Second Trimester Energy = Back at the Gym

In the haze of the NT disaster, I forgot to mention that at 14 weeks pregnant, I returned to the gym. I’ve been feeling more energetic lately, so I started doing prenatal yoga at home once or twice a week, lifting weights three days a week, and have continued to hike with the dogs four to five days a week, depending on the weather.

In case you’re curious, I’m doing a three day split: Monday’s I’m doing legs/back, Wednesday’s I’m training shoulders/triceps/chest, and Friday’s I’m working legs/biceps. Every three weeks I am switching up the specific exercises I’m doing.

My weight lifting sessions last about 30-40 minutes, and I’m wearing my heart rate monitor so that I can see how hard my body is working. I’ve noticed that my heart rate stays below 145bpm at maximal effort, so I’m happy with that intensity. Some old and disproven literature out there states that pregnant women should keep their heart rate below 140bpm so that they don’t overheat. While the new standards have shown that it’s safe to raise your heart rate above this if you’re well trained, I’d rather stay conservative. My goal isn’t to pack on more muscle or to lose weight, it’s mostly to keep up my strength and endurance for a more comfortable pregnancy and labour and delivery. It’s also for stress relief, as I’ve always enjoyed the routine of working out. 

I’m not doing any HIIT cardio like I used to. I’m just doing leisurely hikes with our dogs. As much as I would love to be one of those ladies who runs throughout their pregnancy, I already have lax ligaments and I suspect that the relaxin coursing through my body will make me susceptible to repetitive sprain/strain injuries. 

Last Wednesday, I did my first workout- shoulders/triceps/chest, which went well. Last Friday however, I did legs/biceps and then spent an hour in a deep squat position breaking up the soil and planting our leeks. Soon after, I started spotting, which freaked me out. I figured that I did too much, and so since then, I’ve decided to limit myself to one physical activity per day. And yes, gardening counts.

I’m otherwise feeling really good and haven’t had any spotting since Friday. I still haven’t been sleeping great, due to anxiety and stress, as well as difficulty getting comfortable in bed. I used to be a stomach/side sleeper, but my belly doesn’t feel good in that position. My current favourite position is sleeping on my back, but I know I’m not supposed to sleep on my back in a couple of weeks, which stresses me out. I have been trying to get used to sleeping on my left side but I don’t enjoy it. Overall, I’m not getting that nice deep sleep that I used to. I am taking little cat naps (under an hour) on the couch with the little dog, which is lovely. The naps provide the perfect boost of energy for the rest of the day. 

I’m still having moments of nausea in the morning if I don’t get food in my belly quick enough, but that’s totally under my control. 

The second trimester is off to a great start!

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6 Weeks

So in education, we are big fans of “icebreaker” activities. A common one that is used is the “two truths and a lie” game where each individual presents the group with three facts about themselves- two which are true, and one which is untrue. The group guesses as to which fact is untrue, and then the answer is revealed and on to the next person. I always hate this game because I have a bit of social anxiety over people staring at me and focusing on aspects of me. But since it’s Friday, you all aren’t physically staring at me, I thought I’d play it with you.

Two Truths and a Lie:

– I may have a kidney infection

– I am still bleeding/spotting

– I have morning sickness

Now, take a guess, make a mental note of it, and post about it in the comments 🙂

The answers will be revealed as you read below.

Now for some food porn:



My favourite cheap quick eat in Leslieville, Toronto- at Hanoi 3 Seasons. 

Well it’s been a while since I’ve touched base on here. Not a lot has been happening really. The big dog has been all sorts of bad and stealing food off the counters. I am partially to blame, leaving things like sticks of butter, freshly baked GF banana chocolate chip muffins, and focaccia sticks not far enough back on the counter. The little dog says its entrapment. 

The other day, a good teacher friend of mine brought her 8 month old identical twin boys over, and we had a great afternoon. This teacher friend (who is an amazing teacher) was being bullied really badly by the other teachers at the school we worked at last year. Out of a group of 17 teachers, I was the only one that called these people out on their bullying. It was so bad that she applied out to work at a different school when she returns from maternity leave. It’s sad because I loved working with her. 

Anyways, her boys are the cutest with our dogs. Juno and Clem are super gentle with them, allow them to pull tufts of their fur out, lick drool and snot off their faces, and allow the babies to use them to brace themselves when they try to stand up. It melts my heart, and with Juno being almost 9 years old, I hope she will still be as patient and loving with our kids, whenever they come. Feeding time was a frenzy though, as the babies were entertained by dangling their food over the edge of their food trays. Both dogs were in heaven when the babies were tossing their little food bits all over the floor. I think this contributed to Juno’s food stealing craze. It’s like giving booze to an alcoholic in AA during a moment of weakness- it sets off an uncontrollable sequence of events.

Wednesday, at 5w5d, nausea kicked in. It isn’t so bad once I get food in my tummy, but the thought of eating chicken makes me want to puke. I’m pretty much surviving on Vans GF Waffles, scrambled eggs, and juice.

For a couple of days, I was obsessed with everything tomato-based: tomato soup, tomato sauce, salsa, chilli. But I think I overdid it, and the thought of any of it makes me a bit queasy.

Overall, I’m just tired and not interested in eating. I’m especially uninterested in preparing food. 

Symptom wise, my boobs are so sore that I can’t sleep comfortably on my stomach anymore. My back is sore. I am exhausted, take naps almost daily, yet have some insomnia that causes me to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. I have mild headaches in the afternoon that kind of feel like a hangover.

Cause for celebration: I HAVE NOT BLED OR SPOTTED IN 3 FULL DAYS!

Last night I couldn’t sleep because I had an aching pain through my flank and abdomen on the right side. It didn’t feel muscular at all, so today I went in to see my family doctor and she sent my urine away for urinalysis. We find out on Monday if I have a UTI or a kidney infection. I don’t have a fever but if I develop one before I hear back from her, I have some Keflex antibiotic just in case. I do feel quite rotten, and almost like I had a flu yesterday. 

Otherwise, not much else to report. Still a week and 3 days until my ultrasound…. It’s feels like forever.

5w3d: Early Ultrasound & Still Bleeding

Happy Monday everyone.

Yessum, I am still bleedin’. I’ve noticed a bit of a pattern with it though- it starts around 2pm daily, as a red bleed, then through the rest of the day it starts to taper into brown spotting. Sometimes, I get the red bleed again in the evening, which then tapers to brown. This is happening daily, and I’m so sick of it.

A lot is on my mind lately, as my anxiety has ramped up a bit. I’ve had a couple of nightmares in the past week- 3 that have felt so real and terrifying. Twice, DW has woken me up because I was sobbing in my sleep or yelling. I like that she wakes me up and makes the nightmares stop. She holds me for a while afterwards too, which is super soothing. I’m not ready to talk about the things making me anxious right now, as it is crippling me just thinking about it, but rest assured it’s not baby-related. 

So far this pregnancy, I have felt generally normal, with only a little bit of breast tenderness. The bleeding persists, and I occasionally get twinges or a dull pressure in my belly. I am absolutely exhausted every day after lunch, and have been napping. The napping doesn’t seem to ruin my night time sleep though, and I’m going to bed earlier and earlier. Right now my appetite is enormous, and I’ve been eating 4 large balanced meals a day. 

I had my early ultrasound today, just looking at placement of the embryo(s), not viability. It was a struggle getting my bladder full enough, and then subsequently empty enough, for the two types of ultrasound. The technician was nice, and was good with answering my questions. This is what she found:

– ONE single gestational sac with yolk sac in my uterus (too early to see fetal pole or heartbeat)

– Fallopian tubes are clear

– No evidence of a subchorionic hematoma

They have no idea what is causing the bleeding. My latest blood progesterone was 50, and they want it over 18, so we’re good in that respect too. 

They cancelled my ultrasound for next week, and rescheduled it for 7w3d (two weeks from now) to check viability.

It is going to be a long two weeks! In the meantime, I am trying to decide on whether I’d rather have a midwife or a OBGYN take over my care after I’m discharged from the RE clinic. Any tips?

4w5d: Still Bleeding

I think I’ve exhausted all of the forums online that come up when you google “red bleeding but high HCG”. 

Thank you everyone for your support during all of this. I am grateful for each and every one of your comments. 

I’m still bleeding, but it has slowed down a bit. Instead of changing pads every hour, I’m changing pads 4 times a day. The colour changes- it goes from red, to red/orange, to brown, and then back to red and cycles through again.

From everything I’ve read, the bleeding could either be from:

– a subchorionic bleed (too early for that though- the gestational sac hasn’t really even formed yet)

– cervical irritation (probably not, as I’ve been on Endometrin twice before, with no symptoms like this. Plus, I’m only putting the tablet in half way to avoid injury to my cervix.)

– a polyp or some cervical abnormality (I’ve had enough people in my vagina [for fertility reasons, ahem] to know that I do not have any polyps)

– implantation bleeding (too late for that to be red right now)

And the most likely scenario:

– miscarriage of one embryo (as my HCG continued to increase yesterday from 643 on Monday to 897 on Tuesday, but the doubling rate has decreased by exactly half)

It’s interesting to read the gamut of information on bleeding during pregnancy- most official pregnancy websites claim that 20% of normal pregnancies experience bleeding, yet a lot of advice websites say if you have bleeding not spotting, to see your doctor ASAP or go to the emergency room. 

I’m also thinking that the bleeding might be worse because I’m on the blood thinners- 81mg ASA, 5000IU Fragmin, and about 1500mg omega 3’s. 

My approach to all of this is that I’ll just keep monitoring my bleeding, and if I get super freaked out, I’ll ask for another beta. Then the big reveal in 12 days at my 6w3d ultrasound, where we get to see what’s going on.

In terms of symptoms, I still have none besides being tired enough in the afternoons for a nap. Even the hot flashes have stopped. Those of you who got nausea- when did that start?

4 Weeks 4 Days: Bleeding *Updated*

So I’m hooked up to an IV of intralipids right now, typing on my iPhone with my left hand. The cannula is in my right hand and the expensive mayonnaise is cold as in enters my veins.

Last night my spotting turned into a gush of blood, then stopped overnight. In the morning, I saw some red/brown spotting again, took the dog for a hike in the woods, and then noticed that I had soaked a pad with bright red blood when I got home. I changed my pad, drove to the clinic for my intralipid infusion, and noticed that in the 30 minutes it took to drive there, I soaked a second pad with bright red blood.

I told them about my bleeding, and they took some blood to check my HCG levels again. We should find out the results either later today or tomorrow.

I’m totally freaked out now, as I’m having full on bleeding now, but I’m trying to take things in stride.

Why can’t I just have a drama-free pregnancy??? Universe, why can’t you just cut me a fucking break???

*Update*

So my beta HCG came back at 897. Yesterday it was 643. That’s a doubling time of 60 hours. The doubling time just ONE DAY ago was 32 hours.

My guess is that I may have miscarried a twin, hence the doubled doubling time. We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days. My file has been flagged for the RE to review, but I doubt that there’s anything he can do right now.

I don’t know what to think… I feel like I will be walking on eggshells until we see what’s going on in there (13 days).

This sucks.

Some Answers

I took it easy today. I made some gluten-free butter tarts:

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Had my blood drawn at two different labs (one for HCG for RE, other for thyroid for endocrinologist).

I actually ate some food today, and had a 20 minute nap. I cried on three separate occasions when I thought about returning to work. I have this sense of impending doom that is consuming me. After talking it through with DW, it’s become clear that I am not fit to work for physical and emotional reasons. I think I need to go on a medical leave from my job temporarily.

Some good news though, my HCG has increased since August 22nd. It was 1800, and is now 39435. That’s a doubling time of 75 hours, which is good for that range.

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The RE moved up my ultrasound from Thursday to tomorrow. He also wants me off work for a week, after which time we reassess.

So that’s the plan for now.

Thanks everyone for your support.

In Crisis

I have not slept for two nights. I have lost 3 lbs in 3 days. I can’t eat more than two half-portioned meals per day. I am 7 weeks pregnant.

This isn’t healthy.

So far, I’ve kept my spotting and bleeding of clots quiet from our RE. But today, I just felt sick about it all and emailed my primary nurse and told her what has been going on. Hopefully, I hear back from her tomorrow and maybe I can get an ultrasound to find out what’s going on.

Previously, I had been against taking a day off work (they highly discourage teachers taking sick days in my board- even though they are part of our compensation), because I’m a relatively new teacher (third year permanent), and it looks bad when you use them (even though we encounter hundreds of dirty teenager’s germs daily). Right now, my seat mate is sick with the flu, and I’m secretly angry at her for touching my stuff and coming to work at all!

Anyways, my new role is very physical. I have to travel two floors and across the length of the school to get from my first period class to my office and other two classes. Often, I am carrying 40lbs of textbooks and student binders, as well as other supplemental equipment from floor to floor. Today, I was carrying a stack of 40 magazines from the basement, up to the second floor, and felt a cramp in my abdomen. I stopped and waited until I saw two kids on washroom breaks and had them carry the rest to my classroom. I then had to go back an grab a class set of scissors, glue sticks, stack of cardboard poster boards, and a bin of markers. I had to make two more trips for that. In my classes, I am working with kids with significant developmental and intellectual challenges. Our kids are high school aged, but function at the reading and cognitive level of grades 1-6. They also have significant behavioural and maturity issues- so I am never sitting down at all in my classrooms. I am on my feet all day, dealing with students who are difficult to reason with and can often become violent in the classroom. Today, a student swore at me because I tried to help him brainstorm “other words” that he could use to express how he felt (rather than “fuck”).

It is physically, and emotionally taxing. I have been bleeding, and haven’t eaten or slept in two/three days. I am taking tomorrow off to re-group, but all I feel is the dread of having to go back there and managing my stress from my less-than-perfect pregnancy symptoms.

I am in crisis, and can’t seem to find a way out.