Not The Biggest Loser

I just want to be…

I am so, so, so thrilled at being pregnant.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much.  However unfortunately I am not one of these women who does pregnancy well.  No siree, not well at all. I just did my first ante-natal class last night and it was a physiotherapy class aimed at helping you make yourself more comfortable during pregnancy. She went through the list of symptoms and asked who was experiencing them:

  • Backache – check
  • Pelvic Girdle/Pubic Symphysis pain – check
  • Indigestion/heartburn – check
  • Inability to sleep – check
  • Inability to get comfortable in any position – check
  • Tiredness – check
  • Moodiness/emotional instability – check

Not only was I the only one putting up my hand for all of these… but I was the only one putting my hand up for nearly any of them! What is wrong with these other women? Seriously…I am not having a lot of fun right now.

I think I underestimated how hard it is being pregnant and overweight. It is hard. Even though my stomach is definitely looking more rounded, I doubt most strangers would know I was pregnant by looking at me. Of course those that know say “oh you’re tummy’s popped out” and comment that I look much bigger, but most of the time I think I just look REALLY fat!

I’m now 28 weeks and have gained 12kg. I’m now just above my pre surgery weight which sucks. I’m trying not to worry about it, but it does bother me. My only hope is that I’m so fed up feeling the way I feel right now and being frustrated that I can’t go have a fill and start to fix this weight problem that I’m hoping it will motivate me to really work on getting off the weight after the baby is born. My obstetrician only wanted me to put on 5kg total through the whole pregnancy, so I didn’t do too well at that goal! I’ve just honestly been unable to get moving and start exercising. I’m so tired all the time. I get home and it is all I can do to cook or clean up or pay bills or do grocery shopping, let alone to even spend 15 minutes doing some sort of activity. It’s a poor excuse I know and I really didn’t think I’d get to 28 weeks having only done 1 or 2 sessions of exercise. And my obstetrician keep saying that all I need to do is go for a walk…the problem is walking is actually really difficult for me right now.  It hurts! Between the extra weight, shortness of breath, back and severe pelvis pain which has started again I am really not able to walk far or for long. I’ve still got 6.5 weeks left at work and I’m struggling to finish that. I hobble around the office like an old lady. Standing up and walking after sitting for a period of time is agony!

I’m off food big time at the moment. The problem is I still get really hungry (especially in the mornings) but I can never think of what I feel like eating. The thought of everything turns me off.  I’m not even into sweet things at the moment, though still seem to eat them out of habit/hope they’ll make me feel better. Which of course they don’t.

And then there’s the tiredness…I’m struggling finishing this post…I make it till about midday at work and then I just crumble…I use all my strength not to call a taxi and go home to bed!

I apologise for the whinge of a post. I’m actually still really thrilled to be pregnant, just finding the physical side of it very hard.  And I figure a whinging post is better than none at all…right?

On  a positive note I had my routine blood tests the other day and I don’t have Gestational Diabetes and so far my blood pressure has been consistently low. So kind of good news that the fat pregnant woman doesn’t have all the problems she kept getting told she’d have because she was overweight! So I’m kind of quietly smug about that!

We decided to have a ‘fun’ scan at 24 weeks, as I really love seeing how the baby has grown etc. We got a few good photos. Quite amazing to make out a real little baby face! We have another one booked at 30 weeks as apparently this is when you really get to see the baby features.

It’s been a hard 5 months so far, this pregnancy, but things are just now starting to settle down. Aside from the dreadful nausea up to about 15 weeks, I started suffering from terrible Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction which started off as mild discomfort in the pelvis region, but ended up getting really bad.  I experienced massive pain at night when rolling over, often accompianed by a very large crack in my pelvis as I turned. I also was unable to put on trousers or underwear while standing up as the action of lifting my leg up hurt too much. Even walking short distances exacerbated it. Basically anything that involved moving my legs at all was painful. If you look at the diagram below and see where the Symphysis Pubis is and imagine if it is inflamed, you can see why!

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I eventually got in touch with a chiropractor who practices the Webster technique which is supposed to be really good to ensure babies are in the right position for an easier birth. Things started improving massively for me. Though as my pelvic pain began to lessen my back pain seemed to get worse. I even had to take a day off work one day a few weeks ago because I literally couldn’t walk. Each step I took gave me massive nerve pain. Again, working with the chiropractor has helped to work through my back problems. I was doing a pregnancy exercise class once a week through the hospital. The class is run by a physio and I quite enjoyed it, but I was wondering if it was contributing to my back problems. I stopped going a couple of weeks ago and I’ve seen a marked improvement in my back. Might just be conincidence, but it’s enough to keep me away for now.

The only other symptom that gets quite bad is the reflux/heartburn. I get it pretty much after every meal except breakfast. It is awful! In some ways, good because it is so painful it makes me not want to eat. I can’t help but wonder if the band is making it worse, but I know this is a common complaint during pregnancy, so maybe not.

So aside from the heartburn, being constantly tired and feeling huge, I don’t feel too bad physically at the moment.

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At 19 weeks and 5 days we went for our morphology scan. Although we were nervous, we were also hoping that if everything looked good during this scan that our risk of downs would be decreased by 4.

The first stage of the scan was done by a girl who was new to the practice, so she had another more senior lady there to watch/assist her. They were both lovely and from the beginning things were looking very positive. Everything was looking very normal and healthy. They had warned me that because of my weight they might not be able to see the baby’s nasal bone or see the heart properly and that I may have to come back at a later date to get those looked at.  During the scans of my last pregnancy, I became aware that my weight meant that ultrasounds were not as clear and I got upset several times when I read on ultrasound reports that the view was affected by my weight. However as soon as they started doing the ultrasound they commented on how clear everything was and they actually did manage to get a good, clear look at the heart and nasal bone, all of which looked good. So I guess baby was in a good position, even though the placenta is anterior which usually means difficult ultrasounds. Weird.

So after they assured me that everything looked perfect, the doctor who did our amnio last time Dr Carmody came in and had a look too. As he started looking, he let out a “hmmmmm” and seemed to want to investigate something. We both thought he was going to give us some bad news! He went on to say “well that looks normal” and then kept looking at different things and eventually said “This isn’t a good baby, this is a GREAT baby”. We were so relieved. He looked in detail at the heart and how the blood was flowing through it, at the different chambers etc and it all looked perfect.  He went on to say that due to the ultrasound being so good, that he could reduce our risk of Downs Syndrome to about 1 in 800. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy and relieved we were that the baby looked so healthy.

This was a huge milestone for us and at this point I started to believe that maybe everything was going to be ok.

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So we went back to the sonographer for our 14 week scan about 6 weeks ago now.  We were very nervous as last pregnancy when we visited this office it was for an amnio at 14 weeks and we naively expected everything to be fine, but within minutes of walking into the ultrasound we were receiving very bad news. So it was hard to imagine everything being ok this time.

But this time within minutes the doctor was reassuring us. In fact within a few minutes of starting the ultrasound he said “Oh this baby looks good”.  He went on to check the size of the baby…check all ok, the nasal bone…check- all ok, the size of the neck…check – all ok. He explained to us that the only way to rule out Downs Syndrome or any other problems for sure was to have an amnio, but added that by just looking at this baby, he did not think it had a chromosome problem. As he finished the exam, he walked out of the room saying “I have a good feeling about this baby”. I can’t even explain how relieved we were.  While I’m not sure I will ever completely relax during this pregnancy, it certainly gave me a far greater sense of relaxation than I had before.

Unfortunately we didn’t get any photos from the 14 week scan, but have some great ones to share when I write my 19 week scan post :-) Promise not to make you wait as long!

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I’m slack I know. I have truthfully been really busy. We are car shopping at the moment and organising all sorts of home improvements AND I’ve been getting overwhelmed by my ever increasing to-do list because with everything that’s going on and being really tired from this pregnancy and having all sorts of aches and pains, all I want to do in any spare time is sit in front of the tv or sleep! But just this past week I downloaded a new application for my iphone (oh how I love thee iphone) to manage my to-do list and low and behold I am slowly getting things done. I’ve now realised that beating myself up for not completing my to-do list in a night or even a week is just stupid. There is just too much to do, so as long as I can cross off one or 2 things off my list every night I’m happy.

Right now it is 10.12pm and since I’m getting up at 5.30am, I really should’ve been in bed at 9.30pm, but here I am writing to you my dear friends because you made me feel guilty! I shall blame you all when I am walking around bleary eyed tomorrow at work! I’ve been busy tonight catching up on last night’s Biggest Loser, ahhh yes I still love that show! I then completed my goal of opening all mail for the day and paying any bills and I actioned several items off my to-do list. I also had to get in some practice and music theory for a vocal ensemble group I’ve joined. I’m WAY behind on that. Have been going for 3 weeks now and in my group are mostly 16-17 year olds who have all done music their whole schooling life and can read music beautifully. Teacher says sing a ‘c’ and they sing a ‘c’. I still cannot comprehend that. I can’t even recognise a C on a sheet of music let alone recognise it when I hear it or know how to sing it! Anyway it has been stressing me out that I am so far behind them all and never seem to remember how to sing any of the songs we practice every week, so really wanted to put in some time towards that tonight.  And I was quite proud of myself that when I couldn’t remember how to sing one of the songs, I worked out what notes were on the music, worked out what keys on a piano the notes were and played the melody till I recognised it and could sing it in the right key. Yay me! Still a long, long way to go though. I’m enjoying the challenge though…kinda…

OK….so on to the 14 week scan update…new post for that I think.

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I have soooo much to write about. It has been a long and quite difficult 7 weeks, hence my silence. I can’t believe it’s been so long in between updates! Disgraceful.

The morning sickness was pretty bad right up to week 14-15, as was the exhaustion and I felt so overwhelmed by it all that I just couldn’t work up the energy to sit and write. I really wanted to though, as I know it helps and I also really wanted to document this pregnancy, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

So the 12 week scanwas 6 weeks ago now and went relatively well. We were extremely nervous about it and though we were trying to be positive it was hard to imagine it going well since we’ve only ever experienced a bad 12 week scan! So this time we had the scan at the same place we had our amnio last pregnancy. The last guy that did our 12 week scan was just awful and we knew we did not want to use him again. The people at the place we went this time are just great and you have the benefit of the 3d ultrasounds. So we had our scan and saw lots of the baby in both normal ultrasound mode and the 3d ultrasound mode which was just incredible. The sonographer kept assuring us that everything looked great including the heartbeat at around 160bpm. The nuchal fold measurement was normal and everything else looked good on bub. So then she combined the ultrasound results with my blood test which I’d had several weeks later and carefully informed us we had come up as high risk for Downs Syndrome with a 1 in 261 chance of Downs. The normal risk of Downs for my age was 282 and you are classifed as high risk as soon as you get under 1 in 300. So their recommendation was another amnio.

We were actually relieved by this result as the results last time were so much worse with a 1 in 34 chance of Down and a 1 in 4 chance of a more serious chromosome problem. This time the more serious problems were not even a consideration as the risk was extremely low and the Downs risk felt so much better to me than last time.  So over the next few days we talked about it between us and with the Doctor who did my amnio last pregnancy and with my obstetrician and we decided to have another scan at 14 weeks to see how the baby looked and to reassess then. We felt that if the baby looked good at 14 weeks, we probably wouldn’t have the amnio.  I also found out that at the 19 week morph scan they check for more abnormalities and if all looks normal, they can reduce the risk of Downs by 3, which would give us a risk of close to 1 in 900.  So this made me feel a lot better. I really wanted to be positive and so decided to start telling everyone I was pregnant at that point anyway despite concerns in the back of my head that things could go wrong again.

The photos above show our little one at 12 weeks. Quite amazing really. My favourite is the one that looks like he/she is waving. Actually I think he/she looks like they are driving and waving at the same time.

Back tomorrow for the results of the 14 week scan!

Thanks for everyone’s comments. You know Nola it’s funny, because only this morning I was thinking that maybe I should stop worrying about what the accupuncturist says and what the doctor’s going to say and ask myself how I feel. I actually feel like I don’t need any more out of the band right now. I really do feel like I’m eating enough. In fact all I seem to do is eat all day, so I hate to think how I’d be without restriction! So I’ve decided to keep the band as it is for now.

I’m actually thinking of cancelling my accupuncturist appointment next week. I’m just not enjoying it (not sure if I’m supposed to). It is making me feel anxious before I go and the guilty when I get there and report I’m not doing things right oh and it hurts!  I’m a bit scared to stop going as I worry then if something happens and things go wrong that I’ll blame myself for not continuing with the accupuncture but in my heart of hearts I know I really don’t want to go anymore!

The nausea is extremely bad tonight. I keep burping up the taste of the fish oil tablet I took before dinner which is really not helping. Sorry if too much information!  The food thing is really weird and driving me crazy. I just do not feel like eating anything and yet I want to eat to try and help the nausea so I have this strange compulsion to eat while my body rejects every food I think about eating. Tonight was a bad night for it – I really couldn’t think of anything that didn’t make me feel sick. When I get like this I have to just think of something and make myself eat it. So I decided on fillet steak and mashed veg. So after I made it I pretty much forced every bite down. I really did not enjoy it, which is unusual for me. But I wanted the protein/iron from the steak and the goodness from the veg so I persisted. when I got the last 5 bites or so I couldn’t continue. I actually had to spit out a moutful and throw the rest out. Not because I was full but because I couldn’t stand the taste. Yet 2 days ago those veg were the best thing I could eat! And I’ve been eating steak ok till now too. Right now I never want to eat another steak or mashed veg ever again!  I may have to live off vegemite toast for the rest of this pregnancy. It’s about the only consistent thing I can eat.  Last night was the same. I had the taste for spaghetti bolognaise. I know now that if I actually do feel like eating something I should jump on it. So my husband made it for us and I ate a really big bowl and honestly could’ve eaten the whole pot of it last night. I kept thinking how I could maybe eat this for the rest of my pregnancy but today I had it for lunch and had to force it down and now the thought of it makes me sick. It’s bizarre.

Unfortunately I weighed myself this morning and I had put on another 0.3kg. But Nola is right and I not going to keep weighing myself every morning. It’s ridiculous. I’m scared I’ll get out of control if I don’t keep an eye on my weight, but hey it’s not exactly like I have control right now anyway.

Linda’s advice about just trying to concentrate on nutrition is good advice. Sometimes hard with the morning sickness, but I have been a lot better this week. I went grocery shopping tonight and had promised myself I wouldn’t buy anything sweet which I stuck to. It’s ridiculous really as the thought of anything sweet really does make me sick, but I have been persisting with eating it after dinner as I know that once it hits my mouth it will taste good and won’t actually make me feel sick…it’s just the thought of it. So I’ve suitably realised how ridiculous it is not to take advantage of this situation where I honestly don’t feel like sweet things and have made a pact to avoid them as much as possible. I missed something sweet after dinner tonight but I got over it quickly because thinking about eating it made me feel sick. I really am a strange one.

Ri – re the travel ginger – I will go check them out at the chemist. I am taking anti-nausea tablets which my accupuncturist gave me. I didn’t think they were working till I stopped them and it got a lot worse, so I think they do help a bit but not entirely. Maybe I’ll try the ginger too. I’ve hear that before, and have tried ginger tea but no help there!

Cat – awesome advice too. There’s not a lot out there on the internet about pregnancy and lapbands, but from what I’ve read people don’t seem to get that much taken out of their bands, so I’m going to trust myself and stick with what I have right now.

So I’m feeling a little better today.  Only a little. Woke up feeling pretty crappy and in a very cranky mood. Not helped by stepping on the scales and finding I’d put on another 1kg since yesterday. It really makes no sense to me. I know I’m not eating well but I’m not eating like I used to pre-band – no where near it and yet I never put weight on at this rate.  And I know I’m pregnant…but only 10.5 weeks! I have heard of women putting on weight this early and noticing changes in their stomach, but this just doesn’t seem normal.

I actually managed to go for a 20 minute walk when I got home this afternoon which I am very proud of myself for. I wasn’t feeling great, and I’m really tired, but I decided to try anyway. Unfortunately it only highlighted the weight I’ve put on in my stomach. Everything felt the same but my stomach felt so heavy and I could feel the extra weight moving around as I walked. It is bizarre. I’m not sure anyone can understand what it feels like right now.

I’ve really been concentrating on increasing my vegetable intake and have been making sure I eat vegetables every night and try to add some at lunch. Yesterday was a chicken, salad and cheese toasted sandwich with lots of salad.  Today I had a fresh apple and carrot juice. Not great as I’m supposed to be avoiding fruit (sugar) but then I’m supposed to be avoiding bread too and that’s just not happening. That juice is the only drink I’ve really felt like and enjoyed for quite awhile now and I figure the carrots would’ve done me good! I even had vegetables as a snack this afternoon – my favourite way – all mashed but still nutritious. I love a good bowl of mashed veg!

The nausea has been bearable today. I haven’t felt great all day, but I’ve not experienced a big surge of nausea yet today which I usually get at least 2 or 3 times a day. I don’t expect the morning sickness is disappearing just yet, I fully expect it to resurge with a vengeance tomorrow, but I know it will go soon. Still very, very tired though.

I’ve been reading Jon Gabriel’s “The Gabriel method” and have been trying to listen to his cd at night while I fall asleep. It really is a great book and I’m trying to work on some of the things he recommends (like the visualisation etc) as I really do think there’s more to my problem than a pure calorie in/calorie out problem. I highly recommend anyone who has struggled with their weight for a long time to read his book.

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I know it’s been ages since I last updated. I’ve really had a hellish month and I just have not been able to bear the thought of sitting at the computer for too long to update. I’ve been experiencing really bad morning sickness and of course tiredness, but it is mainly the nausea that is affecting me the most. No vomitting, but just a terrible nausea that hangs around all day, every day. It comes in waves and is sometimes bearable so I can get things done, but sometimes completely debilitates me, so that all I can do is lay down and feel sorry for myself.

I’m now nearly 10 weeks, so hopefully only another 2-3 weeks to go. I’ve been so thankful to have 2 weeks off work so I don’t have to cope with working and the nausea for 2 weeks but I’m really not looking forward to going back to work on Monday. I am counting down the days till our 12 week Nuchal Translucency scan so that we can hopefully clear any worries we have about this pregnancy. I pray the results are normal. I don’t know how I’d go through another experience like last time and to have to go through all this morning sickness again….ugh….

The sickness and tiredness has really had a huge affect on my mood and it hasn’t helped that I have let everything fall behind (housework, paperwork etc). I feel so guilty for not doing everything I should be doing and I have really been struggling with my weight and eating.  I have put on 2kg since I first went to the accupuncturist. I know this is becuase of my eating. Since my morning sickness set in, my healthy eating went out the door. All the food I was eating prior to getting sick now makes me feel sick, so no more eggs for breakfast, no avocado, nuts, rice crackers etc. I am eating A LOT of bread and lots of salty, savoury things (some not so good for me).  Luckily I have zero sweet cravings, though I’ve still managed to eat a few sweet things here and there as comfort food.  I’m really struggling. Breakfast consists of 2 pieces of toast with butter and vegemite and cheese or peanut butter. A few hours later I’m sick and hungry again so if I’m at home I’ve been having a bacon and egg sandwich. A few hours later I’m hungry and sick again and so it will be another meal. And this just continues all day. Food helps the nausea slightly, well at least the nausea is worse if I’m hungry, so I’m constantly eating. And of course I’m so sick I am not exercising. I barely move from the lounge all day when I’m at home. It’s bad. I’m trying to convince myself that I’ll be better once this morning sickness goes around week 12-13, but in the meantime I’m so down about it.

I had 1ml removed from my band a few weeks ago which has given me slightly less restriction, but not that much to be honest. Apparently I now have about 6.5ml instead of 7.5ml. I mentioned to the doctor who does my fills that my accupuncturist was worried I wasn’t getting enough nutrition to the baby and she got a bit fired up and said I was getting plenty of nutrition and not to let anyone tell me otherwise.  I find it hard to know who to believe.

My accupuncturist has since asked me to get all my fluid removed while I’m pregnant. She is convinced the band is making my morning sickness and indigestion worse as food is not flowing through the stomach as it should be. I actually wouldn’t mind getting some or most of the fluid removed, but I’m worried about the reaction I’ll get from the doctor who wanted me to still have ‘control’, so didn’t want to remove too much fluid. And of course she’ll weigh me and find I’ve put on 2kg since she adjusted me, and I just don’t think I could handle that, even though she never gives me a hard time about my weight gains, it is me who does that.

I am thinking I could go back to my surgeon for an adjustment, but I know they were very adamant that I should wait to lose more weight before falling pregnant again, and also I feel ashamed to face him, having put on so much weight since my initial 20kg loss. So I feel stuck and frustrated and like I am disappointing everyone and can’t do anything right.  I can’t handle any lectures right now, I’m know I’m not doing well. I know I’m not doing the right things. I just don’t know how to fix it.

Sorry for such a depressing post after all this time. I’m finding it really hard to pick myself up out of this mood. Anyone would think I wasn’t happy about being pregnant. I really am.

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