27 Weeks!!

27 weeks is an exciting milestone for us, this means that the baby is viable and there is a greater than 90% chance that she will survive if born now, especially if she is over 500 grams (which we know she is). This takes a huge weight off our shoulders, but at the same time, we are just entering the 3rd trimester which is when things will get a little more scary for me. I have to worry more about the pre-eclampsia and HELLP syndrome, plus the chances of bleeding again from the previa increases. I hate to be a little selfish in situations like this, but everyone seems to put so much focus on the baby; "as long as the baby is doing well, that's what's important!" I get that, and obviously it's the biggest concern for us too. But as I told someone my story last week, she said, "the things we do for our kids!" I thought, "FINALLY, someone is acknowledging my struggles." Not that people aren't concerned for me, but it was really nice to actually hear it, especially from someone I barely knew and was just hearing my story for the first time. I think what some people don't realize about my conditions are that there are some major risks to the mother as well, and that scares the crap outta me, especially after my first delivery. The doctor just put me on double the iron pills because they want my iron stores (hemoglobin) to be really high in preparation for delivery so I can handle it if I end up bleeding again. Pretty scary when they prepare you for bleeding; almost like they are expecting it. Better to be prepared I guess, then maybe I can avoid transfusions this time.

The most exciting thing since my last blog entry is that my brother and his girlfriend had their baby boy, Kade, on April 9th. A few little hiccups with his delivery, but him and momma are at home and doing great now. It was amazing to hold a little newborn again and to watch Lexi's love for her new little cousin. It gives me lots of excitement and hope for our new little bundle.

On April 6th I had a really good appointment at the OB. When I was first referred to my OB I was warned that she didn't have the greatest bedside manner, but "she was really good." So with my problems, they wanted me to see her. She is a great doctor, she sends me for all the tests I need and is diligent with getting back to me with results and sending me for more tests or whatever I need; she really is monitoring me closely and taking care of me. My only issue with her is that I can never get all my questions in when I see her (as you can imagine, I have lots). When I don't get answers I end up googling things, which probably isn't the greatest idea because it freaks me out even more. Today my OB was away and I saw a different doctor, she answered all my questions, even some of the smallest concerns I've had and I left feeling really good!

On April 3rd I got my glucose test results back for gestational diabetes. I needed below 7.7 to pass and mine was 8.9. I went back for a second, more thorough test on April 12th, which I found out yesterday that I failed as well. So what the heck... might as well add gestational diabetes to my list of issues!! How's that for positivity?? In reality, I just about cried when she told me, I probably would've cried if my mom and dad weren't there with me when I found out. At this point I don't really know what this will entail for me, I know I have to see ANOTHER specialist in Edmonton to discuss it. I may or may not have to take insulin, but I will likely have to prick my fingers and test my blood throughout the day. From what I've read online it can be managed fairly well through diet and exercise, which of course I can't do right now (the exercise part that is). The gestational diabetes is probably the least of my concerns though because it's something I have a little bit of control over. Hopefully I can manage it ok, it's just another thing to add to my list of things to monitor throughout the days.

The emotional toll this is taking on me is the hardest part, physically I feel great most days, and from everyone else's point of view, I probably look ok emotionally, but inside it's very hard. I've broken down a few times; cried myself to sleep and tossed and turned at night thinking about everything. I think for the most part I have good days though and I sleep well. I have a great support system and I've been focussing on some of my hobbies (crocheting mostly). Maybe I'll finish some projects I've had on the back burner for a few years. I think the crying is inevitable though, between the hormones and everything going on, it just happens!! It's very weird for me though, because normally I'm not a crier, even in some situations where most people cry, I usually don't.

Here's a few stats on my conditions:

Condition #1: 
- HELLP Syndrome: affects 0.2-0.6% of pregnancies.
- This increases to almost 15% now because I had it in the first pregnancy.

Condition #2:

- Retained Placenta: 0.5-1% of births are affected.
- This increases to 15-20% because I had it in the first pregnancy.

Condition #3:

- Vasa Previa (placenta previa with a bilobed placenta): 0.0005% of pregnancies affected.
- This is what caused my bleeding and google says 66.7% of patients with antenatal bleeding require an emergency c-section later on.

Condition #4:

- Gestational Diabetes: 3-20% of pregnancies are affected depending on the risk factors.
- The risks for pre-eclampsia, depression and a c-section are higher with gestational diabetes.

It seems as though I'm pretty much doomed to have a c-section, but I've come to terms with it and found a silver lining... at least I won't have to go through labour!! There is still a small chance that the placenta could migrate and I may not need a c-section, but I'm not really sure what the chances are. Only the next ultrasound will really tell us what's going on, so my next entry will be after that, which is on April 25th. I also have an appointment with the pre-eclampsia/HELLP specialist that day, plus I will have seen the diabetes specialist by then too, so my next update should have lots to tell.


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