Thursday, March 25, 2010

28 wks, 4 days: Yesterday's Ultrasound and Why Medical People Should Not Be Allowed to Google

Hmmmm. Apparently the Indocin I got in the hospital can cause some side effects. Lowered amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios), as well as heart defects in the fetus. I wish I would have known this then, but nobody told me, and I honestly did not ask. I realize that sometimes it is just a matter of the risk out-weighing the benefits, and vice versa. And I trust my doctors. Looking back, they were very judicious with its use, and now I know why. I can't be upset or angry. When you have a patient who is 27/28 weeks preggers, contracting every 2 minutes, you simply have to make it stop. And they did.

So anyhow...They wanted me to go in for a STAT ultrasound yesterday to check things out and survey for any possible damage. So I go. J drives me, and sits in the car with E. It is the first time he has missed an ultrasound, and he is bummed about it, but I don't know what all they are going to do, and feel like E shouldn't be there in case they want to do something that reveals part of me that should not be revealed to my 8-year-old son.

The baby seems perfect. Too perfect. He had taken up residence by my rib cage, with his little feet dangling downward. Which explains the full feeling I had. He was literally, crown to rump, right there. His little heart was doing exactly like it should. His organs appeared to be intact. And he is still big. As in they estimate his size to be 3 pounds, 15 ounces right now. This places him in the 95th percentile for size at this gestation. If a baby truly puts on a half a pound a week in the last trimester, that would mean he would be over 9 pounds at full-term, and somewhere around 6 at 34-35 weeks. Looking back, E was 6 pounds when born at 34 weeks, so he would've been a big boy too, had I carried him to term. So this is famliar territory.

But the fluid...At 26 weeks, I had excess amniotic fluid. I still do, and it has worsened. I know the dangers of low fluid. I have resuscitated babies in the NICU for this problem. But too much? Huh? Could it be bad? I ask the tech who did my ultrasound,and she said the first thought with both a big baby and excess fluid would be gestational diabetes. I don't have that. My 1-hour glucose tolerance test was normal, but since I met the clinical picture for diabetes, they made me do the 3-hour one anyhow, and it was also perfect. So no, not that. I asked if it could be dangerous, and she told me that it gives the baby more room to flip and turn, so there is an increased risk of cord entanglement. So far, Zachary is fine. She also said with the uterus being bigger than normal, it can fool the body into thinking it is further along than it is, and can cause preterm labor and birth. Things that make you go Hmmmmmmm...

So I come home, and I start to google polyhydramnios. Bad. Very bad. When you have no idea what you are reading, googling medical info can seem scary, but ignorance puts a blinder on you in a way. But when you know, like I know, what some of these things are, it can scare you to death. I should not be allowed to google anything medical. I should block the action from my computer. Kidney anomalies, diaphragmatic hernia, heart defects, swallowing and GI defects, other generalized birth defects. Uhhh.

So now I am scared. And even more anxious for this pregnancy to be finished so I know Z is okay.


  1. I also took Indocin, but only for a few days because of the side effects. I made a conscious decision to not google the side effects of that medicine because I only took it for a few days. I did, however, search the side effects of nifedipine, which i am on now. I could not find anything too bad, which made me feel relieved, but I remember the feeling I had while I was searching - I felt very panicky and I knew it was probably a bad idea, but I couldn't help myself. I know it's hard not to worry, but maybe keeping your mind occupied with a good book or something might help you not think about this amniotic fluid issue. The novel, Bed Rest, by Sarah Bilston is an awesomely entertaining and funny book. Also another funny book is It sucked and then I cried: How I had a baby, a breakdown, and a much-needed margarita by Heather Armstrong.
    Have you talked to your doctor about the amniotic fluid issue or just the tech? If you talk to your doctor, it might also put your mind at ease.

  2. Haven't talked to the doctor yet--appt. on Tuesday and will bring it up then.

    Thanks for the book recommendations-I'll have to check them out! I have all of the time in the world now!