I HAD A BABY! Talking about Miscarriage, Pregnancy and MORE!

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This video is all about my pregnancy journey! I’m still very sleep deprived but so happy I can share this with you guys. I also hope that this might be comforting to anyone going through difficult pregnancies. Not everyone gets to experience the perfect “social media” pregnancy and that’s ok. I originally wanted to make all the typical updates like pregnancy vlogs, gender reveal, baby shower, nursery tour etc but I ended up too anxious and preoccupied throughout the entire 9 months. However it was all worth it for Isabelle! #pregnancy #birth #vlog

Past Miscarriages – 3:24
This Pregnancy – 7:43
Lupus – 8:40
Meet Isabelle – 8:57
Heart Block – 10:00
Gestational Diabetes – 12:41

Here are some of the health issues I encountered (didn’t have time to mention all of them in the video!). Maybe some of this info might even help someone get the treatment they need, or at the very least reassure you that you are not going through it alone.

– Miscarriages
These are supposedly common but not any less traumatic when it happens to you. One consolation I found was hearing stories of other YouTubers who have gone through the same thing (IamKareno, Chriselle, BubzBeauty, to name a few) so I decided to add my story here as well. If it makes anyone feel less alone then it’s worth it. I never did find a cause for mine. I tested negative for anti-phospholipid syndrome which is an easily treatable cause of recurrent miscarriage.

– Heart Shaped Uterus / Bicornuate Uterus
This sounds quite cute but is actually a uterine defect that can make pregnancy more difficult. There are varying degrees of severity and mine isn’t too bad so it wasn’t really treated as an issue. As it turned out, this didn’t affect the pregnancy at all.

– Morning Sickness
I had moderate morning sickness for about 3 weeks. I was never sick but felt queasy and tired all the time and couldn’t work much. It improved a lot by week 9 and was completely gone by week 20. Most people say morning sickness goes away by week 12, but I had very light lingering symptoms till 20.

– Random Bleeding
I had random spotting in weeks 12, 15, 17 and 18 of the pregnancy. Needless to say it was really upsetting since that was exactly how the miscarriage began, but they never found a reason for it. Bleeding in pregnancy is surprisingly common and does not always mean the worst is going to happen.

– Anti SSA/Ro Antibodies
This is quite rare and only occurs in people with lupus or Sjörgens Syndrome. However if you do have it, it’s important to find a hospital equipped to monitor you. These anti-bodies may attack the AV node of the baby’s heart causing congenital heart block (slowing down of the electrical signals). The risk is highest between weeks 18-24, and also dependent on the level of antibodies. If you have lower levels, then you may only need monitoring every 2 weeks. I had high levels so I needed to be checked weekly from 16-24. After birth, Isabelle also had a 3 day heart and breathing rate monitor, ECG and a final heart scan.

– CMV / Cytomegalovirus
This is a common virus that most people have already been exposed to and have immunity against. However if you first get infected by the virus during pregnancy, then it can cause serious birth defects. CMV is not routinely tested for during healthy pregnancies, however I had more detailed bloodwork done and ended up with a false positive. Spent a stressful week waiting to see if I had an old infection or a new one during pregnancy. Was confirmed to be old, though Isabelle was also tested for CMV after birth.

– Gestational Diabetes
This was a weird blessing in disguise because the stress of the previous issues caused me to comfort eat lots of carb-heavy foods in pregnancy. I also drank loads of orange juice in pregnancy thinking it was healthy but juice is actually a sugar bomb. So in the third trimester I cut out sugar and carbs entirely and went on a strict paleo/keto diet. It was really difficult since food is one of the few pleasures you have left when you’re heavily pregnant, but I noticed an immediate health improvement and felt surprisingly well throughout the final trimester.

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(c) Joanna Zhou 2019
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