July 30, 2012

Doctors, Doctors, & More Doctors

In the last two weeks, I have seen my speech therapist, neurologist, primary care doctor and OB, plus a high risk pregnancy doctor, and hematologist (resent blood test results found me low in Proteins S & C, which help prevent blood clots). So if you have any questions about medical insurance and obtaining a referral, I am your gal.

At the recommendation of my OB, I had a consultation with a high risk pregnancy doctor to discuss whether I am really "high risk". In describing my experiences with the difficulty breathing/VCD/acid reflux, which has basically dwindled to being non-existent, and my TIA-like experience, plus review of my bloodwork, the doc had good news for me: I'm not considered high risk. In fact, the doctor isn't convinced I actually had a TIA. And while Protein S & C are lower than expected, even for a pregnant woman, the doctor wouldn't actually describe me as deficient. The hematologist said the same.

In any case, all doctors involved agree that I should be put on Lovonox, a blood thinner, as a precautionary measure. I now have the pleasure of giving myself daily injections in the side of my stomach. In two weeks, I will switch to a different blood thinner injection, Heparin. The trade off for the double pokes is the option for an epidural. (I'm not as tough as I would like to think.)  

The craziness of appointments will continue. In two days I have an appointment for a venous Doppler ultrasound of the legs to make sure I am clear of blood clots and next week I'll be getting my blood drawn to ensure my platelet count hasn't decreased due to the Lovonox injections. That's not to mention my OB appointments that have just increased to weekly. 

I'm hoping this is my last medical update of this sort. I have several baby showers to catch you up on and one more this coming weekend!

July 18, 2012

Emergency Room Take Two

I had a TIA. Or at least that is what two neurologists have concluded. 

Towards the end of the work day on Friday, July 6, I started to feel some numbness on the right side of my face and in my right hand. I dismissed this at first, until I received a phone call. As I attempted to formulate words over the phone in response to the questions I was being asked, they were not the same words I was thinking. And I began stuttering. I knew what I wanted to say, but I was experiencing aphasia. Something was very wrong.

After I managed to get through the phone call, and explain to two of my coworkers what was happening, one of them called my OB's office. "Go to the emergency room." And to the emergency room (again) I went. 

Sparing you the details of my near refusal to get an MRI ("Lay down, hold still, use these ear plugs for the noise, and sorry if you're claustrophobic." Yeah right.), extraction of vials and vials of blood, an ultrasound on my throat, attempting to sleep with a compression machine on my calf's and being admitted overnight for observation, I now have not one, but two incidents in pregnancy never before seen by my OB. 

So now on top of my more frequent prenatal visits and speech therapy appointments, I had a follow up visit with a neurologist and later will be meeting with a high risk pregnancy doctor. With the neurologist, I went over in detail what happened to me two Fridays ago. Ruling out a migraine and observing some small abnormalities in my tests, some of which may only be appearing due to pregnancy, I was told this has to be ruled a TIA. Indefinitely, it's Baby Aspirin for life. Following pregnancy, I will have a repeat of tests, plus a transesophageal echo to find my real susceptibility to a full-fledged stroke.

Oh me and pregnancy.

Bonus: Because of what happened, by OB sent me in on Monday for a growth update ultrasound. Baby P weighed a perfect 4lb 8oz (52nd percentile). I was told to expect a healthy babe in the high sevens low eights.

July 4, 2012

Into the 4th Quarter

I'm now just about 31 weeks and it's really starting to hit me that this baby is going to be here before I know it! The doctor asked me the other day if we're ready and I had to turn to Seth for assurance. I didn't know how to answer because we don't have much of what we'll need (first shower is July 14 in Minnesota), the crib isn't even set up yet, and I'm not sure exactly what ready is supposed to feel like. But am I ready for her to be here instead of in my stomach? Well...yes! 

It has been exciting to really feel Baby P move around and this past week, I was even able to feel a case of the hiccups. She now isn't just giving me jabs here and there, but Seth and I can watch her as she moves across my belly and we can can feel when she sticks her butt and feet out (or what we think are her butt and feet). Pregnancy is just crazy!

Last week I finally saw the speech therapist for the first time. I am the first case my therapist has had in which nighttime triggers VCD. Typically VCD is exercise induced, so breathing and relaxation exercises were all she could really leave me with (as expected), in addition to the suggestion that VCD may actually be triggered by acid reflux, and that is what is causing nighttime breathlessness. So now I'm taking medication for acid reflux in case that's what is happening. I think it's a mystery that may never solved, but I am confident that this is pregnancy related and won't continue postpartum. Thankfully nights of little sleep from difficulty breathing are basically under control. My new challenge is getting comfortable and waking up each time I want to roll over. But I'll gladly take this common pregnancy bother over breathless awakedness - it only takes a few seconds to fall right back asleep.

Some other updates...

Recent Cravings: Watermelon, Caribou Coffee Decalf Vanilla Cooler, kettle chips, brie and sandwiches

Weight Gain: 23 pounds

Baby's Facing: Down (but still plenty of time to be doing some flips)

Belly Button: Still an innie! And thankfully no stretch marks and only the faintest of faint linea nigra.

Exercise: Mostly the elliptical, some weights and jumping in on Seth's P90X and  Insanity workouts (completely modified). You would think Seth should put on some sympathy weight! Instead, he's sees this time as an opportunity to get in shape while he can. 

Annoyances: The heat! 100 degree weather, come on! Painful calf cramps at night and getting emotional out of nowhere 

Name: Still undecided (my number one is Seth's number two and vise versa)