Friday, December 21, 2012

shoe drop-part two

I left off with an appointment on Monday to speak with the doctor and verify my fluid levels. Basically I just wanted to hear whether or not my baby was going to be crushed to death by my lack of fluid and if I needed to go on strict bed rest. I was also thinking I might be able to find out that all the water chugging I did actually made a difference. Well, my doc was running behind and we didn't get called back for our appointment until AN HOUR after it was scheduled! Then we had to wait another 20 minutes for him to actually come in the room. Piper had been amazing this whole time. She spent some time looking at the tree in their lobby, sitting on my lap playing with my phone, and just goofing around. By the time we got to the room, I could tell she was getting restless and by the time the doc came in, she was in meltdown mode. I mean, who could blame her? I was about to meltdown. It was dinnertime, we had been there for an hour and a half, and there's only so much available for entertainment at a doctor's office. We spoke with the doctor and for whatever reason he thought I was worried about the heart. I guess they couldn't get a good visualization of the baby's heart, so it was in the report that they needed to recheck it. He was trying to assure me that everything looked good, but they would probably just want to do a level II to fully visual the heart. I finally stopped him and said, "Look, I'm not worried about the heart. I saw all four chambers, it looked good. What I AM worried about is my fluid level. I want to know more about that." And finally he realized why I was there.

He looked at the report and said something along the lines of how it was low but not too bad and they see that all the time. Now, I knew from my research that my level was not "normal". It was low. Not critical, but definitely something they needed to pay attention to. I explained to him that I was scared and that I wanted to make sure my baby was ok. He then agreed to recheck my levels right then. Over to the ultrasound machine we went. Baby was moving all over when we saw him, which was actually a relief because I thought I had been feeling him all day, but didn't want to say for sure. The doc then began measuring the pockets of fluid and explained that if he saw one greater than 5cm, he wouldn't need to measure any more. We saw 3, 2, 2, 2. 9cm. The same as it was a week earlier. At least it hadn't gone down, but this meant that it wasn't a one time occurrence, this meant that I actually did have low fluid. The doctor said it wasn't critical, but that I would need to be rechecked every few weeks. He shook our hands and showed us the door. I didn't get ANY of my questions answered. At that point Piper had had it. She was fussing and squirming and the doctor was rounding out the end of his day. I tried not to cry as we made our next appointment. The receptionist informed me that she couldn't get me in for 3.5 weeks even though the sheet said 2-3. I tried not to panic on the drive home and I tried not to lose it when I started googling "low amniotic fluid 19 weeks". I talked to my mom and tried to figure out what I should realistically be doing or not doing. It's hard to figure out the balance between how much I should freak out and what I can do to help the situation. My mom was a great person for that. She told me that I should be freaking out--being in the 5th percentile is not good. BUT, she also said that there are things I can be doing which will hopefully help the situation. She told me to sit as much as possible and rest up. She told me to ask for help when I need it. She also told me that I did not need to call a perinatologist, but that it did seem like my doc was open to monitoring me closely (plus I'll be seeing a different OB next week--part of another story). I feel like I needed permission to sit on my butt and rest up. I also felt like I needed permission to relax and take it easy. My mom gave me that. She also helped assure me that although my situation is not the best, it's also not the worst either.

So, there you have it. I can relax now because the other shoe has dropped. It's almost a relief because I know what caused it. I have low fluid and will need to be closely monitored for the next 20 weeks. I will need to pray daily that I'm able to keep this little man cooking until at least 36 weeks. And, even better, I can pray that I'm able to get my fluid up to the normal range and can still go for a VBAC. I've been drinking a minimum of a gallon a day since Monday and also trying some other tricks (baths, laying on my left side, upping my protein). Here's hoping I get good news next week!

Have you ever experienced a complication while pregnant? How did you deal with it?


  1. Hi from ICLW! My cousin had low fluids too and went to almost full term, just 4 weeks shy of the 40 weeks. She also had a boy. He is fine but it was scary for her being her first pregnancy.

  2. Visiting from ICLW. I recently had a scary ultrasound experience myself. My fluid levels are currently being closely monitored along with my baby's growth to ensure my placenta is functioning correctly. Pregnancy anxiety is never fun. I hope you get your healthy baby and your VBAC.

  3. Oh goodness, this just seems scary. I am 5 weeks, 2 days and already feel very nervous for everything. How frustrating that appointment must have been for you, but thank goodness for you mom. I wish you the best of luck and hope that your fluid levels raise, even if just a little bit!

  4. Hi from ICLW! Wow a gallon of water a day? That is crazy. I know that this is scary but you are going to be just fine. GL to you!!

  5. How scary! You asked about complications we've had and how we handled them. My last pregnancy began three months after I lost twins. At 6.5 weeks I began period-like bleeding which continued all day every day for 15 days straight, and then recurred at 11 weeks for half a day. The doctors did two u/s, confirmed there was a heartbeat and said there was nothing else we could do but wait to see if I would lose the baby or not.

    At 20 weeks I was finally starting to relax slightly when I was diagnosed with complete placenta previa (probably the cause of the first tri bleeding). It often resolves, but by 30 weeks it hadn't moved at all and with a previous c-section, my odds of it moving were now down to 15%. Every day from 24 weeks on I updated my percentage chart of the survival stats if I began hemorrhaging and my son had to be delivered immediately.

    At 32 weeks, I found out my placenta had moved completely away from my cervix - good, but always a risk for vasa previa, which is 95% fatal to the baby if non diagnosed prenatally. My OB blew me off and refused to check for it (a simple colour doppler test). At the same u/s, I found out my son's head measurements had dropped from the 44th to the 2nd percentile. My OB blew this off too.

    I spend the rest of my pregnancy in a daze of sheer adrenal exhaustion from the constant high level of anxiety. My son's head measurements stayed in 2nd percentile through to delivery by scheduled c-section (which I very much wanted) at 39w2d.

    And you know what? At 4 months he is a chubby, healthy little boy with 50th percentile head measurements and weight and 75th in length. He's just fine. I never did have the catastrophic bleed that many complete placenta previa ladies experience. I made it into the 15% of my risk group who have it move, and I didn't have vasa previa.

    I'm going on about this to encourage you that you can have complication after complication and still take home a healthy baby. By all means educate yourself about your situation and push your doctor to make sure everything is being done that can be. But I wanted to encourage you that there are happy endings out there. There is a tendency on the Internet to hear more about tragedies because of course people want to raise awareness or just need to grieve. I've been there when I lost the twins (although thankfully that was not a late loss). But happy endings exist too and I'm wishing the best for you.

    Visiting from ICLW.

  6. Visiting from ICLW.

    I have not gotten my BFP yet, but I can only imagine how scary complications must be during pregnancy under any circumstaces. But when you first suffered with IF I would only imagine it would be that much scarier. Glad your mom was able to offer encouraging words and give you the pass you needed to take it easy. Best of luck to you and your baby.

  7. What a frustrating day! I hope you've been able to take it easy and enjoy the holiday.

  8. I've had more complications than I even care to go into. The only way to deal with it all was to pray, keep a bunch of girlfriends on call to talk me down off a ledge if necessary, and my crafts (crocheting and cross stitching) were my sanity savers.

    Wishing you the best of luck for the rest of your pregnancy.

    ICLW #6 Dragondreamer's Lair

  9. Don't worry too much. Everything will be fine...Enjoy your holidays! Marie from ICLW

  10. Hope you had a lovely Christmas, and that you can get your fluid levels up! :)