Tag Archives: Hypothyroid

30 Weeks

25 Sep

Two years ago, I was recovering from surgery, starting a new job, and worrying about the impact thyroid cancer would have on my life.

Two months ago, I was struggling to get my thyroid hormone levels under control, and worrying about the impact hypothyroidism would have on my baby.

Two months from now, I will be holding my newborn baby girl – the evidence of life and happiness for the thyroidless.

It hasn’t been an easy road. I am on my 5th dose adjustment of medication, I am tired all the time, and I have had a miserable cold for the last week. But my thyroidless pregnancy hasn’t been the overwhelming disaster that I thought it would be. I’ve gained a reasonable amount of weight (~20 lbs.) and I managed to avoid gestational diabetes. I seem to have stabilized for the moment on 175 mcg Synthroid/ 5 mcg Cytomel, and I trust my OBGYN completely. I had my yearly check-up at U of M, and all of my lymph nodes look good and my Tg remains undetectable. If there wasn’t a “barely-there” scar on my neck, you’d never know that I had thyroid cancer.

And the best news of all is that my miracle baby is perfect. She has 10 fingers, 10 toes, and all of her organs are in the right place. She weighs 3.5 pounds already, and has frequent dance marathons. During my recent ultrasound, she sucked on her fists and made annoyed facial expressions. We’re in love already and we can’t wait to meet her.

3

Baby sucking on her fist – 30 weeks

I am still bracing myself for the post-birth roller-coaster.  Pregnancy increased my thyroid hormone needs by 40%. Will I suddenly need 40% less after the baby is born? Will all my hair fall out? Will I overheat and have the shakes? Will I bounce around between hyper- and hypothyroid before I figure it out? And although I haven’t gained an unusual amount of weight for a pregnant person, am I doomed to keep it on forever?

I am going to try to live in the moment and deal with those things as they come. For now, I am going to worry about middle names, crib bedding and baby monitors. And in my spare time, I might join in on some of my baby’s dance marathons.

29 weeks - with my pregnant friend who doesn't look pregnant

29 weeks – with my pregnant friend who doesn’t look pregnant

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Tracking My Hormonal Rollercoaster

13 Jun

I am officially in my second trimester! And as the baby grows, my hormones continue to be completely whacked out. I increased my Synthroid dose from 125 mcg to 137 mcg at 9 weeks. At that point, my thyroid labs were considered “normal.” But since my surgery, my TSH hasn’t been above 0.6. So when it started to creep past 1.0, I thought it was time for a bump. And thank God I pushed the issue, because just 6 weeks later, my TSH has jumped to 4.19. What would have happened if I hadn’t upped my Synthroid dose?

I have had hypothyroid symptoms before, but luckily, I have never really experienced extreme hypothyroidism like many thyroid cancer survivors are forced to endure during treatment. I have renewed sympathy for patients who have to let their TSH levels rise to 50 for treatment and testing. Here’s a glimpse of what it feels like to have a TSH of 4.19.

Last Saturday was my daughters’ dance recital. That meant spending most of the day on Friday at a chaotic dress rehearsal, and organizing costumes, hair, make-up, snacks, personal electronics and crafts for two children. Normally, I can handle this kind of stuff. Not this time. First, I made pancakes and forgot to add eggs. Then, I left the burner on for about 2 hours, nearly starting my house on fire. Then, I tried to wash one daughter’s hair with Dial hand soap. During my own shower, I somehow flooded my bathroom floor, and I was a half-second from pouring cat food into my washing machine instead of detergent. I felt like I had lead weights on both my legs, and I just wanted to crawl back into my bed. In the end, the recital was a success, and both my girls looked beautiful, but I still felt exhausted, depressed and nauseous. In general, I have just enough energy to make it through my workday. Then everything else pretty much falls apart.

I had my blood drawn on Monday, half wondering if I was just going crazy, and half knowing I needed more thyroid hormone. Luckily, my TSH finally reflects how I feel, so I had no problem getting a bump to 150 mcg of Synthroid. I am so happy that my OB-GYN’s office is so responsive and understanding. Still, I am concerned about having an elevated TSH for any period of time during my pregnancy. Did it affect the baby? Is everything okay?

I am channeling my all of my out-of control feelings into tracking my bloodwork and hormone dosing. Those who know me will appreciate how I can find PowerPoint to be comforting! However, I do think it’s a good idea for hypothyroid pregnant moms like me to take control of their healthcare and know their numbers. If you use Quest Diagnostics labs, I highly recommend their Gazelle app to get copies of lab reports. I can access lab results from any time period right from my phone, and email or fax them directly to my healthcare provider. You can download it here.

Gazelle

Want to know how my thyroid labs compare to last year at this time? I have it all right on my iPhone.

And if you still feel the need for additional control organization, here’s how I am tracking my thyroid activity during my pregnancy.

pregnancy thyroid

Check out how my TSH has jumped up! Overall, my FT4 and FT3 have dropped slightly, but have been stable enough to make me feel a little better about the risk to the baby.

I am scheduled for my ultrasound in 3 weeks, and I am really looking forward to seeing the baby with my own eyes. I am praying I will finally be able to enjoy this pregnancy instead of feeling like a science experiment!