Pregnancy update

It’s week 25, and this little guy is the size of a rutabaga and measures about 13 inches long. He’s super active! I get tons of kicks and prods, he swims around a lot. He’s more “Eleanor” than “Henry” at this point.

This pregnancy continues to be very different from the last one; I finished one prescription for prednisone to address my ongoing urticaria. That one was two days at 20mg, two days at 15mg, 10 days at 10mg, and one day at 5mg. The day following the last pill, my vision suddenly deteriorated while playing cards with the family (Go Fish!). I could barely see out of one eye – I saw what I can only describe as a glitch in the matrix – everything was misaligned one pixel in a circle in the middle of my vision of my right eye. Shortly after that, my head started hurting, and didn’t stop. Around 3:30am (I asked my husband later when it happened – I couldn’t look at anything) I was battling a full blown migraine. I’ve only had 3 maybe in my life (the last one was back when my parents lived in Texas, more than 6 years ago). With help from my husband, I was finally able to drift to a fitful sleep, woke up in the morning, told my team I was in no fit shape, and asked my husband to take the kids in to school. I went back to sleep. The entire rest of the day, the inside of my head felt tender, like it was bruised. I had a low-grade headache all day.

I looked up the side effects of prednisone later, and migraine is not a super unusual withdrawal symptom, although I was interested to see that I have a few other side effects, such as dry, papery skin, loss of appetite (I’ve lost two pounds since my last baby appointment), low blood sugar, nausea/vomiting (I threw up last week).

In light of that, it is – perhaps – surprising that I have started another course. This one is 2.5mg daily, so quite a bit lower than 10mg. We hope that it will keep the itching at bay, because that was truly not something I could bear any longer – it is choosing the lesser of two evils. I may need to bump the dose up to 5mg if the itching is not kept away (I still itch, I estimate that if I was at 100% itchiness prior to taking the first course, I am now at 15%), which is something we’ll keep an eye on. The prednisone may also screw up my glucose test, which is in two weeks. In that case, we will need to do a more detailed test, but not the typical 3-hour glucose test that you would ordinarily take if you fail the initial test (because if it fails the first time from the prednisone, it will fail again without revealing if I actually have gestational diabetes). But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. We’ll also have another growth scan to ensure that the baby is growing normally and on track. The additional prednisone may start to change him and his environment, so that is something that if we find, we’ll stop the prednisone and I’ll tape oven mitts on.

Frustratingly as well, my pelvis is slowly (very slowly) worsening, it seems. It seemed ok-ish for awhile, or at least not worse, but I think it’s possible I was just very preoccupied with the itch. Now that that has been more or less handled (“handled”), I find myself struggling just a tiny bit more with movement. We’ve started doing yoga to help with it. I have found that walking either fast or a lot in one day leads to very painful and not at all fruitful dividends the next day. So I’m trying to take it easy, without being a complete laze.

I’m making it sound rather gloomy, but everything is going ok. I’m really excited to feel so much movement. I’m getting more and more of a belly, which is thrilling as well (really!). The weather has been gorgeous, so spending time outside with the big kids makes me content with how well things really ARE going. Pregnancy is temporary, and this is my last one, so even though it’s actually much harder than the first one, I appreciate the little moments. It’s given me even more empathy for other mothers and how dramatically different each pregnancy can be. And I’m realizing too, that partners carry a lot when their loved one is pregnant – it’s something I understood, of course, but when you’re just the two of you, it’s not THAT hard to be the non-pregnant one (when everything goes as well as our last pregnancy did). Now it’s a pretty different story, and I have had to lean a lot more on Bob for support, and it’s been a wonderful experience in that way as well. I’m excited for what’s next.

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