Posted by: laughing4heir | August 5, 2011

Good News/Bad News

The first time I was taken to the hospital after a bleeding incident when I was pregnant with Giggle Girl, I remember joking with one of the nurses that this kid was trying really hard to be an only child.  And as children go, she’s so much fun, so sunny, so sweet, so social and (thus far) so responsive to our admonitions, that it would probably be wise to quit while we’re ahead and just let her be an only.  However, we’ve always known that if we could, we’d like more children.  And so we decided to give it the old college try again.  By “college try”, of course, I mean having lots of sex, frequently after pizza and alcohol.  Always, when the baby was asleep.  Children, I’ve decided, are like the parents’ parents.  You have to sneak around behind their backs to have sex when they’re in the house, or sneak out of the house to do it.

Unsurprisingly, given my history, it worked.  I got pregnant.  None too soon.  We’d decided that if it took one more month, we’d contact our old friends at the fertility specialty clinic and get the ball rolling on IVF again.  Of course, the problem with finding out I’M pregnant is that I have a narrow window between confirmation and miscarriage in which to act.  I took my test at week 4 and immediately called my doctor who called in a prescription of Lovenox for me.  Thank God.  We think that has been the magic bullet for me.  I’m now 20 weeks pregnant and so far the only medical intervention we’ve had to rely on to make this pregnancy work is a daily shot of blood thinner and baby aspirin.  Take that, MTHFR!  So that’s the good news.

What’s the bad news?  We discovered at my 20 week ultrasound, this week, that I have placenta previa again.  This isn’t entirely a shock.  Apparently, placenta previa, though rare, is more likely to occur in women who’ve had uterine surgeries and c-sections.  Check and check!  While we’re relieved that there has so far been no indication of a recurrence of vasa previa, we’re nonetheless concerned about this complication.

Until this point, everything in this pregnancy had been so far so good. No bleeding in early pregnancy.  A first!  We could have sex during this pregnancy.  A first!  A pregnancy that lasted longer than 6 weeks.  A very happy second!  Could we be so bold as to hope for a completely complication-free pregnancy?  One of those ones that friends all around us have?  One of those ones that family all around us have?  Oh, dear, silly us!  I’ve joked with friends that my uterus had a Dickensian past, and that’s why we’re going for an elective c-section this time.  I’ve also likened my reproductive system to a hard-luck woman’s Lifetime Original Movie starring Meredith Baxter Birney.  Though I’ve never given it voice, I’ve thought of my reproductive history as something out of a Greek tragedy.  And what does Greek drama warn us against, above all?  Hubris!  And so, methinks, Pan, or some trickster Olympian god with whom I’m not well acquainted, tossed in placenta previa, just to prevent us from getting too comfortable.

Now anxiety is rushing back in.  I should say first, that the baby looks healthy by all indicators.  For this, we are pleased, relieved and joyful.  But right now, the anxiety is definitely returning.  My technical due date is December 21.  We were already thinking a c-section would occur a week or two before that, though. And frankly, my husband and I will be happy if the baby stays in till December 1.  That’s our minimal target date:  December First.  Stay put, baby!  But what if I start contracting at week 32?  Can I please, please, please avoid hospital bed rest this time?  What happens with my daughter if I have a bleeding incident or go into premature labor while I’m at home?  If I call 911, where does she go?  My husband can’t always get to his phone from work.  My mother in law frequently doesn’t have her ringer turned on, plus she’s a slow mover.

I guess my main worry is pre-term or spontaneous labor.  And my secondary worry is clotting.  Preterm or spontaneous labor would be a concern for anyone with a complete placenta previa, but it’s doubly concerning for someone on blood thinners.  You don’t want the mother to bleed to death.  MTHFR truly is a MoTHerFuckeR.  At what point do I quit the thinners?  Last time it was at 29 weeks.  I had several bleeding incidents past that and even an emergency c-section and I was fine:  no blood clots that broke off and killed me.  (I totally agree that we have WAY too many c-sections in this country, but I hate that everything I read lately is that a c-section WILL result in a blood clot that WILL kill you before you can go home with your baby!  Thanks. As if there aren’t enough anxieties inherent to pregnancy and childbirth!)  If my MTHFR is the brand that typically aborts pregnancies in the first 6 weeks or so, when should I go off the thinners?  Especially since I’ll be at home, and not under the constant eye of nurses and doctors?  Can I drop them, now?  And there’s a whole host of other criss-crossing venn diagram anxieties that sound even less coherent and than these that I can’t fully articulate, nor should I burden any self-respecting literate person with.

Anyway, suffice it to say:  I’m excited and I’m very anxious.  And who knows?  Since this pregnancy is already less complicated than the last, maybe the next will finally be uncomplicated.  We can hope, right?

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