Sunday, October 21, 2012

So many doctors! So little time!

So, my last post, I left off at finding out I was pregnant (!!!), needing to find a doctor and call Dr. Diaz about my band. This is what has gone on since then...

Let's talk lap band stuff first, shall we? After my initial midwife appointment (which I will get to below), I was feeling pretty miserable. I was ravenous every 2 hours and unable to eat real food until around 10 am (and I get up at 6 am to start typing for my part time job! Yes, I kept that job too and am now working 2 jobs. One 30 miles away and the other from home 20ish hours a week.) I couldn't eat until around 10 because my band was just plain snug in the morning. Even before I was pregnant, I always had to drink some coffee and let my band 'wake up' before even thinking about eating. I also wasn't usually hungry until it loosened up either, but all that changed after my little kumquat showed up...On top of being hungry pretty much constantly, I was bloated, emotional, constipated, and training in my new job around a bunch of people that didn't know I was pregnant!

Two weeks after starting my job, I finally got in to see Dr. Diaz. He was very happy with my progress (96 pounds down!) and was very open to suggestions about my band. I was worried he would want a complete unfill, but I really don't think he would have taken any out if I didn't want him too. Ultimately, we agreed that taking out 4 cc (half of my fluid) would be reasonable. It would allow me to eat and the baby to grow and hopefully, I wouldn't have to come back in for another adjustment. This is important because my new insurance does NOT cover anything bariatric related... Awesome, I know. (Neither does pregnancy Medicaid.) I told him I was a bit nervous about this new-found freedom but he reassured me that the band is only a tool and I knew what to do to be successful and I just needed to stick with the same eating habits I had before. (Turns out, easier said than done!) I also talked to my nutritionist about ... well, everything! We talked about calories and poop and everything in between!

Since my unfill (on Sept 27) I have gained roughly 10 pounds. This upsets me a bit, I won't lie. I do know that some of it is water though. Since getting pregnant, my feet and legs swell nightly. Last week, I started walking the stairs for 5 minutes every hour at work to help combat this and to get some exercise in my 12+ hour days full of sitting...I'm hoping this will help combat the weight gain as well (if anything, my ass will look AMAZING). I knew when I got my unfill, I would gain. It's unavoidable. I can eat a lot more than I could, roughly 2-3 times as much (but still not as much as pre-lap banding)! It's a big change, and unfortunately, it has not phased me that much. I know I need to eat, so I do. And yes, the day after I got my unfill, I went straight for a cheeseburger (Whopper Jr. from BK and it was amazing, but I regretted it soon after! SO BLOATED That's why I don't eat those anymore!). Bread, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, muffins anything I had to basically give up due to my band, I have sampled! I'm not proud, but man, it tasted good. I went a little nuts that first week or two, but I'm settling back down now. I eat 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks and I average anywhere from 1800-2200 calories a day depending on what choices I make. I have been researching like mad for healthy food ideas to keep me satisfied. (It's almost like I found out I was pregnant and lost all knowledge of healthy eating habits.) I almost constantly worry about gaining my weight back. I know I have to gain some, but I really don't want to have to start ALL over again, ya know? I'm already up a size in my pants and I just unpacked all my cute smaller jeans and clothes...that I can't fit into now. I also got rid of pretty much ALL of my fat clothes. Good timing, right? I thought so. (Side note: I found my motivation for drinking water! It's not up to 64 oz but its WAY better than it used to be!)

As for my other doctor's appointments... I met with a midwife first. This first appointment was to confirm my pregnancy (via another pee test) and talk about options and my band. Unfortunately, they do consider me in the high-risk category due to my band (and they drew 15 VILES of blood to do a ton of unnecessary nutrition/vitamin/deficiency testing). The midwife was very nice, answered my questions, and was very straightforward but friendly. I really liked her and was sad that she only worked in the clinic (meaning she did not deliver babies in the adjoining hospital, where I will be giving birth). A couple weeks later, I met with a doctor due to my high risk status. She said she wasn't very concerned about my band, especially since I didn't have any malabsortion (which I already pointed out to the midwife, but they have to follow protocols). She said I should be fine to stay with a midwife for my pregnancy as long as no problems arise. Yay!

In doing pregnancy research, I have become a firm believer that doctors are for emergencies and issues, and midwives are for birthing babies. I see no reason for intervention unless there needs to be. Yes, this means I would like a natural birth. I would have tried for a home birth or a birthing center, but we don't have those options here, and Chris is WAY too paranoid to be okay with that. Ideally, I want to have a water birth, so wish me luck! Thankfully, I found a practice attached to a baby/mom-friendly hospital that employs over 30 midwives and advocates for natural childbirth! I cannot tell you how much better this makes me feel about birthing in a hospital.

After seeing those two doctors, I also got to meet with a counselor. This office offers free counseling to pregnant mothers who need it! I think that is pretty wonderful, especially since I need it! We will be hopefully finding ways for me to cope with all the stress in my life (2 jobs - one brand new, not seeing my husband - ever, a crowded house, baby on the way, etc) and deal with my anxiety without medication. I have seen her three times now and it's going pretty good so far. If anything, it's a nonbiased ear that I can talk too.

This-coming Friday, I have my first physical appointment with my midwife. This means I get to take my clothes off and be thoroughly checked out. Other than that, I have no clue what is actually going to go down.

On top of all of this, I signed up/agreed to do a research study for first time moms. (NuMom2Be) I'm really excited about this! I love research studies and I think its important to gather as much information as you can about things. I even asked Dr. Diaz if there were any pregnancy/lapband related studies going on, but there weren't...So anyway, with this study, they basically just meet with you once a trimester, ask you a few routine questions, do an ultrasound, and that's it! The cool part is I get copies of the ultrasounds, gift cards when I go, and in my 3rd trimester I get a 3D ultrasound and a FREE car seat! How cool is that?!

I already had my first appointment with them after my first midwife appointment. Sadly, Chris couldn't go...I answered a bunch of questions, got my lady bits swabbed, and got my first ultrasound. :) I was pretty nervous going into the ultrasound. It still hadn't set in that I was actually pregnant yet. I had NO IDEA how far along I was due to my freakishly irregular periods. When I saw the little bean on the screen it was pretty amazing. I could see the heart beating on the screen and I could hear a very faint heartbeat! I wish Chris could have seen it too! I got pictures though and after spending 3 hours there, I went on my way (TO EAT!). He did, however, get to be there for my DOCTOR appointment (as mentioned above) in which I got my first ultrasound from the doctor's office (which is separate from the research study). I loved watching Chris's face and reaction to seeing the baby on the ultrasound. And he wasn't expecting to hear a heartbeat, so when he did, he was amazed. I won't lie, I almost cried! He is so happy, it makes me turn into a big puddle of hormonal goo. At the time of this appointment I was 9 weeks and 1 day. As of today, I am 11 weeks and 2 days along.

I had a hard time deciding when to tell the world via my blog and Facebook. I also had to wait until the word spread throughout my families. Originally, I was going to wait until my second trimester, but then I realized, I'm going to tell you (my blog followers) anything and everything that happens no matter what, so why hide it? Right? And there was no WAY I could update my blog and NOT talk about the biggest thing happening in my life right now.

I'm sorry for jumping around, but I thought going in date order would be just as confusing! Also, I have pregnancy brain! Don't judge me! :-p

Until next time
<3 erin="erin">

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A slight change in plans...



*This post was written a few weeks ago. I will have ANOTHER update for a follow up in a couple of days!

So, if you didn’t see my previous one picture post, I am finally into ONEderland at 198.5 pounds! I cannot tell you how awesome it feels to be under 200 pounds again. I feel normal! I’m now 18.5 pounds away from my lowest and 38.5 pounds away from the goal! As awesome as that is, per my post title, there has been a slight change in plans. 

I recently found out that I am pregnant! Words cannot express the excitement, shock, joy, fear, dread, and just plain nervousness I am feeling right now. Obviously, I am happy because this was my ultimate/end goal of getting lap band surgery. This is what I wanted, in the end. However, I wasn’t quite to ‘the end’ yet. I am not upset about this fact, per se…I’m slightly disappointed that I will not get to meet my goal yet. I emphasize the yet because I still have no doubt that I will reach that goal, it will just be postponed for another year or so now. And, I feel reassured that I will have my band after the baby is born to help me get back on track. 

So, let me tell you my ‘how I found out I was pregnant’ story, shall I? If you don’t care to read about body functions/parts/periods then I suggest you skip this paragraph! First, I feel I should say that my periods are so irregular that I was sure that I would need to see a specialist to get pregnant. I was sure if my body was going to regulate after my surgery it would have done so by now…but my periods still came and went as they pleased. That being said, the day after Labor Day (irony) I started feeling what could possibly be my impending period. I was bloated, painfully so, every night that week. I was moody. I was tired. My lower back was hurting randomly. All period symptoms. Then, came some other oddities. All week, I was cold. Not just kind of cold either, like chilled to the bone, I had goose bumps almost 24/7 whether it was cold in the room/outside or hot. I was somewhat concerned about this, and as anyone who has researched pregnancy as much as I have (basically as much as I researched the lap band), I was slightly paranoid. But, I brushed it off. I have always told myself I would not think I was pregnant until my breasts hurt or were tender – the captain obvious sign of pregnancy. Well, thanks to all of these goose bumps, my breasts weren’t tender, but they were a bit sensitive. Again, I was a little suspicious, but I tried to ignore my pregnancy paranoia. That weekend, after talking to Chris about all of these ‘symptoms’ , he suggested I get a pregnancy test. So, we went to Dollar General and got 2 pregnancy tests for $1 each (because really, who pays $10 for ONE CVS brand pregnancy test? I would rather pee in a cup than on a stick if it’s going to save me $9). Sunday morning (September 8), after a night of terribly restless sleep (restless legs actually, something else that’s not normal for me), I got up and took my $1 pregnancy test, fully expecting a negative result. As the urine worked its way slowly through the test, I noticed the control line was oddly low and close to the test line. Then, another line showed up…and my jaw dropped. A million thoughts crossed my mind at that moment, but at the same time, my mind was blank. I went into the bedroom and looked at my sleeping husband, debating on HOW to wake up him and tell him the good news. He knew I was testing that morning, so surely he would wake up easily. I shook him a bit and told him to wake up, and he did (and it’s NEVER that easy), and I shoved the test in his face and he said, “What does that mean?” (because he’s a guy) and I said, “It means yes!” And he smiled and said “Oh boy…” and thus started a very crazy day for us. I ended up taking another test that day and then another one the next morning, just to be sure. They all said the same thing, so I’m inclined to believe them. 

Fast forward to 2 days later, and I get an email from a job I interviewed twice for asking me to call them so they can extend me an offer for a job! I was thrilled and at the same time, terrified. How would they react to me getting a job and then getting pregnant? Oh boy. (Thankfully, they took it in stride and I reassured them I would not be taking any days off until my baby arrived because I need to save up that PTO! And I will be taking all of my doctors’ appointments on Friday afternoons, when I am not working.)

Oddly enough, I feel pretty lucky to be living with my mother-in-law at this point. The space (or lack of) can be an issue, but it also means I do not have to worry about as many bills as I would if we were renting on our own, and I know she will do everything she can to help out, and we will do our best to keep up with our end of things as well. (I think that was my longest sentence ever!) I don’t know if I want to necessarily be here when the baby is born, mostly due to the space issue, but we will play it by ear and hopefully Chris and I will have jobs by then that pay well enough for us to get out on our own. Until then, I am going to try to take advantage of the hospitality I’m being offered and enjoy it while I can! 

As far as my health and weight is concerned, I plan to treat this like a regular pregnancy! I’m already hungry every 3 hours or so. I noticed this a while ago, but just thought I maybe needed a fill, now I realize that may not have been the case! I am not going to try to gain or lose a certain amount of weight. I am going to eat sensibly and try to make smart decisions when it comes to healthy foods (unless of course I NEED something sweet/greasy/etc). I emailed my nutritionist and she suggested I up my calories to 1800 a day! I have already added 300 calories to my usual 1200 so I was a bit surprised by this. She also wants me to get 95 grams of protein in a day! Needless to say, I will be buying some protein shakes, mixes, and bars to fit all that in! She also said to call my surgeon as he may want to do a complete unfill. This did not make me happy. If I am able to keep my calories up and am not having any issues with food, I really don’t think an unfill is necessary. Nonetheless, once I get my first baby doctor appointment done and over with, I will be calling Dr. Diaz to see what he thinks. I’m hoping I can convince him to let me stay at my current fill level unless/until I have issues with it. 

So, on my next update I will let you all know what Dr. Diaz says. I will also find out and inform you if my new midwife (or doctor) considers me high risk or not. And there will be PICTURES!

Until next time (which will possibly be Sunday!)

<3 p="p">
Erin