So I’ve been toying with the notion of doing this blog post for awhile now and thought today would be a good day to go ahead. I wanted to share some photos of my different medications and injections for those folks who are currently trying to conceive or early on in pregnancy. That way, you’re not completely shocked by what you come upon during your pregnancy. I also wanted to share what has worked and not worked for me in case that will help. I titled this post purposefully because really it is the good, the bad and the ugly. The good is the pills we take (when I mean we I mean Owen and I) every day (pictured below). The pills each serve a different purpose. I’ll start with the obvious one, the Flintstone vitamin.

I actually take two Flintstones each day because regular pre-natal vitamins make me very, very, sick. So one of these guys in the a.m. and one in the p.m. and I am good to go. I don’t chew them because I find they taste disgusting, so I just swallow mine. Talk about a jagged little pill! (For the Alanis fans out there lol).

Then there is the bright pink guy, that is my DHA supplement (a.k.a. fish pill) which contains all of the healthy things you would normally get out of eating fish for you and your baby, without the negatives like mercury or other harsh chemicals. I get the CVS brand ones because they are cheaper and my hubby works there, so we get a discount 🙂

The next guy is a little grayish colored pill. That is the procardia, my blood pressure medicine that actually is to prevent me from having contractions. I don’t have high blood pressure at all (surprising for a fat girl I know) as it actually runs a bit low.  This pill tends to make me dizzy after the first little while of taking it. I always take this one with food in my tummy and always in the morning.

Next we have our fabulous Folgard. This is my B-vitamin and folic acid complex that I have to take due to my blood clotting disorder. MTHFR prevents me from absorbing folic acid and other nutrients and so I need a strong prescription strength dose to get it into my body and ultimately, to the baby.

Last but not least, is the probiotic called acidiphiullus. This pill keeps my digestional track and lady parts in working bacterial order. Pregnancy throws a lot of your body chemistry off and when you have a cerclage, because it is a foreign entity, you are prone to infections. The good bacteria inside the probiotic help to fight infections  from happening.

Moving on to the Bad, we have our daily ever so fun injections of Innohep. Innohep is a blood thinner and is similar to drugs like Lovenox and Heparin. My doctor would have given me Lovenox but my insurance company prefers Innohep. Any way you slice it, the drug is to prevent my blood from clotting. Normally, when I am not preggers, I take aspirin and folic acid daily for my own health but after the baby is born I will have to continue doing this injection for 6 weeks. Then I will resume the normal routine. The needle I use is an insulin needle and is very tiny.  Here is a photo of it and the vial of Innohep:

One of my good friends online made the suggestion to me early on that if you take your alcohol wipe and wipe the area you are going to inject and then let it dry a minute, it won’t sting as bad. I pass this wisdom nugget on to you! Because it works! These injections go into your abdomen or backside (whatever works for you) and they sting a little bit. Sometimes, especially in the beginning, you will have a bruise afterwards. My bruises were painful but not everyone’s are and not everyone will bruise. We’re all different. I entitled this one the bad mainly because you have to do it every day and at the same time every day which makes me feel a little neurotic because if I’m off by just a little bit of time I get really paranoid that I screwed everything up! Ah the joys of high risk pregnancy……

The Ugly is the big one. The one people ask me most often about. The weekly progesterone injection. Now if you have heard the latest buzz in the world of people at risk for pre-term labor than you know how important this injection is. For those of you who don’t know the skinny on it, here is my basic (uneducated) understanding. Progesterone is the pregnancy hormone that one needs to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Some people produce enough of the hormone on their own just fine. Other’s don’t. And those folks who have had premature babies or other problems are grandfathered into the club of folks who are allowed to have this injection. It is not available to everyone, even though it does significantly increase the chances for a successful pregnancy. The reason? It has to be made in small batches and up until now there wasn’t a mass distributor. That has changed somewhat with the recent KV pharmaceuticals claim to making the drug (code name Makena) and I’m not sure if everyone will be able to get it or not. They are trying to charge over $1,000.00 per shot for their drug which is horrendous. That could be a whole other blog post so I’ll get back to my point. It is a very important part of maintaining our pregnancy. Every week I make it to “butt injection Tuesday” I count my blessings.

The liquid itself is very thick so when you get the injections (mine came in the mail) you get a syringe with a needle attached and then a separate batch of needles that are slightly thinner than the one attached to the syringe. You pull the serum out of the vial with the thicker needle and then change the needle heads to the thinner gauged one, to then inject the serum. The injection site is your rump because it needs to go deep into the muscle. We alternate cheeks week to week to make things even. One trick I picked up for doing the actual injection is I hold an ice pack on my butt until right before Dustin sticks me with the needle. It leaves the area slightly numb, so it hurts a little less. You always need someone to help you with this injection. Many people go to the doctors office and have them do it, I got lucky that Dustin is cool with helping me. Always take your time doing the injection and try to relax. It hurts more if you get tense (in my opinion!). Also, you need to rub the area after the injection is in so that the hormone disperses into your system. So rub, rub, rub once the needle comes out!  Here are some photos of the needles and a side by side comparison between the Innohep needle compared to the Progesterone injection.

Don’t let it frighten you, once you’ve done it a few times it’s not really a big deal anymore, it just looks really ugly. I will say that I personally am developing a few side effects to the injections. One of which is the injection site each week swells a little more and hurts more. Also the hormone is causing me to produce a yellow discharge and you can also be tired (with a sore butt) the next day. Everyone is different though, some people feel just ducky through it all. Things that I have tried that don’t seem to work all that well is rubbing the vial between my hands to warm up the liquid so it will come out easier. It doesn’t seem to matter how warm I get the vial, the liquid is still hard to get out. Maybe I’m doing it wrong somehow but I have tried this repeatedly and it doesn’t work for me. You can watch some youTube videos of people actually doing the injections if you need a visual of the procedure.

So that is the low down on the pregnancy meds we’ve been using to date. If you have any questions about anything feel free to email me at emilyhughes88@yahoo.com. I’m not a doctor and I wrote all of this based just on my personal experience so please don’t run out and do anything without your doctors permission or advice. I have both my regular OB and my high risk OB monitoring me very carefully.

Thanks for reading!

~EH

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