Sunday, May 28, 2017

Pregnancy Update #1 - The Back Story

I've decided that I'll share some irregular pregnancy update posts this time around. If you're not interested then you can safely skip these posts, I don't mind. They're as much for my own journaling as they are for others. I know that I love reading about other people's pregnancies and it is rare to find a large family mom blogging about pregnancy. I would love to read it if someone else wrote it, so I might as well share my own.

A bit of pregnancy background:

This is my 14th pregnancy. If all goes well we will welcome our 10th child next January. I have had 3 miscarriages and 1 ectopic/tubal pregnancy with an accompanying emergency surgery that left me with one less fallopian tube. These have been spread over the years as pregnancy number 2, 5, 8, and 12.

I have had morning sickness in every pregnancy. It lasts all day and usually begins around week 6. It ends between 16 and 20 weeks. Nothing gets rid of it. I've tried pretty much every suggestion out there over the years.

My first 6 babies were born in a hospital with a midwife. My body does not sustain contractions - so I've had Pitocin for some portion of every labor. An example, I had my water break with one baby and walked into the hospital dilated to a 7 - the part where you are supposed to be in the agony of transition - with no contractions. My body is weird and I just accept that. I haven't had an epidural - I would rather hurt than have a needle in my spinal column. Just a personal preference.

My 7th baby was a bit different. We knew during my pregnancy that he had serious medical needs (spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and more). It meant changes. No more midwife. I had specialists and many appointments. I was high risk. He had a delivery team. We had to deliver a bit early because of the fluid increasing on his brain. Because his spinal cord was open and outside his back we knew we would have a C-section and I had a spinal block for that. (He was my first breech baby as well).  Let me just say that recovery from surgery while you're in the NICU with a child who had his first surgery at 7 hours old and his second at 7 days old isn't fun.

My 8th and 9th babies left me with a dilemma. Did I want to continue to have C-sections now that I had one or did I want to find a doctor who is pro-VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean)? I spent a lot of time on the phone talking to doctors, nurses, hospitals, and friends to find a doctor and hospital that are truly VBAC friendly. I found my high-risk pro-VBAC doctor and hospital 45 minutes away from home. Baby #8 was a successful VBAC, and so was baby #9.

That brings you up to date. I'm doing things a little different this time around. I'm still planning to use the same doctor group and hospital, but I'm not going to begin appointments until close to the halfway mark of pregnancy. Baby #9 was the one after my ectopic pregnancy and emergency surgery so we had lots of early and frequent appointments to monitor things. I don't want to deal with that this time around, so I just won't contact my doctor until late this summer. They can't do anything for me anyway. The only thing I do need monitored is my thyroid levels because I am hypothyroid and my endocrinologist is doing that. I'm having blood work every 3-4 weeks so she can adjust my medication as needed.

How I'm Feeling:
Right now I feel fantastic. I think I am about 5ish weeks along. I'm not having any morning sickness yet. I'm exercising regularly, drinking lots of water, and eating well. I'm not starting this pregnancy off at a healthy weight, unfortunately. We've been dealing with my crazy thyroid for the last year trying to get my medication right - after 6 months of having my general practitioner mess with it the wrong way I finally got in with an endocrinologist. During all those medication changes I gained 20 lbs and am currently 200.8 lbs. It was really frustrating. It means that I will need to be especially consistent in my exercise and eating well to keep my pregnancy weight gain from going crazy.

 I'm excited to be adding another child to our family. I'm also always aware of the fact that things may not go as we hope. In the last 13 pregnancies I have only ended up with 9 babies to hold and raise. Four times I've had empty arms and tears. But God is good all the time! He has a plan for me and for these babies he sends. I try to enjoy every minute of pregnancy so that I have no regrets.


  1. I hope you end up with a baby to hold and raise. :)

  2. You are truly amazing. This baby is coming to a wonderful home.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I love to read posts like this. Looking forward to following along.

  4. Hoping the very best for you and baby. I look forward to the updates. I do have a question though. In regards to your hypothyroidism, are the 3-4 week checks needed due to the history you mentioned in stabilizing the thyroid levels or are those more consistent check-ups due to advancing pregnancy and the need for more thryoid hormone?

    1. It is a bit of both! Usually as pregnancy progresses a woman with hypothyroidism needs an increased dose of thyroid medication. Occasionally that doesn't happen. If your thyroid hormones are too low it affects multiple body systems and can lead to problems sustaining a pregnancy, among other things.

  5. Love reading as always! I will pray for your pregnancy!

  6. Love hearing about what's been going on. I have five babies that God blessed me with that I carried to term (well, my youngest was born over a month early). I also have six babies sitting with God that I never got to hold. I am blessed with two step children as well, and many children who seem to want me to adopt them as they call me mom.
    I pray that this pregnancy goes perfectly and you have another baby to bless your arms.

  7. Congratulations Tristan....and thanks for sharing!


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