30 Weeks: Pregnancy Update

I thought that when I reached 30 weeks in this pregnancy, I’d be dismayed that there was still so much time to go. It’s felt like forever to get this far, and I’m only 3/4 there. But now that I’m here, 10 weeks left seems like barely enough time to get ready for the big day!

Actually, I knew that was going to happen. I knew I was going to get to the point where I had only a couple months left, and I was going to feel pressed for time…time I need to exercise my body into readiness for the “marathon” ahead…time to step up my diet with super nourishing foods and herbs (morning sickness has made me far from perfect in this area as well as exercise)…time to finish reading the books I want to read…to convince my husband that home birth is not inherently dangerous…to clean and organize the house and buy those baby items I never got with the first baby but wish I had…

ACK. I only have 10 weeks left to do all this???

Anyway, this post is supposed to be about how I’ve been doing, not about me freaking out over the next several weeks. So…how have I been doing?

Well, if you’ve read my other posts, you probably realize that pregnancy is no walk in the park for me. However, I feel compelled to say that this time around is going better than my first. A lot better, in fact. I owe a lot to better dietary habits. I’ve also prayed almost daily for help. And I’ve had my husband, a priesthood holder, give me a few blessings.

It seems pregnancy is a sort of spiritual passage for me. I turn inward and do work there. The rest of the world could be in utter chaos and I could barely care. What I’m doing is too important. This has possibly been my favorite part about being pregnant.

While I’ve been growing spiritually and my belly has grown in size, my health has not been in the best shape ever. Of course, it was only a matter of time before the pregnancy nausea would cause my nutritional reserves to become depleted. In the last month and a half, I’ve had more irritability and some depression. Luckily, my appetite has been better, and I can try to make a come back. It’s clear to me that liver is the one food that would benefit me most right now, as well as cod liver oil, but I still struggle to get enough. I can also see that I need more beef and seafood. My depression actually seems to be the result of a zinc deficiency. As I’ve struggled through this pregnancy, I can really see how beneficial the WAPF diet for pregnant mothers can be, if followed properly. I truly wish I could have followed the diet more fully.

Despite supplementing with high doses of vitamin D, my test results came in low. I could also feel my magnesium supplies were dropping. I decided to finally start using transdermal magnesium in addition to taking it orally. I now take it orally just to keep my bowels moving well, and use the spray on my skin to help with absorption. I am hoping this will help my vitamin D levels go up, too, since magnesium is needed to convert D3 into the form used by the body. I also struggle to keep my iron levels up, though I am sure I wouldn’t have this issue if I ate more greens, beef and liver.

I am having acid reflux issues, though it is not terribly bad. It was much worse last time. I believe that if I ate more correctly, it wouldn’t be an issue. In particular, I need more vegetables, and I really should avoid most types of starches. And definitely sugar and chocolate. I can’t say I’ve been eating horribly…I’m eating so much better than my other pregnancy. I’m trying to stick to WAPF principles as much as I can, but it’s been so hard to eat as well as I want. If only I had a personal chef! I honestly think if someone else could cook for me, I’d be in awesome shape right now.

My midwife put me on an anti-inflammatory diet to help prevent preeclampsia. After I had been trying to stick to the diet for several weeks, my nausea completely went away. I thought it seemed random that it suddenly went away at 6.5 months, but I think possibly I was finally getting better at sticking to the diet, because then after a busy weekend of eating at the mercy of what other people were serving, I got sick again.  I think there may even be a connection between gluten intolerance and my nausea. I had started eating bread again before I got pregnant, and now I’m wondering if perhaps I wouldn’t have felt so sick if I had never started up on bread again. At this point it’s just a theory, but an important one, since women with celiac disease are at risk for more pregnancy complications if they do not stick to a gluten-free diet. I don’t know if I actually have celiac disease (I hope not!), but I think it would be safer at this point to avoid the gluten. I’m not supposed to have it anyway on the diet my midwife gave me.

On the bright side, my proteinuria levels have remained relatively stable the last few months. I’ve been using an essential oil blend over my kidneys daily the last few months. My blood work looked normal for kidney function at the last testing. I’m awaiting the results of my last lab, though it’s been a week and she said she wouldn’t call if everything was normal. My blood pressure has remained steady, reading at around 124/78 or so. I’ve had minimal swelling. The only instances it was bad enough to pay attention to was last weekend when I wasn’t able to eat my normal diet and wasn’t able to put my feet up at all the whole day (my feet and ankles swelled), and then a couple days later when I got sick and vomited (my face swelled and totally freaked me out that I was getting preeclampsia).

I’ve definitely been gaining more weight than I had hoped–32 pounds by 30 weeks, when I was already 20 pounds heavier pre-pregnancy than I was before my other pregnancy. I was hoping that starting heavier would mean I would gain less this time, but I actually seem headed toward gaining more. My two biggest gripes with this is that I’ve outgrown my old maternity clothes and have had to buy new underwear a few times, and that my breasts have gotten so big and heavy that I am no longer comfortable without a bra on, and I am definitely not comfortable wearing a bra, either, so I just get to be uncomfortable all the time (as if wearing a bowling ball in my abdomen wasn’t uncomfortable enough). I seriously want smaller breasts again SO BAD. Good thing they will only get bigger when my milk comes in, huh?

Oh, and I’ve also had sleep problems. When my son started school, I had such a difficult time adjusting to the earlier schedule that I felt like I was dying after the first couple of days. After trying several natural remedies, I finally resorted to taking Unisom. Unisom and B6 together have the added benefit of reducing morning sickness. I so, so, so did not want to resort to drugs, but thankfully this one is considered very safe in pregnancy (doesn’t mean I completely trust it, of course). Sleep was just too important and so was being able to keep food down and eat a little better. But after two months I was determined to get off of it. It was not easy, and I think I should write a post just on all the sleep remedies I’ve had to use! But off of it I am.

So, that’s my long-winded version of how I’m doing. I’m still working on that morning sickness remedy post. It seems the longer I wait to post it, the more remedies I find. I think I may end up with the most comprehensive list of morning sickness remedies on the Internet! So stay tuned…I’ll get it posted eventually!!

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