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I'm scared

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
This will probably be long...be warned.

I haven't posted in many years - because I have an almost seven year old. My husband had a vasectomy reversal in February because we wanted to have another (at least one) so badly! I didn't think I would get pregnant so quickly; I am about 60 lbs overweight and was hoping to lose some weight first and finish up my graduate program first. When I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks ago I was thrilled but now I'm getting very scared. I'm about 6 weeks along.

I have pitting edema for about 3 months before I got pregnant that my family doctor had treated with a diuretic. She told me it was safe for PG but my ob disagrees so I'm off of it. I haven't seen the OB yet (Sat). The edema is back with a vengeance and I'm flipping out. If it isn't bad enough that I'm overweight now I have to battle the edema. My family doc has no explanation for the edema and did some blood tests and said sometimes this just happens. Trying to reduce the salt intake and I always drink a decent amount of water. Walking twice a day, etc. I had toxemia with my son and I'm just terrified. Terrified that they'll try to convince me to terminate the pregnancy, terrified that something is wrong with me that will hurt the baby. I really really want THIS baby but I already had to take off my wedding ring (depressed)

Is there anything else I can do? Has anyone had this issue and things were fine? I'm worried about what the OB will say. I tried the compression stockings that the nurse suggested and they were uncomfortable and did not help. Ugh. Sorry to ramble on....
post #2 of 17
I don't know about the edema but I can tell you your feelings of being scared are 100% normal.

We tried for 7 months and when it finally happened... I started to question what I was thinking. The morning sickness... agh! I had HG with my first two...

but yes, totally normal to be scared, especially over such a scary symptom. Im sure you will be able to find some natural relief suggestions here, good luck!
post #3 of 17
I dont have any personal experience but wanted to share a link. This site has tons of good info. for plus size mamas. If you cant find some answers here then I would say email the lady directly and she may point you in the right direction. Best wishes for a happy healthy 9 months.

post #4 of 17

Just throwing out some ideas, which may or may not be helpful...

Sometimes, not ENOUGH salt can cause fluid retention. If reducing salt isn't helpful, see what happens if you increase it.

How much water are you getting? "A decent amount" could just be too little for your body's current needs. With pregnancy, getting even more is necessary.

I have heard good reports on a couple of things to forestall toxemia/pre-eclampsia in moms who have had it in the past. One is low-dose Aspirin through, I believe, the whole pregnancy. You might Google for it and see what you find. I heard about it at a Midwifery Today conference, and my MW agreed that it's a good therapy.

Also, apparently *stretching* daily, starting before 16 weeks, can help reduce the reoccurrence of pre-eclampsia. It sounds like something that couldn't hurt to add to your exercise regimen. (Yay for walking!)

I agree with MommyNicole that plus-size-pregnancy is a great site! I hope you'll find some reassurance there, too.

No matter what, remember that this is YOUR baby, and YOU get to make the decisions for your baby. Research all you can, consult as many people as you can when you need to, but YOU make the final call, always. I hope you'll find some answers and be able to relax and enjoy this blessing.
post #5 of 17
i had awful edema when having my girl (now 5). let's just say after she was born i peed over 70 lbs of fluid in 3 weeks. i haven't had a problem since but i'm 6.5 weeks along and i also had to remove my wedding ring, at least a week ago. it's scary, i know. so far i'm not calling it a "problem". i am probably 75 lbs overweight.

if the edema is occurring in your legs, you need to spend a significant amount of time each day walking (for circulation), a significant amount of time with your feet up (to allow gravity to help drain the fluid), and a significant amount of time laying on your left side. i don't know the physiological explanation for it but it increases your urinary output, which helps with the edema.

also, and this is not a scientific thing but just a rational one - the use magnesium to stop pre-eclampsia from turning into full-blown eclamptic seizures right? try eating a lot of food that is naturally high in magnesium. ask your doctor if there are supplements you can take as well.
post #6 of 17
Magnesium is great for a variety of ailments. Natural Calm is a brand that's easy to take and an easily assimilated form of magnesium. I highly recommend it!

Also, I just thought of swimming. Being immersed in water will help push fluids out - a tub works, too, especially if it's nice and deep. It also lowers blood pressure, among other things. Just be prepared that when you're in the water, you may suddenly NEED to urinate - several times, IME. (Urine is sterile, so I don't worry about it at home.)
post #7 of 17
I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you are scared. I totally know the feeling. I too am tryign to keep pre-e at bay. I am 28 weeks right now and my blood pressure has been rising since 17 weeks. So far everything is ok as far as blood work is concerned. Thank goodness for that and I am hoping it stays that way.

I too, get pitting edema. Not sure why but I have ALWAYS been that way. Anytime I swell up, for whatever reason, pregnant or not, it pits. I once sunburned the fronts of my shins. Of course my legs swelled up and I had pitting edema. I was talking to my mom about the fact that I get this and she was telling me that when she swells the same thing happens. I went to the doctor about a month ago for a check up and she was asking me if I had had any swelling. I told her yes but it was just on hot days and sitting for a short period got rid of it. And then she asked me if it dented when I pushed it. I told her yes. Well of course she sort of freaked and was going to send me for a bunch of bloodwork until I explained that this is totally normal for me, that it happens to my mom and me both, and that it isn't as bad this time as it was with my daughter. She calmed down, said ok and sent me on my way.
post #8 of 17
Maybe you could try to find an herbalist in your area. There are lots of very benign herbs that may really help you throughout your pregnancy. Edema is treated very well with herbs. Take care.
post #9 of 17
This is just a wild guess as I have no experience with it, but acupuncture? I've seen it help so many things; I think it's amazing. Just throwing it out there...
Good luck, mama.
post #10 of 17
I had a lot of edema during my last pregnancy. It was crazy. But, when interviewing a midwife, I asked about it and she said "there are lots of things we can do for that, for instance, eating a lot of watermelon". Now, watermelons are cheap and DS loves them, so we have been eating a fair amount and man, I do pee a lot when eating it.

Honestly, I would consider going to a nurse midwife instead of an OB. They seem to have a lot more tricks and things they can suggest. I would be concerned your OB basically said to not take something and did not give you any suggestions of things that could help.
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 


Thanks to all for the suggestions.

I forgot to mention that I am taking medication - synthroid and have been for about 3 years. The doc said I need to stay on that.

Also, the OB nurse recommended that I try support stockings. I tried them a few days but they did not help but oddly they made me feel dizzy and out of breath. So I stopped wearing them. I hate to keep calling the OB over and over. Plus, I am at work and no one knows I am PG yet so I have to go downstairs and outside to make/take calls and its a little silly.

I have an HMO so I don't think a Midwife is an option for me...I'll check into it. Although I had a CNM with my son and it was an intervention-FULL birth and he was ultimately delivered by an OB anyway. So that was my train of thought on that. Not sure what I'll do, though. I guess I'll give the OB a chance.

Oddly, my swelling is better today. After I had a burger and fries last night (go figure). I did put my feet up for a looooong time last night.
post #12 of 17
I'm so sorry you are feeling so scared. I know the feeling of starting out a pregnancy feeling nervous and apprehensive when you feel like you should be joyful. It's normal and fine and lots of women feel it.

For the swelling, have you tried upping your water by quite a bit? I'm drinking 150+ oz a day. Some of the fluids I'm getting are by way of electrolyte beverages also, to help balance those out.

For the pre-eclampsia, have you ever heard of the Brewer diet? It is a very high protein diet (100-120 grams of protein per day) that is supposed to help prevent pre-eclampsia and other issues. My MW gives all of her clients information on this diet.

I hope everything goes well for you and CONGRATULATIONS!
post #13 of 17
There is some evidence that it is high CALCIUM, not high protein that makes the Brewer diet work. Also evidence that calcium supplementation works just as well.

I am ~40 pounds overweight and had pre-e with my son. I am taking a cal-mag supplement (in addition to eating high calcium foods), an extra 800mg folic acid, and stretching. All thing my research showed help with preventing a recurrance.

I think if your swelling was better after eating a burger and fries, wring a normal amount of salt might be a good idea for you. It certainly can't hurt to try it. Swapping some electrolytes for plain water might help, too (just not any of the -ades. They are so full of sugar!). Your cells need the right balance of minerals in order to transport water back and forth
post #14 of 17
I had pre-e with my 3rd. I am 35 weeks with my 6th now. For the last 2, from the very begining, I made protein shakes & took cal/mag. Blood pressure & everything was fine.

This time - I ignored my preggo body for a good long time & was not eating well. My blood pressure has steadily climbed (it is dangerously high at docs) and 2-3 weeks ago the pitted edema started getting bad. The 24 hour urines are fine though. I recently read that going toxemic is actually a poorly attached/functioning placenta.

Anyway, to get myself back on track, I have been drinking dandilion root tea (for edema) and hawthorn tea (for high BP) - I just put both tea bags in 2 cups water, twice a day. And drink a little water with nettles tinkture (urinary/diaretic) I also drink a cup of water with liquid chlorophil and take red rasberry leaf capsules with it. The edema is SOOO much better now! Every morning I make in the blender: 5-6 frozen strawberries, 3 frozen bannanas, chai tea for liquid, 4 scoops of Acai womens choc protien powder, powder from 2 vit C capsules (1000 mg each) and powder from 6 cal/mag with vid D capsules (total 1000mg calcium, 500mg mag, 400 mg vit D)

I drink half of it (I make it thick like ice cream - the frozen bannanas really do the trick, and the potasium is good to help the edema too) freeze the other half for the evening.

I also eat lots of watermelon, cucumber & green/red peppers. (and blueberries, any melon, strawberries) I've been loving them!

I have had terrible food aversions, and can't stand to drink water, juice or milk. So this new regimine is about all I can force myself to eat/drink. Getting the tea down is a lot of liquid for me! boy I feel bloated! (normally I'm a BIG water drinker) But I have been feeling much better & more satisfied lately. And actually burgers have been the one & only 'real' food I like! NOt the bread though. We had a cow put up a couple months ago, so I have lots of yummy ground beef : ) We do our own chicken and rabbit - but I haven't been able to touch it this pregnancy.

So yes, get the herbal helps for edema, get lots of protien, and take extra calcium/magnesium (it needs to be balanced)
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

For the ladies who are taking Cal Mag & Extra Folic

Are you taking the supplements on top of your prenatal vitamins? I am taking Rainbow Light Prenatal One Multi from Whole Foods which has 800 mg Folic Acid, 200 mg of Calcium and 100 mg magnesium. Don't want to overdo it but I will run to WF tonight before class. Thanks SOOOOOO much you ladies have no idea how much this helps.

PS I've already had 80 oz of water today and I have swelled a little but not as bad as a normal work day! Thank you sooo sooo much. My family doc had said I was drinking too much water (60 oz a day) so she had me cut back some
post #16 of 17
I also take the Rainbow Light Prenatal One (and have for...five year? now). In addition, I take an 800mg folic acid tablet and a cal-mag supplement (can't remember the amounts at the moment, but it might be 1000/500). I also take 4,000iu Vit. D (as drops) after testing deficient in Vit D. last June. Plus a pre-natal DHA supplement. It sounds like a lot, but it isn't bad. Just don't take the Vit. D within a couple of hours of the calcium, as calcium blocks Vit. D absorption.

60 oz a day is NOTHING! Wow, I'm so surprised your doc told you to cut back! I'd feel so dehydrated if that's all I drank! At the beginning of this pregnancy, I was drinking ~80 oz a day of water (not including other beverages or watery fruits and veggies). Now I strive for close to 100 oz, although I also now include my pregnancy tea in the numbers. When/if it finally gets hot here, I will drink more. Plus at that point I'll be 20+ weeks and need the extra fluid for blood volume.

I hope you are getting some good ideas here and are feeling better about your situation!
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Reading about the Brewer diet now - wow - that's a ton of food! Trying to eat healthy with this pg...did not with the last one (hence the 60 lb weight gain - oy). I lost ten lbs on WW right before I got pg and was trying to keep to the same concepts. I'm going to have to read the Brewer stuff more when I get home. Thanks ladies!
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