Thursday, October 11, 2012

Symptoms? What symptoms?

My last pregnancy was pretty uneventful.  Beyond the usual first trimester blahs, the only blip on the radar was probably that I had to start taking iron in the third trimester.  Beyond that I dealt with leg cramps and round ligament pain, but that was about it.  This pregnancy, however, I should just refer to as the pregnancy of random, symptom-less illnesses. 

I believe it was at my first prenatal checkup that they found (TMI warning) the presence of some yeast. Yep, I had my first ever yeast infection.  Treatment options while pregnant are a bit different than normal, so instead of getting to take an oral medicine or one of the quick three-day cream treatments, I had to go the full week of treatment.  As far as I know it cleared it up, but it's hard to know because I never really had any symptoms in the first place.  The doctors aren't concerned about it at this point if there are no symptoms, so I guess that's that.

Yesterday I got home and had a message waiting for me on our home voicemail.  It was the nurse at my doctor's office, asking me to call them back.  This annoyed me for a number of reasons--first, they have my other numbers.  Why not use them?  Second, pretty much the only think they check at monthly appointments that has a delayed check is urine.  And most of the things they check urine for can be pretty serious.  Third, you're dealing with a pregnant woman, and pregnant women are generally a little more emotional/irrational, so it's not cool to leave a message that can't be returned until the next day.  Getting back to the urine check, there are a handful of things they check for.  They check for sugar, which could indicate gestational diabetes.  They check for ketones, which could indicate you're not getting enough nourishment.  They check for protein, which could indicate either a urinary tract infection or, later on, preeclampsia.  They also look for bacteria and blood, which could also be indicators of infection.  None of those is particularly ideal.

So, this morning, I called first thing.  I got a call back a little while later, and lo and behold, I have a urinary tract infection.  Again, I had no noticeable symptoms, so this was a surprise.  I did notice cloudy urine from time to time, but nothing consistent.  I don't have a sense of smell (as I've mentioned before), so I can't tell if there has been an odor, but there hasn't been any pain or anything that I'm used to hearing about.  Turns out it's not uncommon, though.  Of course, today I was sitting at my desk and starting having little bursts of discomfort in my lower back, around my kidneys.  I don't know if I've had those exact pains before, though I have had a couple moments where it felt like maybe the baby was in a weird spot, so it could be that it was actually just pain from the UTI.  After those little bursts I was definitely eager to get started on the drugs (pregnancy-safe antibiotics) and get this thing taken care of.  The risk of kidney infections is greater while pregnant, so I'd rather make sure to avoid that! 

I was relieved that it wasn't something worse, but it got me extra nervous about how I would react if I did, for example, get gestational diabetes.  So much of my diet is carbs and fruit, so I can't imagine what I'd do if I had to cut that stuff out!  Nothing is ever guaranteed in pregnancy, from start to finish.  I've known a couple of women that ended up with gestational diabetes, and I've read plenty of blogs over the last five years about the myriad of problems that can pop up during pregnancy, and while I'm smart enough to know I shouldn't assume they'll happen to me, I also know I can't assume they won't.  Just because my last pregnancy went perfectly doesn't mean that this one will.  I felt worse for longer this time around, and some of my discomfort (like round ligament pain) started early.  I'm a little bigger this time around, I think, and I seem to be having a little more difficulty with working out sooner than I did last time.  Today I did something for the first time in a while and while it was never easy back when I did it often, it was extra hard today.  It was a sobering reminder of how quickly my fitness has fallen off, and how hard the comeback will be next spring.  I'm done working my abs, but keeping my core strength up is going to be hard.  And the weaker some parts get, the easier it is for the rest of me to get weak.  I worked out until I was 7-1/2 months along last time.  I'm just about four months now, still a little less than five to go, and I'm having a hard time believing I'll be able to go more than three more months at this rate...but I'm sure going to try!

Anyway, I will gladly take my antibiotic and get rid of this infection, even if I didn't know it was there to begin with.  I can't help but wonder if it's had any ill effects to this point, things I would have otherwise just chalked up to pregnancy.  We shall see.  But hopefully I can get back to healthy (and hopefully avoid the cold I seem to be fighting), and get ready for a fun weekend with my extended family. I still have to catch you up on last weekend, speaking of which.  Soon, I promise!

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