Saturday, September 21, 2013

B-day locked in

Unfortunately our placenta scan didn't go the way I'd hoped this week. Through the whole pregnancy I've been told our placenta is low lying and that it would need to be checked closer to delivery. Usually the placenta moves upward as the uterus grows, so low lying at 20-weeks isn't usually cause for concern. This week's scan showed that our low lying placenta had an edge covering the cervix. The obstetrician even pointed out the piece of placenta that lifted when we had the edge bleed (antepartum haemorrhage) that was still hanging over the top of the cervix.

Once I'd seen the scan I thought this isn't looking good. Still, we sat down with the obstetrician afterwards and talked through what he could see and what that could mean if we still wanted to proceed a normal delivery. The obstetrician clinically described the result as a minor placenta praevia. He advised that based on how much placenta is covering the cervix there is a chance we could still have an okay normal labour and birth. The placenta might move out of the way as the cervix opens. However, given that we've already had one bleed, it seems more likely that more bleeding will occur and then just how much bleeding seems to become the problem.

The placenta is an organ made up of blood vessels and is designed to transfer blood. So when it is bleeding, it isn't good. The ob also says you don't know if given the bleeding etc, if the uterus won't start to kind of freak out and then the whole placenta could come away. I can't remember the exact clinical descriptions for these things. But the ob says they are genuine dangers for us given our history of miscarriage, having had four D&Cs and having already had a bleed that required hospital admission during this pregnancy.

The obstetrician then said if I asked what he would advise he would advise we have a caesarean. He did say there are still some issues that can occur with the placenta being delivered by caesarean, that my uterus might not contract as well as it should, but from what I can gather, this risk is much less dangerous for me and for baby.

The ob tells us the perfect time to do a caesarean would be 39-weeks gestation, however there is a chance I could go into labour, which he is now very keen for us to avoid. So 38-weeks is next best time. Baby should be fully cooked by then. So we left our appointment with a due date locked in for 11 October 2013 - exactly 38-weeks gestation.We were pretty excited to have a date set and to know exactly when baby will be arriving.

It is a little strange to go from expecting baby around 25 October, to knowing baby will be here on 11 October. Despite my normal, rational thinking, I was hoping if anything baby would be a bit late because of - please don't think less of me - star signs. Mini Matty could alway have been a libra, but his due date was scorpio and late would have guaranteed scorpio. I've known a few libras in my time and my significant ex was a libra - so I'm a little scarred when it comes to male librans. I know I sound crazy. I've even been googling libra horoscope info to try and find out more good things about the sign. Maybe my ex would have been the same if he were a scorpio. Okay - so that's my little bit of crazy. I have to get over it, as mini matty is going to be libran.

When it comes to genuine concerns, I am concerned about the medical procedure. I was much more comfortable with the idea of lots of pain pre-birth and then (hopefully) a relatively quick, simple recovery. I know this isn't the case for all vaginal deliveries. I am now faced with zero pain pre-delivery and a plethora of drugs to help manage pain while I start a lengthy recovery. I'm a sook when it comes to surgical recovery and am all about the really good pain killers. I hope I'll be able to take the awesome painkillers they gave me after my keyhole surgeries - oxycodone is the business! - even if I'm breastfeeding.

Even as I'm writing about all this, I keep thinking, really what does it matter. I know come 11 October we are going to finally have the hard fought for baby we have been dreaming of. Our little family will grow from 2 (+1 furry kid) to 3 (+1 furry kid). I'm sure it is going to be amazing.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Return to having an awesome pregnancy

It has been four weeks since our little pregnancy hiccup - the antepartum haemorrhage. Over the past couple of days I've noticed I've reverted to mostly feelings of excitement and joy in the pregnancy and now more than ever the impending arrival of our first child.

This week we had our fortnightly obstetrics appointment. It was another growth scan appointment where we checked in on how mini matty was growing. For the past 8 weeks mini matty has stuck to the same growth trajectory. Overall he is on the 75th-80th percentile. His weight is currently estimated at 2.6 kilos, which in the old money is around 5 pound 12 ounces. I finally remembered to ask what weight we could expect mini matty to be if we make full term. Of course this is only an estimate, but 3.6 - 3.8 kilos, which is around 7 pound 15 ounces to 8 pounds 6 ounces.

Just before our obstetric appointment at almost 34-weeks pregnant
We have another obstetric appointment later this week to do an internal scan to check out what's going on with the placenta. Given the bleed 4-weeks ago, we need to see if the placenta is still low lying and going to cause any troubles for a vaginal delivery. I have hoped to avoid having a caesarean birth. I've had several keyhole surgeries through our baby making mission, I know I take a long time to recover from even simple surgery. Given this, I'd prefer not to have a major surgical procedure, if it looks as though we could safely have the baby the old fashioned way! However, I'm also all about safely having the baby, so that both mini matty and I get to go home. So if the obstetrician makes the call that caesarean is the best option for clinical reasons, so be it.

The past four weeks I've worked a lot less, finishing up my full-time contract and transitioning to a consulting job for one client, that is keeping me busy for up to 10 hours a week. I mostly get to undertake this work from home, so I am feeling very lucky and quite relaxed that I am still able to work, but don't have face the daily grind. I confessed to one of my colleagues last week that my enthusiasm for work has diminished in the past week. My heart isn't in it like it used to be. But the cash coming in is very handy, especially given our renovation plans!

Argghhhhh the renovation! The next three weeks there is a lot of work going on at home leaving us without a kitchen and laundry for two full weeks! We've also had to empty our two spare bedrooms so that asbestos can be removed from the wardrobes and new fitouts and doors be fitted in all three bedrooms. We have decided that since we needed to clear the rooms to have asbestos removed we may as well go all out and repaint and recarpet the rooms. I can't wait for it all to be done, but I'm also really hoping mini matty doesn't come early! All our baby stuff is stored in the garage, clothes, cot, change table, pram, sheets - I mean EVERYTHING we have for the baby.

I'm also not much help when it comes to the work of moving stuff, as I can't lift anything heavy, can't really bend over very easily and even being on my feet for any period of time leaves me with sore hips and legs! So I've timed the bulk of renovation work with my husband's upcoming two week school holidays. He is going to be flat out prepping walls, windows, cornice and skirting boards for painting in 5 rooms (our house only has 7 rooms and a hallway!) - and then painting. It will be two and half weeks (bringing me to 37-weeks pregnant) before the rooms will be repainted and carpeted and ready to move back into. Then it will be action stations setting up Mini Matty's room and getting all his linens and clothes washed!

I'm really getting why so many people talk about the final trimester being a drag. I've found sleeping is a lot harder, with a combination of sore hips, legs and knees, active night time baby, needing to pee and most recently reflux/indigestion. And - how hard is it to roll over! Day time has it own challenges, for example simple tasks taken for granted have become more difficult - tasks like putting on clothes, socks and shoes. I haven't needed help to do these things yet, but I'm certainly a lot slower doing it and make decisions on what to wear based on a level of difficulty in putting it on or taking it off. I've also discovered my first new stretch marks! I thought I was going to get off on the stretch mark front, but it doesn't appear to be so. Fingers crossed I don't get too many new additions over the next few weeks.

Despite all that I'm really enjoying being pregnant and pretty much celebrating every extra week mini matty stays in-utero. Watching my tummy undulate with a wiggling baby is probably my favourite thing - especially if someone else sees it too. Throughout this pregnancy I've often thought how rare being pregnant is, it is such a unique state that only women, and not all women, get to experience and only during a small window in their lives. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to experience it.