I Looked 4-5 Months Pregnant from Day 1

After pumping my body with hormones and doing the IUI to get pregnant, I developed what’s called Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome- OHSS. With this condition, my empty follicles, from after I released the eggs (the reason for the trigger shot), fill with fluid. My ovaries were already swollen, but this causes them to swell even more. The fluid leaked from my ovaries into my abdominal cavity, creating discomfort and bloating. No joke, I looked 4 months pregnant when I was really 1-2 DAYS or even not pregnant. I gained 8lbs of water weight. Eight.

Early OHSS belly

It can be very dangerous and in serious cases fluid can travel to your lungs. Because of this, I had to sleep laying up. Some women have to be hospitalized and even have the liquid drained. I was miserable walking around and doing anything really.

All of this happened during the two week wait, so I had no clue if I was going through this for a meaningful end, or to just find out I wasn’t pregnant. I was VERY uncomfortable and to make things worse, Todd had just left for Israel again. Maybe I looked 5 months?!

OHSS belly

There is no “cure” for OHSS other than to wait it out. There are things that help it, like a high sodium and protein diet. Seems like that would be counter-intuitive, but actually it works like reverse osmosis and the sodium and protein draw the water out of my abdomen and back into my blood stream and organs. I wasn’t supposed to drink regular water and the doc suggested Gatorade, but I wasn’t about to drink Gatorade all day everyday.

Ummm, no. So I loaded up on Nuun, which has everything I needed- sodium and electrolytes to keep my blood pumping. I was also lucky enough to get a shipment of VEGA protein and greens to help with my protein intake. (You can get 20% off most Nuun products now through 7/23/15 with code NuunSummer15)

Nuun at Work

Other foods I ate a lot of were pickles, ham steaks, instant grits, V8, lots of stir fries, rotisserie chicken, salty nuts, chips- pretty much anything high in sodium.

I was very thankful to my parents and sister, who really helped to take care of me while Todd was gone. I was over at my parents 4 times a week. They made me dinner and played with/walked Riley (obviously this was before we had to put her down) and my mom even went grocery shopping for me. Thanks a million guys <3

You can find a great blog read about OHSS HERE. It’s really interesting, scary and uncomfortable stuff, but it does come to an end. And for me, I was lucky enough to have it pay off in the long run, as some women get it and then end up not pregnant. Which reminds me… OHSS gets worse with the increase of HCG- the pregnancy hormone- so I got super stressed out when I lost a few lbs, thinking I wasn’t producing HCG. Man… the two week wait really can be brutal.

If you’re still reading, congrats on making it to the end. I hope you learned a little something 🙂 Happy Friday!

Shout out to Jessie from Jessie Loves to Run– HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL! Can’t wait to give you a present in real life one day!

This article has 26 comments

  1. Congratulations Baby W! I give anyone who works their way through IF treatments major props, I cannot imagine how difficult it must be. I’m also due in December. Are you still running?

    • Yay (?) for December babies, haha. I just got cleared to run about a week ago. Until then I was just walking. I’m doing 2-3 miles every couple of days. You?

      • I’ve been sticking to only a mile or two at time as many days a week as possible. I was hoping to run a 5k some time soon but I destroyed my ankle last week, so I won’t be running for another three weeks probably.

        • Sorry to hear about your ankle 🙁 It’s stinks not being able to run, I can TOTALLY relate. Even a mile is a blessing! I like your idea of 1-2 daily instead of 3 every few days… might have to consider that for myself. Sending healing vibes your way!

  2. I had no idea that this syndrome could be so severe. When I learned about infertility treatments in graduate school (limited information), we covered the concept of OHSS but I had no idea how severe it could get. I feel you on bloat and discomfort… when I am in a full blown flare I’ve been known to get massive stomach distention after eating… my boyfriends mother actually asked me if we had something to share once… Haha. But you’re pregnant YAY and you rock that body girl 🙂 Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    • Thanks, Jamie! I’m finally to a point where I’m embracing the bump- even if it shouldn’t be there yet. No one really know what it means when I say I’m 16 weeks, so whateves. A lot of people at worked asked me back then and I just had to tell them about OHSS. It was pretty annoying, haha. Have a great weekend 🙂

  3. You’re pregnant looking because or hormones, and I am pregnant looking thanks to ANY food that passes my lips. Seriously. EVERY TIME I EAT ANYTHING – I look like I am expecting baby James Falcore****

    ****Yes, we have named our unborn or ever to be born child, LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Wow! What a crazy thing to go through. I had no idea about OHSS actually. Glad you are doing ok and feeling better. And that you got the good news that the fertility treatments worked!

    • Thanks, Kristen. Ya, it came as a shock to me, too. I guess its less common with an IUI so the nurse didn’t mention that side affect. A lot of people who go through IVF get it.

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