AM I Really Pregnant???

questionmarkAbout a week before finding out I was pregnant, I was having severe sharp left sided lower abdominal pain. I didn’t think much of it. I figured I just had an ovarian cyst that was causing a lot of discomfort but because of my busy work schedule I did not have time to get it checked out. This is when I wish I knew less about medicine…the second I found out I was pregnant I got worried….could this pain be because of the pregnancy? I’m I having an ectopic pregnancy?

The day after I found out I am pregnant, I started to worry about all the things that could cause severe abdominal pain in pregnancy; including a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy. Later that day, Tuesday March 26th, I called my OB and explained my positive pregnancy test but with this associated left sided pain. Having similar concerns that I had, she scheduled me for a stat (right away) ultrasound and blood work. The following day, Wednesday March 27th, I went and had my blood work done (she was checking for my hCG hormone levels) and my first ultrasound. Unfortunately, the ultrasound did not show much. There was no gestational sac (the first sign of pregnancy), but thankfully there was nothing visible in my fallopian tubes concerning for an ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are the area of greatest concern for an ectopic pregnancy. After my ultrasound, my nurse practitioner told me to have a low threshold to go to the emergency room if my pain significantly worsened or if I began to bleed. My husband and I were devastated that there was nothing in my uterus. We went home and I basically cried that entire night. The following day, Thursday March 28th, we got to meet with my actual OB. That visit was a bit more reassuring. She told me my hCG level was 400, which meant I was pregnant, but it was early in the pregnancy. However, based on my last menstrual period (LMP), I was supposed to already be 4 weeks and 5 days, which in reality something, ie gestational sac should show on the ultrasound. We had a repeat ultrasound that day. Again, nothing in my uterus, but there was some signs that the wall of my uterus was beginning to get thicker, which is a sign of early pregnancy! With that being said, my husband and I were still nervous, but our hopes were up a little more. The doctor said to come back that following Monday for yet another ultrasound…

Kate Middleton’s Pregnancy

I may be a little late to congratulate the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William on the news of their first pregnancy, but I thought this is a great opportunity to discuss hyperemesis gravidarum, the condition which had the Duchess hospitalized ultimately leading to the early leak of their pregnancy news. Unfortunately or fortunately, pregnancy and its possible complications does not differentiate between royalty or a normal gal… it can hit anyone hard! Kate was (can potentially still be) suffering from a condition called hyperemesis gravidarum, aka uncontrolled vomiting during the early months of pregnancy. Most moms-to-be experience “morning sickness” which is basically nausea and sometimes vomiting generally in the morning and during the first few months of pregnancy. Those suffering from from hyperemesis gravidarum have non-stop nausea and vomiting during the earlier months of pregnancy. There is no “cure” for this, rather only supportive treatments such as vitamin B6, antiemetics such as Zofran (ask your physician) or most importantly staying hydrated, whether that is by increasing your oral intake or having to get get admitted to the hospital for IV (intravenous) fluid hydration. Unfortunately the most common and dangerous side effect of hyperemesis gravidarum is severe dehydration. If you are pregnant and have excessive nausea accompanied with vomiting, it is extremely important to get medical attention immediately. With uncontrolled vomiting, you lose a lot of the hydration and nutrition in your body. Severe dehydration can have serious consequences both for you as the mommy and for your unborn child; in severe cases that are not treated, you or your baby can die secondary to dehydration. I am very happy that Kate got the medical attention she needed. I hope that she is feeling better and the rest of her pregnancy continues with ease!

(Photo credit: People.com)