no. 583 – Perspective on Luck

Let me first preface this by stating for the record, I adore my OB’s nurse. I will call her Helmut due to her hairstyle that has not changed significantly in the 7 years I’ve known her. Helmut has a way of making me feel as if I’m the OB’s only patient and is acutely aware of our circumstances, now and in the past. I say this because I don’t want you giving her a verbal smack-down after I tell you about today’s appointment.

During the blood pressure check, she asked how I had been feeling and wanted to know if I’ve had any cramping or spotting. I told her that I had some cramping yesterday and that I had also been sick that morning, which is the second time this pregnancy. Yes, I know, "lucky" me.

"That’s good," she said. "You’ll be 14 weeks tomorrow (it’s actually Thursday…). You were right around 14 weeks with your first fetal demise, weren’t you?"

Deer in the headlights look from me.

"Yes," I finally answered, "somewhere between 14 and 15 weeks."

"Did you have any nausea then?"

I then explained that in all actuality I never once puked with XBoy until delivery (post-anesthetic reaction) and I never puked with Vivienne. I just had a continuous feeling of exhaustion combined with ass-mouth.

I understand that all the websites go on and on about how nausea with pregnancy, especially in the first trimester is more than normal, it’s expected. I guess they say that so when you are vomiting up breakfast every morning you don’t freak out. Fine. I get it.

But do I really need to have the thought that NOT being sick is bad? Do I really need to have this information stuck in my head?

The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2006, found that of 7,000 women studied, those who had nausea in the first three months were far less likely to miscarry. That appeared to support a study by the National Institutes of Health, which found that women who had morning sickness in the first four months of pregnancy were 30 percent less likely to miscarry.

When no one can really find a reason for morning sickness, except maybe a tie to increasing hormone levels, how important is it for me to be sick or not sick? My progesterone with Wolf was sky-high at 90+ and I was never nauseas (even if that pregnancy only lasted 8 weeks). My beta levels with Murdock had everyone in my clinic, many of you and even myself convinced there had to be at least two embryos going…and there weren’t. Those high levels haven’t had me trying to vomit quietly in my work trash can.

Maybe I’m just feeling particularly pissy because I’m on the cusp of Murdock doing or dying, but I don’t like the implication that nausea is better. Even my allergist  said something similar about 7 weeks ago.

I just want to enjoy the FACT that right now I’m rarely nauseous and that everything is STILL just fine with Murdock, while at the same time I don’t want to hear how "lucky" I am to not be super sick. Lucky would have been me coming home from work to listen to my 6 year old boy whine about his 2 1/2 year old sister being in his room playing with his stuff.

20 thoughts on “no. 583 – Perspective on Luck”

  1. The sickness thing is a kind of gross generalisation. Women with higher HCG levels tend to be more likely to be sick, and higher HCG = healthier preg. Or so the argument goes. Spot the holes in it? It’s two generalisations banged together. Plus the study is relying on retrospective recollection of women who’s perspective is coloured by the outcome of their pregnancy, from memory. Not especially reliable.

    FWIW, individual sensitivity to HCG induced emesis is variable. Some women are talking to the porcelin god from four weeks, and then there’s me. The non-puker. I wondered if I was doing it all wrong last pregnancy, and my betas were high then.


  2. I was rarely nauseous with either pregnancy. Of course, I was also paranoid the whole time–it’s hard not to be–so I understand where you’re coming from.

    Hang in there.

  3. I’m glad Helmut at least remembers you… that is a huge plus. Sounds like she really excels at “straight talk” and I can imagine how hard that must have been to encounter that at this stage of pg.

    VERY very glad to hear that Murdock is doing well. Whether you puke or not, I’m glad that’s still going in the right direction!

  4. The question isn’t are you nauseaous? It’s how much nausea. At least according to Motherisk. They say that a small amount of nausea is normal for most women, but very very small. Just like what you are going through.

    Extreme nausea has been clinically associated with IUGR, preeclampsia, and various other placentally related issues. Bad placentas make bad hcg, and cause awful NVP. Good placentas make good hcg, which makes no NVP. (Yes, there are different kinds of hcg.) Most Docs have no clue about this, but these guys a specialists, soooo, I’d relax about the poor nurse.

  5. I also hate it that they always say that. As if that helps anyone. I felt pretty much as horrible with my last pregnancy as I felt with Miss V – although the embryo had already died. And by 14 weeks I felt fine even with Miss V.

    14 weeks already, eh? That’s good, that’s very good.

  6. They were just talking about this on the Today show for some dumb reason this morning. I’m not sure why, but I remember thinking it was just plan mean and all it did was make pregnant women who aren’t sick nervous. Plus some people just have more sensitive stomachs than others. Seriously my dad and I could eat anything and I mean ANYTHING and not get sick. Sure fry me up a dead rhino ass. I’ll try it (might explain my weight problem) My DH on the other hand – well what a light weight – can’t count the number of times he’s puked just this year (and no I have not been feeding him dead rhino ass).

    I also did not puke (not even once) while pregnant. I’m convinced the puking just tastes bad and has nothing to do with babies. Either that or we have selfish babies that refuse to let one tiny little drop of nurishment leave our bodies without first passing through them!

  7. I’m sorry that you were confronted so baldly by Helmut. Very glad to hear that things are still okay, and I hope very very very much that they continue to be, puking or no.

  8. Nausea is associatd with a lower rate of miscarriage, it’s true, but it’s also no indicator of a healthy pregnancy (see some of Julia’s miscarriages, for example – she was puking the morning of a D&C if I remember right), so if you were feeling sick you’d be (i) miserable and (ii) no less convinced that everything was ok. Hang in there.

  9. I think that study is a load of crap! I didn’t get puke once and K turned out just fine.

    Glad to hear things are moving along. 🙂

  10. I hate generalities. Every pregnancy is different. I have been pregnant 6 times. I have given birth to live babies 2 times. There was no norm to any of the pregnancies. I was sick with two of the ones that didn’t make it, not sick with two that didn’t, sick with one that did, and fine with one that did. Your body is going to react or not react but that isn’t an indication that things are going bad. Unfortunately you have the history, as many of us do, of denial that a pregnancy can actually turn into a take home baby. I don’t think I really believed it till they had been home awhile and I was certain they were sleeping next to me.

  11. I’m already incredibly cranky, but people like your nurse make me even more so. Because during my pregnancy with the twins I threw up so much that I spent most of my waking hours puking. And everyone kept telling me what a good sign that was.

  12. Glad that apart from the unhelpful nurse comments things are going well with you and Murdock. FWIW I think nausea is pretty meaningless. In my last pregnancy I continued to get more and more sick during the two weeks after my baby died and before I found out. So much for it being a great sign.

  13. I never threw up in any of my four pregnancies. Two were keepers, two weren’t. So phooey to Helmet and your allergist- try not to let it get to you. Here’s hoping the next few weeks fly for you- I know it must make you anxious to want to get past the point where you were with V.

  14. I’m glad everything still looks good.

    For the record, I was never sick with either of my pregnancies, and I have two incredibly healthy boys. So I think the studies on feeling crap are crap.

  15. I hate those stupid medical studies. There is no greater way to freak yourself the fuck out. Next thing you know, we’ll hear “Studies found woman who breathe air are more likely to have fertility problems than woman who are not currently breathing air.” There is a stupid study and a stupid finding for everything.

    I know you are worried and I’m sending all my positive vibes your way!

  16. DD….while I thought that I was a little nauseous before 14 weeks, it didn’t hit with a vengeance until afterwards. I talked to my mom and sister about this and their bodies reacted the same way. In fact, my sister didn’t get sickish at all through her pregnancy.

  17. I’m glad Murdock is just fine and *try* not to worry too much about the lack of nausea. I was never sick in either pregnancy. You also need to keep in mind that EACH pg, even with the same mother, is different. Granted, all you have to compare to is your previous pgs, but each pg can be very different. Hang in there, DD.

    I know that it’s really impossible to relax, knowing that things can and do go wrong – there are no guarentees, even after the baby comes home. The DBTs never go away. Just yesterday morning, with the Bee sleeping late, I went to check on him and make sure he was still breathing. He’s nearly 22 months. Try to enjoy your pg as much as you can, even if that means not much at all. I’m rooting for you guys, and praying for you and Murdock. Be well. 🙂

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