I am here

I keep thinking I’m keeping this blog much more up to date than I am. Where are we? I’ve had a LOT more medical appointments, and mostly everything looks fine, although I’m being followed up for excess amniotic fluid. That meant lots of blood tests for nasty infections and things, none of which I seem to have so far, and going straight to the three hour test for gestational diabetes, rather than doing the usual one hour test first. I just did those this week, so I haven’t been back to the doctor after them yet, but from what I could see/look up online, I don’t appear to have GD or anything else. So still no idea why the extra fluid, but I’ll go back to the doctors next week, probably, and see what they think.

I’m assuming that’s why I don’t feel so very many kicks, even though at every ultrasound they’ve said baby is very active indeed. When I lie down I feel a lot, and those I do feel during the day are nearly all at the top or bottom, so I think there’s just a lot of room to swim in the middle, and baby’s not hitting the sides so much.

Apart from the amniotic fluid, and some weirdnesses with leucocytes and lymphocytes, that my GP had me check for a UTI with (negative), everything looks good. My monthly blood tests show my liver results staying normal, and the anatomy scan and foetal echo showed all of baby’s organs developing well, and on schedule. (I think on average we were two days from the expected developmental age, which is basically spot on.)

We do the echo because our eldest daughter has a ventricular septal defect (VSD), which doesn’t affect her at all (no treatment, therapy or restrictions) apart from going for a cardiology check-up every couple of years to see has she finally grown out of it. It does apparently very slightly raise our risk of having another child with a congenital heart defect (CHD), so we do the extra scan with a paediatric cardiologist. He said he can’t rule out a VSD as small as our eldest has at this stage, but he has no reason to suspect one, let alone anything worse, and we already know that a tiny VSD isn’t exactly a major problem.

Most of the time we forget the nearly four-year-old has it. Just when she gets examined by a new doctor we mention it, so they don’t get worried by her slight heart murmur. We do NOT mention it at her nursery, dance class, or any other programme she takes part in. There’s no need to, and from what we read online from other parents, it’s better not to, as occasionally people like to take it upon themselves to restrict the child’s activity, which is the last thing she needs! I saw advice that if a form asks specifically about heart issues, the thing to do is write, ‘normal’, (which it is), so that you’re neither lying nor causing uninformed people to panic.

None of which is to minimise in any way the seriousness of other CHDs. I have a couple of friends with children with very severe heart issues, who needed surgery within days of birth, and in some cases need ongoing surgeries as they grow. Thankfully for us, our experience just gives us a tiny amount of extra empathy for what they deal with.

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Two steps forward, one step back

I did a lot of traipsing about in the sun today, but was definitely reminded of how much more effective it is to speak to the administrative staff in the clinics, rather than the central call centre staff for the medical insurance network.

First appointment was the really frustrating one – I turned up on time for my appointment with the new ob/gyn, to find out that it had actually been set for yesterday (when I told them I couldn’t do) and that she is only in two days a week, and Thursday isn’t one of them. I did get to print out my blood test results (although I could have done that later, too), but it was still annoying. The receptionist there was sympathetic, though, and after suggesting generally making appointments online, if I have trouble with the call centre, made me one in person for next Tuesday.

Then in the afternoon it was my first ultrasound, which went well. (There was a quiet but not-so-nice incident before it, among some of the other people waiting, but that isn’t the topic of this blog, even though it does keep playing on my mind. Let’s just say that politics and racism should not be issues in the ultrasound queue.) There was a definite (single) foetus, with a heartbeat and a head, and at 2cm long, on track for 9 weeks precisely, which fits the probable date of my last period. (Forgot to write that down at the time.)

So now I have to believe it, I suppose!

On my way out of the central women’s health clinic, I asked the receptionist (who seemed in a rare good mood, or maybe she just likes having her advice asked, rather than being treated as a pure paper-cruncher) to suggest doctors with specialist knowledge of pre-eclampsia and/or HELLP syndrome. Her response to that was to confirm I was talking about high-risk pregnancy care, and to offer to make me an appointment with a high-risk doctor there, even though I told her I don’t have a referral for that yet.

So I haven’t seen the new regular ob/gyn yet, but I have a proper appointment with her for next week, and with a high-risk one the week after, and both the blood tests and ultrasound out of the way. Of course, I barely got any of the work I’m paid for (hourly) done today, since after all that I was shattered and slept all evening (it’s the middle of the night now, so I’ll go back to bed after I post this), but I’ll make that up.

As much as I could tell as a complete non-specialist, the blood results looked fine. My platelets were good – up at my normal from my platelets donation days. Obviously I’ll let one or both doctors confirm that, but at least there’s nothing I’m panicking about.