I need to learn to keep my big mouth shut. Remember how in the last post I was so sure the doctor was having us continue the ultrasound monitoring mostly to work us for the insurance money? Well, never mind. Now it’s looking like the first doctor who was ready to send us on our way after two scans could stand to be more cautious.
I went in for an ultrasound yesterday, as scheduled. Parvovirus (Fifth disease. And no, not the same parvo dogs get. No vaccine for the human kind) can cause temporary suppression of the bone marrow in affected fetuses, leading to anemia, which can then lead to heart failure, which then leads to fetal death. The point of the ultrasounds is to watch for signs of anemia. They do this by measuring velocity of blood flow through the mid-cerebral artery, and the point is that you don’t want it to get too high (or, er…fast).
Yesterday the measurement was at the high end of the acceptable range. (It was a third doctor, who I hadn’t met before, reviewing the ultrasounds yesterday, by the way. I’m not pleased with the way this practice works, but they’re the best we have available. The doctors are good, but this seeing a different doctor every time crap?) Anyway, now we have four measurements done, and when plotted on a graph it shows that the velocity, which normally increases as the pregnancy progresses, is increasing at a sharper rate than the median.
Not cause for panic, yet, but a cause for closer monitoring. As in, I didn’t hear the usual “Everything looks normal” that I’d been hearing to this point. I’m now going back in one week to get checked again, instead of the usual two weeks. The doctor said it could be fine, or it could be an indication that the parvo is affecting the baby. The possibility of premature delivery came up again, something that was only a remote possibility when this all started. Before 32 weeks or so, the treatment for anemia would be a blood transfusion for the fetus. After that point, the risk of death from transfusion is higher than the risk of preterm delivery. She’ll be at 35 weeks when we get checked again next week. If things are deteriorating, we may be looking at a preemie. And NICU. And all kinds of things I DO NOT WANT. Of course, I want a healthy, live baby. That’s the goal. And we’ll do whatever we have to do to get there.
But I’m freaking out again. Kind of. Okay, more than kind of.
I’ve already knitted so many things for this baby to wear–many times more than what I made for Thumper before he was born. Last night I was able to finally put into words why that is: I never, for even a moment in my pregnancy with Thumper, doubted that I would get to hold him. With this pregnancy, there has been so much worry and doubt. And just this past week I finally got to the point where I was relaxed and sure everything was going to be fine. And now there’s a question about her health again… Which means she needs me to make her another sweater. And another hat. And more legwarmers… It’s the only thing I can think to do…the only way I have to deal with this. Because aside from going to the endless doctor appointments, there is nothing–absolutely nothing about this that’s within our control.
I hate that. I’m not at all good at that.