When we left each other after part 5 I had just fallen pregnant with my daughter. I will write in more detail about my keto pregnancy in another post but here’s the basic gist.
You may remember in my first pregnancy I ballooned in weight, was so swollen I couldn’t fit into my shoes and had the mobility of a 100 year old woman with and ended up being induced with high blood pressure. Now pregnant again I was determined to stay keto or at least sugar free during my pregnancy. I consumed everything I could about keto pregnancies, podcasts, YouTube videos and Lily Nichol’s book “Real Food for Pregnancy”. I was doing great until morning sickness hit me full force overnight at 6 weeks pregnant.
Napping in my car between meetings…..first trimester problems
My doctor told me that my sickness was a sign of a healthy pregnancy but as the weeks went on my food aversions were out of control. I could barely eat anything and the even the mere thought of drinking water made me gag. I was on three medications 24 hours a day and have never felt exhaustion like it. Still travelling on the road as a sales rep, I used to recline my seat between meetings and try to nap just to get through the day. This was so much worse than my first pregnancy except this time I had a 2 year old toddler to parent too! I got through that time nibbling and sipping on whatever I thought I could keep down. I was so frustrated – I’d learned all about how much good nutrition it took to grow a baby and I couldn’t eat any of it (I’m looking at you, eggs and meat). The first trimester I gained 2kg which was on track but looked so unbelievably bloated.
It took me until around 18 weeks into my pregnancy for the food aversions to go away. I was still exhausted but felt able to transition back to keto. Within the first week I felt transformed, my bloat went down, my energy came back and I no longer felt shaky and ill all the time.
Finally on keto again and out shopping for new maternity clothes since I was a much smaller size than when I was pregnant with David.
The rest of the pregnancy was a mixed bag. On the good side, I didn’t have any of the swelling or high blood pressure that I experienced in my first pregnancy. My pelvic girdle pain was there but not nearly as bad, I was still pretty mobile to the end. I gained 6kg the whole time which was 5kg less than the 11kg limit I’d mentally set myself. Plus after the challenges of the first trimester, I’d managed to stay keto pretty religiously throughout the rest of the pregnancy and was finally committed to eating this way for the rest of my life.
So much less swelling compared to my first pregnancy. I 100% believe this was due to my keto diet.
The downside was developing gestational diabetes and a complication called polyhydraminos (excess amniotic fluid), which is a pretty scary thing to have since it can lead to premature birth and even the death of the baby. In my case it was caused by the excess glucose in my system and improved as my diabetes came under control. I will write more about my GD in another post, but I was so confused about how I could have it while my diet was so good – turns out in my case it was hormonal but still a sign of insulin resistance going into pregnancy and yet another reason why I needed to stay keto for my long term health. By the end of pregnancy I no longer needed insulin, many women get worse as they progress but I bucked the trend and got better. My wonderful endocrinologist was very supportive of my way of eating and called me her star patient!
I felt amazing at 38 weeks pregnant and even managed to hike across a windy, muddy field for my maternity photoshoot!
My daughter was born by scheduled c-section and came out healthy, hungry and very indignant about being yanked out so unceramoniously! Of course in the back of my mind I was worried that I’d eaten so few carbohydrates during pregnancy but as soon as I heard her screaming I was reassured. She was so strong and determined , bobbing her head around to find my nipple as soon as she was put onto me.
To read more about my keto post partum weight loss after baby number 2 read on to part seven (the last installment….for now…..)