October 31, 2012

30 Weeks Down, 10 (give or take) to go

I'm 30 weeks pregnant today! When we first found out about the fibroid at 22 weeks and were told we were at high risk for preterm labor, I thought I might end up with a micro preemie. I'm so glad we made it to 30 weeks. It's good to know our son's chances of survival are very good at this point, and his chances of having health problems are decreasing with each week. I still have not had any contractions since I was given Terbutaline in the hospital.

Some recent pregnancy highlights:
  • The fibroid shrunk a little! Not a lot, but a little shrinking is better than growing. It was 9.5x9.5x12 cm at 22 weeks and 8.5x8.5x9.5cm at 28 weeks. 
  • Baby is growing just fine. The ultrasound tech estimated he weighed 2.5 pounds at 22w5d, so if anything he's on the high end of normal.
  • Baby's kidneys are fine. I never mentioned there was any concern about his kidneys since I wasn't that worried, but at 20 weeks they looked a little large. Now they look fine.
  • I feel pregnant. About 14-27 weeks was the good part of pregnancy for me, minus those few days in pain. Now I feel big, I have all kinds of pelvic pain, stretching at night no longer helps my restless leg syndrome, and I wake up with leg cramps. Walking the third of a mile to work has become a chore.
  • I've gained about 20 pounds now. Nathan and I weighed exactly the same on Sunday. It took so long for me to gain weight that I wasn't sure I'd even gain 25, but now I'm on track to gain around 30. (Healthy weight gain is 25-35 lbs.)
  • I did not enjoy the glucose screening. Drinking the stuff was fine, but afterwords I had a headache and some dizziness and blurred vision. Thank goodness my glucose levels were fine!
  • My iron levels are fairly high for a pregnant woman. This one surprised me since I don't eat much red meat. Apparently prenatal vitamins and spinach are enough for me. 
  • We hired a doula. I didn't initially plan on having a doula, but there are so many unknowns about how labor and birth will go that we decided it would be good to have a trained expert there to support us.
  • Baby is still flipping around. I thought he was close to head down last Monday, but he was back to sideways by our midwife appointment Thursday. Kicking my side is preferable to kicking my bladder or ribs, so he can hang out sideways for a while. I just hope the fibroid doesn't block him from going head down, like the ob thought it might.

Overall, we're doing fine. I no longer feel like a ticking bomb, worried that contractions will start back up again at any moment. Despite being labeled a "high risk" pregnancy because no one knows what issues the fibroid could cause, I feel healthy and happy. I can't say I love being pregnant, but it really hasn't been that bad.

October 3, 2012

What I Know

If you're wondering what I've learned about my situation in the four weeks since I went to the hospital, well...not much at all. I've had one appointment with my midwife and one appointment with an ob, but since I won't have another ultrasound until I'm 28 weeks pregnant (October 15), these appointments haven't been based on any new information. The ob shared her maybes and mights about what could happen with the birth, but nothing is really certain. Here's what I do know.

I feel fine.
I may not have made this clear enough in my last post, but after I left the hospital, I was really okay. I went into work the next day, and I have been walking to work most of the time. I've hardly felt any pain after that first week week, fibroid-related or not. I still have yet to experience any more contractions. People have asked if the doctors told me to relax and put my feet up or if I was going to be put on bed rest, but I haven't been told to do or not do much of anything.

The baby's fine.
I don't really know what to say when people ask how the baby's doing, but as far as I know he's fine. He's moving around. I think his heartbeat was around 150 the last time we heard it.

There's not a 100% chance I'll need a c-section.
The ob I met with said there's not a 100% chance, just more than 50%. She did say there's slightly less risk involved with the c-section if it's scheduled rather than performed after I'm already in labor, but it won't hurt the baby if I try to birth naturally. To be clear, I'm not against c-sections. In fact, since I was born by c-section and saw the photos when I was fairly young, I didn't realize for years that there was any other way for the baby to come out. However, as of now, I don't plan on scheduling one. My baby might decide to come before his scheduled c-section, just like his mother did.

The fibroid probably won't grow or shrink much.
I've been hoping for the last few weeks that the pain I felt was from the fibroid degenerating, or dying. I was thinking we might go into our next ultrasound and find out it's only half the size it was and is no longer a problem. According to this latest doctor, fibroids don't grow or shrink much during pregnancy. It was likely already close to its current size before I was pregnant. I questioned how that was possible since this fibroid is bigger than a baseball and my uterus was about the size of a pear, but she says it's in the lower part of the uterus, kind of sticking out behind it apparently (yet it could still make the baby get stuck? I need a 3D rendering of everything). The fibroid is currently 12cmx9cmx9cm, and it would have to shrink to 5cm to not be an issue. She isn't very confident this could happen.

Due to the fibroid's position, Baby's growth shouldn't be restricted.
The good news about the fibroid being in the lower part of the uterus is that it isn't really limiting the space the baby has to grow.

Due to the fibroid's position, I may not be able to have it removed.
We'll have to see how things look when I'm not pregnant, but apparently the fibroid is right on some sort of major artery, so removing it could cause so much bleeding I'd need a hysterectomy. It might not be a quick fix like I'd hoped. But had the fibroid been higher, I may not have been able to get pregnant. We're thankful I'm at least able to have children, even if they have to be born by c-section.

Like I said...just a bunch of maybes and mights. We probably won't have much new information until I'm in labor, which we hope won't be for at least another 10 weeks. Thanks to all who have prayed for us.