Friday, March 18, 2011

A little reassurance would be nice...

So the spotting continues. Some days it seems a little better, other days it seems a little worse, but it's never gone away completely which is, of course, freaking me out. An infection has been ruled out so the bleeding is either coming from my irritated cervix or my fear is that it's a slow leak coming from the placenta. It's scary either way...and it's scary not to know.

We went for our first placental ultrasound yesterday which did not really serve to reassure us. The report that was handed to us at the end showed that there were areas within the placenta that were referred to as "echogenic"(calcifications?) and "echolucent" (possible bleeding?). However, the report did state that the baby appeared active and normal, that blood flow to the placenta from the uterine arteries was normal and that my fluid levels were normal. All good. The report was handed to us by the lady at the front desk at the ultrasound place and then we were told to come back after lunch to meet with my OB.

Over lunch I had my husband googling the shit out of his iphone, trying to figure out how bad echolucent and echogenic areas are within the placenta at 16 weeks. Finally we get to meet with my OB and he seems unconcerned by the ultrasound. He states that placental ultrasounds are usually done at 20-22 weeks when they have more knowledge of what predicts a good or bad outcome based on the placenta. He was happy that the baby appeared to be growing and had a good fluid index. That he seemed unconcerned is good I suppose, but I was hoping for more conclusive info out of this scan. The PLACENTA SPECIALIST told us to have an ultrasound done at 16 weeks during our next pregnancy. Why would he tell us that if there was no value to the information the ultrasound provided? All it did was give us *just enough* info to worry over the next few weeks until the anatomy ultrasound and further placental studies can be done. Awesome.

And, as usual my OB reminded us that "well, there is nothing we can do about it at this point anyway". I know he means "don't worry"...but his phrasing is not very comforting. This morning I e-mailed the placental specialist who was the one who suggested that we get the 16 week ultrasound in the first place, and asked him if he could review the results. I immediately got an form e-mail back stating he was out of the office until March 28th.


But, we did get some reassurance about my heart. Yesterday after meeting with the OB, it was on to the next appointment with my cardiologist (who is a woman) and she gave me a much better sense of reassurance, at least about my heart. "I think you'll do just fine" she says. "You do have a bit of reduced pumping power in your left ventricle, but I think you have enough reserve to make it through this pregnancy". When I asked her about being off work she said the timing is up to me, and whenever I start to feel like it's too much, she'll take me off. She was also sensitive to the fact that it's expensive to be off, and respected the fact that I would like not to be off too early if I can help it. I like her a lot. I wish she could be my OB.

So, while this visit provided some reassurance about my heart, with the continued spotting and possible changes? irregularities? abnormalities? within my placenta, I'm left feeling overwhelmed and afraid. I cried yesterday in front of the nurse who was doing my blood pressure saying "I can't do it again!!" She tried to support me and give me a hug, while stating that my blood pressure was 160/100 (no shit, I'm anxious and upset and crying!).

On a more positive note, we did get a few glimpses of Acorn. He or she looked unconcerned about anything, kicking and waving his/her hands around. It was SO nice to see fluid around the baby at this point (something I was lacking from 14 weeks on last time). It was a little surprising to see that the head measurement was 15 weeks 4 days (fairly consistent with my estimation that we were 15 weeks 5 days), but the femer was only measuring 15 weeks 0 days. I'm trying to remain zen about that, and not worry that our baby has short legs. I asked about the sex, but they were unwilling to say at this point. I have been feeling pretty consistent movement this past week that is obviously baby (rather than wondering is that baby or gas?) It's awesome because I hardly ever felt Aidan move. He didn't have enough room to get a good wined up to kick very hard.

Anyway, just laying it all out there in blog land helps me and makes me not feel so alone. I wish I had nothing to be nervous about. I wish that this spotting would stop. I wish I felt confident and happy and non-stressed. I wish the placenta specialist was around so I could at least get his opinion on the matter. I wish for reassurance. I wish my baby and my heart and my placenta safety and health.

I wish for peace.

Any good movies or books anyone can recommend to pass the time away? I'm big into distractions these days! Also, if anyone has experienced cervical irritation and bleeding during pregnancy I'd be happy to hear about it. Just sayin'.


  1. You're 16 weeks already??? I know the time must have been passing by slowly for you, but I was shocked when I saw this.

    I hope that the placental issues turn out not to be issues at all. I'm glad that things are going well with your heart. I'm glad that you feel Acorn moving away in there.

    I'd recommend watching some series. I find those help to pass the time alot. So does knitting. It is keeping me same these days, for the most part.

  2. I wish peace for you as well. I'm so sorry you've had to deal with spotting, it would make me crazy with worry. It's so hard after a loss to take anything lightly.
    In terms of books, I just read Melissa Fords Life From Scratch, great book!

  3. I wish I could give you a hug. Been there and it's SO hard.

    As far as things to pass the time (which I am all about too) The Hunger Games series, if you haven't already, is freakin' amazing! DROP DEAD DIVA is also stellar. I watched the whole first season in one weekend, courtesy of netflix (go me!). THE CONFESSION by John Grisham was really good. I could go on and on! If you want, you can email me or comment on my blog and I can give you more ideas.

    Good Luck. Keep us posted. And most important, listen to your gut.

  4. The constant worrying is so hard to take! I wish I could recommend something great to take your mind off it, but so far I haven't been able to find anything that does that job! Hang in there. Praying for you and your little one.

  5. Thinking of you....

  6. Emily,

    I'm so mad for you. It's just not've (we have all been here) been through so much and you deserve a smooth and uneventful pregnancy. I'm shaking my fist for you!

    There are definite, clear positive things happening (good fluid, good movement, strong heart) so continue reminding yourself of it. Much easier said than done, I know.

    I would recommend series as well. After Liam, we watched the whole series of Weeds, which is available streaming from Netflix. Books, it seems, sometimes require too much thought to be a good distraction but one that is engaging and a real page turner was Little Bee. It's very woman-centered and one of the women is a mother but I promise that everything ends okay...don't want to give away the book but there is some real suspense and I don't want you to think that I am a crazy poster who is insensitive.

  7. Spotting doesn't always necessarily mean doom. I had it from 10 weeks on and off for 10 weeks with one of my kids. Then it stopped around 20 weeks and started again(a lot) at 35 weeks and he was born the next day. They had determined there was a blood clot in-between the cervix and the placenta. In the end, my son survived despite it!

  8. I am sorry that you are having to deal with the spotting and not as much reassurance as you would like. Pregnancy after a loss is no picnic and for me, I know it is only going to get harder. I have been feeling a lot more anxious as I move into my second trimester, which is funny since most people stop worrying at this point. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have our innocence back?!

    As far as distractions go, I just read Drowning Ruth and it was so good,I couldn't put it down! For movies, I watch a lot of movies on lifetime :)