Prenatal Vitamins

We had another ultrasound today, and it was more good news!  I’m 9 weeks now, and the fetus is still viable.

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I feel a little more relief now, since most miscarriages happen before this time.  What I wasn’t expecting is that my nausea improved a little last week.  Meaning I went from eating only bites at a time and feeling ill pretty much all the time, to now being able to eat maybe a 1/4 sandwich at a time.  It’s not great, but I’ll take it.

It freaked me out, since last time shortly before the miscarriage was diagnosed, I started to feel improvement of my nausea.  So last week I did a vaginal ultrasound on myself (quite awkward), and was relieved to still see a viable fetus in there.

At the height of the worst nausea, there was one Sunday that I stayed in my pajamas the whole day, and only left the house to go to the mailbox.  Now, I’m still tired all the time, but a little more motivated to do my normal activities.  It’s definitely frustrating to only be able to eat small amounts of food at a time.  I’m still having a lot of soup- I’m all about the chicken bone broth, which at least provides a decent amount of protein.  And I’m also snacking on simple starches.  Unfortunately, I’m not getting a lot of fruits and vegetables at the moment.  I can’t wait until I can eat more normally.  I’ve lost 10 lbs. thus far.

When it comes to prenatal vitamins, patients often ask if there is a particular brand that I recommend.  I tell them that the brand doesn’t matter- they all contain the necessary folic acid.  And it’s usually cheaper to just take 1000 mg of fish oil daily separately, as opposed to buying the fancy vitamins that have the DHA included.  For those of us who are very nauseous, the gummy/chewable vitamins are fine temporarily.

My husband recently came across a prenatal vitamin from Ritual that I decided to try:

https://ritual.com/products/essential-prenatal-multivitamin

I was aware that the folic acid that is normally found in prenatal vitamins is not always that well-absorbed.  These Ritual vitamins have the methylated folate version, which is more ideal.  The folate is most important in the first month or so after conception, so I started them a little late to really help prevent neural tube defects.

The capsule design is also supposed to be slow-release and not cause nausea.  I usually take them in the morning when I’m drinking my bone broth, so it’s hard to say if that really is the case.  They also have a little tablet in the bottle that is lemon-scented.  Sometimes it’s nice just to open the bottle to sniff the lemon scent to help with my nausea.  They also contain vegan DHA from microalgae.  Based on all of that, I figured they were worth a try.

The vitamins of course are pricey, at $35/month to subscribe, and they mail a bottle to you monthly.  You take 2 capsules daily.  Given the price tag, I’d say it’s most worth it right after you conceive, and to continue while you’re really nauseous.  After that, as I tell my patients, no vitamin is a replacement for a healthy diet.

I was curious to try them for a month.  If you try to cancel your subscription after that, they offer you 20% off for the next 3 months.  Also, if you refer others, you’ll each get $5 off.  Here is my referral link in case any of you are so inclined: https://share.ritual.com/x/mdhOWN

For most people, $35/month is a lot to shell out on vitamins, so it’s not realistic to take them for the entire pregnancy.  But given the methylated folate and capsule design, I think it’s worth it for the first month or two.

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The Parasite Diet

We got great news with the first ultrasound!

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There is a viable, 7 week fetus in there.  And thankfully, just one.  We’ll still have another ultrasound or two in the coming weeks to confirm that things are still progressing normally.  But it’s definitely a relief that things are going ok so far.

The downside is that the nausea this time around has been really bad.  It got bad quickly, and it’s the worst I’ve ever had in my 3 pregnancies.  Each time, I’ve had to limit the amount that I can eat, because I’ll feel sick to my stomach if I eat too much.  With WZW, 9 weeks was when I could only eat bites of food at a time and lost 5 lbs in a week.  With the miscarriage, the nausea started earlier and I lost some weight, but I was able to keep snacking and eat small meals.

This time, I’m already at the point of eating only bites at a time.  I think I’ve dropped 7-8 lbs in the past week.  I’ve never vomited, but my caloric intake is well below my usual.  I am eating far less than WZW is.  I stocked up on starchy snacks, but haven’t gone through them as quickly as I thought I would.  Even with the snacks, I can’t eat much at one time.

I seem to do better with soup and cooked food in general, which is contrary to some of my patients who have meat aversions and prefer fruit.  So I got some chicken bone broth and other soups.  At least they contain protein, so that will help with my nutrition to some degree.  And with the colder winter weather, the hot soups are comforting to eat.

In the past, I was all about the sparkling water because I couldn’t drink regular water.  The flavored sparkling water is still preferred over still, but I find that it doesn’t seem to help my stomach as much this time around.  Ginger tea, which I don’t love the taste of, seems to help my stomach the best.  Even then, it doesn’t take away the almost constant state of nausea that I’m in.

I’m trying to be happy that things are going well so far in the pregnancy, and keep telling myself that it could be worse (as is with my poor patients with hyperemesis gravidarum).  But it’s a pretty miserable state.  In addition to the constant nausea, I’m feeling really tired as well.  It definitely makes getting through my work days more challenging.  Today is a Sunday, and I stayed in my pajamas all day.  I only left the house to go check the mail.

I’ve been telling WZW that Mama’s stomach doesn’t feel well because I have a parasite.  Shortly after the embryo transfer, we’d explained a little of it to him.  Well, next thing we know, one of his preschool teachers said that he said something about Mama having a baby, but it’s too small to see.  We tried to play it off, but I’m sure they suspect something.  We decided that in order to prevent him from spreading the news too early, we’ll call the baby a parasite.  Hopefully that is not as clear to others what he’s talking about.