Maternal PKU & Pre-con

We got snow in the beginning of December here in Texas. It was magical.

As I enter my third trimester (in 2 weeks) of pregnancy I am trying to wrap my head around how this has flown by and moving so quickly. I love every minute of being pregnant but I may be experiencing what some refer to as a “unicorn baby”.  I am absolutely loving the kicks throughout my day reminding me there is a little baby boy floating around. I do not take for granted the constant desire for food all day. Don’t let my love for being pregnant foo l you to thinking it has been super easy!

Maternal PKU is certainly a challenge in its own from even before conception. As I have explained in previous posts (mostly in September, PKU awareness Month) I have a metabolic genetic disorder called Phenylketonuria, PKU. This is also a precaution step for genetic testing, I will get into that in a bit. Now prior to a PKU female being pregnant, it is highly recommended to be in great standings and communication with your genetics clinic. This is where I am super lucky to have such a wonderful clinic, not everyone is as lucky as I am. I am forever thankful for my genetics specialist, her nurse and my fabulous dietitian! The weekly if not daily communication is my favorite, she reminds me I am doing such a great job at my blood levels and diet records.

Formula, the supplement that I consume daily to help Squirt get the protein he needs to keep growing! And my husband putting the crib together.

Now on to those diet records and weekly blood draws. It is recommended to have a 3-6 week (dependent on clinic) of perfect 2-4/6 levels for pre-pregnancy, this is known as a “pre-con” diet in the PKU community. The “Pre-con” or “pre-conception” diet is proving and keeping your blood protein levels at a healthy range for conceiving a child. The most important weeks in the conception period for the development of the baby is within those first few weeks & month when all the major organs are forming. This is extremely important to have those levels in check.

Now I am here to admit I am not perfect, my first level the day I found out I was pregnant shocked me but not really. I had been on an extreme food binge from being so entirely hungry putting food in my mouth in what felt like a marathon. I was experiencing what I believe to be a fertilization pregnancy symptom and I should have known. So I had treated myself to a veggie enchilada, shamelessly refraining from asking them to hold the queso from the Texas restaurant chain Chuy’s  Tex-mex the day before. Well the next morning found out and drew a level, 8. It was quickly that I jumped in and started my diet the second I saw those two pink lines. The next level, letting out a huge sigh of relief for myself and husband was a 1.2! Hallelujah!

I had been attempting the pre-con diet before getting pregnant which I found extremely hard after Peg-Pal however it was doable. We found my tolerance to be around a meer 4-5 grams of protein a day (or 250 mg Phe) but once I was pregnant we found that going up and nearly doubling within the first few weeks.

What a different time makes.

Now I am sitting mid 25 weeks of pregnancy and my level is and has been in control in perfect ranges and my protein is still at the doubled 8-10 grams of protein per day. I am very happy and proud of where my levels have been. Proving to myself once I had that little booger to watch over I had no choice. A mom has to do what a mom has to do!  After 31 years of living with PKU it has become second nature to know what I can and cannot eat. I am very happy where I am in my 2nd trimester, approaching my 3rd and getting closer to meeting this little man. ❤ I am also very happy of the team I have supporting me on this journey: My husband, our families, my clinic, coworkers, and PKU friends.

Super thankful for this man in my life!

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