Chronically Pregnant – Week 12

me

So excited to announce that we are having a BOY!!!! Even more excited to announce that the genetic testing all came back normal. This was such a huge relief for me. While I’m still in utter awe of the fact that science has come so far that you can tell the gender of your baby and test for genetic abnormalities through a simple blood test at 10 weeks gestation, I’m so incredibly thankful! Up until this week, I’ve mostly touched on the difficulties of pregnancy with a chronic illness but today I just want to focus on celebrating! Our pregnancies can certainly be a challenge but what an incredibly Blessing to still be capable of growing a little, precious human despite all that our bodies have been through.

So, let’s celebrate!!

  1. Treat Yourself!!! You an your baby have worked so hard through this first trimester! I went and had a manicure and it just felt so wonderful to be pampered!
  2. Make a family “Wishes” jar. Throughout your pregnancy, you and your family and friends can write down wishes for the baby. “My wish for you is that you will always feel loved.” Fold them up and put them in the jar! After baby is born, put them in his baby book, or just close the jar up for him or her to open at graduation!
  3. Just sit an enjoy your bump. Put on some soothing music, get in a cozy spot, and just love on that sweet belly. Rub some coconut oil on it, talk to it, embrace it because it’s so beautiful!

Chronically Pregnant – Week 11

11-weeks

So close to my second trimester! How exciting is that? The nausea is starting to subside but dizziness is really kicking in. Dizzy spells and vertigo are fairly common symptoms of many auto/neuro conditions. I certainly have my fair share, even before pregnancy. It’s also fairly common in pregnancy. Mesh the two together, and I’m feeling a bit like I’m on a Merry-Go-Round or the Spinning Teacup Ride (both which I super hate). I’ve almost fallen several times, only to be saved by falling back onto my bed or into a wall. Now that I realize the dizziness is going to be a real issue for me, I’ve made some strides at curbing the spins before they start! Hopefully this may help you too!

  1. Sea Bands- These little acupressure bands slide onto your wrists and help to naturally reduce nausea and dizziness by applying direct and constant pressure to your wrists. (I’m sure it gets more scientific than that but all I know is that they help!)
  2. DO NOT just HOP out of bed! This one gets me every time!!! Now, when I go from laying to sitting, I sit on the edge of the bed for a minute. When I feel stable, I pump my legs up and down a few times before standing. When I stand I make sure I have something to hold onto.
  3. Water Water Water Water – I cannot stress enough the importance of hydration! Dehydration will totally exacerbate your dizziness. I track my water intake by carrying my fave Tervis cup around with me and pay attention closely to how many times I fill it up a day!
  4. Sleep – I’ve noticed that when I don’t get adequate sleep I get really light-headed. I personally need about 8-9 hours of sleep a night and good nap during the day. Sleep deprived Lisa is not only dizzy, but a super cranky bear so… it’s just not pretty for anyone.

Chronically Pregnant- Week 10

me2

What an exciting week! Today I will go take a blood test called the “Panorama” test. This will check for chromosomal abnormalities and even let us know the gender of our little peanut. Honestly the gender blood test blows my mind! I figured with this pregnancy, like all others, I’d just have to wait until I was 20 weeks and hope to get a good “view” on the ultrasound. I’m sure this is not some totally new thing, but it’s new to me and I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas! Of course the anticipation of the results of the rest of the blood work has be a bit anxious but I’m really just trying to focus on positive thoughts and baby gender!

Tips for Week 10:

  1. Having a blood test to check for chromosomal abnormalities can be a little nerve racking. We all pray and hope for healthy babies. Take deep breaths, don’t pre-freak out, and stay focused on the positive, and the excitement of finding out if you’re having a boy or girl!
  2. Pregnancy sickness still keeping you feeling a little green? Me too. I’ve read that this week can actually be the worst for it, but there is light at the end of the tunnel in week 12 when praying to the porcelain gods should start to subside.
  3. I’m hot. I’m cold. Then I’m hot again. Good grief. With my particular neuro/auto disorder I have a difficult time regulating my body temperature. Pregnancy is totally not helping. Dress in layers and bring a portable fan with you everywhere you go.

Chronically Pregnant- Week 9

week-9

This pregnancy has got me, and everyone around me, playing Russian Roulette with my emotions. My moods swing so high and so low, even the most daring individual wouldn’t dare step on this amusement park ride. I can go from happy to crappy in 0.5 seconds. Catching my drift? I get that a moderate amount of moodiness is normal in pregnancy, no thanks to Captain Hormones and his trusty sidekick, Super Nausea, but this is getting quite ridiculous. I guess I’m realizing that having a disorder of my nervous system, that affects my NERVES, that I seem to have only one left of, is maybe also playing its part in this moody fiasco. I’m finding that I’m in desperate need of a lot of space and even more understanding. I’m not going to impart you with any great words of wisdom as I have not even begun to conquer this beast in me, but I will tell you a few things that seem to help me, and those who have to live with me.

  1. When you feel the heat of a full on mood swing start to arise, REATREAT! Lock yourself in your room, bathroom, car, whatever…and just breathe
  2. Have a code word for your family that let’s them know you can absolutely not take anymore. Like if the kids are climbing the walls and your partner is driving you nuts, say “BANANA”… This is the cue for everyone to calm the hell down unless they want to deal with the backlash of your almighty hormonal fury
  3. Use preventative measures. Carve out quiet times during the day for yourself, even if it’s just 10 minutes here or there to sit and journal or read. 5 minute meditations using an iPhone app like Simple Habit, might save your sanity, and everyone else’s

Chronically Pregnant- Week 8

me8(Got to see the little raspberry! <3)

 

As you already very well know, most of our neurological/auto-immune disorders come with a thick blanket of chronic fatigue. Add pregnancy to that and we may very well feel like zombies. I know I do! I get super frustrated because I’m constantly fighting the fatigue and my pillow beckons me with it’s fluffy, soft, wonderful ways. Oh Pillow! Why do you tempt me so?!

All joking aside, this level of fatigue can be practically debilitating. Once it hits me, I need to sleep immediately. I’ve even had to pull my car over and sleep in a grocery store parking lot because I was afraid to continue to drive. While getting naps in with our busy schedules seems like an impossible task, I feel that it’s SUPER important to listen to my body. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve used to help me fight the fatigue.

  1. Carry a blanket and pillow with you everywhere you go, especially in your car. If you get excessively tired while on the road, pull over to a safe place immediately. Nap it out for a few minutes and if you cannot, call someone to come get you. No need in putting yourself or others in danger by falling asleep at the wheel.
  2. If you are working and having a hard time making it through your day, ask your boss if they are able to give you extended lunch hours during your pregnancy so you can take a power nap in the middle of your day. I work in a clinic so I just curl up on an exam bed and nap. I’m super lucky to work for amazing people that make accommodations for me during this time.
  3. Nap Nap Nap Nap Nap Nap! Nobody hates leaving dishes in the sink as much as I do, but sometimes you just gotta let it go and get your nap in when you can! Preventative naps are the best way, in my opinion, to prevent overwhelming fatigue.
  4. Happy Napping! ❤

Chronically Pregnant – Week 7

week-7

Don’t let that smiling face fool you, it has been a ROUGH week! Pregnancy nausea is full blown and I don’t even want to talk about my constipation…Well, actually yes I do. I ended up needing IV fluids and anti-nausea medications one day last week because I got so dehydrated.

Coming off the medications I take for my neurological/auto-immune disorder has been a challenge as well. I had to say Bye-Bye to Baclofen, which meant saying Hello to painful muscle spasms. I also had to cut down on most of my other meds so I’ve struggled with numbness in my feet, nerve pain, and painful tremors. Have I officially scared you yet? Well, I didn’t mean to.

Truth be told, I’ve been pretty uncomfortable but it’s also been manageable. Here are a few things I’ve started doing to help me get by this week…and probably for the rest of my pregnancy.

  1. Water, Water, Water, Water…I cannot express enough how important drinking water is. Hate the taste of water? Add a flavor packet but DRINK! Dehydration definitely exacerbates ALL of my neuro/AI symptoms.
  2. Carry a snack tote with you everywhere. Pack it with fresh fruits/veggies, probiotic prune yogurt (sounds gross but it’s actually pretty yummy and helps with that pooping problem), and whatever else you can tolerate eating right now. Avoid fast food like the plague.
  3. Eat small, frequent meals. Don’t wait until you’re starving, binge on a giant meal, and feel like crap the rest of the day. I eat about every three hours. Small Breakfast, Snack, Small Lunch, Snack, Small Dinner, Snack. I still want to puke almost all day but at least it helps me not to be as miserable.
  4. Keep your neuro/AI symptoms in check. As you remove some of your non-pregnancy-safe medications from your daily regimen (under your doctors care and instruction), keep close track of how that is affecting your body. Keep a journal and talk to your doctor often ❤

Chronically Pregnant – Week 6

week-6

 

The four most frequently used words I’m using presently are “I need to pee.” How can something the size of a pea make me constantly have to pee?! Well, the answer is hormones, ladies. Our crazy influx of hormones are causing all kinds of crazy things to happen to our bodies right now, including increased gas and bloating. (Yay!) Don’t take it too hard if you feel like you’re already “showing.” It’s just gas and water but I kind of like looking as pregnant as I feel and am enjoying my bump. (Plus, this is baby #5 for me so this may be very different for you!)

If you have neurogenic bladder, you may want to consider wearing a pad about now. Nothing is less fun than sneezing or laughing and then peeing your pants.

A few bathroom tips for the week that have helped me:

  1. Cross your legs when you laugh, cough, or sneeze.
  2. Keep drinking lots of water! Don’t let the frequency of your bathroom trips keep you from staying hydrated! Believe me, totes worth it. Dehydration is no fun
  3. Pee before you go. Even if you don’t think you have to, make a trip to the bathroom before leaving your home, any establishment, etc. It will help save you from so many emergency gas station bathroom trips.