So I talked to my doctor a little about pregnancy. In the past he has not been overjoyed at the idea, but he has been supportive. This appointment he seemed much more optimistic about it. I think maybe because he realizes I am going to do it anyway :) So I did ask him if there was a concern on his end that my lung function is in the 50s, although high 50s-yay. He said that because I am extremely compliant he has very little concern. He said of course all CF pregnancies comes with some risk, but he felt my lungs would do fine. He said the only 2 concerns he has is as follows.
- Weight. Although my weight is fine (BMI=21) his only concern is if I have trouble gaining during pregnancy. He said nutritional status is such a huge component of a healthy pregnancy and some cysters have trouble gaining weight. I feel like I will be fine because I usually eat very healthy for the average person, but not "healthy" for a CFer. Growing up without enzymes made me lean towards low fat/healthy foods. Even with enzymes I now have a mental block against high fat, creamy, buttery, or fried foods. I know I could do better in the calorie department if I needed to.
- Routine. He also said my success if how well I will adapt to the new routine of being a mom and doing treatments. He said if I skip treatments to take care of my baby or the household chores then my health will suffer. If I can find a routine that includes taking care of ALL my health needs and the baby I should be fine. I have no doubt that I can do this. If I am lucky enough to have a baby I want to be healthy enough to raise him/her.
The last thing we talked about was getting pregnant!! My doctor said something about us trying and I mentioned that it seems really hard for Cysters to get pregnant. He was actually quiet optimistic about this which shocked me. He said there are 2 major problems when it comes to CF and getting pregnant.
- Nutrition status (again with the nutrition!) If weight and vitamins and over all nutritional health is down the body will not want to support life. He said sometimes gaining just a little weight can increase the odds of pregnancy
- The BIG one!! Cervical mucus in CFers is thicker than non-CFers. Damn our mucus. He did say that although it was thicker it is only considered subfertile and not infertile mucus. Meaning if there are some strong swimmers you may still get pregnant. Of course the thickness may vary depending on the woman. He said that he wouldn't be too concerned about not getting pregnant at this point. He said that a lot of woman in the clinic have done it naturally. This actually was the best thing I heard all day. Fingers crossed.
So my nutritionist was pleased because my weight went up. It was only two pounds and I personally think weight can fluctuate depending on a woman's cycle. I am currently PMS and retaining water so I was probably heavier than I will be in a week from now, but 2 lbs would be a lot of water so I probably did gain a little. Since she was happy with my weight she came in to check on my vitamins. She asked if I was taking a prenatal vitamin. I said that I have been taking one for a year now. **FYI- I got my 1st bachelors(before teaching) in nutrition so I am pretty knowledgeable when it comes to vitamin needs even in pregnancy** She wanted to ensure I was getting enough folic acid because it is crucial in spin development (prevents spina bifida, encephalocele and other defects) within the first 3 weeks which is before most people know they are pregnant.
She then asked me what vitamins I am taking. I take 2 chewable ADEK, beta carotene (Vitamin A) and Vitamin D. She then said that if I get pregnant I may need to either cut down on the ADEK or beta carotene. I know that if in pregnancy you get too much Vitamin A your baby is at higher risk for birth defects such as cleft lip or even heart defects. Random fact: This is why a lot of prescription topical acne creams (Retin A or accutane to name a few) can't be used during pregnancy because they contain too much Vit A. Okay, I will stop with the nerdy nutrition stuff...I just fined it all fascinating. Oh last thing...it is really hard to overdose on vitamins from food source so the concern comes more from supplements so if you love carrots, don't worry.
This is really long, but I figured any other CF women out there trying or thinking of someday trying may benefit from some of the things I heard in clinic today. Now it is the waiting game...