Category Archives: Pregnancy

The “What Ifs” are Hard to Carry

First of all I want to thank you all for your comments on my last few blog posts. I have not made time, nor have I had the energy to respond. I feel like I’m just going through the motions with a lot of things in life right now, and I’m ok with that.

Now onto the point of this post. Last Tuesday I met with my MFM to go over his thoughts on what the heck happened. He is a fabulous doctor, and he answered about 98% of my questions without me having to ask them. I wonder if that’s because he’s extra awesome or if that’s pretty standard for most people. Of course we don’t really know what happened. However, his best guess is that something was wrong with the placenta given that the placenta was on the smaller side and I had growth restriction in my pregnancy with A. But even with him saying that, he reiterated that we don’t know if Colton was growth restricted based on his weight (2lb 1oz, which was on the lower side of normal for gestational age) since we did not have a growth scan scheduled until 30 weeks.

There were no signs of infection, no blood clotting issues, no maternal fetal hemorrhage, or signs of a cord accident (there was a loose nuchal cord noted when I delivered him but this is very unlikely to be the cause of his death according to my MFM). I honestly wish there was a concrete answer, even if it was that my uterus sucks, because that would make it a whole lot easier.

Then we moved into the (scary) realm of trying again. If this is our decision, we should wait at least six months from the delivery, which puts us at late August. Getting pregnant too quickly increases the risk for growth restriction and pre-term labor, both of which I’m at risk for in general with my unicornuate uterus. Then we talked about what kind of monitoring I would need, and he basically said he wanted to meet with me early in my next pregnancy to come up with a plan I’m comfortable with. He offered to manage my entire pregnancy if I want, or we can co-manage with my OB, or I can just be managed by my OB (HA, yeah right!!). His recommendation is a growth scan around 23-26 weeks at least, and if I feel I need more frequent monitoring then he is happy to do it. He also said he would be happy to meet up and talk again before I am actually pregnant to go over any other questions I may have.

I asked the ever so important question of what is our risk of having another stillbirth, and both my husband and I were pretty shocked by the answer. He did the statistics in his head based on his knowledge of studies and experience and came up with 5-10%, but likely closer to 5%. His reasoning is that I will be monitored much more closely in any future pregnancy. That does not necessarily mean that I will have a term baby, but a 95% chance to deliver a live baby (meaning it’s possible that I may be induced early and have a premature baby). We both were surprised that the recurrent stillbirth prediction is so low (not 1% low like most people who have an “unexplained” stillbirth, but still low). He also calculated that my risk is about 50% to have another growth restricted pregnancy. This is way lower than my husband and I would have thought. Another related thing I wanted to know is how many times he’s seen someone have two stillbirths in a row and he said once, and both of this person’s babies had genetic defects as the reason for stillbirth.

Overall, this makes me reassured that if we do decide to try again, I will be monitored much more closely than with both Colton and A.

Something I asked him is if he thinks I’m crazy for wanting to try again. He said based on my risk factors and his analysis, he does not think it’s crazy at all for me to try for another pregnancy. I just have to make sure I can cope with the worst happening again.

My last questions was about using lovenox in a subsequent pregnancy. He does not think it’ll do anything (and he also does not think the aspirin does anything) but if I want to try it and can’t find someone to prescribe it, he would be happy to prescribe it for me. My husband does not want me to use this medicine and says it’s a deal breaker for trying again. I would like to try it if we do try again so I’ll have to figure out if I can convince him to let me do it.

I just wanted to add that my D&C showed that I had an infection in my uterus (endometritis) and no retained placenta was noted. The mass my OB saw could be a small fibroid (which has never been noted on any ultrasound or other test I’ve had so I’m guessing it’s a recent growth). We will follow up on this later, especially if I have long periods or bleeding and cramping in between periods. I finished a 5 day course of doxycycline and I am taking a 2 week course of Augmentin to hopefully get rid of it. My MFM says that endometritis is something the pathologist writes when they don’t have anything else to put down so it’s possible I’m taking the antibiotics for nothing. Awesome…

I don’t think I’ve actually written much about the events surrounding us finding out that Colton died, but I only noticed reduced fetal movement about 2 days before he died, and I have major regrets that I did not go in on Friday night after noticing the reduced movement. I was super concerned that night and I will always wonder if I would have gotten checked out if he would be here today. I am well aware that a 28 week delivery would likely have had some bad outcomes (including him dying anyway) but it’s hard to not wonder if he would be coming home soon (since this past Saturday I would have been 37 weeks). Both my OB, MFM and husband all say to not beat myself up over this, and I’m not, but the what ifs are hard to carry. I’ll leave it at that.

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The Worst Experience of My Life

Dear blog friends,

I am so sad to tell you that our beautiful baby, Colton, passed away and was born still on 2/24/2019 at 6:09pm. He was so beautiful and tiny, perfect in every way. My husband and I are devastated. I never in a million years thought I would experience this, even though I am intimately familiar with the risks of pregnancy, especially with my history.

I will be writing much more about the experience, the postpartum period, and what the heck we are going to do next in the coming weeks. It will hopefully be a therapeutic experience for me, and also I hope it will keep his memory alive.

Lastly, I hope with all my heart that if you have gone through this traumatic experience you know that you are not alone and I am so sorry to share this bond with you. The isolation is one of the most difficult parts, as no one knows him except my husband and I, and no one will ever get to know him.

Love,

RJ

The big ā€Vā€

Today marks 24 weeks (by my calendar) so I’ve officially hit viability. Not that I want this baby to come anytime soon but it’s a bit of a relief to know if something does happen and I have to deliver early he will actually have a chance.

I had my 24 week appointment yesterday and my fundal height is measuring right on track, so that’s good. I was supposed to do the gestational diabetes screening but I ate grapes so it could have been a bit risky to try. We also had cake at work to celebrate January birthdays (yum). So I’ll do it next week when I have a half day. Hopefully that will not be an issue.

My weight is slightly higher than it should be this time. I’m up 19lbs (12 of that was by 16 weeks…eek). My OB isn’t really worried about it, especially with the history of IUGR, but I am a bit concerned. I do not want to put on too much weight. If I want to stay at 35lbs total I can only gain 16lbs more. With A, I gained 37 or 38lbs so not too shabby. I ate so much at the end trying to get A to gain weight. I now know that doesn’t work, so I will not bother eating too much extra if it happens again.

Next step is the GD test, followed by 28 week appointment, and then the ever important growth scan. I wonder how my fundal height will be measuring in a month. Hopefully all will be perfect!

22 week ultrasound…

So my cervix measured longer at 3.8 to 4 this time! Thank goodness.

I’m beginning to realize my anxiety about appointments is contributing to my symptoms and seems to increase my Braxton Hicks contractions and cramping. Apparently I need to do a better job relaxing in general. I am ok until a few days before the appointment and then I start to let the anxiety take over. Any suggestions?

Next step is a another cervix check at 24 weeks and the gestational diabetes test. Yay! And the ever so exciting viability at 24 weeks (which I hope to goodness I don’t have anything close to a 24 weeker)!!

20 week ultrasound

So in my true blogging form I am late to the game once again. My 20 week ultrasound was a week and a half ago and I’m happy to report that everything looks within normal limits with the baby! He is measuring on track with dates so far, which is a huge relief. And we confirmed that he actually is a he.

My cervix is measuring 3.2cm which is still in the reassuring range, but of course I’m concerned that it’s been shortening every two weeks. I started in the 5cm range, down to 4cm and now closer to 3cm. I held steady around 4cm for my last pregnancy. Hopefully my cervix check this week will show no change and I can stop worrying about it (yeah right, I am a huge worrier).

Next up is my last cervix check at 22 weeks, and then I will have a growth scan around the 30 week mark. With baby A, the growth scan at 30 weeks was where the IUGR was diagnosed so I’m hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

I’ve been feeling movement since 15 weeks but over the last week it’s become very frequent and it’s getting stronger. I even saw a kick through my belly the other night. My husband has been able to feel him this past week as well, which has been great for bonding.

My Braxton hicks contractions have been increasing in frequency over the past week as well. I hate that I feel them so early. I’m always concerned they are going to turn into preterm labor. I’ve also had some period-like pain that I’ve been attributing to round ligament pain (this has been my norm for weeks). It’s been way worse this pregnancy but luckily it’s only severe for 10-15 mins before subsiding.

I finally started telling people at work, and it’s certainly time because I cannot hide I anymore. Hilariously enough I have a co-worker who is due 2 days before me! She also waited until the 20 week mark to say anything. I know she and her husband had a hard time conceiving (although I don’t know the details) so I am super ecstatic for her! Sadly, I have another co-worker who is currently experiencing her third miscarriage in a year. She had a late miscarriage at 18 weeks where her water just broke out of nowhere, followed by two first trimester miscarriages. I’m so sad for her and I did my best to offer her support yesterday when she told me (I disclosed my five miscarriages to her) but I’m still unsure how much support she wants from the pregnant girl so I’ll just keep checking in.

In other news, we are potty training A. She is still in diapers for naps and nights but she’s doing great otherwise. She still poops in her diaper but has also pooped in the potty several times as well. I initially didn’t want to bribe but my husband started giving her 3 chocolate chips if she poops in the potty and that has helped immensely. She doesn’t need any bribing for pee. We had one day this week where she peed herself FIVE times in an afternoon and I though we had completely regressed, but it’s now been almost 4 days and no accidents since then. She is also doing great at daycare using the potty. I hope it keeps going well.

Wishing everyone all the best in the new year!

18 week cervix check

I met with a different doctor to do my 18 week check last Thursday. Thank goodness it’s measuring an average of 4cm. Everything else looked good (strong heartbeat, fluid looks normal) but it was a quick surface ultrasound. My anatomy scan is next Thursday and I am really hoping that everything looks normal and that he is measuring on track.

I have been feeling movement off and on, but it’s getting more frequent which is super reassuring. My placenta is anterior again so it really is a miracle that I can feel anything this early. I feel really lucky!

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. We did!

16 weeks and the cervix checks begin…

I had my 16 week appointment yesterday and everything looks good so far! My cervix is measuring 5.15cm which is fabulous. Thank goodness! (Side note, I went in around 14 weeks for intense pelvic pressure and my cervix measured 3.2cm so I am very happy with the longer measurement). My uterus is also measuring on track for 16 weeks.

I asked if she could try and estimate the baby’s gestational age and he is measuring right at 16 weeks 3 days, so perfect growth. I am super concerned about IUGR after last time. It didn’t show up until sometime between my 20 week ultrasound and my growth scan around 28-29 weeks. So I’m reassured that things are fine now but not entirely convinced it won’t happen again. Baby A was somewhere in the 30th percentile at 20 weeks and <3rd percentile at the growth scan so we shall see.

I’m still taking the vaginal progesterone twice a day which is messy and not my favorite thing but I have no interest in seeing what happens if I stop. I took it though the entire pregnancy last time and will be doing the same this time. The new pack of pills are red, which is lovely because it looks like blood when it comes out. I was reading about this on google and someone pointed out that if it was real blood, it would turn brownish on your pad, while the red progesterone stays a bright red. That was extremely comforting and so far only bright on the pads!

I’m also still on the baby aspirin. I’m not sure when I will stop that. Last time I stopped at 28 weeks. I have my doubts that the aspirin actually helped the blood flow later in pregnancy because of when A was diagnosed with IUGR relative to when I stopped the aspirin. We shall see.

I’ve been feeling flutters since 15 weeks which is amazing! I never had flutters with baby A because of my anterior placenta. Only pokes. This time my placenta is partially anterior so better for movement. I’ve also been having some intense round ligament pain. Feels like really bad period cramps only on the right side (the side my uterus is on). It’s not daily thank goodness but several times a week. Very uncomfortable. Otherwise feeling good!

Lastly I’ve already put on 12 pounds so not good! I blame the holidays and needing to eat when I felt crappy. Hopefully it gets a bit better now that I’m feeling better. But I really have to watch it.

Hope everyone is well!