We’ve had two ultrasounds so far. We have a heart beat and growth right on schedule. And we just have one baby.
The biggest question on everyone’s mind since I got my positive test has been “Now how many are in there?” Even though I only had two blastocysts put in me, some people theorized there could even be three or four, after all, couldn’t fertilized eggs split into identical twins? I was pretty sure the blastocysts were past the point where that was possible when they put them in, but people still questioned. It’s been a load off to know for sure that it’s just one baby.
Not that I would have been upset about twins. There was even a part of me that hoped for it. But ultimately, one baby is preferable to multiples. One baby will likely mean an easier pregnancy with less risk of complications. It makes my chances of needing a cesarean lower, and my chances of being able to get pregnant again with my own baby within a year after this one more likely.
The pregnancy so far has been much like my others. I’ve had a little bit of very mild nausea, quite a bit of fatigue, a little brain fogginess, and some irritability. Unlike my other pregnancies, however, I have not gained anything yet. I’ve maybe even lost some. Both with Elijah and Freja I gained a significant amount of weight in the first trimester, 15 to 20 pounds, approximately. That’s each time! Not surprisingly, I gained much more weight than is typically average with each pregnancy, 80 lbs total with Elijah, and 50 lbs total with Freja. And after having easy pregnancies, easy births, and very healthy babies, I firmly believe I gained that weight because I needed to in order to be healthy. Before getting pregnant with both Elijah and Freja I had spent significant amounts of time dieting, forcing my weight down as far as I could. In fact, before having gotten pregnant with Elijah, I was dieting so chronically I was likely nutrient deficient and in pretty poor shape, health wise. And each time, when I had to give up dieting upon getting pregnant, I packed the weight back on so fast it would make a lot of people’s heads spin. Which really should come as no surprise, research shows that most dieters, when forced to resume normal eating habits (or in my case with both my kids, go from a very calorically reduced diet to a just slightly calorically reduced diet), will pack the weight back on, sometimes even more than they started with. This time, I have been practicing intuitive eating, focusing only on trying to get in more nutrient dense foods. I have not counted calories or carbs or fat or anything like that at all, I have just eaten what felt right and tried to make sure I was getting in as many nutrient dense foods as possible, and golly gee, it’s the first time I’m gaining weight exactly like the experts say you should. Not that everyone will have the same results as I am, every person’s body is different. Even my body was different in my two previous pregnancies, it needed to put on weight, and nothing I did, not restricting food in my first pregnancy, or staying very active in my second, could stop that from happening. But I do believe strongly that if you trust your body it will take the best care of you it can. Your body has a pretty good self preservation instinct. Generally speaking, it wants to live.
I have felt I’m on the downhill slide of the first trimester yuckies, which I know already is not as bad for me as it tends to be for most other women. There has been one bummer in all of this, and that’s that the placenta has possible placental lakes in it. Placental lakes are pools of blood that form in the placenta, and are very common in the second and third trimester, but less so in the first. It could be nothing, and I tend to think that’s most likely the case, but it could indicate possible growth restriction. Because baby has been growing right on schedule, I’m choosing not to be too concerned. I know this practice deals with a lot of very high risk stuff, as their normal day to day, and that can give people a skewed view of seeing variances in pregnancy. However, they have recommended, as a safety precaution, that I take it extra easy and not do any heavy lifting at all. And their idea of heavy lifting is much lighter than mine. I’m not even supposed to lift Freja! Also, no sex, and no exercise. This is a major bummer for me, but I will definitely follow instructions. I think it’s probably nothing, but just in case, I’m going to be careful. I was annoyed that the nurse practitioner who told me about this talked like lifting and exercise restrictions would be good news for me. Some women aren’t actually looking for ways to get out of doing as much work as possible. And some people actually don’t find it easier to have to wait to get their husband to lift anything heavier than ten pounds for them. Some women enjoy a variety of physical activities and sex, and aren’t relieved when told they can’t do those activities. I’d venture to guess, in fact, that this is the case for most women.
But I have been released now to get care with a care provider of my choosing, and I will be choosing a midwife, so long as my pregnancy is low risk. Midwifery care is just better for me. It is more attentive, less alarmist, and more personal than OB care, in general. Of course, it all depends on the midwife, and the OB, but this is my experience. Some people prefer the more medicalized care of an OB. They feel all the tests make it more personalized, and that’s cool. I think more time spent developing a relationship makes midwifery care more personal, and that’s what I prefer. However, because this is not a totally normal pregnancy, I will be getting both treatments, the tests and the midwifery atmosphere, and I’m okay with that. Generally, in my own pregnancies, I prefer to reduce the tests to a degree, sometimes too much information isn’t actually helpful, it leads to false assumptions of risk and a lot of unnecessary stress, but I understand why it’s needed this time. There is a time and a place for everything, of course. I’m just glad I get to have midwifery care as well.
Stay tuned for more updates!