Archive for Advanced maternal age

26w 6d

Posted in Emotions, Incompetent Cervix, Pregnant, Pregnant Sex with tags , , , , , on September 28, 2012 by Me

Some good news– I’m not diabetic! Yay!

More good news- At the last check, my cervix is actually longer than before they put the cerclage in! This is a Very Good Thing. It makes it easier to stick to the bed rest plan when I can see that it’s actually working 🙂

Bitchy things–

1. With my constant low blood sugar, the need to eat is pretty well constant. My glucose levels drop significantly within 2-3 hours of eating (mid 60’s to low 70’s, when normal is 80+), and even faster if I don’t eat enough calories with a good carb/protein balance. I have to say I’m soooo sick of eating! While I’m not as finicky as I was earlier in the pregnancy (thank goodness!!), it’s still touch and go some days, and I have a hell of a time getting in enough food in a timely manor. I’ve actually lost 5lbs or so in the last month, which isn’t that big of a deal because Seth is gaining like a champ, but it’s also not ideal. I need to eat about 3000 calories a day, which is not an easy thing to do when you don’t really have a taste for junk food, and really are trying to eat a healthy diet. I have discovered, however, that adding cream cheese to smoothies is really yummy! So that helps.

2. Wow do I miss sex/orgasm! I actually started to orgasm in my sleep the other night and was able to shut it down in my sleep! I’m so worried about triggering pre-term labor… but damn, I can’t wait until I don’t have to walk around pregnant and frustrated anymore, lol!

3. Having to sit/lay around and watch your husband work himself until he’s sick and exhausted is heartbreaking. He has long days at school, then has to do the shopping, the cooking, and the cleaning when he gets home, all while I sit like a bump on a log. I do help out a little with my 10-minute intervals during the day, but there’s only so much you can do in ten minutes, and I can’t lift anything, bend, stretch, walk a lot, etc… so it’s hard to be particularly useful.

4. Daytime TV sucks, and I’m too lazy to download anything else, and I don’t want to watch most of the good shows without Stan, because things just aren’t as fun without him :\

5. I’m really disappointed that the last half of my pregnancy isn’t going as planned. We can’t take that cool birthing class. There’s no tour of the hospital (hell, we don’t even know which hospital we’ll be delivering at, since it depends on whether we make it to term or not…). There’s no first-time parent classes. I can’t take a breastfeeding class. There’s no romantic date nights before the baby comes. I don’t get to work on the nursery, or go out to the store to look for cool baby stuff. There’s no “babymoon“. There’s no before-the-baby-comes-wild-sex. And what hurts the most isn’t that I’m missing out on all of this, but that my husband doesn’t get to do any of it either, and this is his first baby too. I hate disappointing him (and yes, he’s disappointed, although he won’t let me take the blame for it, because he’s awesome). Ugh. Maybe I should have put this at number one, since it’s obviously the most upsetting for me– the tears have been coming since I started writing this paragraph.

Overall though, I am incredibly grateful that the pregnancy is back on track and although I get bitchy, whiny, and sad, I ultimately can handle laying around if it helps this little boy come out healthy and on-time.

24w 5d– Good News and Bad News

Posted in Incompetent Cervix, Pregnant with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2012 by Me

This past Wednesday was my latest appointment– I saw my perinatal and a pediatric cardiologist. After taking a loooong look Seth’s heart, the cardiologist has given him a clean bill of health, but would still like to take one final look after he’s born, before he comes home. The concern for the heart is because of the slightly elevated Nuchal Scan. Once the cardiologist was done, the nurse took Seth’s monthly measurements, and he is still measuring 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule, having reached a whopping 2lbs at 24 weeks! So, in summary, everything is looking awesome for The Spawn.

Unfortunately, that rapid growth is  not sitting well with my incompetent cervix. Last week, my post-surgical measurement was 2.5cm (a gain of .3 cm!), this week it was down to 1.5-1.75 cm, with less than 1 cm between my uterus and the first stitch. This means that the I am still high-risk for delivering WAY too early. Now that we’ve made it past the 24 week mark, there is a much higher rate of survival, but things are still life-and-death. Once we get past 28 weeks, things get a lot less scary. I am also starting to show a small amount of funneling, due to Seth’s position– he likes to press down on my cervix with the top of his head.

One thing that I love about the new perinatal doc is that she is never alarmist about anything. If anything, she is sometimes too neutral for my comfort, lol. So when she suggested that we do the series of two cortisone shots to help mature Seth’s lungs, I wasn’t alarmed. I know that this is a Good Thing, just in case he puts in an early appearance. However, when she was visibly uncomfortable at waiting until next week to do the shots, I realized just how concerned she is. I had the first shot at the appointment on Wednesday (ow!) and then our roommate drove me to get the second shot on Thursday (I have to book my transportation 5 days in advance, and Stan doesn’t get off work early enough to take me to any appointments). I also may be going back on the weekly 17P shots, as I seem to be having a slight allergic reaction to the suppositories (OMG so itchy!! Luckily it only lasts a few hours).

So, the good news out of all of this is that Seth is doing well, and way ahead of schedule in size, if not development. Hopefully the cortisone shots will help him along in the development department. Our next milestone is 28 weeks.

I am still on modified bed rest, and will be getting another cervical check a week from Friday. If things keep going downhill, I will need to either go on strict bed rest, which means my mom will have to come down from WA and take care of me (which could be INCREDIBLY stressful for me, but also very helpful), or I will be put on hospital bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy (less stress for me, but WAY more stress for Stan). Best case scenario, I stay on MBR, and things stabilize until I reach at least 34 weeks.

I think that’s about it! I plan on one more post about the whole bed rest experience, but I’m not sure if that will go up today or not.

Thank you all for your support and prayers– I really do appreciate them. I also hope that by keeping this blog, I can help others who are going through similar circumstances to know that they are not alone.

Cerclage Recovery and Bed Rest

Posted in Incompetent Cervix, Pregnant with tags , , , on September 13, 2012 by Me

Ok, so the last post brings us up to 23 weeks. The week went fairly well as I hung out in my recliner and attempted to get the prescribed 1-2 Gallons of water into me. I hit 24 weeks on that Saturday, and had a friend coming over to given Stan a massage (the man has been sooooo wonderful, taking care of work, me, and the house!). While I wasn’t up a great deal, it was definitely more than the 10-or-so minutes that I’m allowed per trip, and I ended up spotting a little bit, which freaked me right the hell out! I haven’t had a single incident of spotting this whole pregnancy, so this was really scary. I called the on-call doctor, and he assured me that everything was OK (not optimal, but not an emergency since I wasn’t contracting), and instructed me to stay off my feet until my next visit on the following Wed (Yesterday). I definitely complied, and there was no more spotting.

After a week on modified bed rest, I was rapidly learning just how much bed rest sucks. I haven’t had anything resembling an attention span this whole pregnancy (unmedicated ADHD FTW!), and as such, I haven’t been able to focus on reading, or writing, or really anything productive. I spend an inordinant amount of time on Facebook playing all manner of bubble games and I watch TV. And I twitch. A lot. I am, however, grateful that I’m not on Strict Bed Rest, and can at least get up for short periods of time to get food and go potty.

I also know that I’m doing what’s best for Seth, and doing whatever I can to keep him in until it’s A LOT safer for him to be out in the real world.

24w 5d– Lots of catching up to do… Part the first

Posted in Incompetent Cervix, Pregnant, Pregnant Sex with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by Me

A lot has been happening here, and I’ve been bad about keeping up this blog.

So, let’s back up to my routine visit with the perinatal doc on 8/29 (22w4d). This was an in-between visit to check my cervix, and make sure that it was holding up to the now 1lb+ baby. This was also the first visit I went to by myself, as the hubs is happily working at his new teaching job (7th grade history!). Oh, an my regular peri was having her baby on this day, so I was seeing an associate of hers for the first time. I should have known something would go wrong, lol! Well, the ultrasound showed that my cervix had shortened from 3.0+cm to 2.2 over the course of two weeks. This was NOT a Good Thing. The doctor explained Incompetent Cervix to me (is that one of the stupidest sounding diagnoses, or what!?), and then she listed out my options– 1. I could have a progesterone shot (17P) and then go home on Modified Bed Rest for the next week, and then recheck to see how it was doing, or 2. I could have the 17P shot and go to the hospital to have a Cervical Cerclage placed to hold the cervix shut, and then still do the bed rest until the next week. I felt that I needed to research and weigh what was happening, so I opted for option one. Stan (the hubby) picked me up from the appointment, and I went home to Google and cry.  Research showed me that the cerclage needed to be put in before the 24th week, and that it had a decent success rate, so the next day I called the office and the scheduled the surgery for the next day.

The surgery involved an epidural, so I could have nothing by mouth for 8 hours prior– this led to spectacularly low blood sugar (61), and an early admission for me, so that they could get an IV and some dextrose into me. The epidural sucked (I’ve had one before this, and it sucked too), but the anesthesiologist was amazing (Dr. Dempsey for those in the Vegas area). The surgery was… interesting. I was on the operating table, with my legs in the stirrups,  and the table tilted back to a 45 degree angle.

Like this, but without the supportive boot, and of course, I was naked from the waist down…

My peri did the surgery, and she informed me that I had a “difficult cervix”– I would expect nothing less from my cervix. She ended up putting in two very thick stitches. Surgery went well. I had no contractions, and my amniotic sac remained intact– yay! I was able to get a sandwich in recovery and lots of apple juice, and about 3 hours later I could feel all of my parts and use the potty, so they let me go home. I was kept on modified bed rest and pelvic rest (read: No sex, and no orgasms. Yep, you read that right– no orgasms until after The Spawn makes his appearance). The doctor also switched me from the 17P injections to a vaginal progesterone  suppository that has been shown to lower cervical elasticity and help prolong the pregnancy.

Recovery went well, with very little pain and only a small amount of discharge. I’ll continue this saga with my next post…

20w 3d– Half Way!!

Posted in Pregnancy Symptoms, Pregnant with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 14, 2012 by Me

Wow, I’ve really been neglecting this blog… I blame the baby. He’s been eating all of my creativity :p

First, we have decided on a name for the Spawn: Seth Alexander Leonidas.

Second– Holy Crap, I’m half way!!

I’m still having issues with low blood pressure/blood sugar, but I’m figuring out how to preemptively strike to avoid the spectacular crashes that I was having. Added to the mix is Pubic Symphysis Separation, also known as “broken crotch” on the December 2012 boards on babycenter.com (by the way Google Image “pubic symphysis separation” at your own risk– the pictures are pretty horrific!). Which means that, unless I’m sitting in what I now refer to as “an approved pelvic position”, my pubic bone feels like someone has been kicking it (which I guess someone has… lol). I’m talking to the OB next week about getting a prescription for a custom support belt, which will hopefully help. Sleeping with this issue has become a huge challenge, but thankfully, a fabulous friend is sending me her pregnancy pillow this week, so hopefully that will help! Otherwise, things are good. Given my age and my size there are TONS worse things that I could be dealing with, and I am incredibly grateful that things are progressing as nicely as they are.

Today’s ultrasound went well. Seth has everything in the right place and right proportions. He is still measuring almost two weeks ahead (1lb 1oz today!), so they are going to be watching that carefully so that he doesn’t get too big. We are still hoping for a 12/21/12 birth, because that would be cool. I’ve also hit the point in the pregnancy where I will be seeing the perinatal doc every two weeks. Well, not her for the next few appointments because she’s due next week–in the meantime, I’ll be seeing her associate who is also fabulous. In a month, we’ll be seeing the pediatric cardiologist to make sure that everything is ok, because of that worrisome Nucal Scan. Things looked perfect on the ultrasound, but she wants to be sure, and I’m ok with that 🙂

The baby registry is almost finished, so we’ll be sharing the link soooooon! I hate shopping, so I’ve had to do it in small steps, but we’re almost there. Yay!

Hopefully I’ll be better about keeping you all updated! Thanks for your good thoughts, support and interest 🙂

16w 3d– Amnio

Posted in Emotions, Genetic Screening, Pregnant with tags , , , , , on July 17, 2012 by Me

Amnio is tomorrow… or I guess later today. I’m starting to get really nervous about it, and worried that something bad is going to happen to the Spawn. I mean, I know that logically the strongest odds are that everything will be ok, but I can’t help the pregnant paranoia, ya know?

Ugh. I’m hoping that I can sleep tonight. And I’m hoping that I don’t have horrific dreams about terrible things happening to the Spawn…

I’ll post more in the next couple of days, I’m sure. For now, I just wanted to get this off my chest.

How NOT To Treat A Pregnant Patient…

Posted in Emotions, Pregnant, Shitty OBGYN, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by Me

So, I just had my first visit with my OB, Dr. Wrightson (I saw his RNP, Sarah before, and she was fabulous!!). I am now looking for a new OB because in the brief 12-week visit, I berrated and told:

  1. I am fat and should be LOSING weight, not gaining it. Yes, I’m overweight (292 at 5’10” with a large frame). I have gained a total of 2lbs so far (12w2d). My Perinatal Specialist says that she’d like to see me gain a total 15-20lbs. Dr. Wrightson vehemently disaggreed. He also told me that I should have been exercising all along, because “exercise has no bearing on a high-risk pregnancy”. I’m 42 and my BP and Blood Sugar are both low-normal.
  2. Because Medicaid will pay for OTC meds with a prescription, I asked if he would write me a script for my prenatals and two other OTCs that I take. He informed me “just because Medicade WILL pay for something, doesn’t mean that they SHOULD pay for it, ” and told me that we should just be paying out of pocket for OTC stuff. He then refused to write a script for anything but the prenatals.
  3. When I told him that we are both currently unemployed (my husband is an out-of-work teacher) and that every littly bit helps, he pointed out that we are having a baby. When I told him that there wasn’t much that can be done about it now, he said, “Well there WAS something that COULD have been done about it.” Insinuating what? That we should have had an abortion!? I told him that that wasn’t an option, and he rolled his eyes at me (and apparently mumbled something under his breath, which I didn’t hear, but my husband did).
  4. I had the normal bloodwork done at my last visit, but he didn’t bother to go over any of it with me, instead he simply handed me my chart and walked out of the room. Luckily, I know a little bit about medical tests, so I was able to puruse my lab results and find out that I’m not a CF carrier, and the I have no Rubella immunity (which I already knew). Oh, and I’m Rh+ which would have been nice to know. If i would have been thinking more clearly, I would have just walked out of the office with the chart.

Needless to say I was horrified, and terribly upset. My husband desperately wanted to hit the guy. Knowing absolutely nothing about us or our circumstances, this man did nothing but judge us harshly and obviously find us unworthy to be parents.

The really strange thing about all of this is that he came to me highly recommended! If you look at his online reviews, they say things like “caring”, “patient”, “kind”, “wonderful human being”. It makes me feel like I must be some sort of troll for such a man to dislike me so much! Apparently he’s a great doctor if you’re not fat and poor. *eyeroll* Even if he was having a bad day, it really doesn’t excuse the way he treated me. I left there feeling like he would rather something happen to my baby, than have it raised by a fat, poor, old mother.

Stan has been on the phone with Dr. Vo’s office (my Perinatal Dr.) and they are horrified as well. Her nurse is checking to see if Dr. Vo will take me on as a regular labor and delivery patient, or if she can recommend someone who will treat me with more compassion, and possibly like a human being…

The plan at this point is to write a letter to send to the hospital board, the program that referred me to him, and to him.