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.
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.
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.