So today was another check-up with the perinatologist.
I bumped into our usual nurse in the elevator and she asked, “How are you?”, in the way people do when the answer is supposed to be, “Good” or “Fine”. But I said, “I’m MISERABLE!”, with maybe a bit of a smile, but definitely in all seriousness. She looked shocked so I said, “I’m just being honest.”, and laughed.
I met ANOTHER new Dr. today. I really have the worst luck with that, but I really liked this guy. Everyone who saw my belly said “Oh my god!”, and everyone who touched it said, “Oh man you are as hard as a rock!”, and the nurse (who I adore) said, “You know who you look like? Octomom!” (hahahahahaha….sigh…yeah…I know…) (Also, I was gonna post pics here of Octomom at full term but the images grossed me out! lol Feel free to google them if you like, but I don’t think I look QUITE that bad…but close)
The Dr. said my cervix looks good and it doesn’t look like labor is imminent, but then again with this condition things can change quickly. The baby is measuring perfectly in the 50% percentile which is good because babies with Down’s can measure a few weeks behind. He is about 5lbs! His heart rate was perfect and my blood pressure was perfect (which I always worry about since I had pre-eclampsia with Jayden).
We discussed how absolutely miserable I was physically. I was having pain in my upper abdomen that felt like my muscles were literally tearing, severe round ligament pain, not sleeping because rolling over takes 10 min because it’s so painful, back pain and trouble breathing to name a FEW. Thursday I think I cried almost all day just out of pure frustration from the never ending discomfort.
So we decided to drain some fluid.
They do it the same way amniocentesis is done but with a wider needle and they take much more than is needed for amnio tests. They had me lay on my back, found the deepest pocket of fluid with an ultrasound, numbed my skin and inserted the needle into the peak of my belly. Soon though I said, “I’m feeling a little nauseous (it was more than a little but I was trying to be tough). Is that from the release of pressure?” They told me to try rolling to my side to see if that helped but when I did the fluid stopped draining and we had only just started. So I rolled back to my back and said “I can endure a little nausea for this” because I was so desperate for relief. But very soon I realized I was covered in sweat, very nauseous, shaking and seeing little fireflies. Again I tried to just be tough, breath through it and stay calm.
The nurse looked at me and said “You’re going to pass out.” And I said, “No I think I’m just scared and freaking out a little and it’s making me hot” (Which would really be very unlike me, medical stuff doesn’t usually freak me out). And she said, “No you just went pale, you need to roll over now!”, and pushed me over to my left side.
Apparently when you have that much pressure and you’re laying on your back, your organs can be crushed and blood flow to the brain stops! Good to know!
They had to start over with me on my side and re-insert the needle in a new spot. These spots can be very sore for a few days because they monitor the needle and the baby with an ultrasound and they wiggle the needle around to avoid him as he moves and to keep the flow going as steady as possible. Every time they had to change the bottle the needle leaked and all in all it was a very messy processes. I was really glad I had asked Josh to leave the room. Even though I had wanted his hand to hold a few times, it was almost a bit much for me and I enjoy studying dead people soooooo… I’m not sure anyone else not medically certified would have made it without passing out!
They were able to take more than 2 liters of fluid! I didn’t understand why they had to stop at that (something to do with pressure and flow) but they said I still have over 5 liters left in there. Normal amounts is 1 liter…. ONE! And I had over SEVEN! No wonder I was miserable! (Interesting note though-The Dr. said a liter weighs a bit over 2lbs so that plus the weight of the baby is actually a bit over the amount of weight I’ve gained! Since I asked how much it weighed, he later teased, me saying I should run out and weigh myself the moment the procedure was over. lol) (Also, Ok, So maybe I don’t think I look quite like Octomom but I have enough fluid to have SEVEN babies sooooooo….maybe I do? One of these days I may get brave enough to post a pic we took of me from the side a couple of weeks ago but my face looks so miserable I can’t quite bring myself to do it)
They had me stay and lie down in another room and drink juice for a while. I had to get the fireflies to go away, get some color back into my face and be able to walk straight. The nurse said “I don’t want you to leave until you feel like a natural woman”. (lol) I thought, “Well then I guess I’m here until I deliver because right now I just feel like a house”. (lol) The nurse later gave me a hug on the way out. I thought that was so sweet.
They told me to take pictures of the 5 filled bottles of fluid for my scrapbook (these guys made me laugh a lot today which was so nice)! I didn’t take a pic of that but I do have a pic of a toilet for you! (lol) The normal floor this office is on is under-construction so they are sharing a space with the place people go for gastric bypass surgery consultations (which added to the whole mess of things with the procedure because they have only been in the new place for two days and they didn’t know where half of the stuff was that they needed at first-also the nurse said they very rarely do this-that was reassuring…). The toilet seats and benches in the waiting room were all extra large. Some even to the point where they made me feel small and that is QUITE the feat right now. It made me grateful that this misery is so so so temporary and I prayed for the people in the office that day who were searching for relief too, just a different type. But seriously, how awesome is this toilet?!
I’m feeling soooo much better now! I can BREATHE!!! I’m pretty sore in the injection sites and I have to take it easy tomorrow because there are some risks with this process but I can’t explain how much better I feel.
The Dr. said I have to call on Monday and let them know if it feels like the fluid had returned already. If so they’ll drain me again next week but if not they’ll wait two. They intend on just repeat draining me until I reach full term. It wasn’t a fun procedure but if I can make it to full term and NOT be begging God to put me in a coma, I’m happy.
I’m 34 weeks today which was the second milestone the Dr.’s were hoping for! Now we aim for 37 weeks and he’ll be “officially” full term!!!