How to Behave Around A Pregnant Woman Part 1

“Common Sense Isn’t Common Anymore” is a phrase that I hear and use almost daily.  What use to make perfect sense to everyone to do or not do is not the case anymore.  People now need baby-step by baby-step instructions for everyday interactions.

Especially around pregnant women.

Now, this is just my opinion, with input from some friends, but I think most pregnant women would agree.  Here is the start of my list

Having a baby bump does NOT give you permission to rub my belly.  I mean I could go on and on, make this whole post about it but here are a few of the big reasons

  1. Personal Space.  I get it, some people are just touchy-feely and will find any excuse to hug your or whatever.  But you wouldn’t want me rubbing your non-baby belly, so why should you rub my belly.
  2. Maternal instincts.  We are growing a little human in our wombs.  That is my child.  Don’t touch my child.
  3. Sensitive Skin.  Did you know that some women actually experience sunburn like symptoms on their bellies due to the stretching.  Yea, it hurts. Don’t touch.

Don’t Call A Pregnant Woman “huge”.  We’re women.  We can be vain.  We are suppose to gain about 20 to 30 pounds in a pregnancy.  We develop swelling in random places, carry water weight and have a hard time maneuvering with our protruding bellies.  We already feel huge, you don’t need to point it out. And husbands, calling your wife fatty or even “phatty” is NEVER acceptable.

Don’t Ask “Is this your first?”  Such an uncomfortable question for so many women.  There are those who have had many miscarriages, or lost a child, that the question is just hard to answer, and it is hard for the other person to hear the answer.

Then there are those who have multiple children, and people give really weird looks when you say “It’s my 4th,” like you’re some kind of side show freak.  I hate when someone responds with “Ever hear of birth control,” or even more inappropriate “Ever think of saying no.”

Children are miracles from God, a blessing to their families.  Whether in our arms or in our hearts, every baby is precious.

Are you still sick?  Have you tried ____?” If you have HG like me, the answer is always yes.  And sometimes that’s hard for people to understand.  And then they list off things that they tried to deal with their morning sickness.  When you’ve been dealing with it for 20+ weeks, don’t you think a women would spend hours online looking up home remedies and old wives tales and try them all, just to feel better?  You really think telling me to drink Ginger Ale at 22 weeks is going to make me say “Oh gee, why didn’t I think of that?”

Don’t offer to help if you’re not going to help.  If you offer to make a pregnant women or new mom a few meals, or to come help with chores, or to watch the kids so she can sleep, and she accepts – DO IT.  If you’re not going to follow through, DON’T OFFER.  And, if she doesn’t accept – DO IT ANYWAY.  Call and say “I made an extra dish of lasagna for dinner, can I bring it over to you?”  As a mom of 3 with Hyperemesis, and a husband who works 50+ hours a week, making dinner and household chores are hard to get done.

Veggie Lasagna… takes 5 minutes to put together.

Make one for someone!

And P.O.T.S. Returns

December 2013

Had a bit of energy this week… I decided to try to make dinner myself.

BIG MISTAKE!

While attempting to put a pot of taco meat on the table to make tacos for the kids, the room started spinning.  I had enough time to get the pot on the table and get into the living room before things went dark.

I don’t know how long I was out, only a few minutes I think.  But I stayed on the floor for a while, with my feet up.  Suddenly baby was moving frantically.  I was so scared.  Thankfully my nurse was on her way.  My blood pressure was 85/55, heartbeat slightly irregular.  Definitely a NCS/POTS episode.  I hadn’t had one in months, and this was the worst.  I had to take antibiotics when I got the blood clot a few weeks ago, and from what friends and doctors told me, antibiotics can mess up the system, even weeks later… yay.

Kate told me to take it easy for the next day or so, since I’d be seeing the doctor that week.  She gave me my 3rd shot – she was right, one hip hurts more than the other!

At my appointment, I was informed that I’d probably have to go back on the IV.  Probably not long-term, not yet at least.  But enough to get me rehydrated.

I’d gained 1 pound at my appointment, a good sign.  But liquids are still a big issue, and I’m still getting sick daily.  With Thanksgiving this week, I really just want to rest and enjoy time with my family… maybe some time at Mom & Dad’s will get me back on my feet.

First Images

November 2013

18 weeks, still getting sick.

I was scheduled for our mid-pregnancy ultrasound, but it had to be rescheduled due to illness.

My husband and I didn’t want to wait.  We wanted to make our announcement, we wanted a picture to show everyone. But most of all, we wanted to make sure baby was ok.

We already knew a few people expecting and due around the same time as we are (April 2014) had made their announcements early on in their pregnancy.  We hadn’t wanted to steal anyone’s thunder, but we wanted our moment too.

So on November 22, we went and had 3D/4D ultrasounds done at My Little Me.  For $70, we were really hoping for some great pictures.  However, baby kinda had other plans.  We were able to get a few cute shots, but baby was breach.  Feet right by the face for most of the session, sitting at a weird angle.  We got one cute one, though.  Not sure which sibling the new baby looks like…

Samantha, 2005
Emmalee, 2006
Steven, 2008
Baby #4

It was an emotional moment, watching our son/daughter moving around, kicking it’s feet, even waving at us.  It creeped the kids out a bit, they didn’t quite understand how we could see inside mommy’s tummy.  But there is the newest member of our family.  Even if I’m sick everyday until the day the baby is born, as long as he/she is ok, it will all be worth it.

At 19 weeks, my official ultrasound was rescheduled.  Baby still breach.  It was hard to get measurements, but we estimate around 8oz in weight.  Couldn’t really get a length.  Again, baby was active, but this time it was harder to watch.  It was like there wasn’t enough room for him/her.  More waving, lots of hiccups.  Even a yawn.  We aren’t planning on finding out the gender.  Even if we wanted to, however, the baby didn’t cooperate.  Oh well, Steve wins this time.

Thumbs Up
Big Yawn!

Shots Shots Shots!

Week 17 AKA:  my worst week yet.

Now that I’m not getting fluids through the IV, I really needed to try drinking more.  On a good day, I might get 20 oz in.  But I really needed 40-60 at least!  The Zofran helped me from getting really sick, but didn’t prevent the nausea.  The problem with it, while I could take 8mg every 8 hours, it really only gave me relief for 3 to 4 hours before it faded away.  It made for some unpleasant days at work.  The last thing I wanted was for anyone else to have to be around me when I was getting sick.

The doctor has tried to get me a prescription for Diclegis, but the insurance wouldn’t cover it.  They had some samples to give me, hoping that the insurance will cover it now, since we’ve exhausted every other option.  It took a few days, but they finally approved.

Because my 3 other children were born 2.5, 3.5 and 5.5 weeks early, the odds of baby #4 being early were pretty good.  With my son spending 10 days in the NICU, and then 2 months on an apnea monitor, I wanted to be sure to do whatever I could do to prevent another premie.

So to be proactive with this pregnancy, my doctor ordered me P17 (progesterone) weekly injections.  Yup, shots.  Every week.  For 18-20 weeks.  In the hip.  Every week.  And the medication is thick.  And it hurts.  Every week.  For the entire week until it’s time for the next one.  Granted, everyone has different pain tolerances, and my new nurse Kate said some patients say one side hurts more than the other.  But it is not pleasant.  However, the alternatives are worse, so I’ll stick with my shots.

Aside from the pain the first few days after the initial injection, I noticed my nausea wasn’t as uncomfortable.  I wasn’t getting sick at the thought of food, so I began to eat more.  Beverages were still a different story, but I was actually able to chew food for the first time since before I found out I was pregnant.  No more over-cooked pasta and mashed potatoes!

I wasn’t really sure if it was the shots or the Diclegis, so I tested it out by skipping the pills.  Bad idea.  The combination of the progesterone, Diclegis, and my Zofran all were working together.  Take anything out of the equation and I’d be asking for it!  So, now I know.

I feel really thirsty though.  I tried to drink, not just sipping like I had be, but properly drink a small glass of water.  Bad idea.  I tried juice, it stayed down, but I felt “swishy.”  From what I’m reading in a few support sites, many moms dealing with HG can’t tolerate plain water…  I wonder why that is…

Is A Baby Shower OK For Baby #4?

Going in to this pregnancy, we’d gotten rid of just about everything.

We have some outfits for each of the kids, our favorites, and the ones not ruined by spit-up. 


Any toys we’d gotten rid of because of concerns for the chemicals in the plastic.  


We don’t have a crib anymore, and the old baby carseat is long since expired.  


High chair had it’s last meal a few years ago…

So now here we are, expecting another baby.

We’ve had several friends ask us if we were going to have a baby shower… and several people tell me that if I’m thinking about having one, to not.

So I don’t know…. The last baby shower I had was for Samantha, almost 9 years ago.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to have a party; why not have one for just the baby.  I mean, we still have a few clothes, and I’ve been slowly stocking up on diapers (very slowly).

I mean, a diaper party isn’t too unreasonable, is it?  Or a casserole party?  I mean, I’m having a hard enough time feeding my family with my being so sick, what’s it going to be like once the baby’s here?  Plenty of people have asked if they could help, and we’ve accepted, but then it slipped their mind or life happened…

http://www.toysrus.com/registry/

Registry #: 52002962

Hubby and I had a few evenings to ourselves while the kids were visiting my parents, so we went and did a baby registry.  Not really planning to have a shower; it was more to see all the things that we didn’t have… it’s  a long list.   We did sign up for the Babies R Us V.I.B. (Very Important Baby) program – where was this when my other kids were little?  Friends and family can contribute to a gift card, that can be used for diapers, formula and baby food, and then Toys ‘R’ Us adds an additional 5%.

So that is the question: to have baby shower or to not have a baby shower…?  This the the response I got from a 30+ mom group on WhatToExpect.com.  Still not sure what to do…

Off the IV

November 2013

Week 16 brought a few more firsts for us.

Steve was able to feel the baby for the first time… it was an encouragement for him to know that the baby was ok.  We still haven’t made the pregnancy “Facebook Official” yet, in fact, only a handful of people know about the pregnancy at this point.  But that moment resonated with Steve, and he even posted “Felt something magical last night” on Facebook.  Call it hormones, but it choked me up when I saw that.

I began eating a bit more.  Soft, bland foods, still, but I was eating.  Scrambled eggs for breakfast, pasta for dinner.

This week, after church on Sunday, while my husband was at work I took the kids to lunch at Salsaritas (Gotta love Kids Eat Free days!).  I actually had a bit of energy to drive there, but the line was super long, and I regretted it.  But standing in line, a lady with a small child in a sling came up behind me, and said “Sorry you’ve got the PICC Line.  I had it too.”  While waiting to order, we chatted.  She had to have her IV for the entire pregnancy.  After a few months, her doctor let her unhook at night.  She told me that she too had trouble with people not understanding the symptoms.  It was encouraging for me to see that she had a healthy baby after all that stress that she’d been through.

Again: Let me break it down for you.  Have you ever had a stomach flu? or food poisoning?  It took a lot out of you, right?  You felt like you spent all day in the bathroom, right?  And the last thing you wanted was to eat or drink something, in fear of it coming back up.  But the relief you felt knowing that it’s only going to last a few days…  Yea, imagine all that, except you don’t know when it’s going to stop.  That’s HG.

Oddly enough, my nurse was off that week for my weekly dressing change, but her nurse was filling in.  She was also sharing with me some of the issues she’s seen with her patients. Again, it was really nice to know I wasn’t alone.

This week when my PICC Line dressing was changed, something felt off.  Usually, it doesn’t hurt, but later that day, I started feeling some pain.  I texted my regular nurse, and she came over the next night.  My arm (which is measured weekly) had swollen over the 24 hours from the dressing change.  And was very warm to the touch.  She sent me to the ER.

After 3 hours of waiting, blood tests and an ultrasound of my arm, I got my diagnosis.  Blood Clot!  Yay.  So my PICC Line had to come out.  I had 10 days of antibiotics to take, plus heating pads to the swollen arm, but no IV, no fluids.

As annoyed as the bag made me at times, I needed it.  At least I knew that on my worst days, that baby was getting what it needed.  Now, I don’t have that comfort.

The days following the IV coming out were some of the worst.  My nurse told me that many HG moms start to feel relief after week 16, but that week, it didn’t seem I was going to be one of those moms.

First For The Kids

14 weeks…

 

Yuppers… welcome to week 4 on the IV!

 

It’s gone from an annoyance to just a part of life.

 

At this point, all our immediate families know… We were timid about it, not really sure how everyone would handle it.  Especially the IV situation.

 

The kids had a day off school, and I happened to schedule my 14 week appointment for that day.  So my husband and I brought the kids with us to hear the baby’s heartbeat.

 

Usually, my doctor is pretty steady with getting their patients in.  I arrived, checked in, gave my urine sample like every visit, and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  It was 90 minutes before I was called in to the examine room.  My weight went up, but it was all water weight from the last 90 minutes of just sitting.  We checked again after a potty break – only a 2 lb increase from my last visit.  Still under my pre-pregnancy weight.  Yay.  😦

 

It was such a great moment for my husband and I to hear that baby’s heartbeat, knowing that baby is ok.  And it was great for our kids to hear it too.  We hadn’t really come right out and told our 5 year old son that I was pregnant, but we’d been prepping him.  After the heartbeat was echoing in the room, we told him.  The most priceless moment was him saying “I want a baby brother.”  It didn’t even seem to bother him that he wasn’t going to be the baby any more.

 

I began to feel movements around 15 weeks.  It was subtle, but as it is the 4th time around, I knew what  to be “looking” for.  I know my kids were eager to feel the baby, and would say that they could feel it, but I wasn’t quite sure that they did.  Either way, they developed a connection to the baby.