Pregnancy Advice

Posted by  | Thursday, December 18, 2008  at 12:00 AM  
I thought, since I'm currently pregnant, I would start by sharing about my two pregnancies and the similarities and differences I’ve seen with them. First, let me say that I consider it a total miracle and blessing to be pregnant at all. I know that all life is truly a miracle and gift from Him, but sometimes it’s hard not to question things when you want to get pregnant so much and can’t (and you’re married and pursuing the Lord with all you are) and then you hear of unwed teens getting pregnant, abortions, child abuse, etc. If you want to read about our battle with infertility, please click here.

Our daughter, Lydia was born in August 2006, (click here to read our birth story) and I’m currently 27 weeks pregnant with twins. For the most part, these two pregnancies have been very similar. One of the early symptoms I had during the two week wait - “TTW” – with both pregnancies was weight loss. This time around, from Day 1, I had an incredible hunger as soon as I woke up in the morning – to the point where I could tell my blood sugar was dipping really low and I needed to eat (this lasted the first month). Both times I had insomnia a lot in the first couple months (I think from the sheer excitement and joy!) and this time around my stomach was already getting firm by the time I could take a pregnancy test and find out if I really was pregnant.

Around 7 weeks, to the exact same day, the nauseous started both times. I never threw up (although I often thought I would feel so much better if I had) and it lasted until around 12 weeks. I was very tired in the first trimester this time with twins. In fact, with Lydia I never really missed a beat and wondered why so many pregnant women said they were tired – whew, do I now I understand! Both times, though, my second trimester has been great and I can honestly say that I feel better pregnant than not. I love being pregnant and during my second trimester I walked every morning, cooked, and did whatever else I needed to do. So far my weight gain has also been identical; although I’m quite sure my belly is bigger this time around! Also, my iron levels this time have dropped quickly and I’m now anemic and have to start taking iron supplements. (I honestly don’t know if this was even monitored with my first pregnancy, but, since it’s so common with twins my doctor has been monitoring it closely.) I knew they had been dropping for the past several months and did a lot of research of natural remedies – I tried several and just spent the last month taking 2 T. of liquid chlorophyll everyday only to find my levels stayed the same (it did maintain them and keep it from dropping and for many women it helps their iron levels rise so I’d definitely recommend trying this route first!). So, now I’m left with taking iron supplements which I know can cause constipation, among other things, but at least I know I’ve tried the natural remedies first.

With Lydia, I went to a midwifery unit during my pregnancy. I had one ultrasound – at the very beginning – only to make sure I was pregnant with just one baby. We declined most all testing, including the gestational diabetes test later in the pregnancy (I figured I never ate sugar anyway so what did drinking a cup of sugar really prove?), and had the most wonderful surprise of our lives to find out the sex of our baby when she was born. This time around we also declined most testing, but we have had several ultrasounds and are told we’re having two boys – I figure we won’t really be sure until they’re born!

Currently, our biggest prayer request – besides of course having healthy babies! – is wanting to make sure I am able to deliver them with a doctor who is experienced with delivering twins vaginally because I really want the chance to birth these babies naturally (and right now they are breech). Where we live overseas, the c-section rate is as high as 90% - and that’s for vertex singletons! Doctors are skilled with surgery, but not necessarily with natural delivery, and especially of twins. This issue has become very complicated and we are praying for grace and wisdom for everyone involved in the decision-making process (yes, unfortunately, it goes beyond just us).

This is why the importance of selecting the right doctor for you cannot be understated!! Most doctors today do not like delivering twins vaginally; rare is the doctor who would even consider giving a woman carrying breech twins the chance at a natural birth. Yet, those doctors do exist! We researched and researched (I started by calling midwives in the area I wanted to deliver to find out what doctors were more sympathetic to natural childbirth). We ended up finding a perinatologist (additional training beyond an OB) whose specialty is with multiples and breech and prefers to allow a woman the chance to birth naturally rather than just scheduling a c-section. I tell you this to encourage you that you CAN find skilled doctors who are sympathetic to your wishes, just be persistent in looking!

Well, I’m sure there’s so much more I could share, so if you have questions about my experiences please leave a comment or question! Let me close by sharing some of the resources I’ve enjoyed, as well as specific advice I’d give:

1. READ, READ, READ! Here’s some things that I strongly recommend:

2. Take a childbirth class: I recommend a BRADLEY COURSE

3. Nutrition – this is huge. I can’t say that I ate differently pregnant than before because I really try to cook/eat healthy. If anything, I ate worse pregnant because during the first trimester there were times I ate things like Pizza Hut – agh!! But, here’s the basics:
Brewer Diet (Also, check out - I couldn't get this link to work as I typed this but it is the website I used for my informaton on the Brewer Diet.) In a nutshell, the Brewer Diet is good because it deals with the importance of protein. This cannot be understated! Dr. Brewer was an OBGYN who found that in 20 years of practice he NEVER saw a case of preeclampsia or eclampsia among women who followed his protein recommendations. There are many other health benefits to eating protein, especially while pregnant. The problem with this diet, though, is he does not deal with the QUALITY of the food you eat. So, you also need to check out the Weston Price Organization and read through what it means to truly eat healthy. For more information about how we eat, check out these posts (one, two, three, four, five) I wrote on POH that deal with different aspects of nutrition.

4. Make sure you choose your doctor or midwife wisely!

5. ENJOY every moment of the short season that you are pregnant!!


Terra Jones said...

I love The Thinking Woman's book as well as Ina May's Guide to Natural Childbirth. I could read that book OVER and OVER and OVER :)

Congrats on the twin boys (supposedly, lol) :)

ChezDeshotels said...

Krista, so glad you are feeling so well. I can amen the protien suggestion but that has been hard for me to get since meat products really made me throw up. but my doctor has been adament about that.

Also the doctor advice I can't say how much I agree with that. I went to 8 doctors before finding the one I am with and I can not be happier with the choice we made..

God bless and thanks for the wonderful post

Melissa Pearce said...

Thanks for your post. It seems so daunting to eat so so healthy like you do-- my husband could live on pepperoni and cheese! YUCK! I am currently pregnant with my 2nd- due 15 months after the birth of my first. Congrats on the Twins! (I have brothers and sisters that are twins- 2 sets.) Do they have any idea if they are fraternal or identical?

Krista said...

Wow, 2 sets?! That is really cool. These are fraternal. How about your siblings?

I hear you on the protein. I had no problem getting it with Lydia but now that I'm overseas and don't do much dairy (nothing good is available) it is SO hard. On top of that, I'm supposed to get even more because these are twins. I broke down and ordered some Goatein powder from Garden of Life and it is disgusting! It makes whatever I'm eating taste like chalk. Thankfully, the babies and I are doing well so far without getting all the protein Dr. Brewer suggests each day. But I'm still trying!

Mark'sMeg said...

I'm 35 weeks pregnant and I eat a lot of quinoa to get the protein I need -- its a complete protein by itself -- so good for you and my toddler and husband love it, too! I soak it overnight in warm water and whey and then make it as I would oatmeal. We use in in place of rice in any recipe and also for breakfast with butter or coconut oil and a little maple syrup. Or I mix in with an egg and fry it up in coconut oil and serve with a little maple syrup.

Melissa Pearce said...

Krista- both sets are fraternal. They are both adopted as well. The boys are 5 and the girls are almost 2. You can see pics on my mom's blog:

Megan where do you get your quinoa- I like to get it at Earthfare but it's such a trek...

Christina said...

Melissa P,

I'm not Meg - but thought I'd share...I THINK you can get quinoa at Harris Teeter. I too would love to go to Earth Fare and Whole Foods every week, but can't justify the trip! I'd love to see Meg's response too...

I'm loving the discussions this week!

Also - about the protein...after reading and doing some other research - I was pretty suprised at how little my OB mentioned nutrition to me. It seems the only time they stress nutrition is when Moms develop Gestational diabetes. I seriously think half of my protein in my 2nd pregnancy came from milk. I drank milk like crazy!! But even with that - I'm not positive that I met the recommendations for protein every day!

Mark'sMeg said...

My mom visits Whole Foods regularly, so she always brings me some quinoa when she visits :) I think I've seen it in the organic section at Kroger, but it is more expensive than buying it in the bulk section of Earth Fare or Whole Foods. You can also order a 6 gallon bucket through the BreadBeckers co-op, I think. We might do that next time since we eat it so much.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I have a question for all of you lovely ladies. I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and have just started to ITCH like CRAZY!!! I mean we were in the ER last night it was so bad. I am wondering if any of you got really itchy all over, not just belly. And if you did, what did you do to make it stop?? Thanks so much.


(i'm Christina's friend!)

amy said...

Mama L... I had the SAME problem from 28 weeks until delivery with my firstborn... they called it a PuPPs rash. It was all over my belly, arms, down my legs... everywhere, it seemed! It was AWFUL! My ob prescribed a steriod (prednizone), but I refused to take it because I was planning to breastfeed and had heard it would hurt your milk supply. But... here's what DID help...showering with Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash, taking a cool bath with a sock filled with oatmeal, putting ice packs on the rash (it would numb the itch). Other than that, I just had to tolerate it and PRAY. The itching ceased immediately upon delivery, and I didn't get it at all with my 2nd pregnancy. Hope it helps! :)

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