Friday, July 26, 2013

5 More Weeks and Counting...

So this week was filled with doctor appointments for me at Kaiser...

I first went to see my regular ob/gyn who says I'm looking great, my tummy is a growing nicely, blood pressure looks good and my weight gain is just right. I've gained almost 25lbs so I know I can gain more, but it's getting difficult to eat regular meals so I'm down to snacking every few hours. The last few times I've gone out to dinner I was in pain from trying to finish my meal and it gets hard to breathe! I think I'm starting to waddle too! (Horrible visual, sorry!) Anyway, I have one more appt with my ob in about a month. I think since I'm high risk I don't have to go the normal route when it comes to scheduled appts since I don't feel like I have to see my doctor more often towards the end of my pregnancy.

I also went to see my perinatologist this week, the specialist for high risk pregnancies whose main focus is on the baby. Every one of these appts includes an ultrasound, which usually takes about an hour. This particular appt was quick because for the very first time, Maia was sleeping during the ultrasound! So they were able to scan and get her measurements right away for a change! I'm 34wks and she's measuring 4lbs 12oz, so she's growing nicely and starting to fatten up! Yay!! The talk with the doctor seemed to take longer than the ultrasound this time. She suggested I get a bag packed just in case of preterm labor, since we're all on the baby's schedule and not necessarily our own. If I start having contractions, I'm supposed to call UCSF (Labor & Delivery) and check to see what they want me to do. If it's an emergency where I'm bleeding or in pain, I should head over to Kaiser Redwood City, which is 10 minutes from the house. If the baby needs to be delivered there, they will just transport the baby after birth over to UCSF... all sounds so simple! But we just want to be prepared in case things don't go according to plan!

I also had an appt for an echocardiogram with the pediatric cardiologist. It had been almost 8 weeks since my last appt with him and he was surprised at how much the baby and her heart have grown. He didn't expect to see any dramatic changes and was happy to see there were none. He consults regularly with the specialists at UCSF and will send the echo scans he did to them. He went over the surgery options in detail and discussed each surgery's complexity. If possible, the best surgery for the best outcome would be to do a full repair that consists of widening the narrowed part of the aorta, and closing the VSD (hole) in such a way that the aorta would be repositioned to the left ventricle, where it should be. He described this surgery as very complex, but the outcome would be better because the heart would function the way it's meant to with 2 ventricles. But it also doesn't guarantee she won't have any more surgeries. If a full repair isn't possible, because the aorta is too small due to lack of blood flow, they will go ahead and do the 3-stage surgery which will convert her heart into a single ventricle heart, where the right ventricle will do all the work. The first of these 3 surgeries is also very complex and the time in between the first 2 surgeries is extremely critical. The main reason they say this outcome is not as good as a full repair is that the left ventricle is naturally built stronger than the right, so over time, overuse of the right ventricle may cause other complications, which could lead to the possibility of needing a heart transplant later on in life. Plus, the 3-stage surgery has only been around for about 30 years, so there is no research on what happens to patients over 30 years old. 

So once again, after all the surgery discussions, bottom line is we still have to wait and see what her heart looks like after she's born! That's pretty much what it comes down to! But it's nice to be prepared and know what the possibilities are... I'm the type that likes to know the details, whether it's good or bad! Gordon could care less about the details... he knows what the overall plan is and likes to go with the flow and deal with whatever comes our way when it happens.

So nothing has really changed except that my tummy is getting bigger! Sometimes I'm in denial about it until I randomly see my reflection somewhere!... I feel like my tummy gets stared at more too! Anyway, I guess I should start packing now... well, maybe later!

Update on Gordon's on again/off again back problems... it's currently "on" and he will be getting a cortisone shot some time in August that is supposed to last 4 months, instead of popping pain pills, which I think he was getting tired of. Hopefully this will help him become more active, since he's been trying hard to get back in shape to handle 2 kids!!

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