Friday, December 8, 2006

Preventative measure

So how did I make it to 28 weeks? There are a number of factors which we contribute it to. Whether or not they were (all) needed, we’ll never know. Our tragic loss last year will never be determined. You can’t imagine how frustrating that is.

We’ve been proactive since Day 1. In fact, our initial Perinatologist group was a nightmare because they wanted to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach for the pregnancy. Our thought was, ‘wait for something to go wrong, and then it’s too late?’ That was not acceptable, especially since this was the same group we saw last year. They’re horrible and cold. I suppose you have to be given their line of work. They weren’t proactive last year and I can’t help but wonder if our outcome would’ve been different had we had another doctor.

Some of our preventative measures have included the aforementioned cerclage. We saw the best doctor for cerclages - Dr K in San Francisco. He spent 3 hours with us at our initial consultation. He wasn’t trying to convince us one way or the other, but just presented the facts. Many OBs perform 3 or 4 cerclages during their entire career. Most Peris will perform 3-4 a year. Dr K does between 80-100 a year! He has said, it’s his thing. In fact, he’s modified the standard McDonald cerclage to his own. Since his office is 2 hours from where we used to live, I couldn’t see him on a regular basis. I’ve seen 4 other Peris since and every one of them have been very impressed with Dr K’s cerclage because of its uniqueness. Seeing Dr K was one of the best decisions we made for our babies.

Dr K also prescribed Acid Jelly which has been helpful. For guys reading this blog, this will be TMI. But, you guys can appreciate what we have to go through. Acid Jelly keeps the Ph balance in the vagina. When pregnant, the hormones are all over the place making the vagina susceptible to infections, most commonly yeast infections. Not only am I one of these lucky ones, but last year’s lab results showed I had a high presence of Group B Strep (GBS). Simply put, GBS is kind of like E Coli. It’s bad, but you have it in your system. If you have too much, then that’s really bad. But it’s a part of you and not harmful if kept in check. GBS is only harmful when you are delivering vaginally and then it could be fatal to the baby if they’re exposed to it in the birth canal. Nonetheless, GBS is an infection and we don’t know if GBS contributed to the rupture of Matthew’s placenta. There are different opinions on what to do with GBS. Some doctors think it should be treated with antibiotics. Other doctors (including Dr K) believe it should be left alone and by administering antibiotics it could do more harm in the long run (i.e. developing a tolerance which may make treatment of other infections more difficult). All this to say, the Acid Jelly has kept me free of infections (both yeast and GBS) during this pregnancy.

I also get weekly injections of 17 alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (known as 17P or P17). It’s been shown to reduce the risk of preterm delivery and controlling an irritable uterus (which I seem to have). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pricked and poked for this pregnancy. Just last week alone, I had the 3 hour glucose test where they drew blood 4 times in 3 hours! I have a huge bruise on my arm from the IV they inserted last week in addition to the shot of terbutaline to stop the contractions. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, but I still get squeamish and can’t look when they’re inserting the needle.

To top it off, I have a yogurt smoothie every morning and a whey protein shake every evening, for the past 197 days. Whew, that’s most of it. There are a few more items I haven’t included but you get the gist of it. I hope this doesn’t put anyone off from trying to have a baby. Most people I know have sailed through their pregnancies. I don’t know why we had to lose Matthew and Isabel, but I know we’re extremely blessed to be pregnant again.

1 comment:

Kj said...

Wow! What a lot of difficult decisions you and Mike have needed to make. You have mastered your way through all of it. Awesome – way to go guys :-)