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Friday, September 16, 2011

A little pregnancy worry whine

When I got pregnant with KB, I was obsessed with my weight.  Well, rather.. I was obsessed with being healthy and having a healthy pregnancy.  I continued to be active, but not overly so. I didn't eat too much, mostly because I had a tiny appetite.  The suggested weight gain for pregnant women in my weight bracket is 15 - 25 lbs. That was so easy for me! In fact, for most of my pregnancy, I was in the low end of my weight target.

Then, at 29 weeks I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. Ugh. I thought that only happened to unhealthy women! There I was walking daily, eating well, and it still happened! I did my research and no, it does not only happen to unhealthy or overweight women. Scientists believe that when Gestational Diabetes occurs, there is a malfunction in the placenta. So basically, you're doomed from the get-go, though your chances are higher if you're overweight.

I met with a new OB, a new nurse, and a nutritionist. They explained the new diet and how having GD can cause your baby to be extra-large. I had just done another ultrasound and found out that little KB was measuring a week behind. I mentioned this to the new OB, and she said "Oh, that's actually good for you.. maybe she won't be too big when she's born."

Well, I did my work and stuck to the recommended diet (for the most part). Three weeks later I went home to Mississippi and I had only gained a total of 12 pounds. I was so proud!  So by now you all know the story of how I delivered 5 days later at only 33 weeks. On delivery day, (again - just 5 days later), I had gained 19 lbs.. 7 pounds worth of water in just a few days. I lost 12 lbs overnight on the day I had KB.  And let's not forget, she was only 2 lbs, 11 oz.

So here I am, pregnant with BF2.  Though I had an incredible appetite for the first 4ish weeks that I was pregnant, it's tapered off. I've only gained 2 lbs so far, and again, I'm in the low end of my weight target.

So here's what scares me:  What if KB's low birth weight was partly due to my low weight gain?  Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to give myself an excuse to balloon up. I mean, I don't even know if I could! My appetite is ridiculously small, and I am not craving fast food or anything, so don't worry.

I am just so afraid of what happened to me with KB happening again. My chances are higher, at nearly 20%.  Even if HELLP doesn't recur, my chances of Toxemia, Pre-Ecclampsia or Pregnancy Induced Hypertension are all greatly increased. That's reason enough to not be huge since those issues are all more likely to occur with a higher weight gain. Then again, I'm living proof that they occur when you follow your weight target to the letter.

I'm so bothered by this!

There is some evidence that shows that HELLP is also a malfunction of the placenta. So just like GD, you are doomed from the get-go.  I pray that's true, and I'm just not doomed this time.  Scientists don't really know, though.


HUGE Sigh.


  1. I had a very similar experience with the birth of my daughter. Little Vivi was born at 33 1/2 weeks via emergency c-section due to HELLP. I too was diagnosed with GD and followed the eating plan to a T. I also didn't gain a ton of weight during my pregnancy.. Basically I put on about 15lbs and then a sudden extra 8 right before Vivi was born which was all water.

    Anywho, I was terrified of getting pregnant again and it just so happened a friend of my Dad's is an OBGYN at Stanford and an expert on HELLP Syndrome which as he explained to me is due to, you guessed it, a malformation of the placenta. You and I were doomed from the start and really there was nothing we could have done to prevent HELLP.

    For the next pregnancy (which I hope will happen soonish) he said the most effective treatment to prevent HELLP was to take baby asprin daily through 20 weeks of gestation. You should also have blood draws to see your baseline levels on platlets, liver enzymes ect so they can repeat the test throughout the pregnancy to see if anything is showing that you may develop HELLP. Also, you should get more ultrasounds to see if the baby is growing properly.

    He also did say that the risk of HELLP is higher in your first pregnancy and that seeing I'm young, healthy, and have no other indicators that would pre-dispose me to having a rough pregnancy, that a second should go well. Everytime I get scared, all I think is how wonderful my little girl is and how, despite the fear and worry, I would do it all over again.

    Best of luck mama!

  2. Thank you so much for this comment! I have been taking baby aspirin daily since 4 weeks, along with extra folic acid, fish oil, and calcium, all on top of my pre-natal. My OB did a blood draw at 8 weeks to get a baseline for my enzymes, and I think she plans on doing regular ultrasounds. She also mentioned scheduling me to meet with a specialist at my next appointment, which is Monday. Thanks again, this made me feel much better!

  3. Hugs!

    I hope you find some peace about it. I would tell you to stop worrying, but I know from experience that you'll just ignore me ;)

    If it makes you feel any better (I hope it doesn't, but at least I can commiserate), the hemorrhage I had with Aer and worried over the entire pregnancy about has a 15ish% chance to reoccur in someone who has already had one in a previous pregnancy. That's without any other risk factors for it like uterine scarring from...oh, you know, C-Sections. And I have had 2, so that increases my risk for another hemorrhage exponentially. That's the lovely reality I'm facing with my next pregnancy, and because of that, we've decided to only have 3 kids instead of the 4 we originally wanted.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent, just hoping you don't feel so alone in worrying. It's your baby, of course you're going to worry about every little thing, and when you've had the experiences that you have, that's just one more thing to worry about. It's normal and natural for you to worry, but you know I have to say it...worrying won't change anything :)

  4. Hello, My story is very similar to yours as well. Gave birth to my first HELLP baby @32wks in 2005. Like you, I was super healthy, walking etc....only gaining a pound here and there. Total of 15lbs before I started to balloon up with the extra HELLP fluid. With my second pregnancy in 2010, it was the same. I only gained a little bit of weight. I was going for constant check-ups, bloodwork, ultrasound. I too was taking asprin and extra folic acid. At 29wks I left an ultra sound appointment being told that everything was great, and I was going to have a healthy, full term baby. By 31wks I was placed on home bedrest (bp was rising and protein level were high) by 32wks I wa admitted to hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy, they were hoping to get me to at least 36wks. But bp, protein were still rising and then my platlets began to drop. I made it to 34wks! I didn't get GD.Although, with my first, the test came back as inconlusive and I was to be retested, but I ended up giving birth before I had the chance. With my second, the test came back negative. But I found out 3months ago that I am now a type 2 diabetic! PE/HELLP is very unpredicible, there is no way of telling who will get it, what age, what pregnancy. But I do believe that it is out of our hands and no matter what precautions we take, we are predisposited to get it.... whatever that reason may be. Not gaining enough weigt has no effect on the baby. As long as you are eating healthy. The baby will take what he/she needs and the rest will go to you! My doctors were never concerned about the amount of weight I was gaining. Take comfort in the fact that they(the doctors) are aware of it and extra care is being taken and it won't be allowed to get as bad as the first, should it happen again.
    I wish you and yours all the very best, take care. Hugs.......Crystal

  5. well, J was 7lbs 1oz and I only gained 12lbs during my pregnancy and lost 10 of them before even leaving the hospital and the last 2 in the next 24 hours. I'm with Crystal, BF2.0 will siphon off of you EVERYTHING he/she needs, regardless of your own personal weight gain. Dont blame yourself for what happened with KB. Relax, enjoy building your baby! Healthy weight gain is good, eat but eat healthy, lay off the fried foods, sweets, etc but dont starve yourself!


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