How Are You Feeling?

The question I get asked the most (at 35 weeks pregnant) is “how are you feeling?” I always say “great” because I am now enjoying my pregnancy. Yes, I am not “great” but I am feeling about 1000X better than I was feeling in my first and second trimester. In my third trimester, I have been dealing with some health issues but they don’t even come close to what I was dealing with before. 

In all honesty, I don’t want to give birth just yet. I want to hold on to these moments when I am actually really enjoying pregnancy. The little one is kicking me and it feels uncomfortable but it also feels incredible. 

Today I thought I’d give you a health update and also tell you about some issues that you, a friend, or a family member may go through in the third trimester.

  1. Gestational Diabetes

At week 33, my sugar levels after dinner were in the 7’s and 8’s. As soon as I emailed my diabetes educator/nurse practitioner, she had me come in to take an insulin class. Within one hour of sending my email, she had me in an insulin class, had filled a prescription for me for insulin, and made sure she saw me face-to-face to check in on me. Shout out to Christine Opsteen at Mount Sinai who is amazing!

When I received the call from Christine I started to cry because I didn’t want to go on insulin. I had been eating so well and had been trying to get as much physical activity as possible. Once again, she reminded me that I was not a failure and that it was just because of my placenta. 

I am only using four units of insulin at dinner and I am not longer terrified at dinner time about my sugar levels. In fact, on Wednesday I graduated from the Diabetes Clinic. 

Another workshop on Diabetes

I explained that I was super sad to leave and they reminded me that leaving meant that I was healthy. I now have a document in my hospital bag that indicates how much insulin I will need during labour. I have also had a couple of sugar lows (where my levels go below 4 and I start to feel really “off.”) In those times I get to eat 15 skittles and then I feel a lot better. 

Graduation Day at the Diabetes Clinic

Three months after I give birth I get to take the glucose test again. That drink is the death of me! I will also be followed for one year with a nutritionist to make sure that I don’t develop Type 2 Diabetes.

People have commented that I have “never looked better” which is crazy to me because I am still not feeling anywhere like my old self. That being said, I feel so much more in control of my diet and I don’t have the sugar highs or sugar lows that I once had which makes me feel a lot better throughout the day.

Somehow getting gestational diabetes has been a gift. I’ve learned a lot about healthy eating and have seen what it is like to have diabetes. My hope is that I take this information forward and continue to look after my health as much as I have been doing. 

It is so strange to me that I didn’t really care about my health before I got pregnant. It’s almost as if I didn’t feel that I “deserved” to be healthy and to put myself first. It took a little baby inside of me whom I wanted to protect, to make me realize how being healthy should be a top priority,

My insulin that I will take right up until labour
  1. Weight/Size of Baby

I always feel weird discussing my weight because the last thing I want to do is to trigger anyone. If weight triggers you, please skip this section.

At 35 weeks, I have gained 7 lbs during this pregnancy. I think it is because I couldn’t keep food down for 7 months and because I have really had to watch what I eat at every meal.

Somehow I have never eaten more in my life (3 meals a day and 3 snacks a day)  and have somehow lost weight. Sometimes I eat something healthy like a salad for lunch and then my sugar levels go too low. It has really been interesting that I need to eat carbs (1-2 per snack, 2-3 per meal). 1 carb = 15 g of carbs on a nutrition label.

I plan to continue this lifestyle after my pregnancy. I’ve also heard that toward the end of pregnancy, you (and the baby) gain about a pound a week.

My baby boy is currently in the 45th percentile for weight and weighs 5 lbs. I am having another ultrasound on Wednesday so we’ll see if this number has changed. Right now, I am being induced on Feb 16th at 39.5 weeks because of my gestational diabetes. They will be doing ultrasounds almost weekly from now on to make sure that he is staying a good size. If not, I will be induced even earlier.

  1. Butt Issues

This is so embarrassing but I promised to be open with you so here I go. My internal hemorrhoids are back. How uncomfortable are these? They are pretty uncomfortable but nothing is worse than puking 5-8 times a day.

My family doctor has put me back on another medication and has reminded me that they won’t disappear and that the meds are just to manage them. 

I also had to confess that most of my acne (yes I am 13 going on 39) is on my butt. She couldn’t believe how bad it is (now bruising and welts) because I was too afraid to discuss what was happening.

What I’ve learned is that you just need to be open to doctors and see the doctor as soon as you have anything that is “off” with your butt.

  1. Nausea

For the most part, my nausea is gone! I’d say that at least three times a week in the morning I feel like getting sick but it passes.

I am still on two Diclectin a day which is really helping.

Yes, some smells get to me. I’ve had to stop wearing any type of perfume, scented deodorant, etc. I can’t wait to have my sense of smell go back to normal.

  1. Anxiety

This was a major issue while I was trying to conceive and within the first two trimesters of my pregnancy. I went from being on no medication to being on 20g of Cipralex every day (the most I have ever been on).

At every appointment I have been at, medical professions have asked me about my mental health. It feels amazing that people that work in the medical profession are so concerned about mental health and that it seems almost more important than physical health.

My anxiety has now turned to labour as I am preparing to go into a stage of having no control. People have assured me that the body knows what to do so I am going with that. 

I am also trying to be calm about not knowing when I will go into labour which is scary. I love knowing dates and being prepared so this is another lesson in just going with the flow.

  1. Exhaustion

I feel like I am 500 lbs.

To walk a block down the street, I am out of breath and have to take numerous breaks if I have to walk anywhere.

Going to an appointment (they are usually about four hours in length) drain me of all energy that I have. 

I’m still sleeping about 12 hours a night and still have the odd nap here or there. I feel like I’m asleep for most of my life.

Everyone keeps saying to” enjoy my sleep while I can” and trust me, I am. 

My main worry (after delivering a healthy baby) is around lack of sleep. Have heard that the baby only sleeps 1-2 hours at first so this is going to be a huge transition. Every time I bring up being nervous about labour, people say “you don’t need to worry about labour. The real worry is the first three months after giving birth.” Great! Just what I need to hear,

  1. Sciatica

After seeing my chiropractor on a weekly basis, this hasn’t been bothering me at all. I used to get massive pain that almost felt like a lightning bolt up my leg to my butt. If I go for long walks, I need to take breaks so that my sciatica doesn’t continue. Seeing a chiropractor is a MUST if you or anyone you know is experiencing Sciatica.

  1. Overall Attitude

I’ve tried to maintain a positive attitude throughout my entire pregnancy and I think I’ve been able to do it! I’ve been tested in countless ways during this pregnancy but I truly think that we all turn into a Mama Bear while pregnant and we can handle a lot more than we ever thought we could.

I can’t imagine going through all of this if I hadn’t wanted a baby. Somehow knowing that a baby is coming at the end of this, makes this whole process worthwhile. It is so cliche but so true.

Right now, I am truly the happiest I have been. There has been so much support around me and I feel blessed that so many people already love my son.

Thank you to everyone for their support and thanks for checking in on me. So far, everything seems great. Now it is just waiting time. 

Have heard that there comes a point where pregnancy becomes uncomfortable and that you just want the baby out. That may be the next stage but for now, I am savouring all of this amazing time being pregnant with my little one.