Why I’ve been posting less frequently

I have been blogging 5 days a week most weeks for over a year now.  But lately I’ve been struggling to find topics for a simple reason–I’m not leaving the house much.

Confession time…I don’t do pregnancy well.  I am exceptionally lucky that I don’t struggle with becoming pregnant.  Having watched several close friends go through fertility assistance, I am all too aware of how lucky I am.  Getting pregnant is not my problem.  My body’s reaction to pregnancy?  THAT is where I struggle.

When I became pregnant with Elanor, the first warning sign that things weren’t going to be easy was the day I ran and hid from a bowl of Cap’n Crunch.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I poured a bowl of Cap’n Crunch, lifted the spoon, and something about the very innocuous sugary smell sent me running for a bathroom.  Ravi laughed hysterically at me that day (and still occasionally makes the snarky Cap’n Crunch reference today).  But he wasn’t laughing for long, and neither was I.  Starting at seven weeks of pregnancy, I began to have the kind of nightmarish all day morning sickness that is the stuff of legends.  I lost weight rapidly.  But at around 10-12 weeks, I found a healthy medication regimen that kept the worst of it under control, or at least after a month or two had it under control (so maybe by 20 weeks or so).  By mid-pregnancy I was throwing up maybe once or twice a week, but it was the kind of experience I could have and then shrug off and continue about my life with.  So I had a few months of relatively easy pregnancy before the third trimester pelvic displacement kicked in (and wasn’t that fun).  I didn’t gain weight until the very end, ironically ending my pregnancy at the exact weight I’d started it at (and once I had the baby I was down 20 lbs from my starting point).

Oh yeah, and I was classified as a type 2 diabetic just as all this started and was insulin dependent.  Ten daily checks of my blood sugar and four injections a day.  Peachy keen fun that lucky resolved itself post-baby.

I thought pregnancy was a miserable, awful experience (except for hearing the heartbeat, seeing Ellie grow via frequent ultrasounds, and feeling Elanor kick).

“But every pregnancy is different!” I heard over and over…and since I wanted another child, I began to tell myself that as well.

Sure, every pregnancy is different.  Sometimes they’re worse.

With Wheelie, I started my pregnancy with the kind of over-sensitive nose that made EVERYTHING smell bad.  But I wasn’t throwing up…I was nauseous and I wasn’t interested in food, but I wasn’t throwing up.  At some point during our trip home to the US in April, that changed and has been a major issue since.

If you follow my twitter feed, you’ve probably seen a number of tweets about throwing up.  Which I do….a LOT.  To the point where I refer to it as involuntary bulimia.  I have lost over 10 pounds, and regardless of how many medications, folk remedies, and vitamins I take,  and voodoo spells I’ve cast (kidding, mom!) I haven’t really been able to stop the slide.  At this point, I rarely leave the house because it’s so hard to be out in public (and I HATE throwing up in public…been there done that, HATE it) except to take Ellie to school.  I have violent episodes of vomiting that leave me so drained that I crawl into bed and sleep the day away in response.

Yes, thanks for asking, I’m insulin dependent diabetic again, too.  Which is super fun when I never know if it’s safe to give insulin or not.  If I make a bad call, give insulin and then throw up, I get a one way ticket to the hospital to deal with the resultant blood sugar crash.  I’ve been super lucky that for the most part I’ve been doing okay with mostly avoiding insulin altogether…but then it’s hard to have high blood sugar when all you’re eating most days is a handful of saltines with penaut butter or a few cheetos, or if you get really crazy…those AND a popsicle.

This pregnancy is so much harder.

It’s hard to try and maintain a blog along with it.  I’m not out exploring Singapore because most days getting up, taking a shower, and trying to watch tv with Elanor is about all the effort I can manage.  On weekends we try to do something with E (as Ravi is there to help with things) but after an hour or two out, I need to come home and sleep.  On schooldays I see a great deal of the McDonalds or the Starbucks at United Square as they have comfy chairs from which to surf the web for the 2.5 hours Elanor is in school (and then I come home and sleep).

I’m sharing with you just so you know that I am trying my best.  I have several posts I’m working on about the differences in prenatal care between the US and Singapore, and baby raising differences.  I noticed Borders Singapore aggressively rebranding themselves as “not the Borders going out of business in the US.”  Elanor is, as ever, a fount of stories waiting to be shared.  So I am going to keep writing…but if I miss a day or two, know it’s because I’m just too sick to blog that day.

The one plus side in all this?  At least there’s an end-date in sight.

Disclaimer–I don’t want to scare all the women who haven’t had babies yet into running out and getting their tubes tied.  I am an anomaly.  Of my friends, I have the worst and longest lasting case of morning sickness (or technically hyperemesis gravida at this point) of all of us.  Most of my friends have had some morning sickness and then sailed through their pregnancies, the lucky bitches.

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9 Responses to Why I’ve been posting less frequently

  1. Kirsten says:

    Don’t worry about not blogging – this is your blog and your space so it’s really up to when you want to blog! 🙂 Just rest up and feel better!

  2. ange says:

    As one of your friends who struggled w/ infertility since before you had E, I feel completely guiltfree being a lucky bitch with an easy pregnancy. 😉 you have trounced me thoroughly in the conception event, but I’m glad I can take the lead in morning sickness, hydration, and the all-around. I figure I deserve to be smug/ gloat at least a little bit.

    I’m still sorry to hear you’re sick and not doing well gestating Wheelie, and I hope it gets better soon, or at least that these last 3 months go by relatively quickly. I can’t wait to see you when you come back to the states to visit!

    • Crystal says:

      You know I don’t begrudge you your lucky bitch status 🙂 I can’t wait to meet little Flash when we come home for Xmas and to see you on the trip before then. Let’s try to figure out when we’ll both be around.

  3. Dawn says:

    I’m finding #2 a lot harder than #1 as well. The biggest problem is that the stress of taking care of #1 (not to mention trying to finish a thesis and make sure our house gets finished and then move back into it) does not allow me to take care of my bodily needs in terms of eating and sleeping when I can and what I can. I’m finding that, in addition to anti-nausea meds, I also need anti-anxiety meds (which may not be particularly safe for the baby, but panic attacks surely aren’t either). One therapist/midwife actually suggested I go on SSRI’s, but I refused – too much of a commitment for too unknown an effect, and unknown risk to the fetus as well. I can’t imagine what you’re going through with the diabetes to boot – at least I can just not eat if I don’t feel like eating – most of the time.

    One thing I did notice early on, both with #1 and #2, is that prenatal vitamins made me nauseous. So I punted them. Instead, I drink Ensure and/or eat fortified cereals – my guess is that prenatals just have too much of some of the vitamins for my body, or the fact that it’s artificial and not in the context of food makes my body reject it. Prenatal vitamins have not been around for very long, and afaik, the only studies that have shown their effectiveness at improving birth outcomes have been in 3rd world countries where the pregnant women are otherwise severely malnourished. They say that being on vitamins makes MS better, but anecdotally (for me and some other women I’ve talked to) it seems like they can make it worse, and a lot worse. (It’s possible the cause/effect is wrong and that women who can tolerate vitamins are more likely to be able to tolerate pregnancy, since what they actually found was that women who are regularly taking vitamins *before* pregnancy are less likely to suffer from MS.) What’s even more telling is that prenatal vitamins tend to contain both iron and calcium – both of which you need during pregnancy, but which, taken together, inhibit each other’s absorption. So having them both present in the vitamin makes you more likely to need an additional supplement of one or both. And being anemic can make you really sick, especially if you’re trying to muster energy you don’t have to do things like chase around with a toddler.

    Another thing I noticed is that my nausea is extremely related to my anxiety, in that if I’m anxious, I get nauseous/can’t eat, and if I am nauseous, I get anxious. It’s a vicious cycle. Getting regular exercise (I go to Curves three times a week; during #1 I took long walks as I was living in NYC) and enough sleep helps curb the anxiety and thus lessen the nausea. A good night’s sleep can be the difference between feeling almost normal and being completely nonfunctional for the entire next day (which is a reason phenergan is particularly helpful, since addition to acting as an anti-nausea, it helps me sleep).

    Hopefully you will find a rhythm that works for you and start feeling better and gaining weight – if not, at least there is an end in sight. The good news is that (from what the midwives tell me), most women who are horribly sick during pregnancy have perfectly healthy babies, because the baby takes what it needs and leaves you to suffer the consequences. Good luck!

    • Crystal says:

      I hear you on vitamins. I punted those around the 10th week and haven’t picked them up again. The only person I’m actually hurting is myself (and if I do successfully nurse I’m going to need to get back on the calcium train at least so as not to hurt myself too much).

      Sadly my nausea seems to be unrelated to anything other than whether or not I’m breathing. Ugh.

      I’m impressed by how much you’re getting done. I’m mostly accomplishing laying around like a slug.

      • Dawn says:

        Well, it helps that I can, as I said, just not eat if I’m nauseous. That allows me to be semi-functional and to wait until my tummy settles itself and I actually get hungry (at which point eating can actually feel good, but I still have to be super-careful about what I eat – minimal dairy, nothing too spicy or smelly, not too much fat or protein – and the fat part is really important because if I eat too much fat I get super-painful gall bladder attacks). My diet is mostly simple carbohydrates and fruit. I don’t go near fast food (the smell alone…) and I’ve regretted it every time I’ve gone out to an Indian restaurant, except when I was specifically craving it. (I end up going to restaurants that serve food I don’t really want because I’m with other people that need to be fed.) I’m horribly afraid of actually throwing up and will do everything in my power to avoid it – but I had plenty of bouts of dry heaves (some of which were a little “wet”) during both pregnancies (none recently, thank goodness, but I’m still not feeling well). I’m also still under the weight I started this pregnancy at, whereas with #1 I started gaining around 20 weeks and ended up gaining about 40 pounds in the last few months.

        I’m not getting a whole lot done on my thesis, but I do have help with it (and if I were less sick, I could probably manage the help better and make quicker progress). As for the house, my husband is helping a lot with it but I still have been having to get out with him to make choices about stuff, like what tiles and what color grout and which lights to buy. And when it’s time to move, I’ll be packing. Meanwhile, it’s all about laundry – mine and F’s – and washing a whole lot of sippy cups. It’s a good day when I can get those chores done and make it to the gym.

        And chasing around with the toddler when she had her cold (she got an ear infection and needed antibiotics) while I was sick (with the same cold) was how I ended up with bronchitis and then pneumonia – and at that point, pretty much all I did was lie in bed for several weeks until they found an antibiotic that helped. I definitely recommend resting if you can!

        As for calcium while breast-feeding – it probably won’t be too much of an issue, since you’ll be able to eat again and presumably enjoy lots of calcium-rich foods when you’re not nauseous. I actually gained weight (about 10-15 lb) while breast-feeding #1 (which I did for a year and a half, but only gained weight during the first few months – I bled for three and was advised not to exercise until that stopped) because I was as hungry as I’d been nauseous during most of my pregnancy and figured F’s nutrition was more important than looking good – when you have a really cute kid, nobody looks at you anyway. 😉

  4. moonberry says:

    I’m sorry to read that you’re feeling awful, hang in there! Btw, I look forward to reading your blog entries always as I think you’re such a fantastic writer and you tell it like it is. Feel better soon, Crystal. 🙂

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