Pregnancy Things: Weeks 28-29

Considering how easy and comfortable my pregnancy has been up to this point, I have no room to complain. But, these past two weeks were probably the most difficult of my whole experience so far!

1. I got my first clogged milk duct. Yes, this can happen before you even start breast feeding–> it happened to me right at the 28-week mark. (My doctor says that’s pretty early for this to occur, so lucky me.) It’s also especially difficult to resolve without a baby to help nurse the clog out! Luckily, I received some great advice from my doula and the following helped resolve the issue within 48 hours:

  • Lots of warm compresses and hot showers (cloth diapers work well as a compress to maintain heat!)
  • Lots of self-massage of the area (this hurts like CRAZY)
  • Lecithin (<– this was a suggestion from my sister in law. According to KellyMom.com, lecithin can help thin the milk and will prevent clogs from happening in the future. I now take one pill daily to prevent this from happening again before baby arrives!)

Thank goodness the problem resolved itself, because if it hadn’t, clogged milk ducts can lead to a much more serious condition that requires antibiotics. That was even more motivation for me to deal with the pain and do whatever was necessary to fix the problem naturally.

I am still SHOCKED at how painful clogged milk ducts are! I suppose this might be a sneak-peek at potential breast feeding pain in my future, though I’m still hoping for the best.

2. I had to get tested for Gestational Diabetes.

bottle of trutol

Which involves drinking this neon-orange, artificially flavored drink that’s bursting with sugar. Sorry, baby.

I am really disappointed that this is the normal protocol for testing blood sugar, since I don’t think any person should be required to consume an artificially dyed or flavored drink in a hospital– especially pregnant women! I tried to talk my doctor into ANY other options, but he’s very “by the book” and insisted on this test. Since we don’t have the financial freedom to use a midwife and have home birth, I’ve made peace with this situation for now… but I still hate it.

3. I failed my 1-hour glucose test.

When I heard this, I thought there must be a mistake. With everything I’ve done to maintain a healthy pregnancy, I was shocked to think that I could have possibly developed gestational diabetes! Of course, I’ve known some pretty healthy people who have developed it during their own pregnancies, so nothing surprises me anymore. Gestational diabetes is determined by how the pancreas reacts to the extra hormones produced by the placenta (a genetic factor), so anyone can be vulnerable, despite a healthy lifestyle.

It also turns out that it’s common to get a false-positive on the 1-hour glucose test, which is why many doctors insist on a longer test in the first place. When I failed my first test, my doctor ordered that I take the 3-hour glucose tolerance test to see if I really had gestational diabetes or not.

The 3-hour test involves drinking even more of that horrid drink pictured above, and getting 4 blood draws over a period of 3 hours. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? This test is much more accurate because it begins with the patient fasting overnight, and then taking a fasting blood draw as a comparison before drinking the sugary beverage. You have to sit quietly in a waiting room for the whole 3 hours, so I had lots of time on my hands for reading! (On the positive side, I finished my investment book!)

As it turns out, I’m not even close to having gestational diabetes. My blood sugar levels are perfect! So, who knows what happened with that first test…

4. I’ve noticed that everything is starting to get a little more difficult.

I’m not used to letting people do things for me, like lift boxes or move furniture, so the past two weeks of “nesting” have been a wake-up call for me! Austin and I rearranged all the furniture in our small home to make room for a crib and baby dresser, and I was surprised to find myself panting after doing what seemed like small tasks. My body is definitely pumping more blood and working harder than usual!

Which means that re-organizing our home has become a workout in itself. I’ve found a new project to work on almost daily, and by the time I’m done, I’m sweating!

5. I almost fainted in our most recent birth preparation class.

To top off my 29th week, we attended a class detailing all of the possible complications and interventions that can occur during labor and delivery. Our instructor is fantastic, but seeing and holding the tools that they might use to monitor my baby’s head (it screws into his little scalp!) and the crochet-like needle they use to rupture membranes was a little overwhelming. And it only got worse when they showed us a video of all the interventions, including the insertion of an epidural– showing the needle and all!

I’ve fainted at the sight of needles since I was a baby (don’t ask me why), so this was what did me in. I briefly lost my vision and hearing, and broke out into a cold sweat–> causing Austin to quickly escort me out of the class. This is exactly why I’m hoping for a natural birth, since I obviously can’t handle even the idea of interventions very well.

Reader Feedback: I know many of you out there are pregnant as well, so please feel free to share your experiences from the past few weeks!

 

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Comments

Samantha

I also want to thank you for your website and all the information you share! I am so sorry about the clogged duct–my youngest of two is nine months old and I have had the same issue since having her. OUCH! I’m not sure if it works with clogged ducts during pregnancy, but cabbage leaves have worked wonders for me! I am careful not to wear them too long, as they can reduce milk supply.

Stephanie Wilson

I am 31 weeks, and declined the gestational diabetes test (this is a fundamental right in the United States). I presented my argument (healthy diet, exercise regularly, no history and not overweight). The test has a 40% inaccuracy rate (which is probably why yours came back as failed).The medical professionals completely respected my decision and I am still cruising at 31 weeks and feeling fabulous. I can completely understand how you felt during the intervention class. I cried afterward and could not get that video off of my mind for days! Just remind yourself that your body knows exactly what to do during labor and the goal is healthy mom and baby no matter what happens. You are doing such a great job taking care of yourself, so I am sure it will be a great experience for you! Thank you for sharing your feelings and the info on your blog! I especially loved your natural birth control post. My husband and I got pregnant on the first try using the natural method and I love how in-tune I am with my body because of the program. It is THE WAY TO GO! 😀

Megan

Hey Megan! Thanks so much for sharing your pregnancy experiences. It seems that you and I are due at nearly the same time. I was wondering if you are planning on cooking and freezing some meals for after delivery. If so could you give us some ideas on what meals would work well for preparing ahead of time?

Kate

I’ve had 3 babies all at home and avoided that nasty juice. Sorry. I choose a home birth because I feared an epidural worse than I feared giving birth naturally.

Here’s my tip for coping during birth and it was something that my mid-wife used in her classes after I gave birth with baby #1.

When a contraction starts, start counting. Slowly, evenly, and up to 100. You’ll notice by the time you get to 50 that will be the worst and then as you get to 100 it will start to slow. On hard contractions you may go over 100 but it will let you know that it’s longer, more painful and you may be moving into transition.

A woman in her sixties gave me this tip and it was so helpful. i was rocking as I was counting but it saved me. I was a week overdue, labored for 9 hours pushed for 3 of those.

You’re going to do great. You’ll find your rhythm as you settle into the birth process. Your body is awesome and will do what it needs to do. Good luck!

Traci

Just a quick note about the glucose solution for readers. I, too, decided to finally put my foot down on this in my fourth pregnancy. I live in the northern suburbs (borderline rural) of Atlanta, GA. Things are not progressive here, so I was prepared to be disappointed by my also “by the book” OB. To my joyful surprise, he offered me the option to test my blood sugar with a glucose monitor 4 times a day for 2-3 days and present him with the results. The monitor was covered completely by my ins. with his prescription and I paid $20 total for the lancets and test strips. I passed! But more fulfilling to me was the chance to speak with him and one other OB in the practice about how harmful and unnecessary food dyes are! Don’t ever think you are too small to make a difference, ladies! Best wishes to everyone with your pregnancies and thanks SO much for your wonderful food blog!

Rosastef

I live in Iceland, 22 weeks with #2. I have never heard of this drink before, it sounds horrible and I world refuse the test. Here, Every time I see my midwife/dr I pee in a cup and dip a test strip in the cup, similar to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine_test_strip#Glucose_test. It tests for glucose, protein and something else. The whole thing takes líke a minute and I do it on my own, in a locked bathroom every feb weeks during my whole pregnancy. Very simple and nöfn-invasive. It wouldnt surprise me of you could buy the test strips online…. Just wanted to share it as a possible alternative.

Heather

Thank you for sharing your experiences! I also have done as much as I could to ensure I don’t develop G.D. and still I failed the 1-hour test! It made me feel TERRIBLE. I felt so awful that I had some sort of panic attack and started crying and shaking really bad. I don’t normally consume much sugar. So, it took me about a week to recover. I was feeling very dizzy and craving sugar a lot. So then after the 3 hour test (which I did not sit down for; I stood for most of it and even walked around a little to avoid passing out), I felt even more starved for sugar….but I passed it with flying colors! My sugar levels were way below the threshold…The reason I had no way out of it was because I was still considered overweight because I started eating clean only 3 months before I became pregnant….I had lost 30 pounds and started to shape up and get healthier….but still overweight…so I’ve continued healthy eating for the most part during this pregnancy.

Lindsey

I know you probably posted this forever ago but I just read it. I wanted to tell you how I avoided the nasty orange drink. My husband and I told my doctor that I seriously would NOT drink that. So she said I could get a blood sugar reader and prick my finger every morning for 2 weeks and record it. So, I did and everything was fine. Just something for you to keep in mind in case you encounter the orange drink again!

Lucy

I’ve heard of healthy women getting a false positive on the 1 hour glucola, especially if they don’t normally binge on a bunch of sugar and carbs. I found Lily Nichols’ blog posts on the topic really helpful on PilatesNutritionist.com (she’s a real food dietitian who specializes in GD & wrote the book, Real Food for Gestational Diabetes). Anyways, she failed the 1 hour screening, but like you, didn’t actually have GD. She goes through all the alternatives for screening for gestational diabetes.

Once I get to the point in my pregnancy where they want to screen me for it, I’m gonna have a LENGTHY talk with my doctor. I don’t think I want to put myself through drinking the glucola!!!

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