Friday, December 14, 2012

And Then Things Get Complicated

I don't think that you can appreciate how easy a normal pregnancy is until you go through one that is, well...not normal.  Not easy.  One where complications arise, be it with you or the baby, that either give you months of worry, or months of the inability to feel normal.

Georgia was my hard pregnancy.
I had no idea how easy and worry-free my pregnancies with Braden and Anabelle actually were until that third kid came onto the scene.

I didn't start this blog until the very end of Georgia's pregnancy, so in case I never made it clear back then...I felt AWFUL when that kid was in me.  It wasn't nausea - although I had my standard morning sickness at the beginning.  It was followed by a few weeks where I felt decent, but then we moved to Colorado and things just seemed to spiral downwards from there.

I have never felt as devoid of energy as I did during the last 6 months of Georgia's gestation.  I kept the kids fed and got Braden to school, and that is about all I was capable of doing.  The house didn't get unpacked from the move.  Things didn't get clean unless Bryan did it.  Grocery store trips often resulted in me laying down in an aisle and someone asking if I was okay.
I thought I was okay, but there was no denying that I just didn't feel good.  In fact, I can clearly remember - and count on one hand - the days where I felt like a normal pregnant woman.  Those were amazing days.  But I had many, many more days where I honestly wondered if I was going to survive to the end of that 9 months.

The thing is, no one could really point to a solid reason that I felt so bad.  I had my slew of complications during that pregnancy, but most of them should not have made me feel like it was impossible to get off the couch.  In hindsight, we think it was a nasty combination of moving to a high altitude at 15 weeks (I never got used to it...until after she was born), having gestational diabetes, and having a crapped out gallbladder.

That last one is probably the biggie.  I had gallbladder attacks 3-5 days of almost every week during Georgia's pregnancy.  I think my body was completely maxed out by trying to grow a baby AND deal with a long diseased gallbladder.  Being a functional human being on top of that was just asking too much.

When I was trying to decide if I wanted to have a fourth baby, the biggest deterrent was Georgia's pregnancy.  Because it wasn't clear why I had felt so bad, I was terrified that a fourth pregnancy would put me right back in that place.  I don't think we would have waited this long (there will be 3.5 years between #3 and #4) if I hadn't been dragging my feet on the issue....and it was solely because of how hard pregnancy #3 was.  It would have been much easier for us to have #4 last year while we were in Texas and family could have helped us.  But I wasn't mentally there yet.

I am very happy to report that this fourth pregnancy has been unimaginably better than I would have ever predicted.  I had my regular morning sickness and it sucked, but I could deal with it.  And now I feel, dare I say it, almost non-pregnant normal.  Occasionally I will have a day where I don't feel great.  Or a day where I sit around and don't get much done.  But this time, those lazy days are by choice.  Sometimes I even forget that I am pregnant and do something crazy, like run up the stairs.  That was unheard of in pregnancy #3! 
I even feel better than I did on pregnancy #2.  Amazing.
And while I have no way to judge the effects of altitude right now, I know for sure that I don't have a gallbladder.

It's hard to think that that stupid, little unnecessary organ was the root of my problems, and that if I had just addressed the issue 4 years ago, pregnancy #3 would never have been so bad.

But coming back to this pregnancy...
While I am ecstatic to be feeling like a normal pregnant chick, it does not appear that we are going to make it through without some complications rearing their heads.

Because I previously had gestational diabetes, I had to do an early 1 hour glucose test at 14 weeks.
I failed it.
Which earned me the privilege of doing a 3 hour glucose test.
Now if you've ever done the three hour test, you know that it actually takes something like 5 hours out of your life (all where you get to stare at the walls of the hospital lab because you aren't allowed to leave).  This becomes really difficult to schedule when you have no five hour time periods where you don't have to take someone to school, or pick them up, and you have next to no support system in the state you currently live.  In other words, I didn't get the three hour done until week 18 cause I had to wait for a day when Bryan could watch kids.

And yeah, I didn't pass that one either.
I didn't bomb it though.  Just failed one of the blood draws.  Unfortunately, that is still considered a fail and I am supposed to do the test again in four weeks.  And then I'll have to do it again at 28 weeks. All three hour tests.
Don't ever complain about the 1 hour test.  It is NOTHING compared to everything an actual GD patient has to do.  I have not yet talked to my doctor about my less than stellar results, so I'm not sure what path they will have me follow from here, but yeah, it's looking very likely that I am once again diabetic.
And I am not happy about it.

Last Sunday I got to do my first 24 hour urine test of this pregnancy.  This test is not hard by any means, but it's kind of a pain in the ass and you can't really leave your house for 24 hours.
Bryan is currently doing his OB rotation at the hospital.  I have basically become his educational guinea pig.  He's the one who instigated the 24 hour urine test and an OB liver panel so we'll have a baseline for all those tests in case my blood pressure decides to shoot in an upward direction later in the pregnancy.
So, nothing is wrong with my BP right now, he's just really well prepared.  Like my own little medical doomsday prepper.

Now for the big ultrasound we had on Wednesday...

Yes, I know what the baby is.  (Ultrasound tech's comment..."That's a _____ if I ever saw one.")  No, I'm not telling for 11 more days.  Let's start with the fun stuff.  Pictures!

This one was my favorite.  Baby is all curled up with its feet up by its head.
Some little feet.
More profile action.
The baby looks good aside from being on the small side.  It is only measuring at around 8 ounces right now.  Apparently that is not anything to worry about at this point, but damn that sounds tiny.
Now for the less fun news.
The ultrasound turned long when it showed that I currently have marginal placenta previa.  This is not something we've ever run into before.  I am now on pelvic rest (aka, Bryan has been informed by my doctors that he is not allowed to have a sex life for the time being) and I have to go back for an ultrasound of the placenta in four weeks to see if it has moved up.  Georgia has been informed that I will no longer be picking her up or carrying her, and I'm on high alert for any second trimester bleeding.
Now almost all cases of this degree of placenta previa will clear themselves up by the time delivery gets here.  So I'm trying not to worry too much about this (not easy).  Fingers crossed that things look better on the next ultrasound and I don't fall into the tiny percentage of women where the marginal previa gets worse or doesn't change.
Nope.  Not having any more babies.  Uncomplicated pregnancies appear to be long in my past.
I'll keep you updated.


The Bryan Family said...

I had placenta previa with Connor and it cleared up by 18 weeks. I had to have another ultrasound at 18 weeks to check.

Erica said...

I think it's a boy based in your fill-in-the-blank comment!!!

The Hills said...

It's really interesting to hear you're doing better. My midwife and I have speculated about whether my gallbladder was the cause of my hyperemesis (or at least exacerbated it). Not planning to take any chances and find out for sure though!

Good luck with the previa, it's resolved on it's own with almost all of my moms, it usually moves up as the pregnancy progresses. I did have one client with a scary emergent c/s because she had complete previa that was undiagnosed (don't ask me how...we have ultrasounds, shouldn't this kind of surprise be a thing of the past?). At least you know it's there and can monitor what's going on and take precautions. FYI, previa can cause slower fetal growth, so that could be why baby's a little small.