Monday, July 2, 2012

Life in bullet points: 4w5d

I think at this stage, most of us get blogsphere addiction. I'm posting even though there is nothing new to report.
  • Had a fun weekend on the town with friends. Mostly stress/tension free, which has been just wonderful.
  • HPT sticks are getting dark, a doubling from day 17 is hard to tell at this point, but it looks like it may be increasing.
  • Another (this time, welcome) difference from my last pregnancies: No debilitating exhaustion. My energy levels remain steadfastly unchanged, whereas in my last pregnancies,  I was going to bed early, with waves of exhaustion would unexpectedly crash into me, yada, yada. I wonder why that is, was it just that my HCG levels were higher?
  • No weight gain (actually 2 pounds lighter) but the progesterone(?)-induced bloat is tremendous. Body shape has definitely changed, actually it changed maybe starting like 5 days in (which was when the horrible heartburn had begun). I think your body retains a 'memory' from previous pregnancies and starts the change process much earlier in second, third and so on pregnancies. 
  • Got my hair cut yesterday, while having to contend with seriously strong hair relaxer fumes in a tiny salon---ack!! I played the pregnancy card immediately, they were seriously nice, they opened the door, sat me far away from the woman having all that foul-smelling, ammonia-laden gunk slapped on, but of course, being a paranoid bunny, I'm still nervous about what those many minutes of exposure might have done.
  • Never have noticed how many people are out smoking- the streets of NYC are like a dodge-the- cigarette-smoke obstacle course, GRR.
  • Moving on the the sciencey bits: My beta HCG  levels in my first 2 pregnancies were higher than around 90 % of all recorded pregnancies. As this pregnancy has shown levels closer to the population median, I've been trying to understand what it might mean. On reading the literature on HCG levels and pregnancy outcomes, I'm finding (to my surprise) many, many studies show an adverse effect of the highest HCG levels and negative outcomes, particularly fetal defects,stillbirths preeclampsia, etc. Unfortunately, these studies look at HCG levels in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. If the story of vitamin D reducing HCG is true, then its logical, because low vitamin D levels are linked to higher risk for many of the same things anyway (pre-term labor, preeclampsia, infection and related complications, the list is seriously long). 
  • The one study I'm trying to find but I cant- a correlation of HCG levels in the first and later trimesters: ie, are the women with the very high HCG levels in the beginning likely to have the highest levels later as well? Though one may thing this is so, it may not necessarily  be. One study looking at HCG in the first trimester seperated women into 3 groups, over the 9oth percentile, 'normal' and below the 10th percentile. They found increased incidence of fetal growth retardation and increased early miscarriage only in the lowest HCG group, but no other thing was significant. And of course, these are just trends. Many women with low HCGs go on to have perfectly normal pregnancies.


  1. Interesting about those studies.  I had very low beta hcg with my son...along with small gestational sac and ultimately he did indeed develop IUGR in the third trimester.  In my case, attributed to placental insufficiency secondary to clotting issues.  But since hcg is produced by the placenta, well, that makes sense...

  2. Thinking of you as you get through early pregnancy - and beyond!!!

  3. Me thinks it's gonna be a long 9 months :) Thinking of you

  4. always nice to read your post, Jay. I'm reall glad that you are starting to feel a tad more confident in this pregnancy. Nice the you are not insanely exhausted. It sounds like the vitamin D increase in your body has made quite a change.  

  5. Dear Jay,

    You have lots of people rooting for you - best of luck !

  6. Thanks Dr. Malpani! Your support and help in this process means a lot :)