Feb 16, 2015
When I got pregnant, no one really told me the complications that can come from having an under active thyroid and being pregnant. I knew that I did have a thyroid issue, but it was never treated. I had an emergency appointment to see an endocrinologist which I tried to push back, but it was insisted upon me to try to attend an appointment within days. I thought this was strange and started to read up on this condition and what it meant for me as a pregnant mom. To my horror, there are several things that can happen when you have an under active thyroid because as your pregnancy advances, your body and baby require hormones to keep this pregnancy stable. Without the hormones, the pregnancy could terminate itself. Yes, that meant that no matter what stage I was at in my pregnancy, it could all come to an end if there was not enough hormones in my body to keep the pregnancy stable and viable.
I was immediately started on syntharoid tablets and was tested every month and adjusted my meds accordingly. Even though I was still symptomatic, everything in my pregnancy was going well. It was summer and my skin started to itch all around my tummy.. It was driving me crazy and all I could think about was trying not to scratch myself to blood. This was the case and I asked the doctor about this itching, I was told it was normal. What I was not told is that it was thyroid that was causing this itching, that it can last indefinitely until my lab work was normal again. I tried many creams and the only one that seemed to give me some releif was coconut oil. Therefore whenever I went to the shower (morning and night every day), I'd smear coconut oil on my tummy to seal in some moisture. This was the only thing that could save my sanity.
As my pregnancy was progressing, I suddenly could not leave the house because the moment I did, I was feeling faint and frequently fainting at the grocery store leaving me feeling embarrest and a failure. I was told that this was a side effect of low blood pressure. Once again, I was not told that low blood pressure was a side product of an under active thyroid. This was not helping me at all. I became a prisinor in my own home, scared to go outdoors incase I would fall. Towards late pregnancy this fainting was becoming so severe that I had to sit down when I was in the kitchen trying to cook a meal for the family in the evening, Yes, my life had become surrounded by sitting down the majority of my day. Sleeping at night was not a problem despite doing nothing all day because I was constantly fatigued. I put this down to being pregnant, but once again not told this in fact was about the thyroid.
As my 23 week mark came, I was tested for diabetes, a routine check as I have had done with all my other children before this one. To my astonishment I had GD (gestational diabetes). I was not one for consuming hardly any sugary foods or soda. With the help of a dietitian I was able to control my sugar levels soley though a change of diet. It was not hard at all. My biggest downfall was my carbs, I loved my carbs. I had to measure them out at meals times and replace some of the food with high protein foods so that it would fight off the hunger. I was extremely successful in keeping them at a balance the whole pregnancy. I was told that this was a sign on under active thyroid and I started to feel overwhelmed at this tiny little gland at the base of my neck to be controlling so much of my body and making me so incredibly sick. Could this one gland actually do all this to me? In a word, yes. I started becoming resentful and the word "hypothyroism" was fast becoming a dirty word in my mind.
I had to be induced a week early due to the GD. I was not really happy about this but it seemed that I had no choice. They also assumed that I was going to have a c-section, but at that point I stood firm and said no. Enough is enough, the doctors was controlling too many areas of this pregnancy, the birth was on my terms. I had vaginal births before, and I knew that I was fine to do this. On those terms, the doctor said that I would have to come to an agreement. I was to be induced by breaking of my waters, but if that method was unsuccessful that I would have to step down and agree to a c-section. With a heavy heart, I agreed.
The morning came for me to go into the hospital. I already had everything I needed packed and ready to go. My husband and I went up to the hospital and straight away I was hooked up with an IV into my hand. I was told this was a precaution in case I needed it for my c-section. I felt heavy. They was sure I was going to have this c-section and almost pushing at the end to still trying to get me to change my mind. The doctor came up to see me and asked if I was still wanting to go ahead with the induction. I said yes. She broke my waters and said she would come back in a few hours to see if there was any changes. What she meant was that she thought I was going to be needing the c-section. Thankfully, I have never been in labor very long with any of my children. So it was no surprise that I went from zero to active labor in less than an hour.
Four hours from the moment my water was broken, my little boy came to this world, with no pain medication or complications. I had done it. I had proven to them all that I in fact knew myself enough to know that I did not need a c-section despite my plus size. I stayed at the hospital for a couple of days before I went home. I chose to breast feed my son because I had done so with all my other children, but hypothyroidism had other plans. But that story is for another day.... and another blog.