21 weeks

2 Feb

Today marks 21 weeks pregnant. So far along, so far to go. If Turtle was born today, he would have a 0% chance of survival. But by the end of this month, if all keeps going well, we will have reached the point of fetal viability.

And all is, for now, going well. We had another round of OB appointments on Thursday. I was nervous going into our MFM ultrasound. I woke up that morning, and everything just felt heavy. Everything annoyed me. My clients had been riding me all week. Driving to work was more frustrating than usual. I knew it was because the stress of the ultrasound was exacerbating everything.

At our last ultrasound at Children’s two weeks ago, they thought they saw some dilation of Turtle’s bowel, the part still inside his body. Dilation is a tricky thing. It can indicate a problem with the bowel, like a blockage or disconnection. This can really complicate things once Turtle is born. If there’s a blockage, they would have to cut out the blockage and sew the bowel back together. This can create short bowel syndrome, which is a very serious thing. It could also indicate that the bowel is irritated, which might mean it cannot be fixed right after birth because it’s too swollen to operate on. In this case, they will have to put the broken bowel back in his belly, sew him up knowing his bowel is not working, give him IV nutrition for months until the bowel is ready to be fixed. Which means a second surgery, and a much longer hospital stay.

We learned all of this at Children’s two weeks ago but I was scared and didn’t want to think about it, so didn’t want to blog about it either. The other thing about dilation is that it might not mean anything. Sometimes they’re worried about dilation on the ultrasound and then the baby is born and everything is fine. At this point, dilation can also either grow or shrink. So I really wanted to wait until I saw my MFM OB, the true expert. Denial is a powerful thing and it really helped me through. Thursday meant time to face the truth. And not just about the dilation. At my last MFM ultrasound, my OB had indicated a potential placenta previa. But he didn’t say much about it, just said the placenta was “blocking the exit,” but that it might change. Then I read up on placenta previa and realized it’s kind of a big deal.

Luckily, everything was okay. Turtle is growing appropriately. His heart rate looked good. There is some dilation inside his belly but it’s relatively small right now. It’s .9mm and Dr. Kind says he doesn’t worry until it gets over 2.0mm. So for now, that’s fine. Though we have to watch it. Turtle was active during the ultrasound, as he has been over the past week. I’m really starting to feel him now! Consistent bubbles, flutters, pulls and twinges from down below. It’s a truly magical feeling.

As for me, I’m okay too. They confirmed that there’s no placenta previa on a transvaginal ultrasound. My blood pressure is good. My urine tested negative for everything. I am gaining weight at an apparently alarming weight (seriously, my regular OB was shocked), but I also know I’m retaining water. My feet and lower legs are definitely swollen. She said as long as I’m eating well and feeling good, not to worry about it. Of course there is a side of me that’s worried. It’s much, much harder than I realized watching my body change so drastically. Seeing the scale tip 200 for the first time in my life.  I haven’t been able to exercise, really at all, since becoming pregnant. Mostly because of my constant nausea. That has mostly passed now. But now it feels difficult to get moving. I’m not only out of shape, I’m many, many pounds heavier. And I obviously have to chose my exercise carefully. I’ve purchased a maternity swimsuit that I hope to break in soon. I have a big belly now, and it’s hard not to compare myself to much skinnier, more active pregnant ladies who are about as far along as me.

So that’s the update. Okay for now. But so far to go.

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10 Responses to “21 weeks”

  1. Theresa February 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    Glad turtle is doing well and hope the dilation turns out to be nothing.

    I feel you on the exercise, and weight. Since having this issue with the practically constant BH contractions I’m scared to do anything, and therefore feel like I can FEEL all my muscles deteriorating. Plus the fact that the contractions themselves make me anxious even though doc says as long as they aren’t affecting my cervix, they are ok.

    Here’s to relatively calm rest of the pregnancies for both of us. *fingers crossed* Though I say that realizing our situations are totally different.

  2. Jenny February 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I’m glad that the dilation isn’t a cause for concern right now. Hopefully it will stay that way. And I’m sure it’s a tremendous relief to know that you don’t have placenta previa. So, yay for a good ultrasound!

  3. Cristy February 2, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

    I had no idea you were going through this. I’m so glad to hear everything is okay with Turtle, but so sorry you guys had to deal with this alone. At least things are looking good now and there was very good news about the placenta previa.

    I think swimming is a great first step. I’m sorry to hear about the bloating and the swelling. Is there anything they can do to help with the water retention? That also sounds so frustrating and really uncomfortable.

    Congratulations on hitting the 21 week mark!

  4. slese1014 February 2, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    I’m glad the MFM OB was able to clear things up. I’m grateful to hear the dilation is minimal for now and that placenta previa is no longer an issue…Hoping things continue in a positive manner…

    As far as getting into shape, I think swimming is a fabulous idea. The water makes you feel weightless. Good luck!

  5. Joanna February 3, 2013 at 3:04 am #

    I’m so glad to hear that the MFM is not so worried, and I really hope that helps to ease your worry. Your little Turtle is already a strong little fighter and has plenty of perseverance to boot! As for the physical changes and the possible complications, I’m hearing ya loud and clear and sending infinite hugs. No one tells you how hard this can all be on your body and your emotions. Hang in there girl. ((Hugs))

  6. Kristin February 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Twenty-one weeks! You’ve come so far. I’m glad that the dilation isn’t an issue, and I hope it continues to be a nonissue. Also, I’m glad that placenta is in a more appropriate place than on top of your cervix! Good news, all around!

    • AmyG February 4, 2013 at 2:53 am #

      Hooray for 21 weeks! And I’m glad to know that the placenta is in a safe spot. And, as the dr. has said, feeding yourself and Turtle as healthfully as possible sounds more important than tracking every last pound. A maternity swimsuit and a swimming plan sounds like a good idea as a way to keep moving (and to get to feel weightless some of the time!). xo

  7. nonsequiturchica February 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Good news all around from your appt! Swimming sounds like a great way to work out during your pregnancy!

  8. sams February 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I’m so happy to hear your appointment went well! I was told at my 12 week appointment (which was actually closer to 14 weeks) that I had placenta previa too. I already knew what this was and could have cried right there in the u/s room when they told me. Fortunately, at my 20 week appointment, my doctor confirmed the placenta previa had resolved and that I was no longer at risk. Whew! I’m so glad you received good news about this too!

    I can also relate to the lack of exercise. I was too sick to work out too, and when I did try, I was more nauseated and even experienced cramping afterwards (which my doctor told me were actually contractions). I didn’t work out again until I talked to my doctor, and now, with a few changes, I’m feeling better after my workouts. Good luck to you as you try to get back into being more active!

  9. Alissa February 13, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    So glad Turtle is doing well and you are as well. I have been thinking of you both. I know how it feels to reach the heaviest weight you have ever been at. I can only tell you that you might just be able to lose much of it following birth. I lost all of my baby weight within 4 weeks. I know not everyone has this happen, but it can. Just eat healthy and try to walk. That’s all I did.

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