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Working on baby number two

This question is to moms out there who have been to this rodeo more than once. Dh and I are going to start trying to conceive baby number two. I had spoken with my doc at the appointment about some concerns I have because of my first pregnancy, and they are as follows: gestational related hypoglycemia (LOW blood sugar) and a very large baby at birth (dd was 10 days late by the time she finally came out after I was induced and was a whopping 21.3 inches and 10 lbs 10oz).

I had asked if there was a high likelihood if I would have low blood sugar related to my pregnancy again and if there was a high probability I would have a large baby again. His response was yes to both counts. I do have to note that after dd was born, my dh shared with me that large babies seem to run in his family... His mom was 10 lbs when she was born, he was 9 lbs 12 oz (for the record I was 9 lbs 5oz and my sister was 9 lbs 12 oz...so we weren't exactly small fries either). My sister in law has 1 son who was late like dd @10 lbs 3oz, and her second son was born at 32 weeks and at his time of birth weighed 8lbs 8oz. I should note that no one else in my family had a history of gestational high or low blood sugar. Ironically enough I didn't develop low blood sugar until just halfway through my pregnancy when ironically, a week or two AFTER I passed all of my glucose tolerance and fasting blood sugar tests. I also gained a lot of wight during my first pregnancy and I am not sure if it was because of the higher rates of snacking once the low blood sugar kicked in and I didn't do a good job of just eating smaller meals more frequently...but just ate too much inadvertently, or if that is just how much my body gained. ( for the record I gained 62lbs by the time I was ready to deliver but initially I was very upset early on in my pregnancy that after a month of my pregnancy I had already gained 5lbs, and I have always been a pretty health conscious person)

So here are my questions to those of you who have had more than one child.
1. Is there anyone else who had low blood sugar pop up in their first pregnancy and did it happen again, was it around the same time gestation? Or was it even earlier as my doctor warned me might happen?
2.those of you who had really large babies (and I am talking 10lbs or larger who did not have gestational diabetes) did number two end up just as big? And during the pregnancy was your physician more cautious along the way trying to determine the size to see if a c section should be done? Btw I did not have a c section, dd was delivered vaginally, she got stuck on my pelvis, the nurse had to dislodge her shoulder by jumping on top of the bed, straddle me and push and manipulate on my abdomen to get it unstuck as I pushed through a contraction. I shocked the hell out of everyone, as no one had even suspected I was carrying a baby that large...every time I came for my appointments they had said my abdomen was measuring average to slightly larger than average. They had no idea my dd was going to be that huge, so they did not elect to do a c section, as a result of her getting stuck shr was born with Erb's palsy (a brachial plexus injury where her left arm was completely paralyzed at birth...thankfully I must note she got a lot of spontaneous return on her own and with a bit of therapy, her movement and coordination thus far are completely age appropriate...her ped had stated more than once she was glad I am an occupational therapist and pretty much knew what to look for, monitor and what to do with it. I am just really afraid that something similar will happen to number two and maybe I wouldn't be so fortunate as to have the issue related to the birth resolve as well as it has with my daughter.

3. To every, mom of two or more out there....did you have the same cravings and same food aversions second time around or was it completely different?

4. Since I have been doing some research on the cause of high birthweight babies I have found genetics or high weight gaind can be attributing factors...since I gained a lot of weight my first time around and had to snack a lot I am going to try to do better choosing lower fat, low carb and nphigh protein snacks...other than hummus with veggies, Greek yogurt, cheese, meat jerky, peanut butter or a handful of nuts, are there any other lean protein low carb snacks you all can recommend? If possible I would prefer not to gain as much weight as I did the first time around. I did loose all of it and then a bit more all thanks to the wonders of breast feeding...but still, gaing 60lbs was not cool.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2012 01:41 pm (UTC)
2. My kids aren't "extremely large," but #3 (8lb 14oz) was a bit smaller than #2 (9lb 6oz). I put on a little less weight and tried to focus on greatly limiting refined carbs.

3. Yes, same aversions. Not big for cravings. Sugar and refined carbs made me nauseous. (I wasn't concerned about limiting them when it was suggested as they made me sick)

4. I would not worry about the fat content. Instead of "low carb" I would look for raw-er foods and pairing carbs with fiber. Grapes are fine, white sugar not so much. Instead of potatoes, I would eat sweet potatoes.

Here is the midwives suggestions for diet ... http://www.gwdocs.com/midwifery-services/nutritional-guidelines -- the reasoning with the diet is to maintain a steady blood sugar level, avoiding spikes and troughs.

Edited at 2012-11-11 01:51 pm (UTC)
Nov. 11th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
I don't know about the gestational low blood sugar since I tend to have low blood sugar issues to begin with.

My son was 10 lbs 4 oz, born 2 days before his due date. I gained 50 pounds with him. Lost 70 afterwards with breastfeeding and healthy diet.

I am currently nearly 36 weeks pregnant with number 2, have gained the same weight back as last time, and although I obviously don't know baby's final weight yet I am expecting him to be big. I was 10 lbs, hubby was 12 lbs, my dad was 12 lbs, g-pa was 13 lbs... I just expect big babies in my family.
Nov. 11th, 2012 01:51 pm (UTC)
Also: I use a midwife and homebirth; she really isn't concerned about the baby's weight. I am 6' tall, and although my hips are slim for my height we kind of figure he was 10 lbs 4 oz, posterior and presented with his fist in his chin (yeah that back labor was a *fun* birth), there's not much this goober can throw at me that his big brother hasn't already :P
Nov. 11th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
I am in the middle of my second pregnancy and so far my pregnancies have been exactly the same except my cravings are very different. I have a lot more food aversions and its hard to find things to eat this time around. I am overweight to begin with and since I still have morning sickness I havent gained any weight yet, which is fine with me. Baby is growing perfectly on track so Im not worried.

Due to my weight my doctor is having me take the glucose test next week at 23 weeks and then I will repeat in 6 weeks or so if I pass now.

I think its more likely you will have another large baby since it seems to run in your family. My daughter and I were the same birth weight.
Nov. 11th, 2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
3. I had totally different cravings and had much worse morning sickness with my second pregnancy.
4. I ate much, much better during my second pregnancy, gained less weight (hooray for chasing a toddler around) and my daughter was 9lbs vs. my son who was 8lbs 2oz. So, while I think food choices can contribute to your weight gain, I don't know how much it will affect the baby's weight.
Nov. 11th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
My first one was born at 36w1d and was 7lbs 4oz. He was on track to be a giant baby. My second one was born 39w4d and was 8lbs 11oz. So she wasn't small but she wasn't huge by any means.

With my first one, I didn't crave anything, but everything sounded HORRIBLE. I'd be eating and just all of a sudden it was like, if I keep eating this I'm going to throw up everywhere. With my second one, I craved honey mustard dressing and Snickers bars, but on top of that EVERYTHING sounded delicious and I was always hungry. (I gained the same amount of weight with both pregnancies, strangely.)

Nov. 11th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
My kids were not huge, but both good sized. My daughter was born at 40W1D and was 8 lbs, 7 oz and 21". My son was born at 40W6D and was 8 lbs, 13 oz and 22.5". He had 5 days longer to cook, so I think their weight was pretty similar. My activity level was so different between the two pregnancies. I worked with the first one and was super stressed and always on the go. The second I was a SAHM and gained more weight (40 lbs vs 27 with #1). I still tried to eat relatively well, but definitely not as well as I could have. I think your body just gains what it needs and grows babies how they should be.

My cravings, aversions, and morning sickness were very similar with both pregnancies. The only difference I noticed was early heartburn with #2.

As for weight gain, I have heard that the Brewer diet is good with that and also eating organic foods that don't have added antibiotics and hormones that could help contribute to a large baby. I don't know how true that is though. Like I said above, I personally think your body and baby gain what they need.
Nov. 11th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
1) I had low blood sugar issues with number 1 and not with number 2.

2) Neither of my kids was big but I gained 40 lbs w/ #1 and 16 lbs w/ #2 and #2 was almost 2 lbs bigger. Also, you mentioned your daughter's shoulder being stuck, was she malpositioned? I would make sure to keep good posture, do exercises that encourage good positioning, etc. (My daughter was small but still got massively stuck and resulted in 52 hours of labor due to poor positioning.) Obviously with such a large baby that's not a guarantee but the better the positioning the better chance of baby not getting stuck.
Nov. 11th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
One thing to do to avoid shoulder dystocia is to move around during labor. What position was she in when she became stuck? Having a doula who can help you with different types of movements and positions can help avoid shoulder dystocia in the future. For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like your daughter's birth involved good management of shoulder dystocia. The Gaskin maneuver is one way to encourage a shoulder to dislodge, and there are several others.

I've had three pregnancies, and my food cravings have differed each time, although fresh fruit and vegetables were a constant across all pregnancies. I ended up developing an aversion to cottage cheese in my first pregnancy, and eggs in my second. I was sort of averse to most foods in my third pregnancy (with twins) because I got sick of eating all.the.time.
Nov. 11th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
2. It sounds like positioning during labor could have been a big factor. Laying on your back for delivery isn't ideal for anyone, but especially when large shoulders are an issue.
Nov. 11th, 2012 06:39 pm (UTC)
I had an epidural and wast able to get into another position at that point and again as noted above the doctor and midwife had no ideas she was that large. Right after she came out they immediately said if they had known she was going to be that large they never would have even attempted a vaginal delivery especially considering I am almost 5'4" and pre pregnancy weight 137 lbs with hight muscle SMS density . I do not have a large frame to start with.
Nov. 11th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
Your height and weight have nothing to do with your ability to push out a large baby. I would run far far away from a medical practitioner that would not attempt a vaginal delivery based on size.
Nov. 11th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
even if they didn't know she was that big, laying on back isn't *great* for any birth, and the fact that so few providers consider other positions is why you have people saying stupid things like "we wouldn't have let you try a vaginal if we knew she was that big." you did it, obviously, and a different position would have made it even easier. hindsight, I know, but you've got a new one coming up. don't take comments like these as criticism of your last birth, but as advice for your future birth.
Nov. 12th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)
Well clearly they don't think a woman can birth a big baby vaginally and you proved them wrong. I suspect that if you had been in a better position (i.e. not on your back), your baby's shoulders would not have become stuck.

It's scary to me when doctors talk about "letting" a woman have a vaginally birth. You clearly can vaginally birth big babies so I hope you aren't bullied into a c-section for your next baby.
Nov. 13th, 2012 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'm definitely not trying to challenge your experience at all. I do know a couple of people who repeatedly end up with babies who suffer from shoulder dystocia. The size of the baby matters, but it's really more about baby's frame, and there's no real way to know what that's going to be like. I also don't think it matters much how big your frame is. The vagina is pretty darn capable of expanding to allow things to happen. The problem is really the positioning. If you do some reading on delivering shoulder dystocia babies, being on your back is about the worst thing. And even moreso, being numb and unable to move into other positions or support your weight for optimal positioning is a problem.

Obviously, this is all your situation and your baby and your choice and I am by no means trying to tell you what to do. But if it was me, I would hire a doula, skip the epidural, and acquaint myself with the maneuvers for delivering a baby with shoulder dystocia.
Nov. 11th, 2012 04:23 pm (UTC)
Beans are high in protein and low in fat.
Nov. 12th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
But high in carbs
Nov. 11th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
1. I have no experience with this.

2. My first was 9lbs and my second was 10lbs. I was under midwife care for the end of my first pregnancy and the entirety of my second pregnancy. My first had shoulder dystocia (with thankfully no lasting effects) due to poor positioning. I knew when I got pregnant with my second that she would be larger than my first (mommy intuition) and it wasn't a big deal at all. My first labor was 23hrs from first contraction til baby arrived, 5hrs of attempted pushing, it was an 1hr of productive pushing (once I figured out what position worked for me). My second labor was a breeze. Baby was positioned well the entire pregnancy. My labor was 4hrs from first contraction until baby arrived, maybe 15m of pushing.

3. #1 I craved milk and hamburgers and had a few aversions. #2 I craved brussel sprouts and orange juice and could only eat red meat. I had A LOT more aversions with #2 (and it seriously sucked).

4. Some moms just need to gain more weight to sustain themselves and baby. You could eat completely healthy stuff and still put on a lot of weight. That's just what you need while pregnant. Just try to make healthy choices, that's all. Both my kids were considered large and I only gained about 25-30lbs with each pregnancy, though I am a larger woman to begin with.

Good luck! :)
Nov. 11th, 2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
My babies weren't as big as yours, but we have a lot of similarities. My husband was the biggest baby in his family at 9#4, I was the biggest in my family at 9#10. My MIL was the biggest in her family and mom was the biggest, both at 8#(something bigger than 10oz but I can't remember exactly), and my dad was the biggest in his family at 10 pounds even. We figured beforehand that we would have larger babies, even though I'm 5'5 and was 120 pounds prepregnancy. I gained 60 pounds with each of my 2 pregnancies. My first was 8#15 and my second was 9#11 (born with me on all 4s which I think REALLY helped). I did a lot of research into big babies, best positioning for birth etc, and I chose hypnobirthing and pushing on all 4s.

With my first baby/pregnancy, I was adverse to tuna fish and vitamin chews. With my second, I became adverse to bananas. Those aversions have never gone away, but I can eat a banana if it's very new, almost still green, but if it's slightly "ripe" tasting, it still turns my stomach (that "baby" is 5.5 years old now).

Oh, and my placenta with my second baby was 1 pound 15 ounces, and I don't know if that's big or not but I figured maybe that was a good portion of the pregnancy weight too.
Nov. 11th, 2012 06:32 pm (UTC)
I focused on limited carbs but made up for those lost calories with lots of protein and fat. Not having the carbs to boost my blood sugar (and later crash) helped me to feel a lot more stable. It didn't seem to affect the size of my baby (9.5lb, 8.5lb, most recent was 8lb 3oz).

I need a lot of calories each day (high activity level, high muscle mass) but I pretty much ate meat, cheese, some high fat strained/greek yogurt with fresh fruit, vegetables, berries, and nuts with the occasional serving of rice or bread as a vehicle for the above. No sugar highs or lows, and I was slender (for me) right after birth. I did go on a sugar binge immediately post partum, but two months out I'm back to eating pretty much as I was while pregnant.

I find it helpful to test my blood sugar. No GDM but I like the fast feedback to help me understand how certain food were affecting me.
Nov. 11th, 2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
My first was 7lbs 12.5oz born before his EDD. My second was 9lbs born at exactly 40 weeks. If I ever go longer than 40 weeks it will no doubt mean an even bigger baby.

You just make big babies, I don't think your diet contributes to it. I gained 55-60lbs with both of my kids, when not pregnant I'm about 105lbs and 5"2, I ate healthier with #2 though. I gain a lot of weight, have really full waters, and make big babies. I lost about 25lbs immediately with each birth between the baby, placenta, and water.
Nov. 11th, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
my first four babies got bigger and bigger, resulting in a 11 lb 6 oz fourth child. my 3rd was 10 lb even with no GD, though I likely had it with my 4th. none of my kids' shoulders got stuck, but then, I wasn't laying on my back, which is the position babies are more likely to get stuck in. my 10 pounder was born with me on hands and knees, and my 11 pounder with me half standing, half squatting. I think this is probably how I avoided the sticky shoulder. she was huge, and she did take her sweet time, but it was after the shoulders were out.

all of mine were home births, but I had the same midwife for my 4th (biggest) and my 5th. we managed to come down over a pound for #5 (10 lb 4 oz) and I think it was partly due to my exercising more, and partly due to a supplement my MW put me on. I gave birth on hands and knees again, and baby came right out no problems. I have to say, if anyone was monitoring me to see if they were going to do a c/s, I'd be finding a new provider.

as far as I know, genetics is only partly to blame.. the biggest babies in the family up until mine have been 9 lb 5 oz.

as for food cravings, different every pregnancy. especially what I wanted in my first trimester. I ate so many saltines in my first trimester of my first pregnancy that I can't even look at them, even when not pregnant, without getting a bout of psychological nausea. :P
Nov. 11th, 2012 09:39 pm (UTC)
1. I did not have low blood sugar, so I can't help you there.

2. My first was 10lb7oz and 20.5in, and I gained 35lb. My second was 10lb13oz and 22.75in, and I gained only 18lb. Both were delivered vaginally with no complications to the baby. I had a 3rd degree tear with the first and a minor 2nd degree tear with the second. I was never diagnosed with gestational diabetes, but I controlled my blood sugar very closely with the second to avoid another large baby (obviously it didn't work - and I only gained 18 pounds with that pregnancy!). By the way, it is UNCONTROLLED gestational diabetes that can lead to higher birth weights. Women who have GD and tightly control their blood sugar have no greater risk of high birth weights than a woman without GD. Also, now that you have given birth to a large baby, your pelvic ligaments are stretched out, so even if you were to deliver another high-birth-weight baby, the chances of the second baby becoming "stuck" are much lower. The first one "paved the way" as my doctor said the first time through! And boy was it true - 3 hours of pushing for #1, 5 pushy contractions for #2.

3. It was completely different. I don't get morning sickness, but I do get cravings. With #1 (a boy), it was Cheerios with whole milk. With #2 (a girl), it was homemade strawberry-greek-yogurt smoothies.

4. Don't go low-fat. Eating food with fat in it (think 2% milk instead of skim, regular cheese instead of low-fat, etc.) will help you feel more satisfied, especially when all the hormones coursing through your body are screaming at you to GAIN WEIGHT NOW. Focus instead on eating lots of fresh produce, whole grains, and a reasonable amount of protein and fat. The ratio that worked for me was 30% fat, 30% protein, and 40% carbs for most meals. I ate six times a day - breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and a nighttime snack. I do NOT like to eat after dinner, but that late snack before bed was the key to keeping my morning blood sugar in check (counter-intuitive, I know, but it did work).

Some of my favorite high-protein snacks and meals when I was pregnant with #2:
Smoothies made with 2% cottage cheese blended with frozen fruit and 1:1 ratio of sugar to splenda
0% greek yogurt sprinkled with regular granola
Plain oatmeal made with 2% milk topped with almond butter and some maple syrup
Smoothie made with plain 0% greek yogurt blended with cocoa powder, peanut butter, the sugar/splenda mix, vanilla, and ice
Triscuits topped with cheese and apple slices, served with baby carrots dipped in a bit of ranch dressing
My go-to lunch salad: 4 c. of spring greens or baby spinach topped with 6 oz baked chicken (I'd bake up a couple pounds of chicken breasts in the oven, then dice and store in baggies in the fridge), diced colorful veggies (carrots, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, corn, whatever I had), 1/2 oz shredded sharp cheddar, sunflower seeds, and for a dressing, equal amounts of yellow mustard and ranch dressing. I ate this with some Saltines on the side.
My usual breakfast: whole wheat toast topped with real butter, 3 egg whites and one egg scrambled together with some deli turkey, onions, and green pepper, topped with shredded cheddar (the meat was fine, since it had been heated)

Nov. 11th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
Also, I was on my back for #1 (evil epidural!!), and sort of on my side for #2. I labored in a birthing tub in my dining room before showing up at the hospital 8cm dilated with #2, and that labor was SO much easier than #2, when I was induced and then ended up with the epidural.

#1 was 40w4d (induced and 17 hours long)
#2 was 40w6d (natural and 6 hours long)

Also, I have a good friend who was in labor for 40+ hours after an induction with her first that resulted in a c-section and an almost-10lb baby. Her second was a VBAC, and he was only 7lb and change after a labor that began naturally at 41w and change.

Edited at 2012-11-11 09:48 pm (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2012 01:32 am (UTC)
I can only comment on the last part - I gained about 50 pounds (in retrospect, much of that was thyroid related), and DD was only 7 pounds, 1 ounce at birth. The amount of weight mama gains is not in any way indicative of baby's birth weight. Likewise, my best friend only gained about 22 pounds, and she birthed a 10-pound kid.
Nov. 12th, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
1. I didn't have low blood sugar on my first pregnancy but did have gestantional diabetes with my 2nd. 1st child was 8.5 lbs, 2nd was 7.5 lbs. However, while I did get GD with my 2nd, it disappeared by 35 weeks. With my 1st, I ate poorly, didn't work out. With my 2nd I hadn't been eating meat for a year prior, had just completed a half-marathon and did pilates all the way up to a week before my delivery. So I was healthier going into the pregnancy but still developed GD. I wasn't unhealthy going into my first (weighed 115 to start and gained same amount of weight with both), but was in better shape overall going into my 2nd pregnancy.

2. n/a

3. Completely different cravings. With 1st it was lots of iron rich food and sweets like cakes & cookies. With my second, it was tart foods like limes and as for sweets I liked Skittles...lol.

4. As for diet, I had to change that dramatically when I had GD. I loved dairy (skim milk, greek yogurt, cheese)and that was pretty much out of the question (too much carbs and sugar). I also had to cut out a lot of fruit which I loved. No more pasta and very minimal grains. Lots of lean protein (fish & eggs), maybe 1 piece of fruit per day which I usually had to eat with a protein (peanut butter). It's hard to remember what I even ate?!
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