Being that this is my first (known) iso-sensitized pregnancy, I'm not exactly sure what to expect. Antibody isoimmunization, bare bones definition, is an immune system process where antibodies cross the placenta and target fetal red blood cells. The most common/well known of these is the Rhesus group or Rh group. Rh is treated with the Rhogam shot throughout sensitized pregnancies. Unfortunately, the antibodies I carry cannot be treated in this manner. Though the antibodies I have (known as big E and little c) are considered on the mild side, they can do some damage (obviously). The end result, if moms aren't monitored could be fetal anemia, fetal hydrops and death. Although Addie's autopsy results weren't conclusive, our docs were pretty sure iso had a lot to do with her death. Which brings me to where I am today.
We had our first MCA doppler and anatomy scan on Friday. The MCA doppler measures the systolic blood flow in the middle cerebral artery. They are used to diagnose both fetal anemia and fetal hydrops in iso-sensitized pregnancies. The MCA is being used as tool to monitor baby boy's progress. Right now, my titer levels are 1:32 for the antibodies. "Normal" is 1:4 or 1:8, so right now we're a little on the high side, but certainly lower than the results of my titers after I had Addie ( I don't remember the exact numbers, but they were in the hundreds I believe). My doc will be doing MCAs every visit, unless there comes the point in time where a more invasive procedure needs to be done.
Speaking of my doc, I am seeing the perinatologist exclusively. I thought I would be trading time between her and my regular OB, but as of this last appointment, Dr M said she wants me to see only her. She mentioned, at our last appointment, that she will do her best to make sure we get to go home with a healthy baby. I'm lucky to have chosen this office the first time. Although Dr M is extremely busy (I believe she is the only maternal/fetal medicine specialist in the area), she is very good at what she does. She doesn't sugar-coat anything, which I certainly appreciate. I don't care how hard it is to tell me something, you better give it to me straight.
I'm still learning about everything. I've tried not to drive myself nuts with research, but it's hard to ignore. The Internet is full of articles, most of which are waaaaay over my head but Dr M is very good about explaining and answering my questions, thank goodness.
Physically, the baby looks good. He's measuring about a week ahead in almost everything, so he promises to be a big baby. Honestly, I don't mind that fact considering he will be delivered 3 weeks early. He's very active so far and that was evident during the scan. Physically, I'm doing OK too. I was pretty sick for the first 15 or so weeks, but have finally started feeling better. I've only gained 1 pound which I am very happy about. Being that I am overweight, I don't want to gain more than 15 pounds this time. However, my issues with sciatica this go-round has made exercising more difficult, but my physical therapist is working on that issue. I will probably go see a massage therapist at some point too.
Mentally, I'm not sure how to evaluate myself. I'd like to say that I haven't been worried at all but I know that's a lie. The thoughts have crossed my mind, but I think I've done a pretty good job of ignoring the worries. Now that I can feel him moving, I find myself wondering why I don't feel him very much. But then I remember that he's still so small and I won't feel him on a regular basis. I've resisted the urge to by a fetal doppler as well. Although, truth be told, I really want one. I want to be able to hear his heartbeat whenever I want. Overall, I think I've done really well controlling my emotions. Yes, I'm worried, but hope creeps in. We actually bought bedding and paint for the nursery over the weekend. I've found it very difficult not to hope which I think is a good sign. I trust my doctor, I trust in the medical field. I trust that everything will be okay this time. Maybe I'm being naive, but having this hope helps me. Allowing this hope to enter my world relieves the stress of not knowing how the future will play out. I'm trying to stay as relaxed as possible, knowing this will help us all in the long run. I HOPE it works...
So here are the pics from the latest U/S. You'll see what I mean about him not being shy with his boy parts! Love my little guy already!
|The boy definitely has his daddy's big feet!|
|Not a bit shy, haha!|
|Waving for his picture|
|Profile at 17 weeks|
|Kicking his momma|