Archives for March 2011

And So It Goes

I waited to type this up after I had gotten through the big, emotional crying thing, because if I’d written it then, you guys would have been really worried about me. I’m proving time and time again that I have about zero tolerance for bad pregnancy news.

So today we went to the high-risk doctor to talk about the fact that I seem to have contracted Fifth’s Disease, otherwise known as Parvo b 19–no relation to whatever it is that dogs get.

The session started with a pretty in-depth ultrasound. The tech looked at feet and abdomens, stomachs, and hearts. There are still two boys although they have moved around some from my last scan–hard to tell who is Louie and who is Gus, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got it figured out.

The good news is that as of this morning, both of the babies looked healthy and seemed to have all their parts. The kidney of one is unaccounted for, but that had mostly to do with positioning.

The bad news is that one of the babies is showed signs of mild anemia. With Parvo, the big concern is severe anemia complicated by hydrops (swelling). When this happens, the chance of fetal demise goes WAY up.

At this point we have no way of knowing if this baby is just generally a little anemic or if this is part of an escalating trend, so I’ll be back to the clinic on Thursday to see what’s happening.

I was, of course, devastated to hear that one of the babies is having issues. I’m trying to focus on the positive which can be tough when the word “fetal demise” is still hanging out in the back of your head:

  1. This was just a baseline–there’s a chance this baby has always had a touch of anemia and this has nothing to do with Parvo.
  2. Both of the babies looked good and healthy other than the anemia thing.
  3. I’ve contracted the illness after week 20, which means the chance of “fetal demise” is lower (although not impossible)
  4. This doctor is ON IT. The guy doesn’t miss a thing. I really should have been seeing someone high-risk all along because I’m extremely comfortable with his style. If I had to trust someone to get these babies across the finish line, it would be this guy. He seems like the type to take action before things get bad as opposed to after they’ve gone completely downhill.

So, we’ll know more by Thursday afternoon. In the mean time, I’ll be eating red meat at every meal in an attempt to combat the evil Parvo. And for those who are wondering, Yes, I promise I will blog about Charlie again soon. He’s still cute as can be and stealing my heart on a regular basis.

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

I pride myself on many things. I know pride isn’t the best of emotions, but I’m being honest here.

I’m proud that I try to focus on the positive.

I’m proud that I haven’t allowed Charlie’s disability to make me bitter.

I’m proud that I have been able to see that his challenges and my challenges are not the same.

I’m proud that I moved past the “why me?” phase where I look at Charlie’s birth and life as some sort of punishment for things I have done.

But yesterday the doctor’s office called to confirm that I have been exposed to Fifth’s Disease and by the end of the day I knew that I had gotten it NOW as opposed to when I was a kid. I was coughing and sniffling; my eyes were watering.

If you don’t know, Fifth’s Disease is one of handful of childhood viruses that pregnant women are to avoid. Considered a mild illness, it can cause severe anemia in fetuses and has been linked to fetal death and miscarriage. Other possible complications include rapid heart rate and swelling of the body known as hydrops fetalis. It’s these details that pushed me over the edge. I already had a baby with rapid heart rate and hyrops. These same things eventually led to heart failure and the big, bad machine that made his brain bleed. I’ve learned first-hand that anything is possible when you get pregnant, but I was hoping to avoid a repeat of that lesson this time around. I know logically that there is a very small chance that these things could happen, but there are some things in life that it’s hard to be logical about.

So I cried–big, ugly sobs, the kind I haven’t seen in years. I  did the whole thing: the woe is me thing, the not again thing, the why me thing. I took my sweet time hating people on Facebook who have scads of healthy children, but still find plenty of time to complain about lousy service or having to go to work. I wondered how many of them know just how lucky they have it.

I cried. Cried til my nose was stuffy and my head hurt. Cried until I woke up my husband who stayed with me until there were no more tears.

And then I slept. I slept hard and delighted as the babies moved around inside of me.

Today I am better. Not one hundred percent, but better, and tomorrow I’ll a couple more points.


boy in high chair eating a piece of bread

Still not completely in love with his "big boy" haircut

Stress? What Stress?

Let’s see. . . in the last seven days:

  • I had the Very Scary Contractions Incident
  • I had two nights of Braxton Hicks that had me pacing the house for whatever reason
  • We’ve hosted two sets of house guests–a single girlfriend in town for a night and a family of four.
  • We’ve been to Earth Fest in the park
  • I’ve had about 50 people tell me to get a new OBGYN
  • I’ve received 25 recommendations for a new OBGYN
  • I called one OBGYN (most-recommended) who can’t see me without a referral from my current doc. I might have cried a little at that point.
  • I taught a social media for beginners class at the library
  • And Charlie came home with 5th Disease–a mild virus that’s really only concerning to people with blood diseases like sickle cell and, you guessed it, pregnant women.

It has been a crazy, worrisome, and confusing week. I’ve found myself crying at the drop of a hat, but I also love having house guests and love teaching my classes, so there have been some good moments. By the time I heard about Charlie and the Fifth’s Disease, I pretty much had nothing left–I just walked out of the pediatrician’s office in a daze.

I was going to cancel the appointment with my OBGYN and start looking for a new one, but the whole Fifth’s Disease thing requires immediate attention, so back to the doc I went.

boy looks at bird sitting on nest

I’m really struggling here because I like the doctor–I’m just not sure I trust him. They said I would get a cervical check, and I didn’t. I asked about my ultrasound and he told me it was fine, but I’m a little suspicious since he only had one piece of paper in his hand. I’ve spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices–so much time that I’m pretty good at recognizing the signs when they come in without looking over your chart. I’ve even had one doctor excuse himself to go check the chart because guess what? I ask a lot of questions.

So, I know I need a new doctor, but I also know it will be a lot harder than I hoped it would be. I’ve also got the added stress of knowing I’ve been exposed to a disease that’s not good for the twinkies.

I’m working on keeping my head above water. I’m looking at ways to limit or reduce my stress. These days I’m going to start training a high school student who will be walking Charlie home from school. I’m in the process of looking for someone to help with Charlie during the week as well–we’ll definitely need someone once school lets out. I’m doing what I can and trying not to worry about too much at one time.

We’ll see how I do.

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