I suppose this is a follow on to my post entitled ‘Got Milk? My year long journey to a diagnosis of something I’d never heard of’ which you can read here. Briefly, I have PCOS & a tumour on my pituitary gland called a prolactinoma, which took a year to diagnose.
After Little T was born – following a pretty rough pregnancy – for months I had no cycle, suffered from awful headaches, low mood, mood swings & leaky boobs way after I stopped breastfeeding (I stopped at 4 months & went back to work at 10 months still wearing breast pads, which was a low point!!). Since then I have been on medication called Cabergoline, which has been managing the symptoms. In that post I also talked about my desire to have a second baby & that I felt like the decision had been made for me, as I had been told I couldn’t be pregnant on the medication.
We have waited patiently to be able to try for baby number 2, trusting the experts on what they advised with my tumour. Following an appointment with a new consultant in May (who was absolutely brilliant & took the time to explain everything & went right back to the start – Mr T said it was the first time he’d understood my conditions & how they all linked in), we finally got a plan together & I was surprised how much calmer it made me to feel we were moving forward.
The great news was that the medication had shrunk the tumour, from 1.2cm to 3mm, which was very promising. The consultant said he would like me to start tailing off my dose of the tablets & see what happened (ideally, with a view to stopping them altogether before being pregnant).
I was also told to loose more weight & advised to go on a low GI diet. I am 3 stone lighter & – more importantly, in my opinion – much fitter than when I got pregnant with Little T, so hope that this is going to give me more chance of conceiving & having a healthy pregnancy.
I was diagnosed with PCOS aged 22 & prior to having Little T my cycles could be anything from 14 days to 6 months apart, so I was put on Metrofmin – usually used for diabetics – to regulate this for about 6 months before we wanted to try (we actually conceived fairly quickly after we started trying, so this keeps me hopeful).
I have been told to stay on the Metformin throughout pregnancy (& that I should never have stopped it last time, although my previous consultanlt disappeared into thin-air when I was newly pregnant, so had no one to advise on this & followed what the midwife & GP said – what a wonderful thing hindsight is!). The theory behind this is that the metformin will regulate my blood pressure, which was consistently high during my pregnancy with Little T – so much so, that I went to my midwife appointments with a hospital bag already packed, as I was always sent to hospital!
The metformin will also – hopefully – reduce the risk of suffering from SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction) in a second pregnancy, as it regulates hormones (hence why it is given to start/regulate a monthly cycle prior to a pregnancy). SPD is caused by the production of excess relaxin too early in the pregnancy, so effectivey the pelvis separates (as it should do close to birth to let the baby out) too soon & you have the weight of the baby pushing down on your pelvis for a large part of the pregnancy. For me, this happened at about 20 weeks & I was told I had sciatica & referred for physio, which didn’t help. In my first appointment, the physio pressed my pubic bone & I almost hit the ceiling in pain & she said it was SPD & couldn’t help me. The wait for an obstetric physio was about 6 months – handy, when you’re due a baby in less time than that!
Another thing that helps with SPD is Pilates & I have taken this up, to help with my core strength – I drive a lot for work, which isn’t particularly conducive to a strong core as I am not using it very much.
Lastly, I have started acupuncture for stress, as I am convinced that the stress of my job & my recent depression will not help in conceiving. I am maintaining my exercise & trying to be in as good condition physically as I can be.
I left the appointment feeling a renewed sense of hope, that we were moving forward & no longer stuck in this limbo of watching our friends have babies & longing for one of our own, but unable to have one. I do think that we will look back & think things worked out for the best, in the long run, as Little T will start school next year & so I will be able to do a school run with him & then spend the day with a newborn, whenever it happens.