Tag Archives: pregnancy


So I’m 41 weeks pregnant now.  I really, really hate being overdue.  I can’t get comfortable, sitting or lying down.  Pelvic girdle pain makes it excruciatingly painful to roll over in bed at night.  It also makes it difficult to get in and out of the car, or up and down the stairs.  The baby’s feet feel like they are permanently lodged in my ribcage.  I’ve been having prodromal labor on and off for over a week.  I have heartburn every night no matter what I eat.  It’s really hard to chase after my toddler, let alone pick him up.  It’s hard to try to keep him entertained in the house all day, but I really don’t have the energy to take him to the playground.  The house is a mess, and I hate it, but it’s difficult to work up the energy to do anything about it.  I know that part isn’t going to get any easier once the baby comes.

I know pregnancy doesn’t last forever, and I know I should be trying to enjoy these last days, especially since this might be my last pregnancy.  But right now, I’m just tired, and ready for it to be over.

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Gallbladder and Pregnancy

The other night I had a gallbladder attack.  A rather bad one.  For anyone who has not had a gallbladder attack, the bad ones are easily more painful than childbirth.  I say this having given birth to my first child with no pain medication what-so-ever.  I did not go to the hospital, mainly because there’s not much they can do besides say, “yep, you’re having a gallbladder attack”.  Also, there’s a good chance that by the time anyone actually sees you, your attack will be over.  I’ve had gallbladder attacks before.  I had problems from about 38 weeks into my last pregnancy, until 8 months postpartum.  Some of the attacks are tolerable.  Some, like the one I had the other night, make you wish you were dead.  So why haven’t I had my gallbladder removed?

Well, I didn’t have it done after my last pregnancy because I wanted to try to get it under control with diet.  So I cut out foods that were high in cholesterol or saturated fats.  I increased fiber and vitamin C.  I stopped eating large meals right before bed.  I tried to drink more water.  It worked, slowly.  In the first 6weeks postpartum, I had an attack once or twice a week.  It was at my 6 week appointment when I was told about trying to control gallbladder issues using diet.  I saw an immediate change, and had only 3 attacks in the next 4 months, and finally, a mild attack in October.  That was it until just recently.

Part of the reason I’m now having issues again is hormones.  Estrogen slows the action of the gallbladder and it operates less efficiently.  This is why women are more likely than men to have issues with their gall bladder.  Being pregnant puts you at higher risk for gallbladder issues, as does, ironically, hormonal birth-control.  I guess because both screw with your natural hormone balance.  The other reason I’m having issues is because I stopped watching my diet after several months of having no attacks.  The attack I had recently followed me gorging on chinese food late at night.  So it’s back to my pre-established diet.  I won’t be giving up much, and it’s worth it to avoid the surgery.

I don’t want to have surgery now because of the risk of pre-term labor.  Sure, I’m far enough along that the baby would probably survive, but I’d rather go through a dozen more attacks than put my baby at risk.  Even if he does survive, what sort of complications would he have from being born pre-term?  Even if I don’t go into pre-term labor, what sort of side effects might come about from the anesthesia and post surgery pain medication?  As painful as the attacks are, the pain is not permanent.  So I will not risk surgery during pregnancy unless it’s a situation where my gallbladder is about to burst.

I will also, attempt to avoid surgery postpartum.  I’ve already proved that I can get it under control with diet, I don’t want to jeopardize breastfeeding, and I don’t want the risk of long term side effects that come with the surgery.  Up to 20% develop chronic diarrhea.   5%-40% develop PCS(post cholecystectomy syndrome), persistent pain in the upper abdomen.  There is a chance of injury to the common bile duct which can cause bile to leak into your abdomen and requires additional surgery to fix.  Then of course, as with any surgery, there is risk of infection and blood clots.  It’s just too much.  I mean, really, 20% chance that I have diarrhea for the rest of my life?  I’m only 23.  That’s a really long time to have diarrhea.  Significant chance that I have permanent pain in my abdomen?  Isn’t that why I’m getting the surgery, to get rid of the pain?  So yes, if I can manage to control this using just my diet, I will.

There’s a good chance that I will have more attacks during this pregnancy because of how great a roll hormones can play, as well as the fact that my expanding uterus is putting extra pressure on my gallbladder.  I hope, however, that if I’m careful I can make it without another attack.

Gallstones and Pregnancy
What Causes Gallbladder Attacks
Gall Bladder Removal Side Effects

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Breastfeeding while pregnant 2

So we’re still breastfeeding for now.  Mr. Bug has actually picked up a bit in how often he nurses.  We’re back to about 4 times a day, though I’m not sure how much milk he’s getting from me if any.  An interesting side effect of him no longer waking up at 4am is that he’s now ready to start the day at 6 instead of 7:30.  Maybe sleeping through the night isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I’d rather wake up for 5 minutes at 4am than have to start my day an hour and a half earlier.

I recently picked up some blessed thistle capsules at the store.  It’s an herb to help promote breastmilk production that’s safe to take during pregnancy unlike fennugreek and milk thistle (both may cause uterine contractions).  I really wish I could take the fennugreek.  That stuff is like magic.  I don’t know if the blessed thistle will cause any noticeable change in my milk supply, especially this late in pregnancy.  Once I get to 37 weeks, I will probably go ahead and take the fennugreek if we are still breastfeeding.

Another interesting thing about breastfeeding while pregnant, it’s getting increasingly difficult to situate Mr. Bug comfortably on my lap to nurse.  My belly is really starting to get in the way.  Maybe he can sit next to me and nurse?  I’ll have to try some different positions.  It’s neat though how the baby in my belly will kick at Mr. Bug wherever the most pressure is being applied.  Not even born yet, and trying to beat up his big brother.   Also, on the rare occasion where he falls asleep while nursing, I usually need help to get up from the couch.  I guess between my shifting center of gravity, and the almost thirty pounds my toddler weighs, it makes sense.

All in all, it’s not so bad.  Another week down, 9 to go, give or take a few.

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Breastfeeding while pregnant

I am currently 30 weeks pregnant.  My nursing toddler is 17 months.  We found out I was expecting right around the time he turned a year old, and I didn’t want to wean that early.  There are so many benefits to extended breastfeeding, but that’s a whole different post.  Suffice to say the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years.

It’s been difficult.  For starters, a toddler nurses differently than an infant.  He might go 6 hours without nursing, or nurse for 1 minute every half hour.  Toddlers are just so active and distractible that they don’t really nurse on any set schedule.  Then there’s the fact that a common pregnancy side effect is sore nipples.  Nursing does not help this.  During the first trimester it was frequently uncomfortable, and sometimes painful to nurse.  But that’s where a toddlers distractibility comes in handy.  I was able to stop the nursing or skip it entirely if I needed to, and just read him a book or play with blocks instead.  Mind you this didn’t always work, but it worked often enough.  Then there’s the dreaded drop in supply.  Some mothers are able to nurse all the way through without a hitch, but most suffer at least some drop in their milk supply.  I really started noticing it around 16 weeks or so.  And my son noticed too.  He would nurse on one side, switch to the other, then sit up in my lap and go “more, more”.  That was hard.  But we increased the amount of whole milk and food he was getting, and I kept nursing as much as possible.  I am now 30 weeks, and I don’t think there is much milk left if any.  He’s stopped waking up for his 4am nursing.  He doesn’t ask for “nummies” as much any more, and when he does he usually only nurses for a minute if that.  At this point I don’t think we’ll make it all the way to the new baby being born.

I may be able to tandem nurse anyway.  Some toddlers want to nurse again once they see the new infant doing it.  I hope he does just so I can get him to at least two years old nursing.  I’ve also been told by mothers who’ve successfully tandem nursed that the siblings tend to have less jealousy issues.  But if we’re done, then I guess we’re done.  We’ve made it farther than I thought we would.

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