Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Countdown Has Begun

Here's a progress update for those of you interested in how you might feel going through the final weeks of pregnancy.

Due to the neuro stuff I've been griping about for the past few months, my OBGYN gave final approval for an early C-section. The big day is scheduled for July 22nd (just three weeks from now!), which will put me at 36 weeks. I will have an amnio done the day before to make sure his lungs are developed (of course we won't do anything if there's an issue in that department), and if all goes well, our little guy will greet the world early the following morning. July 22nd also happens to be the same day my son, Wyatt, was born. Definitely not intentional, but our guys will share a birthday. We're hoping they'll think it's cool someday if we spin it the right way.

Wyatt was also born at 36 weeks, and contrary to what the very opinionated anti-c-section-or-any-kind-of-birth-earlier-than-40-or-more-weeks mothers on many baby forums have to say, 36 weeks is a fine time to pop out a kid if medically necessary. Wyatt was healthy as a horse and huge. 7 pounds, 11 oz at 36 weeks huge. He breathed just fine and sucked down a 2 oz bottle within minutes of his birth. He has also been on or ahead of schedule when meeting his milestones. We never even thought of him as an early bird.

I also don't want to tempt the Universe, and I do realize that, like pregnancies, all babies are different, and baby number two's development may be lagging compared to his brother's. That's why we're doing the amnio. Worst case scenario, he briefly gets some air when he comes out. When I expressed my concerns about early delivery, both of the OBGYNs I see said that 36 weeks is definitely in the safe zone, and there are kids born naturally at 40 weeks that need assistance; Some come out at 34 weeks screaming their heads off. You just never know.

We're not delivering early for the baby's sake. He is fine and happy in there, and has no idea that his mom wants to jump off the roof sometimes after a long day of twitching and feeling like she's a bug being electrocuted in a zapper. Bottom line is that the pain has gone on long enough, and I need to get back on some antibiotics that will treat an active case of Bartonella more effectively. It's getting harder and harder to get through the day, both physically and mentally The quicker I start feeling better, the faster I can start being a better mom. Within a couple of months after Wyatt was born, I was already seeing a difference in my health. More energy, far less pain, and my twitching only happened occasionally, mostly when I was overtired. I'm hoping the same will happen this time around.

I want to point out that a cesarian is not the only option for delivery during Lyme pregnancy. This was actually a personal choice I made (and the doctor agreed it was the best route for me.) My first labor lasted nearly 24 hours, and I made no progress. The toll it took on my already broken body was astounding. Once I finally went in for the section, we were all like, "Duh--why didn't we do this earlier?!) Recovery time afterwards is definitely longer, but I found that the section did not effect my Lyme symptoms either way. I was used to the down time of healing anyway.

There have been many ups and downs to this pregnancy. Thank God for the ups, because they always came at a time when I really needed them and gave me hope that I could get through this. Much like last time, the end of pregnancy has been mostly on the down side, however, one out of every three weeks, I'll have a surge of energy, I'm able to join the world and do normal mom things like take my son to the park next door, play with him in his kiddie pool, and sometimes do the cleaning and nesting around the house that comes with a normal pregnancy. Then I crash for a while, but it's worth it.

I nap a lot, I'm crabby as hell, full of anxiety, retaining massive amounts of water, and I cry at just about everything, but I think that can be said for most pregnant women. Overall, these final weeks could be better, and I'm looking forward to having my own body back and working on healing, but I realize that it could be a whole lot worse. Or maybe I'm just painting this nicely because I've been through this before, and I know the happiness that's waiting right around the corner (I maintain that our mental state and perception of the world makes or breaks our physical health).

Right now we're just looking forward to meeting our son, hoping that he's healthy and that the big day goes smoothly. And I don't care one bit it if contradicts the recommendations for Lyme--once I have this baby and I'm off the pain meds they give me, I'm having a big fat margarita, maybe even two!


  1. This is a little off the topic, but I'm wondering about supplements and pregnancy. Were you advised to continue taking some/all of them? I'm on several different versions of B, which I think you're not supposed to take when pregnant.

    Good luck with the birth. I hope everything goes well. You must be excited to see your little guy!

  2. GOOD LUCK! So happy for you! :)

    About Libby's question...I am also very curious about the topic of what supplements are okay with pregnancy. I am thinking a lot of doctors will just advise me to stop certain things, just to be safe, which is a little disappointing, because some of them really make such a huge difference for me. So I'd hate for someone to just write them off without even using their brain, to be "safe not sorry," when in reality, it's okay. But of course you do wanna play it safe, so it's a toss up for me.

    I believe I have read, awhile back, on a CFS-type forum about a Mom whose Naturopath allowed her to continue her B12 shots during pregnancy. Anyone know about this? And I'm not sure if for her they were the cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin form. Supposedly the methyl can chetlate metals or other things (detox you a lot), so you'd think that could be bad, but for some, methyl is better absorbed. I'd love to hear some kind of verdict on this, because the methyl seem to help me.

    I noticed, back when I was pregnant, that some of the prenatal vitamins on had quite high levels of B vitamins in them, so I chose those ones. I figured it's gotta be safe if it's labelled as prenatal, right?!?! So I guess look for those. I forgot the brand of the one I used, but there are plenty of good brands of prenatals if you check iherb.

    I would also like to know if Low Dose Naltrexone is safe in pregnancy. Though I'm not sure I'd risk it, considering it impact endorphins at night, and who knows what that'd do to a baby. I just like the idea of taking LDN because it fights autoimmune.


  3. Thanks, ladies! I think many Lyme doctors look at the supplements on a case-by-case basis. Hoos, you're right--most of them will want to play it safe, and I can't say I blame them--their butts are on the line if there are bad outcomes and they prescribed something they weren't certain about.

    I've gotten the ok on some supplements-- last pregnancy I was on magnesium, higher doses of vitamins (C and D) and took a b complex on and off, however, when asked, I told a non LLMD what I was on and, though he didn't pull me off of them (it wasn't his place--he just did a high risk ultrasound) he was skeptical and kept asking why I was on extra supplements. He even argued that everyone has vitamin deficiencies in this country, and it's not that big of a deal. (Seriously?!)

    I actually play it pretty conservatively on this one-- if it's a high dose of supplement and it has been known to be controversial (coloidal silver for instance--which I don't think is even considered ok in pregnancy anyway, just picking a random example) I wouldn't go near it. I feel comfortable with vitamins, but not with things that turn your system upside down or pull chemicals from the body.

    My first LLMD, who prescribes a zillion supplements, says that even though they are helpful in the long run, you're not going to cure Lyme with them on their own, and the improvements aren't so significant that you can't go without them for a few months (unless you're vitamin deficient in some area).

    My other LLMD, who prefers to go the all natural route, will prescribe some supplements, but won't touch others. B12 injections, for instance, are a huge no-no. I don't remember why, but larger amounts of B in general are really bad during pregnancy. I can look into that more so I have some evidence to back it up--but this is all I know for now.

    Bottom line, I don't think supplements are off limits, and doctors are mostly just playing it safe-- trust your gut and common sense with it. If they consider it safe to pump us full of antibiotics during pregnancy, I can't see how a benign plant is going to cause catastrophe--but nothing really surprises me anymore with all this Lyme stuff. :)

  4. I forgot to add that supplements are much like antibiotics during pregnancy. Good to have, but should be used responsibly. It's not a time to remove metals, blast away at the infections, or try a bunch of new protocols. You're maintaining during pregnancy--enough to keep you and baby safe, but as little as possible so your baby can grow in a "natural" environment for lack of better word (sorry, I'm foggy today).

    Last time I went to the doctor and we talked about metals, he wouldn't even test me, because he didn't want to "stir anything up."

    I think that's why being as healthy as possible before conceiving is beneficial.

  5. Last thing, sorry! Right now I'm only on Zithromax, prenatals, probiotics, high fiber (Trufiber), digestive enzymes, an extra dose of vitamin d since blood tests showed I was deficient, and omega 3. Prior to pregnancy, I took about 20 pills a day, so you can see how much that changed. I'll start up on the pill popping after the baby is born. :)

  6. Thanks, that is good to know about the B12 shots being a no-no, at least according to that doctor. That's enough to keep me away from the shots. Sigh.

    I do notice my lips get chapped and peel when I slack on the B12 shots, which kinda freaks me out. I guess I'll just have to try to get as many food sources as possible during pregnancy.

    Yeah, mobilizing metals during pregnancy is never a good thing!

    One thing I noticed about probiotics is that some of them have an enteric coating, and I heard that some enteric coatings contain phthalates, which are bad for pregnancy, so I wouldn't get any probiotics that "survive stomach acid" (enteric coating is what does this, you'll see enteric coating listed in Inactive Ingredients normally) unless I was sure the coating didn't have phthalates. Not sure if all doctors know about that.

    Good luck again, Sara! Thanks for the info.


  7. Good Luck Sara!! Will be thinking of you on the 22nd and looking for fb updates:-) If you choose to do so that is. I'm so happy for you and your husband and you look great!!! That is so crazy how Wyatt and your new little one will be sharing a birthday! Well the positive of that is when it comes time to planning their birthdays in the future you won't have to do the work of two parties. At least not while they are young, they realize the difference. My Aunt had to do that with her daughter and son, their birthdays were 4 days apart. They're now 8 and 11 and they still have them together.

    I hope you'll have plenty of help when you leave the hospital and like your post above, take advantage. I do understand the guilt part and even though I'm not carrying our baby I know I'm going to have abhard time taking the help. I'm sure I'll get over it though wants the fatigue of having an infant in our place settles in.
    You'll definitly need the help now with two kids now, its a whole different
    ballgame lol!

    I'm wishing I would of kept up with my surrogacy did a great thing here for people. I'm so far behind there is no way of catching up now.

    Well GOOD LUCK!!!!


    Well GOOD LUCK-xx

  8. I notice in the post you mention Bartonella, did you receive a positive blood test or just a clinical diagnosis? I only ask b/c I am wondering if an Igenex test is worth it. Thanks :)

  9. Yes, I'm one of the lucky ones who received an actual positive Bart test. It was done through Fry Labs in AZ, I believe, because previously IGeneX didn't offer the Bartonella test and my LLMD was used to using the other lab. You can now get a Bartonella test through IGeneX and it falls within the $200 range.
    I know it's hit or miss with the positive results and that a diagnosis should be made on a clinical basis, however, I can't tell you how relieved I was to see the slide photo they sent of all the little Bartonella bugs in my bloodstream. I know that sounds weird, but after years of being told I was nuts, I had actual proof. Worth the money to me. So far, it's also helped non-llmds take me more seriously when I'm able to show them positive results. My kids pediatrician, who is skeptical of the idea of congenital transmission agreed to test my kids' (which can be done through insurance, thank god!) because I had actual positive proof.

    Again, not a given that your test would show positive results even if you have Bart, but it was worth the money to me. On the flip side, I could see myself breaking down and crying and getting angry if I got the test done, had negative results, and knew in my heart that I had Bartonella. It's definitely a tough call...