jeans is but a little lower). As a prenatal yoga teacher, I agree that they can be very dangerous for pregnant women since relaxin makes joints so unstable and vulnerable.
I disagree with how black and white he makes lunges seem. I believe that there is a safe way to practice them in pregnancy. If the mother is very careful to keep her hips squared to the front of the room where she is facing, and she doesn’t sink too deep into the lunge, I think that lunges are safe and appropriate. They become dangerous when the hips twist to the side while the legs are split in the lunge position and when she allows all her weight to sink her deep into the lunge. This can tear that delicate pelvic symphysis apart and it is very hard to heal back together after pregnancy.
I am thankful to have gotten a professional opinion from my OB on the safety of the fitness activities that I am currently participating in. I do not entirely agree with everything, but I value and respect his opinions and will take them into account as I move forward.