Posts Tagged ‘pre-pregnancy’

How I Love to Scare Myself with Non-Existant Conditions or Stop eating POT! ( with happy ending)

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

I wouldn’t call myself a hypochondriac. I am more of a “health freak” type. I don’t tend to invent conditions I do not have, but I am very concerned with any health problem I MIGHT have. I often jump online to self-diagnose if something is hurting  or doesn’t feel right, however I don’t go crazy over it and worry excessively. I go to a doctor, i get checked out and every time it’s all fine. I do take my health seriously, I’m one of those people who thinks prevention is the best word in the vocabulary ( as evidenced by my approach to pregnancy and childbirth).
So when, during a pre-conception urine test, they found some protein, I made sure to schedule a follow up appointment  to do another urine test. According to the doctor, protein can sometimes show up in your urine, but that’s fine. However if it shows up consistently, then there’s a problem. After researching it on the internet, i found out that protein in urine can very well be a sign of kidneys not working right. Since it’s the kidneys leaking protein ( they’re supposed to keep something as valuable as that), then there must be a problem there.
I came in for a follow up test and guess what? There was even more protein (+2).
“Oh-oh!”  I thought.
Instantly, recollection of my mom telling me that my grandma died from kidney problems started flooding my mind. Shiiiiiit!!!
While I  hate being unhealthy or having any kind of condition, one thing I hate more is having a GENETIC condition. It just bothers me to high heaven that it’s something 1.) out of my control, 2.) was given to me by someone else ( read: genes), 3.) I can’t do shit to change that.

See, I lead a VERY healthy lifestyle:
I exercise every day
I am a vegetarian
I take vitamins
I do not eat processed food at all
I do not eat sweets (much)
I don’t eat out ( I cook everything at home)
I don’t smoke
I don’t drink ( at all)
I don’t drink coffee
I try to buy organic ( as much as I can and can afford)


So I feel there’s absolutely NO reason there should be ANYTHING wrong with me. EVER :) Or at least for a very long time.
Anyways, the doctor comes in, explains to me that there’s even more protein in my piss  (excuse me!) urine. I mention to him that my grandma DIED from a kidney related condition. He informs me of a genetically dominant polycystic kidney. It sounds familiar. It’s that very type of condition that would drive me nuts. The type of condition that gets worse and worse and something you’d have to live with all your life. The type that puts you on dialysis treatment by age 40. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
So that freaks me out, of course. Me? On dialysis? No freaking way! Isn’t it only diabetic, old, super overweight people who neglected their health their whole life who go on dialysis? No freaking way!
I drive home. Upset as all get out. Not “crying” upset, but ANGRY upset! Angry at my grandma for dying from a kidney related disease.
My husband, while concerned, tells me to calm down and wait until the good doctor does some tests. In the meantime, I call my mom to ask her what exactly my grandma’s problem was. Of course, in no way do I explain to her what has happened that afternoon and pretend that I’m just curious. My mom is such a worrier ( that’s where I get it from) that I’d never upset her like that without knowing all the facts.

AAAAaaaaaand she tells me it was simple inflammation of kidneys. LOL. Pyelonephritis.  The only reason she passed away from it is because she refused to get treatment ( she was a tough Russian woman from a remote village roughing it out in the big city). OOOhhhhh!! AAaaaahhhhh! Relief! I CAN’T have polycystic kidney! I won’t have to spend my late years on dialysis! My kidneys aren’t expanding and growing cysts! I can have a baby and not pass this genetically dominant condition on!
WOW! As soon as I processed it occurred to me how funny it was that i EVEN thought that I’d have something like that. My family genetic and health history is spotless.  The occasional high blood pressure was due to stupid russian diet high in refined carbs and cholesterol ( those people don’t know what Olive Oil is, and those who do, refuse to use it in favor of vegetable oil (yuck!), citing its taste)
I call the doctor immediately, he cancels the ultrasound that would take a look at my NON-cystic kidneys.

But we still have to investigate what is causing my proteinuria ( fancy word for “some steak in your pee”).
I go for a 24 hour urine test. They hand me THIS JUG! ( I debated on whether I should post this picture here or not, but hell with it! Yeah I peed in it. Yes, without a funnel ( TMI yet?)). I picked it up and had to go through the whole building carrying this HUGE orange PEE JAR! Then I had to pee into it for the next 24 hours and finally drop it off ( FULL!) at the lab. So that wasn’t embarrassing at all. :)

I felt so much better having done that and even better than that, when the results came back completely normal in a few days. I even got a call from my OBGYN on Friday night personally telling me it was ALL fine ( I think he felt a bit responsible for jumping to conclusions and scarying me with a irreversible uncontrollable genetic disease) lol

After I analysed the whole situation and the tests, in addition to doing some research, I found what might have a been the  cause for that scary protein in my urine. I read somewhere that hemp seeds ( the ones that grow pot) excrete albumin ( protein) in high doses. My favorite cereal happens to be organic HEMP SEED CEREAL ( what? hemp seeds are very nutritional and good for you). And every time I went for that urinalysis, I had just finished my morning cereal. And that’s exactly why a 24 hour test showed nothing significant.

So that’s the story of how I “almost inherited” an incurable genetic disease by eating pot.

And while you’re here, please click this button – K, thnx!

Going Off the Pill or How I Thought I was Pregnant

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

Crazy A

Traditionally, one of the first steps of  planning a baby is going off Birth Control. Granted, with me, it takes a bit of a different course with all the pre-conception care and preparedness.
However, last month was my time to unleash the power of natural hormones. Oh boy, did I NOT know what I was getting myself into!

In order for you to understand what I am about to describe and not to schluff me off as one of those hypochondriac-y hysterical pregnancy prone chicks, you need to know this:

It’s a nice morning

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

When you have successfully cleaned the kitchen to the point where it hasn’t been for weeks.

I feel like today is Monday. I like Mondays because it gives me a fresh start. With work, planning, goals.
Yesterday i missed the whole day but napping for 5 hours, from 11 to 4.
Who the hell naps for 5 hours? I think my body thinks I’m in training for pregnancy-from what I hear napping becomes a daily occurrence.

Today, though it’s not Monday, I’m full of goals and objectives. I will write in separate post about what i decided to do about work but for now while I have 2 months before TTCing I will do as much as I can without stressing out.

Hope you are all having a fab Tuesday ( not to be mistaken for a FAT Tuesday- noone wants that)

Toxoplasmosis

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

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Why the picture of my two adorable black kitties, Travis and Casper?

My test for toxoplasmosis antibodies came back. And despite the fact that I grew up with a ton of cats and currently have 4 adorable kitties, I am still NOT immune!

What’s a girl gotta do to get some toxo immunity?

Preparations III: Vaccination and Testing

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

Part I
Part II

Vaccinations

Being up to date on certain vaccinations is an important step in pre-conception care. Most of us have had all the vaccines necessary administered back when we were kids, but there are a few that might need a refresher.
One of the reasons why it was important for me to get it all out of the way before I get pregnant is because certain vaccines contain live viruses and can be potentially harmful to a pregnant weakened immune system. But specifically because of that weakened immune system it is important to make sure you are up to date and won’t catch some nasty chicken pox and step on a rusty nail ( Yikes! I still remember my childhood’s best friend going for a swim in a muddy lake and stepping right through a long rusty nail. The nail went all the way through her foot and stuck out from the top. Ew!).

So about a week ago I got my Tdap vaccine ( tetanus plus some) and my flu vaccine just in case. I have not had a flu or a cold in such a long time due to living in sunny Florida. The only few times I got sick were when “Northerners” (damn you!) brought the sickness with them while visiting us. When I am pregnant and my immune system can’t keep up with the onset of all kind of bacteria, the last thing my body needs is having no immunity to flu virus. Especially considering that having flu a certain time during pregnancy is known to cause miscarriages and horrible birth defect. Thank you, sir, not gonna happen!

My doctor advised me that I need to research which vaccine I got when i was a kid and also when I immigrated to US over 8 years ago. After spending 3 hours on the internet trying to figure out what they vaccinated for back then, I decided that the only thing missing was Hep A and Chicken pox ( which i could have been vaccinated against as a kid). So on my last visit  to my OB, we did a titer test to see if i had antibodies for all Hepatitis and chicken pox. Still waiting for the results.

STD Testing: Ok, this is a sort of awkward subject, but here we go. In my 8 years of being an adult, I have never been tested against STDs. And that was not because I didn’t ask. Oh no, I insisted. Me, the eternal perfectionist and health control freak. I asked and begged but the answer was always the same: “You’re not in the high risk category!” or “This would be unnecessary testing!”. Screw that! Unnecessary testing my ass! Why can’t one be proactive about one’s health? If there was more “unnecessary testing” maybe we would all be healthier and less money would be spent on health care.
But I digress… So finally I insisted that I get tested against every STD in the book. I mean if i had never been tested, how do i know that there isn’t smth sitting there waiting for me to get pregnant and then  BAM! “Hello some weird unknown disease that is going to make my pregnant life hell and make me eat evil antibiotics or worse- ruin my baby!”
Ok i know I’m exagerating, but it’s true- some STDs can cause miscarriages and other cause inflammation which is harmful to babies as well, and then there’re those antibiotics :)

So the results should be back next week! he-he

What? Come on! I had a wild time too!

Update: all the results came back negative :)

Part IV- Choosing Doctor and Hospital

Toxins

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

golf

 

I was reading about environmental toxins last night and one of the things that jumped out at me was pesticides on golf courses. It said due to constant spraying schedules of golf courses it’s best to avoid buying a house on a golf course if you’re planning to get pregnant. Well, shit… What am I supposed to do now? We live very much on a golf course! I am already going to impose a home arrest and now I can’t even walk in my own yard???

Note to self: get their spraying schedule.

golf

Preparations, Part I

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

IMG_0912

So the first step to our pre-conception pre was a doctor’s visit.

However, in reality, it started long before that. Initially, the plan was to start trying in Nov 2010, so that if things worked right away, we’d have an August baby. We don’t believe in Horoscopes, however there’s some truth to horoscope signs and we are both Leo ( me, the textbook Leo, and AJ, a more influenced by environment and upbringing Leo), so we thought it’ be cool to have another Leo in our family.

The decision

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby. Posted in Pre-CONCEPTION

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It all started like this:

After 7.5 years of marriage we decided that i might be time to have a kid. We had done some travelling, worked hard, partied harder, had fun together, had fun with friends. We had gotten 4 cats, a huge house with 5 bedrooms, a SUV that could fit 5 people. I had had a chance to work as a model in New York and Miami for a few years ( stopped right before i was gonna get shipped off to Europe). We had survived the toughest financial times during the great recession and now…  Well there was nothing else fun left to do, but start a family.