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Strange Tired "Episodes"

983 Views 15 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  triony
I'm 32W5d. For the last few months I've been getting out of breath easily, and would have "tired spells". I'd be sitting after my desk, often after I'd just eaten in the morning, and feel tired, and my arms felt heavy. I chalked it up to increasing blood volume, and just being pregnant in general. Over the past week, though, they've gotten scarily bad. At work the other day I feel like I almost fainted. It doesn't seem to be from poor circulation (although it could be) because of the progression. I got up from my desk, walked to the break room (15 feet away), and filled my water canteen at the water filter. As I was standing there I felt progressively worse. Just ridiculously tired, like I can't even hold up my arms. After the bottle fills (45 seconds) I turned around and started to walk back to my desk. I had to stop and lean over a table for a minute. That's the closest I've ever felt to blacking out in my life.
At my 28w appt the midwife found that my hemoglobin was low (9.9). I've been taking iron supplements since then.
Anyone experience anything similar? I know I need to call my midwife, I'm just not exactly sure how to explain it.
Thanks for any info you might have.
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I don't know for sure what is going on with your tired spells, but I will say this: Listen to your body. I really think these types of symptoms are our bodies telling us something!

When I was pregnant with my 18-mo-old I was VERY swollen, extremely exhausted, and just not feeling well at all. I would often feel like I seriously NEEDED to lay down. I kept working anyway, for all the usual reasons: needed the money, didn't want everyone to think I was a wimp, didn't want to disappoint people who were counting on me at work, wanted to save all my disability time for AFTER the baby arrived, etc. I thought, "I just sit at a desk all day, how bad can it be?" I finally quit working at 35 weeks.

My water broke just over a week later, at 36 weeks according to my doctor's EDD (or 37 weeks according to my own EDD).

I don't know if it's related, but I unknowingly had a velamentous insertion, where the cord is not strongly attached to the placenta, but is only attached by a few veins. It scares me to think how dangerous that was for my baby. If the cord had detached while she was inside me (instead of breaking after she was out, like it did after I gave birth), she would not have survived. I tend to think my body was telling me "take it easy" because it knew what was best for me.

I'm not trying to scare you or say something is wrong -- just saying that I would listen to my body and take it easy, even if it's nothing but normal pregnancy tiredness. It's only 1-2 months more and I really think we pregnant women push ourselves too much sometimes. Consider taking some time off, or make arrangements for a nap in the middle of the day, or work shorter hours, or whatever! As well as seeing your care provider, of course.

Best wishes and please report back if you figure out what is causing your tired spells...
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I agree with PP. Take that as a sign that you need extra rest. I know those types of things happened to me when I pushed myself too much.
I agree also.. your body knows when its just plain worn out... listen to it!
I had some tired/weak/light headed episodes after eating a little earlier in my pregnancy. My doc said that some women can end up being sensitive to sugar and refined carbs and their bodies overreact with the insulin. That can lead to LOW blood sugar shortly after a meal and can create symptoms as severe as you mentioned. Mine went away over time, but she said some women have issues with low blood sugar.

Probably good to check with your doc/midwife because there are probably a million normal reasons and several not-so-normal ones for this.
You sound anemic to me - I run anemic normally and was severely anemic during pregnancy with DD. I took iron supps, but because they weren't very bioavailable, they didn't help enough. I had awful restless leg syndrome to the point where I wasn't sleeping much at all and I begged my OB for something to help me sleep just for one night - I get RLS when I'm anemic. I started taking yellowdock and it helped IMMENSELY. Like seriously I highly reccommend it. I took it in conjunction with the iron supps - it helps your liver and makes iron more bioavailable. Within 2 days I felt SO much better!

Anyway - since you mentioned you were anemic at the 28w appt, I'd guess you might need a little boost and the iron supps by themselves aren't quite doing it foryou.
Another thing you might want to think about is a food sensitivity. Before I figured out that I was gluten intolerant, I would have episodes like that all the time. 'course I wasn't pregnant at the time, but I could see how that would bring something like that out even more. I would definitely notice those reactions more when I wasn't sleeping quite as much as I should be, or had a bug. Pregnancy definitely makes us more susceptible to a lot of things. Anyway, just a thought.
It sounds like low hemoglobin to me

Mine is low (not as low as yours but still dropping) and I'm just starting to feel breathless sometimes. My first suppliment didn't seem to help so I'm trying another for 4 weeks and testing again.

I'd call the midwife unless you have an appointment really soon. You don't want to fall or otherwise hurt yourself by fainting.
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I have been experiencing this a lot this preganancy. I had it a little with my 1st, but not this bad. I talked to my MW about it, but she didn't really have any answers for me except the usual, stay hydrated, eat protien. My blood sugar was fine and my lead was fine. It is really uncomfortable and hard to describe. I have been drinking electrolyte enhanced water and it seems to have lessened, but is still a problem for me. I have been thinking I need to cut back at work, but it is hard for all the reasons PP posted.
Me too, mama. When I have to do something, such as make a snack/lunch for my kids, or take them to school, I have to lean on the wall or counter regularly. I feel breathless, and very exhausted.
I know my iron is low. I'm taking a good supplement, watching my diet for plenty of bioavailable iron..but I'm usually anemic while pregnant. I hope I don't lose a lot of blood with or after birth, as I can't afford it. I did have a PPH with my 2nd and it was just brutal to recover from.
I wish there was a faster way to recover. I'm just useless and miserable!
That happens to me when I am overtired. I thought I must have sugar issues or something, but it would happen when I would just drink a glass of water! My dh sleeps, uhm, crazy?, and it prevents me from getting into a deep sleep. The catch is, I AM asleep, just not deeply. So, I assume I've gotten plenty of rest when I haven't really. When he's gone for work for a night or two and I watch how much water I'm drinking, the symptoms completely disappear.

So, I say be sure to get enough sleep, and stay hydrated!
I get those too! The first one had me so worried I went to the emergency room. They couldn't figure out why it happened so they gave me fuids and sent me home after a bunch of tests and a sonogram. It's happened twice since then and when it does I just stop whatever it is I'm doing. I drink water and sit. The lasttime though I couldn't do that, I was walking to the bus stop with my 7yr old dd and I kept feeling like I was gonna pass out. I sat down on the side of the road and took my shirt off (I was wearing atank top underneath) and calmly ate some frosted flakes and drank water lol. Ppl were looking at me like I was crazy but I didn't care. My dd was such a big girl, she sat with me and had my phone ready in case she had to dial 911. I felt better soon after though and we went on to the pool.
In my first pregnancy, I starting having episodes just like that, particularly after I ate, and even more particularly after I ate breakfast. It turned out to be a blood sugar problem. I had gestational diabetes, which was more pronounced in the mornings. When I would eat my cereal for breakfast, my blood sugar would go way up, then crash, which was causing me to feel so bad. Once I switched over to a protein-rich diet with no refined carbs or sugar I never had any more problems.
Even though I don't have GD in this pregnancy, I will still tend to start feeling bad if I eat a bunch of sugar or carbs with no protein/fat to balance it out. If you don't already eat that way, you might try adjusting your diet to see if that helps.
I feel similar, though not to that extreme, sometimes when I have a strong braxton hicks.

Could it be a mix of braxton hicks and anemia?
Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? I suffer from low blood pressure, and have issues like you describe. What happens is when you are standing, the blood starts to pool in your legs, resulting in a feeling of faintness. Make sure you don't lock your legs when standing, as this makes it worse.

Feelings of extreme fatigue like you describe are sometimes due to lack of oxygen or blood sugar in the brain. Other than blood pressure, they can be caused by anemia, pressure on the lungs (although I don't think you're quite far enough for that issue yet), low blood sugar, or low blood volume. I would defintly talk to your midwife and see how your iron levels are doing, have your blood pressure checked both sitting and standing, and take a close look at your diet. You might want to keep a diet journal, as well as a record of the spells and when they are happening, as that might help your MW pinpoint what is going on with you.

As a working mom, I know how important staying at work as long as possible can be. While you are struggling, don't be shy about asking for help. Maybe get a coworker to fill your water, or ask them to walk with you if you are feeling faint. Everyone loves to help a pregnant lady.
Hope you find the answer soon!
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Wow, I haven't checked back in on this thread in a while! Thanks for all the answers and ideas.
I'm feeling much better these days. I think it was a combination of low iron (anemia) and blood sugar spikes. My iron is back up, and I try not to eat nuts on an empty stomach.
If I do have an "episode" it's light and brief. I'm really thinking it was the anemia.

Thanks again!
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