When Being Pregnant with #2 Wasn't What I'd Expected
If you follow me on social media at all, you’ll know that I just had a baby a few weeks ago. Its been a whirlwind 7 weeks, and definitely a huge change in my family. We went from a family of 3 for almost 6 years to a family of 4, but its honestly been the best change of our lives in the past few years.
But nothing could have prepared me for how difficult it would be to get #2 here.
I got pregnant at the end of July and right after, my husband went out of town for 3 weeks to the remote Alaskan wilderness. I started getting morning sickness not too long after he left, and it sucked. But what I didn’t know was how much worse it was going to get. The month of August went by with just, what I assume, was a normal amount of morning sickness, nothing too bad. But then September came, and I became violently ill.
There is a condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which is very rare (affects only about 2% of pregnancies), and very serious. It is morning sickness on steroids. It causes malnourishment and dehydration, rapid weight loss, and can even induce organ failure in the worst cases. I was lucky enough to be in that 2% of pregnancies that deals with it. I would average throwing up at least 15 times a day, I lost almost 40 pounds in a matter of about 5 weeks, I had multiple hospital stays and an ER visit, I was in for IV fluids twice a week at the hospital, and took medication they give cancer patients for nausea, which often didn’t work.
At the end of October, I was considered a high risk pregnancy and had to meet with a specialist. He recommended that I get a permanent feeding tube to deal with the malnourishment. It was a time of extreme depression and heartache and fear, not to mention the toll it took on my family emotionally, physically, and financially. There were days when I prayed that God would just let me die because I was in so much pain I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t make it out of bed most days, except to go throw up, and then I couldn’t make it off the floor.
But through all of that, I never lost hope that I would get better and be able to sustain my pregnancy. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and we have a monthly Sunday where we hold a fast for whatever issues or problems we are dealing with. We abstain from food and water for 2-3 meals and give our prayers to Heavenly Father in faith that we will be healed of whatever trial we are going through. My congregation, family, and close friends chose to fast for me the first Sunday in November, despite them having their own trials and difficulties. They all had faith that I would be healed, that I wouldn’t have to get a feeding tube, and that my body would be able to finally sustain my much wanted pregnancy. The Saturday before was a normal day for me, throwing up 10+ times and not being able to keep any food or liquids down. But that Sunday, miraculously, I was healed. Through the faith of others and myself, my illness has all but disappeared. I didn’t throw up once more during the rest of my pregnancy.
But the troubles didn’t end there. The first half was filled with this incredibly horrible sickness. The second half I was diagnosed and had to deal with Gestational Diabetes. As if the HG wasn’t bad enough, it had taken such a toll on my body that my pancreas couldn’t function properly. Diet and exercise alone were not enough to keep it under control. I was put on medication, and the dosage was upped so many times that I maxed out, and it still did not affect my blood sugar levels like it was supposed to. I was eventually put on insulin to control my blood sugar levels, and that finally helped even everything out. My doctor told me that I was the first person in about 15 years that he’s had to put on insulin. Wouldn’t that just be my luck?
If you’ve never had to closely watch what you eat to control your blood sugar, let me tell you that it is no walk in the park. I assumed I would just have to cut out sugar, which would be easy enough. But I had to cut out pretty much all carbs, so basically everything that I enjoyed eating. And it was freaking hard. Nothing could have prepared me to watch what I eat so closely. But even though it was incredibly hard, it was so worth it to have birthed a healthy baby girl 3 months after I was diagnosed with GD.
I have now had my baby girl, and I jokingly (but in all seriousness) tell my husband that I’m done having kids. Two kids is enough for me, and they are honestly my world. I cannot wait to see the amazing humans that they will grow to be. And I’m grateful for the experiences that I had with my pregnancies, even though they were the hardest trials I’ve ever gone through. They taught me that I am stronger than I think I am, and that I can do hard things. But most importantly, I was taught, yet again, that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and is aware of us, and that He will bless us beyond measure.