Saturday, April 12, 2014

baby alex: 20 weeks

we've reached the halfway point- woo hoo!



how far along: 20 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a banana (about 6.5 inches long head to bottom, or 10 inches from head to heel). he is so big now!

weight gain / loss: i guess i made up for that one pound increase last time by gaining 3 pounds this week. i finally broke 150 and am at 151.6 lbs. i've gained around 9 pounds total so far. definitely still in a healthy range.

symptoms: starting to deal with the whole "crap, i can no longer fit between the chair and the wall" and "damn it, bending over is not as easy as it once was" thing

cravings / aversions: i've been eating pb&j and grapes like it is nobody's business. but i'm completely turned off by anything carbonated.

movement: alex moves a lot these days, although it's usually after i eat. :-)

gender: boy

belly button: no change

sleep: i keep ending up on my back in the middle of the night, which makes me wake up a bit in the night. i'm still able to fall back asleep easily, but it's annoying nonetheless.

what i'm looking forward to: august!

what i miss: bending over comfortably. shaving my legs, painting my toenails, and feeding the dogs just isn't the same anymore.

highlights this past week: i had a sort of crazy appointment yesterday. i asked my doctor about their induction policy and she seemed surprised that i'd even ask. she said i'll almost definitely be induced because of the thrombocytopenia. she said that instead of preparing for an august 30 due date, i need to start preparing to be ready as early as august 1. we'll start doing weekly bloodwork around the end of july and if the perinatologist so much as sees my platelets trending downward, they'll induce right away. once they start trending downward, the huge dip in platelet count comes quickly. the huge dip would mean no epidural and possibly a c-section to prevent me from bleeding out. i feel like when you're pregnant, you prepare to be the exception to the rule if you have a baby between 36 and 39 weeks. yesterday i found out i'm now the rule and not the exception. at first that freaked me out, but now i'm excited to possibly meet our son even sooner!

Monday, April 7, 2014

thrombocytopenia

one topic i've been meaning to discuss with this pregnancy is that i'm high risk due to an autoimmune disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura / immune thrombocytopenia, or ITP. or in laymen's terms, "low platelets." platelets are made in your bone marrow and help your blood to clot. because i have low platelets, i don't clot as easily.

i found out that i had ITP during routine bloodwork with my miscarriage pregnancy. we had additional testing done and discovered that i tested positive abnormal for three types of platelet antibodies. essentially, my immune system attacks and destroys its own platelets.

the diagnosis made a ton of sense after we figured it out. i get bruises very easily and sometimes the bruises are huge. i can recall our dog stepping on my thigh a few months ago, then two days later i had a bruise the size of a softball. i also have tiny red/purple dots all over my chest and top of arms that i used to think were acne but could never be fixed with medicine from the dermatologist. i don't get nosebleeds terribly often, but i often bleed simply from blowing my nose. no matter how much i floss, the dentist always says that my gums are bleeding too much during routine exams. it turns out that all of these things are symptoms of ITP.

it's not a life-threatening illness, but there are a few things i have to be cautious about. for instance, if i ever got into a terrible car wreck or something, i could bleed out quickly because my blood won't clot correctly. the other big ones relate to pregnancy.

it was important to test for platelet antibodies before because they can cross the placenta and affect the baby's platelet count. since i tested positive, alex will have to be monitored closely at birth to make sure his platelet count is not affected. or if it is, that he gets the appropriate treatment.

if my platelet count is low in the weeks before delivery, i'm at higher risk for heavy bleeding during labor. i will see the perinatologist (specialist) every month until the end, when i believe i'll start to visit every week to monitor my platelet count. there are things you can do to raise the platelet count temporarily, like take steroids or have a platelet transfusion. i think some people have to have emergency c-sections or induce labor earlier if the remediation measures don't work.

the other risk is related to epidurals. if my platelets are too low, i can't get an epidural.

insert freak out here.

i feel like i had the easiest labor and delivery in all of labor and delivery, and part of that is because i was induced and had an epidural. i need history to repeat itself! i don't think i can do pain!

anyway, those are my high risk pregnancy woes. i haven't been too worried because my test results have been pretty good and i haven't needed to worry. maybe i'll be a mess toward the end, but for now everything is going smoothly. hopefully it stays that way so alex is healthy and i can have my epidural! :-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

baby alex: 18 weeks

we had a busy weekend with my firm's annual dinner and family outings to the park, duck pond, carousel, etc. so i didn't get a chance to post this on time. but better late than never.


how far along: 18 weeks

how big is baby: the size of a bell pepper (about 5.5 inches long)

weight gain / loss: i weighed 148.4 lb on saturday, so a one pound increase over the past two weeks and six pounds over the pregnancy. i had another pop out this week, even without much weight gain. weird.

symptoms: feeling great with no weird symptoms

cravings / aversions: still on that mexican and thai kick. i also discovered that two slices of pie, even when craved, can make me feel sick. waaah for my body rejecting lots of sugar.

movement: the movement is off and on, not much to report here. oh, wait, baby is kicking right now. i mean alex is kicking. time to start using his name.

gender: we are having a little boy!!

belly button: no change, but progressively moving outward.

sleep: i've been sleeping great and even waking up on my own after about 8 hours of sleep. i think that means i'm rested enough.

what i'm looking forward to: starting on alex's nursery. although i was originally thinking nautical, we may just go with some sort of other sea-ish theme. i'm loving alligators and whales right now.

what i miss: we're on cloud 9 knowing we're having a boy, so i can't think of a single thing i miss today.

highlights this past week: oh you know, just finding out we are going to round out our family with a son. :-)