Monday, April 30, 2007

A Little Mommy Talk #3

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Describe your pregnancy...cravings, sickness, etc...

Sam -
It's hard to describe how I felt at the time I was pregnant with Sam because now I know how much worse it was with Julia's pregnancy, but I'll do my best. Morning sickness started around 7 weeks and because we didn't have insurance coverage I opted not to go to the hospital for IV hydration even though I probably needed it from throwing up so much. Instead we forked over $37 a pill for a wonder drug called Zofran. It was designed for people on chemotherapy, but it can also help nausea in pregnancy. I quickly learned that I could cut the pills in half and only have to spend $15 to be able to function at my job.
I still saved them for my very worst days. I was a nannying 50 hours a week for my cousins (one and four years old). I also took unisom and vitamin B6 every night. I was well into my third trimester before I didn't need medication anymore to not be sick. During the months of months of feeling puky I only missed one day of work - I'd thrown up 5 times that morning already so I felt too weak to drive. I never went anywhere without a "puke bag". I lost track of the number of times I threw up while driving. You get the idea - I was really sick....
I remember wishing for twins so I never had to be pregnant again.
My cravings? First and foremost - I always considered how it would feel to throw it up before I ate anything. Gross, I know, but that was my reality. If I never again ate the things I threw up during my pregnancies there wouldn't be any food left for me to eat. Once, I actually felt like eating so we went out for dinner. What a waste that was! My $15 meal ended up all over the parking lot. During once stretch I survived on Starburst for a week. Fried food sounded good for a while and during the second half of my pregnancy I couldn't get enough salads. (McDonald's bacon ranch was my favorite). Around 32 weeks I was at work one da
y when I realized I couldn't read the words in my book. Everything was fuzzy and my speech started to slur. I quickly checked for symptoms of pre-eclamsia and it sounded like I needed to go to the doctor. I called the midwife and she told me to go to the ER right away. This happened to be Brian's first day at his new job so I didn't have anyway to get a hold of him at a moments notice. We tracked him down and off to the ER he and I went. I had a CAT scan and the baby was monitored for a while. I'd had a couple of fainting spells a few years prior so they wanted to make sure they weren't missing anything. It turns out slurred speech and vision are my symptoms of a migraine. Too bad it cost us $1200.00 to learn that all I needed was to take two Tylenol! During a camping trip at 38 weeks I got another migraine and all I had to do was pop two Tylenol and I was good as new. What was I doing camping you say? It's a tradition I look forward with as much anticipation as Christmas. There was no way I was going to miss it! I slept on a cot, had my luggable loo, and had a great time. It was also reassuring to know that Kitty was there since she's a nurse and used to work in labor and delivery.

Julia - I was so excited to be pregnant again and so hopeful that this time I wouldn't be as sick.
No such luck. I took a pregnancy test on January 19th and I was in the hospital on Feb. 6th for IV hydration (Thank goodness for better insurance this time around!) We spent Valentine's Day in the hospital getting more fluids and didn't get back home until almost midnight. I never should have gone home (needing a wheelchair to get to the van should have been a major clue). I went in to see a midwife the next morning and she sent me straight to the hospital to be admitted. I was able to have an ultrasound done - something I'd not had done that early before. They wanted to rule out twins and make sure everything looked good. We'd gone straight to the the hospital from the clinic so I barely said goodbye to Sam that morning. Little did I know that I wouldn't see him for five whole days. It's sad to say this, but I was so miserable I didn't have the energy to feel bad about it. They pumped a bunch of drugs into me that didn't do much good. At one point my blood sugar dropped to 45 and I got really hot. The wonderful nurses on the maternity ward took very good care of me. I was sad to be moved to the medical ward after two days when they didn't have room for me anymore. At 1 a.m. a diabetic, elderly woman moved in to be my roommate. The next two days were torture! She was either snoring or a loud nurse was coming in to check her blood sugar (often in the 200's). The nurses had to be loud in order for the poor lady to hear them, but there I was puking my guts out in front of complete strangers and wanting to be put out of my misery. After 4 nights I begged to go home. I was wheeled out again and went straight home to bed. I was now in my seventh week - where I was when I first got sick with Sam. Again, I shouldn't have gone home, but I couldn't stand another night in that place! It was wonderful to see my baby boy again even though all I could do was say good morning and good night. I only got worse at home and was back in the maternity ward on Feb. 21st. They didn't have room for me again, but knew how bad my last stay went so they were kind enough to send me to the pediatric ward. You wouldn't think that would be quiet, but it was. The nurses were just as sweet as the maternity ones and I had a private room. My veins are small to begin with, but after two weeks of not being able to eat a meal they were non-existent. During one of my visits it took 7 jabs to get the IV in. OUCH!
After the very last attempt at finding the correct combo of drugs before they sent me home with a pic line I was able to keep food down and be put on oral medication. I had to alternate between Reglan and Tigan and take a whole zofran twice a day. That's way more than I needed with Sam. The sheet from the pharmacy that tells the retail cost of the prescriptions read $2,500.00 just for one month of zofran! It cost our insurance company more during the first half of my pregnancy with Julia than it did for my entire pregnancy and delivery for Sam.
At 37 weeks we were back at the ER because of another migraine. This time my left arm was numb and so was my tongue. My vision and speech was goofy too. It also was really hard for me to think of the words I wanted to use. SCARY!
I only threw up once after I reached the 8 month mark. Praise the Lord!! (Until the deliver room - for some reason I throw up during
Cravings? FRENCH FRIES - specifically McDonald's. I ate them all the time!!!!!!!!!!!! That's probably why I gained way more weight with Julia than with my salad craving pregnancy with Sam. I did promise to stop eating McDonald's fries the day the baby was born and I've stuck by that for almost 7 months now. I ate lots and lots of cereal and slim-jims, but I couldn't stand my favorite combo of chocolate and peanut butter anything. With all those french fries you can imagine how much weight I gained - but I guess that's for next week.......


Jennifer McKinney Photography April 30, 2007 at 10:37 AM  

Oh, it was interesting to read your stories, though I knew most of it. I still have so many feelings of sympathy for you with your difficult pregnancies. Oh, yeah, I crave Slim Jim's when pregnant, too! I just bought one at the grocery store yesterday. Oh, and your wonderful summer sausage you share with me...yum. I love salt.

Sue April 30, 2007 at 12:41 PM  

Wow! I'm so sorry you were sick like that for both pregnancies. I wish they had been more pleasant for you. I'm glad you had better insurance the 2nd time around though. That make such a difference with your stress level.

Julia is beautiful.

Heather May 1, 2007 at 6:18 AM  

Oh wow. I am so sorry you had such rough pregnancies. But you sure have beautiful results.

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