Every Day Is A Winding Road…

…but I get a little bit closer to feelin’ fine.

The past two months have really been a blur of nausea, exhaustion, constipation, heartburn, headaches and insomnia.  Any one of these six can be overwhelming, but put them all together, and you’re talkin’ complete wipe-out.  It seems some days getting out of bed is insurmountable, much less actually driving to work.  Most days I just exist; actually contributing seems beyond comprehension.

I’ve been afraid to eat and afraid not to eat.  Whatever I eat is going to haunt me all day thanks to the heartburn, most likely will cause nausea, and will then take up residence in my colon for at least the next seven days.  But not eating will guarantee the nausea will return.  Talk about a can’t-win.

All I can say is, pregnancy is definitely not for the wussies, and I am a complete and total wuss.  I asked BFF Judy, why would anyone do this more than once?  Michele Duggar is a masochist!  To which Judy replied, “oh, not all women have those problems.  Me, for instance, I never had nausea or constipation and although I had Ryan naturally, childbirth was a total breeze. ”  Trust me, my pregnancy glare is deadly, and she would’ve dropped dead for sure if we’d been talking in person instead of emailing back and forth on company time.

Troy’s been driving me to work on the weekends as I can’t make it more than a few miles at a time before I have to pull over and puke.  I’ve pretty much adorned the shoulder on both sides of 360 from 183 all the way to Beecaves road.  On Saturday, Troy got me to work, and I barely made it through a civil exchange with the tech I was replacing before barfing for 10 minutes straight.  Fortunately I work alone on the weekends so there were no witnesses.  Did you know, the noodles in chicken noodle soup take longer to digest than a grilled cheese sandwich?  Just thought I’d share.  For its’ whole life, I’m gonna remind this kid I didn’t actually give birth to it, instead I threw it up into the world.

After Saturday night, I called the OB after-hours line and begged for help.  I prayed that God would take these overwhelming symptoms that were draining the joy out of this gift we had prayed so long for.  Finally, help has come – and of course I realize now I should’ve been praying and begging much sooner!

The biggest factor is the nausea, and it’s now much better controlled with one 8 mg Zofran dissolving tablet first thing in the morning.  I still get faint rounds of nausea through the day and especially into the evening as the Zofran wears off, but they’re manageable.  My OB Dr. Breen sent me to an endocrinologist on Friday, Dr. Bledsoe.  She told me she could’ve got me pregnant years ago by fixing my hormone imbalances, if only I’d gone to her first.  I don’t know about all that, but she not only specializes in endocrinology and will be managing my hypo-thyroidism, but she also specializes in hormonal infertility.  I figure it can’t hurt to have both her and Dr. Silverberg on our side if we decide to do this again.  She really seems to know her stuff.  She upped my Syntheroid dose, and I have to admit, I’m feeling more energy.  Not like ‘before pregnancy’ energy, but I can acutally remember my day now instead of just falling into a stupor as soon as I drive home.

Dr. Breen has also helped get the headaches under control.  I had two migraines last week, so he prescribed Darvocet for when I feel a migraine coming on.  If it’s not a migraine but a persistent headache, it’s ok to take 1 asprin and 1 Tylenol together (Tylenol alone was like taking SweetTart for the headache).  I have to say, I really feel like this area is completely manageable now.

As these things have gotten under better control, I’ve started sleeping better.  I think the bright, crazy, vivid dreams are just part of the pregnancy thing, and there’ll probably be some insomnia through the whole thing.  But I’m defintely getting better rest now.

Next up:  conquering constipation and heartburn.  I need to ask Dr. Breen what is ok to take for heartburn.  I’ve been eating smaller, blander and more frequent meals to avoid getting over-full.  For constipation, I’m heading to the grocery store after work to stock up on Colace, prunes and prune juice.  I’m hoping the fruit will help manage it naturally so I won’t have to rely on over-the-counter meds too much.  So far, Milk of Magnesia hasn’t done squat.  I’m not a coffee drinker, but a little coffee in the morning every three days seems to help a little, but I’d rather use fruit than coffee.  As the constipation eases, that should also help reduce nausea.

I am acutely aware that this is a whole lotta whining about something I worked so hard to get.  And we all know, I wouldn’t give it up for anything.  But I figure since this is the diary of my experience, this is the place to get it all out.  Plus, when I tell you guys about it, you always have lots of good advice for me.  So tell me what got you through any of these symptoms!  All advice welcome!

I have to say, the last two days have been the best in what seems a really long time.  I feel like I’m waking up, slowly and gingerly coming back to life.  It feels pretty good.  One of the bright spots of the weekend was the neural tube scan.  They took mine and Troy’s family history, and thankfully we don’t have a history of genetic issues on either side.  The NT measurement was perfect.  Troy hadn’t seen the baby since it was a fuzzy peanut on the screen, so he was shocked to see it looking like a baby with arms and legs!  It kicked and waved through the whole scan and he was completely mezmerized!  The whole night he kept saying, “it looks like a real baby!  This feels so real now!”  I loved seeing him getting so excited. 🙂  We should get the rest of the genetic results some time this week.

I slept almost all day Sunday, then Troy and I met up with friends Judy, her roommate Matt and mutual friend Irene at the Alamo Drafthouse to watch The Expendables.  Such a fun movie!  Made me nostalgic for the 80’s. 🙂  I couldn’t eat at the Drafthouse (I do hate missing out on a Porky’s Pepperoni Pizza!), but I still enjoyed getting out for a few hours. 

I’m still alive!


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kari
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 13:28:19

    I will start with saying don’t kill me with your pregnancy death glare but I had very few of the problems you describe. I will tell you that after being torn apart during delivery I asked DH why anyone would EVER do this more than once too, and now 6 weeks postpartum I want to do it all over again, and again, and again. So I hope that the symptoms fade and the memory dulls to the point you’re ready to do it all again soon enough. I did however have constipation at the begining and I will tell you my not so all natural, but also not medical solution was McDonalds. Yeah I know unhealthy, but some chicken nuggets and fries and literally within an hour I’d be unconstipated. I wasn’t nauseous though so I don’t know how that will mix with McD’s. Possibly not well. Sorry you’ve gotten the gamut of uncomfortable symptoms. Wasn’t your NT just the BEST thing EVER?!?!?!


    • iamstacey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 14:08:57

      lol I’ve never heard of using McD’s as a laxative, but it makes total sense! 🙂
      The NT scan was soooo awesome. I think ’til now it was more abstract for Troy, and he’s been really caught up in taking care of me. It’s been so fun to see him get so excited about it the last few days! He kept telling his mom, “It waved at me!” 🙂


  2. athena
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 13:31:56

    aww you poor thing!! glad you’re getting some help and feel a little better! i always remind myself, my husband, my blog readers.. etc.. that i’m NOT ever actually complaining, just documenting and noting! hah! i know you’re feeling the same way.. we will gladly suffer whatever our little ones want to throw at us! 😀
    oh and.. is it nap time?????


    • iamstacey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 14:10:38

      lolol it’s ALWAYS nap time at Casa Harlan! I can fall asleep anytime, anywhere! You don’t know how tempted I’ve been to stretch out on the supply closet floor at work… 🙂 I know you get it, although the symptoms suck, I wouldn’t give it up for anything!


  3. Amber
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 13:58:48

    Seems like someone who struggles so hard to get pregnant should have the perfect pregnancy… I’m so sorry you’re still suffering from the nausea. Mine was very touch and go for a couple of weeks and was well-controlled with sour candy. Maybe it’s because I eat lots and lots of spicy food so my body can deal with just about anything.

    The NT scan really is amazing. I couldn’t believe how much our little tiny peanut changed by that point. It was a little disturbing that ours still had a tail then, but luckily we grew out of it! Hope you get to feeling better soon so you can enjoy this pregnancy!!!


    • iamstacey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 14:13:29

      that’s just too funny, I didn’t even think about the tail! 🙂 And you ended up with the prettiest baby ever, so a little bit of tail must be ok!
      I miss spicy food! And onions and garlic. I love onions and garlic, and it’s so weird that they don’t like me now!


  4. sweet georgia
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 14:53:11

    I hear you about all of those symptoms. I’ve had most of them together over the past 5 months. For constipation – make sure you are drinking lots of fluids. I know this is difficult particularly with the nausea/vomiting, but being hydrated really helps. If you’re like me and can’t drink water because that sloshiness makes you want to vomit, then try freezies or popsicles. For constipation get extra fiber… have an extra piece of fruit with breakfast and/or lunch or for a snack, make sure you’re eating breads/carbs rich in fiber. For your heartburn – try Tums, they are pg-safe and work wonders for me.

    I’m glad you’ve got something that takes care of the nausea. I was prescribed Diclectin and it worked wonders for me. I think the all day all night nauseous feeling is the most difficult to deal with.

    Oh and for sleeping, have you tried a snoogle (body pillow)? I bought one and it changed my life. I get amazing sleep, still have the vivid dreams, but I actually sleep through the night for the most part.

    I know what you mean about complaining after all the hardwork to actually get pregnant. But, nobody really tells you exactly how hard pregnancy can be on your body. I am eternally grateful that modern medicine allowed me to get pregnant, but that doesn’t mean that some of the pregnancy symptoms don’t suck.


    • iamstacey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 15:57:39

      That’s it exactly! Being pregnant is a surreal dream come true, but the symptoms so far have been a nightmare! But so many people have reassured me that they really do taper off over time, so I’m hanging on to that!
      I LOVE popsicles! Which is weird, ’cause I never really cared one way or the other about them before. But now, they’re the best thing ever! 🙂
      I’ve been working hard on they hydrating the last two days. And I cut a coupon for Tums, so I’m ready to hit the grocery store! 🙂


  5. katery
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 15:54:08

    i’m glad you seem to be finding some relief, unfortunately having infertility issues doesn’t exempt us from unpleasant pregnancy issues and it certainly doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to complain about feeling crappy!! fyi, if you find yourself in a throwing-up place again, hawaiian punch tastes exactly the same coming out as it does going in, unlike many other things that are revolting on the way out.
    regarding the constipation, have you tried prune juice? it works better than any medication you could take, seriously, i gave louise an ounce a day for quite a while for her constipation.


    • iamstacey
      Aug 31, 2010 @ 16:00:15

      Prune juice is at the top of my grocery list! I’m hoping it’ll do the trick naturally and gently. Mom says she likes the dried prunes that have orange flavor in them, so I think I’ll try a packet of those, too.
      LOL on the hawaiian punch! I’ll definitely add that to the list! I thought ginger ale was a miracle until I threw it up – coming out the nose it buuurnzes!


  6. Low Fat Lady
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 16:33:08

    So glad that you got some drugs to help you to feel better. I’m nervous how I will be whenever I do get pregnant.


    • iamstacey
      Sep 01, 2010 @ 14:42:44

      weirdly enough, I never thought about what it’d be like once I was pregnant. I guess I didn’t really believe I’d ever get here. I just always imagined rainbows, glitter and unicorns. Sooooo wrong. Still absolutely worth it, though.


  7. Myndi
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 17:04:17

    Hon, I feel your pain. Seriously. And I hope with everything I have that you are one of the ones that it disappears 2nd trimester. Pregnancy is no joke for some of us. Hard stuff!!! And the limits on what we can take. Oy! My go to for indigestion and heartburn has always been Pepto, which I’ve been told is a class C and should only be taken when absolutely necessary. So I eat Tums like candy and they work about 50% of the time for the heartburn.

    Isn’t it awesome when the husband finally gets really excited? Oh, it makes it that much easier and more joyful. 🙂


    • iamstacey
      Sep 01, 2010 @ 14:49:29

      Oh, Myndi, when I think of all you’re going through I KNOW I’m a total wuss! I’ve heard the symptoms usually DON’T go away in the case of multiples. Argh, you are a strong woman. There’s a reason the embies didn’t take when I had 3 put in. I know now I’m just not woman enough!

      I got the Tums and I got Pepcid, too. I think the Tums are going to take care of most of it for me but every once and a while I think I’m going to have to break out the Pepcid. It’s like the Darvocet – I try to take Tylenol or just sleep off the headaches, but when the migraines hit, I gotta break out the big D.

      It’s so fun seeing Troy get all excited! I think for the first time he feels really involved, if that makes sense!


  8. Txgirl
    Aug 31, 2010 @ 17:45:01

    I hope your nausea gets much, much better very soon! And yeah, the constipation is a b%tch.
    fyi-Thursday will be my 4th week in the hospital keeping these babies in as long as possible. Diagnosed with cholestasis and waiting on some other liver tests, babies get ultrasounds 3/wk because of my liver probs, but they are donig well so far. 2.5 lbs each now. dilated 1-2 cm but seems to be stable now. I am well past the insanity stage of hospital bedrest. Moving on to the acceptance phase.


    • iamstacey
      Sep 01, 2010 @ 14:51:47

      omg, TxGirl, I don’t know how you’re doing it. Sending lots of good thoughts your way! Keep baking, babies! Let me know how you’re doing!


  9. WindDrop
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 07:34:24

    I have acid reflux that can cause wicked nausea, I’m wondering if bad heartburn can too. Something stonger than Tums and is considered a Class B drug is Pepcid. Here is a list of safe drugs: http://www.babyzone.com/pregnancy/is_it_safe/article/safe-drugs-pregnancy
    Baking soda is also said to help with heartburn:


  10. Pie
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 09:18:41

    Glad the zofran is working for you. I never had puking, but the nausea was gross. And it went away as quickly as it came, like at the 12-13th week. Hopefully yours will disappear soon!

    Tums have been helpful for heartburn for me, but mine has been mild. And colace is my BFF. Seriously. It is actually in my Rx prenatal, built right in! Take it regularly, and you’ll be regular. I also eat Fiber One cereal every morning with fruit, so I’m sure that helps too. Knock on wood, hardly any constipation so far.

    Hang in there, it will get better – maybe not for 7-ish months, but it will be better! 🙂


    • iamstacey
      Sep 01, 2010 @ 14:54:29

      I’ve been eatin’ the Fiber One every day, too! Hopefully the Colace and the prunes will pitch in soon, too! 🙂 I have to say, the nausea has been a little better this week. I don’t know if it’s the pills or it’s letting up a little or a combo of both, but I hope the nausea is on it’s way out for good!


  11. meinsideout
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 20:40:18

    Oh god, the constipation…this is way tmi but i had to take matters into my own hands…literally…eat prunes, at least two per day. so happy for you!


    • iamstacey
      Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:00:48

      lolol! I’m hoping the prunes will save me from the same fate!! 🙂 Argh, I just don’t think my bodily functions could be any more frightening these days…


  12. Stacey
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 22:23:19

    Ugggg. Hang in there, girl! I hope and pray that these symptoms will let up so you can enjoy a blissful second trimester! The third one… well, we’ll just handle that when you get there. 😉 (No really, it’s not too bad; mainly just achy and restless. And large!)

    Looks like you have lots of great suggestions so far. I second a good high-fiber cereal (I like the Quaker Oatmeal Squares) to help with constipation. My doc also had me drinking Metamucil (ick) for when it got worse. For heartburn I truly love Tums, particularly the wintergreen flavor. Could eat them like candy!
    I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the first trimester without ginger ale with crackers or dry toast. I ate some combination of that nearly every evening when the nausea would really hit for me.

    SO glad your sweet baby is looking good!!!


    • iamstacey
      Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:03:30

      I’m already ready for another ultrasound fix! Just have to make it to next Wednesday! 🙂
      I’ll look for the Oatmeal Squares cereal – that sounds good! 🙂 And I’m so relieved to hear Tums are on the ok list. They’re my new best friends!


  13. babyinterrupted
    Sep 02, 2010 @ 12:21:08

    Zo.fran was a lifesaver for me, but it definitely caused constipation. Eventually, I got into a pattern of taking 2 colace every morning and that made it manageable. (When I forgot a day? BAD news.) I tried other options – I hate prunes, but I heard that dried apricots would do the same thing, except they gave me terrible gas. The other key to success was drinking tons of water.


    • iamstacey
      Sep 02, 2010 @ 15:14:10

      so, will it be nausea, constipation or gas? Pick your favorite! 🙂 I’ve started the Colace, too, and I’m hoping between that and the prunes I’ll be regular by next week. The Zofran has made this the easiest week to survive so far, and I’m hoping it’ll keep getting better! I don’t know how women made it before Zofran!


  14. Aishacs
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 21:08:55

    Just checking in to say I’m so happy for you 🙂 And following alone even though I’m often quiet. Got this baby in my hands keeping me otherwise engaged.

    PS: Thanks for getting that song stuck in my head!!!!!! 😀


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