Friday, January 16, 2009

Update on baby #3.

Okay, so this whole pregnancy has been a roller coaster of surprises for us. I think most of you that read this have struggled with fertility (and still are), so you'll understand. I was told at the age of 18 that I'd NEVER have children. The Navy was adamant about that. There was never a diagnosis because they never took the time to really delve into it. After all, what could an 18 year old possibly need to know about her reproductive system? I tried to push, but was always told, "It's just a mess in there." Without handing out TMI, I never did try to avoid getting pregnant for 12 years. I met my husband and it suddenly became a priority for us. After losing a baby in the latter part of the first trimester, we became desperate and I remember my ob sitting down across from me, taking my hands, wiping my tears and promising me it would happen. We aggressively sought a diagnosis and underwent three surgeries before having that final dx of polycystic ovarian syndrome. We drilled my ovaries twice. I went through a few other procedures and several months of fertility meds before deciding to stop the meds because they were having such a negative effect on me (side effects). We had been off of the meds for a month and a half before getting pregnant with the twins. It was, by all accounts, a very uneventful pregnancy. There was always that question of whether it was my body that hyperovulated on its own or if the meds were still in my system. Either way, we never thought about birth control because pregnancy was something that seemed impossible on our own. After another loss, we moved on and decided that we'd try again when the kids were in kindergarten. We talked about me going back to work this year and putting the kids in a good preschool/daycare program here in the area. The kids learn in a farm environment surrounded by animals and such. Anyway, I digress... Surprise! We're pregnant. Life moves on and we embrace the news, albeit with much fear and uncertainty because of finances and our living situation.

The pregnancy, much like the twins, has been uneventful. I suffered severe morning sickness until somewhere around the 17 week mark, then had a blissful 4-5 weeks off, and jumped right back on the morning sickness wagon. It was just like the twins. Now, while I was pregnant with the twins, I experienced a moment of intense fear when the time came for the diabetes screening. I took the test and had an appointment with the specialist the next morning. So, I was in a wait and see window about the outcome of the screening. What I remember next isn't as clear, but I know that the specialist had me in a state of sheer panic because he told me that he was certain I had gestational diabetes based on what he was seeing in the ultrasound. I never did get what he was saying, but my mom reminded me tonight that I spent the next two days crying because I was sure I had gd and that I had done something wrong. Well, as we've come to realize in this house, the doctors aren't always right and my blood sugars were actually in a very good spot.

Fast forward to this pregnancy, shall we? I'll admit right now that I haven't taken nearly as good of care of myself as I did the first time. I have two toddlers to chase after. I've not gained any weight at all, because of the hypermesis. In fact, I've lost another 2 since my last appointment but I'm certain that's because of the norovirus. I'm not a sugar fiend...never have been. In real life (before pregnancy), my blood sugars are actually low. My blood pressure is always at a great level and, unless I'm sick, never gets above 118/60. I'm not the picture of health, by far though, as I have a good 50 pounds on me that I've gained over the years. This pregnancy has been fairly uneventful, otherwise. I've consistently measured between 4 and 6 weeks ahead of my due date, but that was always explained away because I had full-term twins and my uterus was stretched to hell as a result. Lots of twin moms I know experience the same thing and look much more pregnant than they really are. I had my morning exam with my ob and had blood drawn for my glucose screening. In the afternoon, I headed over to the maternal fetal specialist (I'm seeing him because of my thyroid condition). We've seen them four times now. The first two times were really odd as I went in at my 6 week (or so we thought) for the nt screening. They measured the baby and told me I was a week off in dates, though that is impossible because the date they have me at can't possible match up with a conception date. There are four possible dates that can be used for reference, and this is not one of them. But, whatever. Science isn't a perfect art, right? So, I had to go back 2 weeks later for the nt screening. The next appointment was at 20 weeks, followed by this one. Everything was as it normally is. The tech scanned me, took pictures (finally!) and did measurements. She told me that the baby is large and weighs approximately 2.5 pounds. It should weigh approximately 1.5 pounds. She covered me up and went to get the doc, who came in and looked everything over. He started the conversation off just as he did with the twins and told me he's positive I have gd. I ask him to elaborate and he explains that the baby is too large for its gestational age and that I have a generous amount of amniotic fluid in the sac. I explain that he was dead wrong about the gd in the twins and ask if it's just possible that I grow large babies. I'm on track with this one, based on his measurements and the growth track, to have a 9-10 pound baby. He won't discuss anything with me until the test comes back on Monday/Tuesday and that he'll want to see me immediately after the results come in. He'll begin monitoring me every 2-3 weeks.

As any neurotic mother would do, I've gone to pubmed to do some research about excess amniotic fluid and one thing keeps coming up - a pregnancy that started out as an identical twin pregnancy early on with a case of TTTS, which would explain the large amount of amniotic fluid in the sac. The idea is that the surviving twin now has all of his/her fluid in addition to his/her brother/sister's fluid. The other thought (that makes sense) is that the baby has stopped swallowing his/her amniotic fluid because the kidneys aren't producing/functioning correctly. Ethan had/has hydronephrosis and it was detected around this point in the pregnancy. Of course, I could very well have developed gd this pregnancy and he could be right. I'm hoping to God that he's wrong, again, though.

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