Saturday, October 1, 2011
My little man!
The only negative of my Level II was that I found out I had something called a circumvallate placenta. One edge of the placenta isn't smooth to the wall of the uterus, but has a little ridge. This only occurs in 1-2 % of pregancies and doesn't sound like a major problem, but means extra monitoring later in pregnancy to be sure the cord stays attached properly to the placenta. Otherwise, the little guy looked great!
Then I had a little scare this week, and still a bit concerned, but focusing on staying positive and accepting there are just some things I can't control (thanks to some sage advice from a couple great friends!) Tuesday I had a little spotting, then some lower ab pain, so I called my clinic and they wanted me to come in. They checked my cervix and everything looked fine, but then on the ultrasound, the NP had a hard time seeing the little guy and was concerned my amniotic fluid was low. She also came up with measurements almost a week smaller than his gestational age - well within the normal range, but that scared me since he was almost a week bigger 3 weeks ago at the Level II. So they referred me to the Perinatalogist... it could have taken a few days to get in there, but thanks to connections (my friend's cousin rocks!), I got in the next afternoon with a fabulous doctor. They redid all the measurements and thoroughly checked the anatomy again, and everything there was very reassuring. He was back to being about a week "big", and all organs showing great functionality, everything flowing perfectly. They did determine I am just under the normal range for the amniotic fluid though - which to me seems like I'm really low, since the normal range goes down to the 5th percentile. Still, the biggest concerns there are baby is functioning or growing properly, and neither of those is the case. I'll go back in 3 weeks for another ultrasound, and will just be drinking tons of fluids (the only thing they can recommend that might help) and keeping my fingers crossed that I'm back up to "normal" - or at least not any lower.
Then there's my concern about having so many ultrasounds in general. Western medicine seems to say they're totally harmless, but I've also seen plenty of perspectives saying they can lead to ear infections and/or hearing loss, or even interfering with brain waves. But how do I not do them when there are real issues here to be monitored? So far it feels like the benefits outweigh the risks.
During the 24 hours between my appointments, I was put on very limited activity. Luckily the perinatalogist said normal activity is just fine, but that whole experience was a wake-up call for how hard things may be if I do get put on bed rest early. The other SMC in my group who is pregnant right now - 35 weeks - is on bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy, they're hoping to get her to 37 weeks. With everything that I've found out so far, the placenta and amnio issues, that's a real possibility for me too. I just hope I can get things done in my house to a place where that will work. Then there's work - if I'm doing my normal day-to-day job, I think I could pretty much do that on bed rest, depending on the level of "rest" that's needed. But if I have to be in the office interviewing and training, that's not much of a possibility. But again, such things are not within my control, and I'll do whatever I need to make sure this little guy stays healthy! Probably my biggest fear is needing to use FMLA before giving birth, and therefore taking away time I'll have with him after. But I don't know exactly how that all works, and part of me says I'll take 12 weeks afterwards anyway... all FMLA is is job protection, and I just don't see them replacing me because I'm out an extra month! Especially since the way it works in my company, it can take a month just to get a requisition approved.
Hmmm, what was that I said at the top? Oh yeah, focus on the positives... it is hard when these concerns are running through my mind. Yet overall I truly am feeling very positive. I am so excited to be pregnant, to have this chance to be a mom like I've always known I should be. I'm very fortunate that despite my romantic life not panning out like I'd hoped, I still have this chance. The love and support from everyone around me is HUGE and makes such a difference. My mom couldn't be more excited, my wonderful friends are so encouraging, my fabulous sisters are great supports... and recently I've come to appreciate big-time the benefit of my great brother, who has stepped up and helped out with all the heavy lifting and big house projects I can't take on anymore. It takes a village... and I have an AMAZING village!! I so can't wait to meet my little guy, and in the meantime, plan to enjoy everything I can about my pregnancy!
Lots more to write about but this is turning into a lengthy post. I'll try to get back sooner next time!