Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Baby Update - 17 Weeks

I had an appointment today to check on baby boy.  Before we get into that, I've still been feeling great.  My belly is growing but other than that I really can't tell I'm pregnant.  This is what people mean when they say that they felt great during pregnancy. I could never fathom that statement until now, but I really do feel great. Even my Lyme symptoms are completely under control. No fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, night sweats, and very few mild headaches. I just literally thank God that he has brought my health to a place that I can tolerate pregnancy and even thrive during it.  It really is mind blowing.  I'm continually mindful that I need to take care of myself by eating right, sleeping enough, and managing my stress in order to sustain my health.

I paid a visit to a high risk doctor last week for a few reasons.  I have a significant fibroid tumor and my regular doctor just wanted to get a second opinion about how it could affect my pregnancy and delivery. When I got there, the high risk doctor only seemed interested in my risk for chromosome abnormalities, due to my age, and my high blood pressure.  He looked at the fibroid but that seemed very secondary to him. He did rule out a VBAC, which I was mildly considering, unless the tumor degenerates during pregnancy which he more than sufficiently warned is extremely painful. Thank you for that.

Overall the visit was less than impressive to me. Chromosome abnormalities are a risk that we knew we were taking and my blood pressure has been very controlled with medicine since Miles was born. I understand they could both cause complications but he discussed stats and "options" that would never be options for us. I guess that's the world we live in now, but I didn't care for it.  We did get a thorough ultrasound by the tech and the doctor. Both showed that all markers looked great and that the baby looked completely healthy. He lowered the baby's risk for down syndrome from 1 in 100 to 1 in 200 just based on the ultrasound.

When I visited with my regular doctor today, whom I like and trust very much, we discussed that he is very comfortable managing my pregnancy and that I don't have to transfer my care to the high risk doctor. I was hoping he would say that, so it was a relief.  He did offer the suggestion of having one more ultrasound at the high risk doctor when I'm 24 weeks.  They are able to do a thorough scan of the baby's heart, whereas the regular doctor is not. At my age, heart defects can be more common, but my doctor assured there is no reason to worry until there is a reason to worry. The benefit to knowing during pregnancy is that I could deliver in Memphis or Nashville where they have a pediatric cardiologist on staff.  If I delivered in Jackson and the baby had heart complications, the baby would be transferred without me.  So, I will go back to the high risk doctor hopefully just one more time for that ultrasound and then be done with him.

The only other complication that we are dealing with is my low iron. This has been an issue for me for years. I have tried everything to get my iron levels up, but for some reason my body just doesn't absorb it. They drew blood today to see exactly where I am.  The doctor is considering iron injections to try to increase it before I get farther along. In his words, he didn't want to get behind the 8 ball.  I would have to see a hematologist.  I'm intrigued b/c I wonder if increased iron levels would make me feel even better. We should have the results in a few days and then make a decision.

Baby boy did give us a scare this morning. The nurse could not find his heartbeat with the Doppler monitor. She scanned and scanned. Last time she mentioned that the baby's heart was hard to hear over mine, so I didn't worry initially. Then, as the process went on and on, I started to really worry. She seemed pretty serious. She finally said that she was sending me to ultrasound. We walked down the hall and waited a few minutes for the tech. I am not an emotional person, but I started bawling. It was so scary. The tech came and got us. After seeing that I was very scared, she really went fast to get started. She found the heartbeat quickly and when we got a look at him, he was stretched out and chilling.

I have never thought ultrasounds were cute, but I have to say, he looked really cute :)  I've heard of this happening so I was trying to stay calm, but it was so upsetting. Miles kept going through my mind. I've been tired all day and I think the whole experience just drained me. I still felt near tears even hours later.  The thing about being older and having risks, is that you definitely get a lot of ultrasounds.  Today was our 7th already.  We will continue to have a lot in order to monitor growth. The only way to know if the fibroid is getting in the way of pregnancy is if the baby's growth stalls. Having a baby at 39 is very different. It all seems so much more serious and intense. The Lord is in control so I don't worry, but I do feel very aware of risks and complications this time. It sounds like the visit was full of concerns, but it was actually the opposite. I feel like we have a great plan to sustain my health and keep an eye on baby boy.

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