Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventures in Pregnancy: Palpitations, Contractions, Exercise, and Hormones

I feel like my weekly posts are chopping up my little adventures in pregnancy and not allowing me to document the big picture.  I wanted to do a regular update like I did before the weekly ones.  I need to do these more often!

It's becoming clear that my heart palpitations were due to me stopping the metformin.  It's a diabetes drug, but I was on it to treat PCOS.  It helps increase fertility for women with PCOS as well as reducing the risk of miscarriage.  The new research is saying that PCOS women who are overweight, at high risk for GD or insulin resistant should stay on metformin the entire pregnancy.  I'm none of these things, and metformin can interfere with weight gain and in a round about way can negatively affect breastfeeding so I wanted to get off it.  I ended up staying on it a month longer this pregnancy than with my son.  I now realize the heart palpitations started to increase during the week I was on the lowest dose, and increased even more after I stopped it completely.  At their peak I was having 20 to 30 a day, but that was only for a few days.  Now they're down to none or 2 to 3 per day.  During the week I was having them the doctors kept debating having me wear a 24hr take home heart monitor.  I'm glad we didn't do that since things seem to be adjusting on their own.  I did have my thyroid checked with a blood test.  Metformin can regulate the thyroid, and a crazy thyroid can cause heart palpitations so it was reasonable to get that checked.  I'll find out the results on 8/21.

I got my first Braxton Hicks contraction! Never had one my first pregnancy, and was really surprised to get one last night.  It was so strong!  It was certainly as strong as an early labor contraction, except without the pain.  It was also longer than I thought they were.  It lasted more than 10 seconds so I had time to have entirely too many ridiculous thoughts.  My mind was like, "Wow that's tight. OMG it's a contraction! I'm having a contraction! How is this happening? What's causing this? Oh I can't take the tightness anymore," and then it was over.  Quite comical in hindsight.  I researched and found that they're common starting at about 20 weeks, and more common in 2nd or 3rd pregnancies with active babies.  I qualify for all those things.  In some ways I'm happy they're starting this soon because I'm hoping they'll get this uterus prepared for a quicker birth, but in other ways I'm concerned I won't be able to do as much exercising or fall hiking trips for fear of causing contractions.  As with any pregnancy adventure, I'll just have to wait and see how it goes!

Many more 20 Week Anatomy Scan Pic's coming Thursday!

My running has been going so good.  I'd had to reduce trips to the gym because DS was going through a clingy phase.  Last week I finally decided to just go anyway.  I was hoping that with repetition he'd just get over it, and that's just what happened!  He cried a while the first day, less the second, and not at all the third.  Why didn't I try this earlier! ha.  I'm up to three 10 minute intervals of running, with 5minutes in between.  This usually results in me going over 4 miles.  That's actually farther than I used to run before I was pregnant!  I don't think I can increase my speed without increasing my heart rate past what's recommended by my doctor.  I know her limitation of 150bpm is outdated advice, but when I go higher than that for an extended period of time I get palpitations, so I'm following my doc's advice and listening to my body by staying under (actually, I stay under 157).  I am interested in increasing my distances though.  It would be amazing to hit 5 or even 10 miles while pregnant.  I'm in desperate need of a maternity support belt, but having a hard time choosing a brand and getting around to ordering.

Oh the hormones! I don't know if it's due to coming off of metformin, but I've been particularly weepy lately.  Crying takes it out of anyone, but particularly a pregnant woman.  I went to bed early all last week because of crying every day.  It takes it's toll!  It's not just over commercials or silly things.  I worry about my marriage, friends, friends kids, strangers and whoever.  I feel for people.  Things hurt my heart and I cry.  It's so hard being an emotional wreck all the time, but at least I can be thankful it's only while I'm pregnant.  I know people who go through life this way and I can't imagine how exhausting and stressful that would be.

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