Anemia

Fifth Iron Infusion + A Girls’ Day

Hi! Just popping in here to share a little health update and a vlog.

I had a hematologist appointment right before Thanksgiving to check my hemoglobin levels post-pregnancy. The doctor prescribed four more iron infusions because I’m nursing Sadie and he doesn’t want either of us to become anemic as she continues to deplete my iron stores.

So, I had my fifth iron infusion on Tuesday.

IV iron infusion

I had a lot of fears about iron infusions during pregnancy, and I thought those fears would stop once Sadie arrived, but they kind of transferred over to worrying about her not wanting to nurse, the safety of iron infusions while nursing, and any possible side effects for Sadie.

In the days leading up to the infusion I kind of gave myself a pep talk about how the hematologist wouldn’t recommend the infusions if they weren’t necessary–he went to medical school for years and I needed to trust his judgement. I also told myself that I was doing this for Sadie and I to be healthy. It would break my heart if she became anemic. I know how that feels and it’s not fun, lol.

I reminded myself how blessed I am to receive great medical care and how I never want to take that for granted. Lastly, God protected Sadie and I during the four infusions we had during pregnancy, why wouldn’t He now?

IV Iron infusion for iron deficiency anemia

I just wanted to keep it real here on the blog. I don’t love iron infusions and I seem to have new fears with each one, but God is teaching me to trust Him and be thankful. There isn’t a situation that He isn’t in control of, and everything has a purpose. When I look at things that way it makes it a bit easier.

I’m happy to report that everything went well at the infusion! The port insertion was almost painless, the infusion went by in a flash, and Sadie didn’t have any side effects! She also had fun smiling at the nurses, which was adorable since they “knew” her when she was in my belly. It’s way more fun with her on the outside 🙂

I had my usual side effect from the infusion, which is exhaustion for a few days after. It’s Saturday as I type up this post and I’m feeling a lot better, thankfully! Three more infusions to go, and then we’ll check my hemaglobin again in a few months and go from there.

I’m so thankful my mom was able to come out and spend the day with us to help me with Sadie at the hospital. I don’t know how I would have done it without her! We decided to make it a girls’ day and even filmed a vlog.

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Pregnancy: The Third Trimester

Well, we are definitely into the third trimester here at 36 weeks! What a blessing that God has sustained our sweet baby girl for all these months!

Pregnant girl in front of living plant wall at Eden Hall Chatham University

I feel like I have about ten million updates since I last posted about our pregnancy at 29 weeks, so this post may be quite a doozy, haha.

Baby girl is doing great! At my last appointment, she measured right on track and her heart rate was in the 120s! She still enjoys kicking, rolling, and moving around, which I just love.

We had an ultrasound around 32 or 33 weeks to check her growth and she was deemed “large for gestational age” at four pounds and nine ounces, which was the 91st percentile for her gestational age.

Growth Ultrasound at 32 weeks for gestational diabetes with baby's foot by face

She had her foot up by her face during the whole ultrasound, lol!

We have another ultrasound this week to see if she’s still a big girl. Her size is likely due to the gestational diabetes. Once we know more about her size, we will go from there in terms of deciding on delivery options.

As for the gestational diabetes, I have definitely had my highs and lows with my blood sugar, but I’m just doing the best I can. Thankfully I haven’t needed any insulin or oral medication!

190 blood sugar gestational diabetes

A high blood sugar reading… eek!

I also mentioned being anemic in my last pregnancy update. Unfortunately, the anemia has stuck around to the point that my midwives suggested I receive IV iron infusions.

I was really nervous about this idea and how safe it was for the baby. We decided to at least get more info, so Jimmy and I met with a hematologist on Tuesday and he really suggested getting the infusions and warned us about mortality rates of moms who deliver with hemoglobin levels around where mine have been and it definitely made things clear.

He also assured us that the type of infusions they do for pregnant women are safe for babies, so I had my first of four IV iron infusions on Monday. They have me doing two a week since we’re kind of running out of time in the pregnancy. I feel good so far (I’m writing this post the night of the first infusion), and I’m really thankful that I can receive this type of medical care!

Pregnant girl getting IV iron infusion for anemia in pregnancy with low hemoglobin at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA

Anemic and feeling as haggard and run down as I look during my first iron infusion.

The hematologist said I can expect to start to feel better (aka not so tired from the anemia!) anywhere from 10 days to three weeks.

We spent a few hours at the hospital getting blood work, talking with the doctor, and getting the actual infusion. The infusion overall took about an hour from when they ordered the prescription to when I was able to leave. I was so glad Jimmy was able to get the morning off of work to drive me there and hangout while I baby and I soaked up some iron!

IV Iron infusion during pregnancy

I also found out that I have a hernia that will need to be surgically repaired after I give birth. I’m super bummed about going under the knife (or laser if it’s laparoscopic, lol) after having a baby but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there and our families have graciously offered to help out while I recover!

Pregnant girl and mom outside in summer smiling and holding coffee mug

Other than the health issues I mentioned above, I am feeling good! I enjoy being pregnant and will totally miss feeling our daughter kick and move inside me. It’s just so special. At the same time, I’m so excited to meet her!

God has taught me so, so much during this pregnancy. First of all: He is in control. That is something I need to be reminded of minute by minute. With the gestational diabetes, anemia, and hernia, I’ve had to accept that things just don’t always go the way I want them to and I can’t control it and it’s okay. It’s good training for motherhood! I know God has a plan and His plan is always, always good.

Secondly, I have never felt so thankful, loved, or cared for in my life. Our families, friends, and church family have just loved on Jimmy and supported us in so many ways that I could just cry sitting here thinking about it. God is so good.

We’re thankful that though I’ve had a few minor health issues, our daughter has been a trooper and is doing just fine! Praise God! We are praying that she continues to be healthy and will arrive safely in the coming weeks!

We have her nursery almost all put together and even installed her carseat, so I will make sure to blog about the fun stuff soon 🙂