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Tania's Pregnancy Journal

27 Weeks 2 Days ~ August 15, 2011

27 weeksTurning 27 weeks pregnant seems to have marked a noticeable decrease in my energy levels. Yesterday morning, I woke up at my usual time of 5am. An hour later I was lying on the sofa feeling as if I hadn't slept all night. With it being a Sunday I took myself off to bed for another hour or so. I have not done anything like that in over three and a half years! This followed my falling asleep on the sofa on Saturday afternoon, where the five minute sit down I had intended to have became a 20 minute nap instead.

I woke this morning feeling like I've been hit by a sledgehammer. The tiredness is overwhelming at the moment. I am hoping that I am not actually coming down with something. Colds and sickness are not good things to be suffering from when you have children as it is. Throw pregnancy into the mix and they become even more unwelcome.

I suspect my HB (haemoglobin) levels are taking another hammering. To give a brief explanation, the haemoglobin level is the level of red blood cells in the blood. The lower the haemoglobin (HB) level, the fewer red blood cells there are. The red blood cells move oxygen around your body and a lower HB level indicates anaemia caused by low iron stores, poor nutrition or by conditions such as sickle cell or beta thalassaemia.

I have beta thalassaemia trait (thalassaemia minor), thanks to my mediterranean genes, which means that while my body is able to make enough HB normally, it struggles to keep up during pregnancy. The average HB level is approximately 11g/DL. If a pregnant woman has a level below this figure she is considered anaemic. When my bloods were taken at my first midwifery appointment back in the first trimester at around 10 weeks my HB level was 9.3. I think the figure for a transfusion at my local hospital is around 8.1 although I believe this is different depending on the hospital.

Despite taking iron tablets my body is never able to absorb the iron and so my levels remain low. I had a blood test taken last week during my midwife appointment so I may call her tomorrow to see what the results are. This would explain the extreme tiredness straight away as this is the main symptom of anaemia. Unfortunately, apart from continuing to take my tablets there is little else we can do.

Otherwise, everything seems to be going well. According to the app the babies are each approximately 37cm long from head to foot and weighing approximately 900g. Their lungs still need to mature quite a lot, so if born now the babies would need a lot of medical help to survive. Hopefully they won't arrive for a few more weeks yet.

~Tania

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