There is something about being an HG mama that induces protocols. They're everywhere! I wrote my own before I knew that others were doing it, and since then I've seen tens of them - HG forums are loaded with protocols.
Why is that? I think it's for the security that it gives. I know that I can't control my pregnancy, but I can control my plans and my research. Last time when I put all of my research into my first protocol, the items on the protocol itself didn't help very much - but feeling prepared and ready was worth all of the effort.
When I look at my current protocol, my main feeling is.... feeling tired. I've already done so much of this, and it has to be done all over again. Ah, well.
Anyhow. The protocol I have here is very different than my first.... I don't know if it would be of any help at all, but it's always worth it. Here it is!
You will notice that I have censored a few items... this is because they are either personal, or just things that I don't think would be good to share on the internet due to privacy.
(Ladies, I would love any input here. If I have missed something, or if something is incomplete or incorrect, or you have any ideas - please chime in!!)
Things to do before TTC – Medical:
- Set up with an OB (or CNM?) who is (1) okay with working with a midwife’s client, and (2) knowledgeable about and aggressive with HG treatment
- Comment: I already have an excellent OB, who worked with me during my last pregnancy, and whom I know would be willing to do so again. And it worked out okay, since my insurance approved Zofran and Zofran was kinda-sorta good enough to get me through. But I never felt confident that she would have been willing to be appropriately aggressive if my HG had turned super-ugly - there were just too many mentions of lemons and ginger. It made me nervous. So while it worked out, I don't have the security of knowing that my current OB would really step up in case things got nasty. Too bad, because I'm really not comfortable in OB-land (I love my midwives!) and I don't enjoy stepping into that realm.... but it's necessary.
- Comment (August 2012): My OB supported me through another pregnancy, and was great, so I will stick with her unless there are problems - and this time there were no mention of lemons and ginger!
- Blood work: Vitamin deficiencies (Bs, K, D, magnesium, zinc), thyroid, Addison’s, H. Pylori
- Comment (August 2012): Let's face it, I never got around to this - I'm lazy. What can I say?
- Get Rx for Primabella wristbands
- Comment: "Knocked Up Knocked Over" said that these don't work worth beans, but.... it might be worth it to try it. However, they're rather pricy, so I'm not sure.Thoughts?
- Comment: Never got around to this... considering how useless seabands are, not going to bother.
- Talk about vitamin shots during pregnancy (Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, magnesium)
- Comment: This is based on this article.
- Comment (August 2012) - I did this through the local naturopathic medical college, and would do it again - cost was not high and I think they helped.
- Talk about his/her treatment drug protocol (i.e. how does he/she prescribe for HG)
- Talk about Zofran availability from my insurance
- Think about [** Issue A **]
- Comment (August 2012) - Have thought about it, and decision has been made! Now, aren't you all dying of curiosity?
- Talk to insurance about Zofran coverage (different insurance, boo!)
- Comment (August 2012) - Thankfully our insurance covered Zofran without too much hassle. Unfortunately, one can't count on that from pregnancy to pregnancy, even with the same insurance, because policies change constantly. But for this time, we didn't have any real snags.- Find acupuncturist, meet or email with her - preferably someone who has experience with women's issues, NVP. Maybe start meeting with her now?
- Comment (August 2012) - I found an acupuncturist during my last pregnancy, who was just awful (refused to see me because of insurance issues) - but I now have a recommendation to a new person. Hurray!
- Do I want a naturopath? If so, find and interview.
- Comment: I actually interviewed and worked with a naturopath a year before our last baby was conceived. However, I never got the feeling that she truly knew what she was talking about - not that she was incompetent, simply that she didn't really work with pregnancy or women's issues. Eventually, I just stopped going to her. Is this worth the time and money? Thoughts, anyone?
- Comment (August 2012) - I have several recommendations to naturopaths, and I still can't make up my mind - I really want one, it's just a matter of money.
- Comment: Completed a ten-day cleanse on 5/25/11. Our very scientific method: Went to Sprouts, found what was on sale, bought it, and took the supplements! Have no idea if it did any good or not, but it was fun - never done that before.- Do [**Issue B**]
- Comment (August 2012) - Did another cleanse, April 2012. Planning to do yearly.
- Comment (August 2012) - Have completely forgotten what that was. Hope it wasn't important!- Work on diet – (1) clean, (2) alkaline, (3) grain/wheat/dairy free, (4) paleo, (5) try the Florida doctor’s anti-NVP diet
- Comment:I was going to start #5 today, but getting over stomach flu doesn't go well with a carb-free diet! Going to try again tomorrow. Unfortunately there are various aspects that clash between alkaline/paleo/Florida, but they agree on the whole.
- Comment: As of 5/26/11, I have been on the diet (the Florida very-low-carb diet) for 40 days and counting! Very pumped about that! It is relatively clean, somewhat alkaline, entirely grain and wheat free, low-dairy and mostly paleo, so it also covers those bases.
- Comment (August 2012) - It is my guess that the Florida very-low-carb diet was what made this past pregnancy much more manageable. Only another go-around will tell!
- Comment (August 2012) - I need to start taking milk thistle. I always take vitamin B, but I need to get a better type. I am taking magnesium in about twenty different forms (liquid, tablet, epsom salt baths, mineral drops, etc.), and I need to take zinc as well.- Call Motherisk to confirm treatment plan with Unisom
- Comment: I spoke with them before our last came along, but I'd like to do that again (that was over 2 1/2 years ago).
- Comment (August 2012) - I did talk with them at the start of our last pregnancy (June 2011), and they were, as always, very helpful. Call them up! See link on sidebar.
- Comment:Have already lost about eight with paleo!!! Hurray!!
- Comment: 5/26/11 - have lost about 18 pounds on the VLC diet - hurray!
- Comment (August 2012) - I lost 20 pounds. And gained it back during the last pregnancy, so now I need to lose it again!!!!
- Comment (August 2012) - Mmm.... yeah. Whatever Issue C was.- Start making kefir a part of my diet
- See this comment
- Comment (August 2012) - Errr... forgot this part.
- In process! :)
- Comment (August 2012) - I am going to make my first order with Azure Standard this week, and epsom salts (a LOT of them!) are part of that order! So excited!!
- See this link
- Comment (August 2012) - Working on this! I have also heard that this helps with magnesium absorption, as well as liver cleansing.
Things to do before TTC – Practical:
- Get housecleaning help
- More telecommuting for DH – good!
- Comment: DH's work has started letting his department telecommute one day per week... the end goal is four days per week, but we have no idea how long that will take. More telecommuting days would be a big help for me.
- Comment (August 2012) - DH's work went to two days a week telecommuting.... then back to none.... then back to one. So we're where we were three years ago!
- Comment:This is a hard one... No, he is not sleeping through the night yet (we co-sleep after he wakes up mid-night). With his health issues and his "adjusted age" - he is much younger mentally than his 19 months - I am not comfortable doing much sleep training. When our first was eleven months old, we ended night feedings and co-sleeping very easily in two nights using the "Nanny 911" method (or was it "Super Nanny"?). But that would not be cool with this one. Ideas, anyone?
- Comment (August 2012) - Baby did not start sleeping through the night pre-pregnancy, but he did start sleeping through the night before our newest arrived - good enough for me!
- Get baby on solids
- Comment: Again, with our little chap's health issues, he is still 100% on pureed food. He has a gag reflex that can sense texture from here to Milwaukee... and when he does, he vomits not just everything he's had for the current meal, but the last one as well! However, dealing with baby food (making it or serving it) - not fun while pregnant. No ideas on that one.
- Comment (August 2012) - I felt well enough to make baby food during the pregnancy (which shows you how good it was, by comparison!), and our little guy is now on soft table food (oatmeal, etc.).
- Comment: I'm currently on a wonderful spring organizing/decluttering spree! So much fun! I go through this about every 3 months, and it's so handy. I love throwing things out - it is such a stress reliever!!
- Comment (August 2012) - This is getting harder and harder with more children around!
- Comment: This is a hard one! I've tried to make food before for DH and DS before, and the same inevitable fate awaits it every time. #1 - It usually isn't heated up anyway, and #2 - whenever it is made, only a tiny bit is eaten and they end up going out for fast food. Honestly, I think one of the hardest (and most expensive) family issues with HG is watching one's family subsist on fast food. I'll have to work on a list of foods that will be more popular to avoid that.
- Comment (August 2012) - I didn't get around to this, but I did do it for the postpartum period. Guess what? DH didn't look at it once (his usual reaction to lists). So next time I will save myself the bother and let him figure it out on his own (always the best way).- Read through my old HG notebook to get caught up on the research I did last time
- Finish putting together my new HG research notebook
- Learn how to make kefir!
Upon BFP - Medical:
- Get an appointment with Jenny (our wonderful chiropractor!) for the adjustment of a lifetime
- Get an appointment with acupuncturist, set up regular visits
- Get appointment with OB
o Start vitamin shots - B complex, K, magnesium
- Start anti-emetics - Bendectin
- Order Primabella wristbands; start wearing as soon as they arrive
- Buy and start taking Morning Sickness Magic (recommended by a friend)
- Comment (August 2012) - I did this, and I don't know if it helped, but since it's just a ginger and Vitamin B supplement, I would definitely take it again.- Eliminate sugars/grains, pump proteins!!
- Make final decision on [**Issue A**]
- Comment: I'm not writing on this one, because it is rather private, but.... this is one of those super-hard decisions that I'd rather not have to make!! Aarghh!!!
- Comment: I guess. Maybe. Really, why bother? It doesn't help. Sometime I'm going to make a series of T-shirts that say "Ginger" with a big X through them.
- Comment (August 2012) - I think I took ginger. Or maybe I didn't. One way or the other, it doesn't really matter since the stuff doesn't work!!!!!
- Comment:Again... maybe, but why bother? This is if I don't get the Primabellas. With my first I wore them religiously... with my second I got them out for a day then tossed them back in the box. Again, they don't really work, and one has to spend all of one's time dealing with questions or funny looks. I probably won't bother.
- Comment (August 2012) - I no longer bother with those blasted things.
- From this comment on helpher.org
- Comment (August 2012) - Errrrr... forgot about this.
- Also from that same comment
- Comment (August 2012) - Oops, forgot about this too.
- Source - see same comment
- Comment (August 2012) - Need I say? I forgot about it.
- See last comment in this thread and also this article
- Comment (August 2012) - We take probiotics as a matter of course, but I forgot about mega-dosing.
- Comment (August 2012) - No need to remind me about this; I think I spent the first trimester on my knees.- Buy lots of paper plates/bowls/plates
- Comment (August 2012) - Yes, this really helped. Definitely do this!- Buy lots of easy kid snacks – goldfish, juice boxes, etc.
- Comment (August 2012) - Yes, for sure!- Arrange all of baby’s therapists to be home-based
- Comment: Oddly enough, this happened without my even having to bother much about it. Done!
- Go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of disposable aluminum baking pans in order to…..
- Freeze one heck of a lot of meals in advance!!!
- Comment (August 2012) - This one does not work for me, because nausea hits early and hard - by the time I get a positive test, cooking is out - not to mention that DH doesn't eat the stuff I make anyway when he's on his own (hello, fast food!). But this might work for you if you have a breathing space before the NVP hits.- Make and Freeze a TON of baby food!!!
- Comment (August 2012) - See above, so this didn't work for us. If I needed it, I would just buy prepared baby food. I don't usually buy baby food, but desperate times call for desperate measures.- See if anyone has an extra freezer we can borrow to store extra food in
- Is it possible to get baby sleeping through the night?
- Contact friends to form prayer group for my pregnancy
- Kick it up a notch with house cleaning and organizing to be prepared
- Contact my mom and see if she is available to come out should we need her
- Comment: Unfortunately, both sides of the family have made it pretty clear that they don't support us having any more children, so I can't count on this one. Not to mention that my parents are considering moving twenty hours away from us (instead of six). *Sigh.* I didn't realize how hard it was not to have family in town to help once one had children!!
Upon First Nausea - Medical:
- Start Zofran, with colace (*sigh*)
- Pepcid, Zantac, Prilosec
- Comment: These are just OTC drugs I've seen bandied about in different places. Input as to usage, combinations, dosages, anyone?
- Comment: Read this one somewhere!!
- Comment (August 2012) - Forgot about this one.
Upon First Nausea - Practical:
- Move coffee pot to garage
- Comment: Thankfully, the microwave and toaster oven are still out there from our last pregnancy - we never moved them back, LOL!! :)
- Talk to my mom about coming out
Two closing points:
#1 - Thinking hopefully, maybe maybe maybe I wouldn't be sick with another child. Maybe. Hopefully. I can dream, can't I?? But it's always best to be prepared.
#2 - We have no idea if God will ever bless us with another child. I might go through all the pre-TTC work and then never get pregnant again. But really, as above, it's best to be prepared. Receiving a positive pregnancy test is the time to sit back and let one's plans work for one - not the time to be scrambling about madly trying to find all of the resources and healthcare providers that one needs. So, regardless of the future, I do need to work through the pre-TTC tasks in order to be prepared.
I welcome your input, ladies!!