June 8th, 2022
I had a 17 week appointment recently and the midwife wanted me to do an early glucose tolerance test and more extensive testing for anemia since I already had low hemoglobin. Her reasoning for both the early glucose test and extra bloodwork for anemia were due to my history.
I really didn’t like pricking my finger four times a day to test my blood sugar and avoiding carbs during my last pregnancy, so I was really hoping for a good glucose test!
I chugged the weird orange drink and spent an hour at the lab waiting to have my blood drawn. I was curious as to how I would feel after the test because last time I felt horrible. Like really awful!
I wouldn’t say I felt great for the rest of the day, but I didn’t feel as bad as I did last time. YAY! A week later, I found out that I passed. I think I actually danced and cheered when I saw the results 😂
I need to pass the test again at the “normal” time pregnant women take it, which I think is around 28 weeks?! Fingers crossed! It would be so nice to be able to enjoy carbohydrates and not have to test my blood sugar multiple times a day.
As for the anemia testing results, well, that went as I expected. I’m really anemic haha. Like danger zone again. I lost one hemoglobin point in just a week and my ferritin was a 6 (the normal range is 16 to 154). My red blood cells, hemoglobin a, and hematocrit were also low.
I’m not surprised I’m anemic since it happened during my pregnancy with Sadie, but I am surprised it’s all happening earlier in the pregnancy compared to last time. I constantly get asked if I’m a vegan or vegetarian and the answer is no! I eat meat and also try to get iron with lots of spinach and I take my prenatal vitamins. I guess my children just like so suck the iron right out of me 😆
So, guess where I’m going soon… Off to the hospital to see my hematologist. I’ll probably be doing a few rounds of IV iron infusions until I get in a normal hemoglobin and ferritin range, and I’m at peace with it.
I remember feeling so. much. fear. during my other infusions during and after pregnancy. I was worried they could hurt Sadie or me or impact our breastfeeding relationship (during the postpartum infusions) or have some terrible side effect but everything was okay and I can confidently say that IV iron infusions were the right thing to do in my case.
In fact, I’d say they were lifesaving. The hematologist told Jimmy and I pretty sternly that women with my hemoglobin levels can die during childbirth due to blood loss. That helped us make up our minds to go forward with the infusions pretty quickly!
Plus, the hematologist studied for years and years to become a hematologist. I think he knows what he’s doing and wouldn’t do something that’s unsafe. It just seems so weird to get a bag of iron pumped into my veins while I’m pregnant! It is what it is, though.
Last time, the infusions didn’t instantly make me feel less tired or heal my anemia, but within a few weeks, I did feel some energy returning and my hemoglobin slowly raised to a less dangerous zone. I’m praying that’s the case this time!
I feel blessed that I know the drill of checking into the hospital, the blood draw to test my hemoglobin and such, the port insertion, the IV bag of cold brown iron seeping into my veins, and the exhaustion that follows the next couple of days as my body processes the nutrients.
I know what to expect, and that makes it a lot easier! I also feel blessed to be able to receive this level of medical care. God is good. I’m ready to get rid of the anemia before it gets the best of me and before it gets too late in the pregnancy, you know?
Other things of note lately:
-One person told me that my belly looked big, and then a few days later a different person told me that I hardly looked pregnant. I always take pregnancy body comments with a grain of salt. If my care providers are happy with how things are progressing, so am I 😉
-Halfway through week 18 I finally felt some kicks! I was getting nervous because I had felt Sadie kick at 17 weeks. Just goes to show that every child and pregnancy is different!
-We have the anatomy scan coming up later this month and I’m excited to see our son! Praying all is well and that he is thriving ❤️
-My next prenatal appointment is in July. It feels far away, but I know it will come up quickly!
-My past pregnancy posts can be found here!
Ugh, I can feel you on the anemia/iron struggs. My ferritin levels were so low, like 4ng/ml last summer when I tested, and I started to take Solgars Gentle Iron, 54mg a day. It’s definitely helped me. I’m sure you and your doc have a custom plan and recommendations but just want to say I feel ya and I think most women have low iron to blame for a lot of what we go through!
Ferritin of 4?! You must have been *exhausted*!!!! I will look into that iron! Though I should be boosted up after some infusions, haha. I’m sure I’ll need it in the future and I don’t have to go to a hospital to get it, so that’s a lot more convenient 😉 I SO agree with you on how low iron is linked to so many women’s issues!
Sorry that you’re experiencing low iron. Like your other commenter said, I think it’s a really common issue for women. I was diagnosed with low ferritin levels a few years ago and took iron for a while, then for some reason I stopped. Earlier this year I was feeling sooo tired and exhausted, it was a struggle to get through the workday and I could have fallen asleep at my computer by 3 pm haha. Another blood test showed low iron again, so I’m back on the supplements and they definitely make a difference 🙂 I also take Solgar Gentle Iron. Hope the infusions work quickly for you and your iron levels stay up.
I’m so glad you are at such a peaceful place with this pregnancy. Iron transfusions sound awful, but what an amazing (and life saving!!) thing that they are. I’m so thankful for modern medical science. Hopefully you will start to feel some energy returning soon!