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Pregnancy update

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I have an aortic aneurysm (bulging of the aorta, genetic thing, my dad and aunt died at 28 and 24), and my first OB appointment was NOT what I was expecting! The (high risk) OB said she couldn't believe my cardiologist let me get pregnant, she didn't support the pregnancy and didn't think I should be pregnant. She was basically recommending a termination, but realised that was not an option for me.

So first appointment as new parents-to-be was a little.... disappointing! I wasn't sure if I should keep her, but my cardiologist assured me she was excellent and to give her one more chance, which I grudgingly did.

So we went this afternoon for appointment number 2. We got another obstetrician initially who has a cardiac background, and she was much better at explaining things than my OB. She still said they would always recommend termination if I was early on for my condition, and understood that once you see the baby on the ultrsound that's probably not going to happen.

She also said that whatever we choose to do whether it's keeping the baby, choosing a delivery method, or whatever, they'll advise and make sure we understand all risks, but ultimately they will support whatever decisions we make. So that's good!

Apparently there was a big meeting with about 20 doctors from Stanford Hospital all talking about me, my condition, how to handle it, and recommendations.

The problem is that they don't have much information about my specific condition, and if they had to guess a risk rate, they'd say between 2-5% - and that's of maternal death. She said while it doesn't sound high, that's 2-5 people in every 100 are at risk of dying, which is pretty high when you think of it that way.

Then my original "mean" OB came in as well, and talked with us with the other doc/OB, and she was much better than last time. She realises we're going ahead with this no matter what, and now she just has to keep me safe. She was also a lot better this time, so we won't fire her just yet

Anyway, so they said I shouldn't be doing any more exercise than light walking, and should be doing absolutely nothing that gets my heart rate up, because the heart is having to work a lot harder to compensate for growing a baby, and any extra load could be very bad for me.

I'll see the ob again in a month, then she said after that, they'll probably want to see me every 2-3 weeks from then on. And I'll be getting monthly echocardiograms (of my heart), plus any other tests they decide to subject me to...

I mentioned we were flying to Dublin in June and they both kinda freaked out. They looked at each other and looked very hesitant, which I knew was bad They recommended against it saying at that point, my heart is working extra hard growing the baby, and being that far away from my doctors and cardiologist was very risky, and they recommended against it blah blah... So it seems that the only risk is that we're so far away from our doctors if something goes wrong, but we're going to be in Dublin (for work), not in the middle of Africa... It's not as though the doctors are bad there if something drastic happens. I'm flying business class there, and DH will probably give me his business class seat on the way back (I couldn't get an upgrade ), so I'll be flying fairly comfortably. I don't know what to do, but I'm leaning towards just going. We need to leave the country to renew our work visa for the US, and we can both work from the Dublin office for the company we're at, and it's all booked already, but if something DOES go wrong...

I'll be getting a heart scan just before I go, so I guess unless that shows up anything weird, I'll just assume everything should be fine.

We're certainly a lot more worried about the pregnancy now that we've spoken to someone who explained everything better and didn't seem to just be freaking out.

So that was my afternoon!!
post #2 of 23
Yikes Sarah! Can you get an exception for the visa thing - after all, you are at risk with your heart and your pregnancy? Will the immigration people at least consider that?

You are so brave Sarah!
post #3 of 23
awww honey sorry you had such a rough day! i would have been upset too! and if i were in your shoes i would have punched that doctor for mentioning aborting my baby bless your hearti'm sure if you take good care of yourself and don't push yourself too much you will be just fine- just pay attention to your body and if you think anything's changing -don't hesitate to get to the doctor. i'm sure with the number of doctors that you have monitoring you along with the cardiologists- that you will do just fine when delivery day arrives. it sounds like- yes, you do have a risk, but that your odds will be good if you take care of yourself If it were me i'd try to get an extentions to the visa and send over medical papers to let them know what's going on so you don't have to travel just yet. travel can be stressfull and that's probably the last thing you need.
post #4 of 23
I'm sorry this pregnancy is so high risk and stressful for you both. I hope everything goes well. You did know about your condition before becoming pregnant and so knew it wasn't going to be as relaxed as for the average person, but I ALSO know that it's completely different once you see that little person on the ultrasound and have to hear the doctors warnings. I can't imagine how worrysome this is for you. I think the best thing is to take care of yourself and that means doing everything you can to keep the risks as low as possible so you won't worry more than you can help. Take your doctors words to heart. No exercise! Take it easy! Pamper yourself with off-your-feet indulgances, like rented movies, foot rubs from DH and naps with the furbabies. Read books, make name lists (ones you like as well as joke lists, for a laugh!) and make DH paint your toenails when you can't reach.

Most of all, try to relax enough to enjoy this. You're doing something a woman was made for....growing life. I assume, with the risks involved, you'll only be doing this once or at least a very limited number of times. Don't let the worry rob you of the experience.

As for Dublin, I wouldn't presume to advise you. You and your husband will have to talk that one through on your own, factoring in all the information the doctors have given you.

Good luck! Keep us updated!
post #5 of 23
Oh, gosh, I'm so sorry to hear this! And I surely hope you'll think again about flying anywhere.

...Airplanes are notorious for recycling passenger cabin air, which exposes you for a prolonged period to a whole smorgasbord of viruses and bacteria. What if you caught something that put your body under further stress? (I once caught Group A Streptococcus on a plane and almost died from it.)

...Also, the fluctuations in cabin pressure can cause all sorts of odd reactions in the human body, and have been known to cause premature labor.

...And if I were in such a fragile condition, I would want to be where I can count on doctors who know my history already. By the time a strange doctor in another country is able to digest the details of your case, it might be too late.

Please give this a lot of thought before you decide for sure?

_________

Edit: I'm not as refined as Leli -- I just go ahead and presume and advise like crazy...
post #6 of 23
Oh no sweetie!! I cant even imagine what your going through!!

I will definately keep you in my thoughts and prayers at this time.....
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words all I'm not too stressed about it - from the research I have done myself, my risks are so low, and they should be able to detect any changes to my heart well before it causes any problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leli View Post
I'm sorry this pregnancy is so high risk and stressful for you both. I hope everything goes well. You did know about your condition before becoming pregnant and so knew it wasn't going to be as relaxed as for the average person, but I ALSO know that it's completely different once you see that little person on the ultrasound and have to hear the doctors warnings.
Well, the cardiologist said to us "if you want to have kids naturally (ie. not using a surrogate mother, adopting etc.), do it sooner rather than later". We were going by his advice, and he seems to think the risks are incredibly low, enough to agree that it's safe to have kids. So this was quite a surprise to get this reaction from the obstetricians! Who do you believe???

Quote:
As for Dublin, I wouldn't presume to advise you. You and your husband will have to talk that one through on your own, factoring in all the information the doctors have given you.

Good luck! Keep us updated!
Thanks, we will. I think we'll still go at this stage. My tickets are refundable, and work is paying for it, so unless something drastic happens we'll still go ahead with it. My grandparents (who are in Australia) will be in the UK at the same time, so have booked flights to Dublin and accommodation so they can see us, and I REALLY want to see them as well. They'll understand if we can't make it, that's for sure - these are my dad and aunt's parents, so they very much understand what I'm going through, but I still would love to see them.

It's definitely a decision that won't be taken lightly.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
It's definitely a decision that won't be taken lightly.
Fair enough. We care about you a lot.
post #9 of 23
I am sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time with this baby.

I am sending you hugs and prayers from Mississippi.



Please think about the Dublin trip though, the doctors sound like they are very concerned about it. They usually know what is best for their patients.

Keep us updated on how things are going for you and the baby.
post #10 of 23
wow, thats a lot to take in It sounds like you have a great team of docs. on your case, so they will be with you every step of the way and of course, you have certainly done your research, so you wll have a good idea of whats what and how to take care of yourself and the baby

Take care, we are all thinking of you
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSULOVER View Post
Please think about the Dublin trip though, the doctors sound like they are very concerned about it. They usually know what is best for their patients.

Keep us updated on how things are going for you and the baby.
These are the same doctors that told me I should abort my baby... It's har dto know whether they're being overcautious, or if it really is worrying
post #12 of 23
Sarah, I will be praying for an uncomplicated pregnancy for you and for your heart health
post #13 of 23
I am afraid I'm with CarolPetunia...going to advise like crazy

I am glad you have a huge team consulting on this, given that, you should know you don't have one doctor being overly cautious, but a lot of experienced docs giving your their best advice based on their experience.

I think you are brave, believe you understand a lot of the risks, but I surely would not chance this flight in June. Put yourself and this baby first...find a way around pushing things. Up in the air is not optimal if something does happen.

You are too precious to those who love you, and this child is oh so precious to you...why take *any* additional risk? I simply would not consider this flight.

Now, don't be peeved at me for being so blunt, okay? I wish you all the best, and so want all to go well for you both.
post #14 of 23
Honey you are in my thoughts and prayers... I don't have any advice I just pray that all goes well for you.
post #15 of 23
Wow. It sounds like you have some great doctors.

If you want my advice, here it is:

I would follow what the high-risk OB says. I know you weren't too thrilled with her, but since she knows you are keeping the baby, she is the one who knows the risks the best. I would do absolutely everything she says to do, since she knows the best how to keep you and the baby safe. It's just a few more months.

Please postpone your trip. Flying can be extremely stressful, with horrible delays. My husband has made six trips to Europe in the last six months, and there's always one in there where a flight is late, you miss all the connecting flights, etc. And the recirculated air is hideous, with people sneezing and hacking coughs on the plane. Please lay low and safe for the next few months!

The doctors didn't want you to keep the baby to keep you safe, don't hold it against them. Now, their priority is to keep you both safe.

Sending best wishes!
post #16 of 23
If I may jump in again -- I know you naturally cringe from anyone who advised you not to have the baby, and that's completely understandable. But I wouldn't take that as an indication that they don't care about your baby -- I'd take it as an indication of how serious the threat to your life may be. They didn't want you to risk a pregnancy at all. But now that you've made the decision to do so, I'm sure they'll stand by you and the baby with everything they've got. It sounds to me like they take your case very seriously and are worthy of your confidence.

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Ok, just to make clear why we're going to Dublin... we have to renew our work visa so we can stay legally in the US and work - we have to leave the country for that, and apparently there's been issues with people trying to do it in Canada (and you can't do it in the US).

I'll be getting a heart scan the week before I leave, and if it shows up fine, there's pretty much no chance anything will drastically change within a week. If my aorta suddenly decides to dissect, it's not as though I would die instantly. Most people can't even get into any sort of surgery for 10+ hours by the time they realise what's going on, get to hospital, the doctor's figure out what's going on etc etc. It's a 10 hour flight, so if something happened while I was in the air, I would be a maximum of 5 hours away from the origin/destination, and they could do an emergency landing if need be.

So the odds of anything happening in that precise time are VERY low, and the risk of me dying if it did happen while I was in mid air are also incredibly low.

I'll have just finished my final university exam for the semester the week before, and will be in desperate need of a break, and will get to see my grandparents and sort my visa out.

I appreciate that everyone's worried, but I really do think the obstetricians are ultra conservative (they say it themselves). I plan to mention it to the cardiologist, and if he agrees that it's too risky, I won't do it, but if he agrees that the risk is incredibly low and the last scan shows up clear, then I'm going. If flying really was a big deal, they'd tell me to NEVER fly.

I take it seriously but I'm not going to wrap myself in cotton wool. I've been talking with another girl who has aortic aneurysms in her family, and she said of the females in her family who have had children, they have popped out 3 children with no problem before their dissections happened, and there's been just as many males in the family who have had dissections (and all lived), so certainly in their families, it's not been pregnancy related.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Well... I'm cancelling my flights to Dublin

I spoke to the cardiologist (who's less conservative than the obstetrician) and he said no way absolutely not, it was a very bad idea.

I'm so disappointed. And now I have to tell my nan and grandad who booked flights and accommodation over there to see us that I have to cancel. They're going to be so upset - they'll absolutely understand why, and they won't be angry or anything, but I know they'll be so disappointed
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
Well... I'm cancelling my flights to Dublin

I spoke to the cardiologist (who's less conservative than the obstetrician) and he said no way absolutely not, it was a very bad idea.

I'm so disappointed. And now I have to tell my nan and grandad who booked flights and accommodation over there to see us that I have to cancel. They're going to be so upset - they'll absolutely understand why, and they won't be angry or anything, but I know they'll be so disappointed
Can your grandparents cancel and get their money back, and save it for a trip over to see their new great grandbaby once you've delivered? That would a wonderful occasion for all of you to look forward to.

I am glad you've cancelled the flight (yah, I was conservative as a nurse too...), but understand how disappointed you are. I hope they'll be able to plan a trip to see you.
post #20 of 23
on my gosh, i'm sorry sarah, that's not the kinda news you were expecting to hear!!!!! now that you've met with someone who isn't freaking out - you know what to do to take care of yourself. i'd follow any advice this new 'non-freaking out' doctor gives....

take care of yourself!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix View Post
Can your grandparents cancel and get their money back, and save it for a trip over to see their new great grandbaby once you've delivered? That would a wonderful occasion for all of you to look forward to.

I am glad you've cancelled the flight (yah, I was conservative as a nurse too...), but understand how disappointed you are. I hope they'll be able to plan a trip to see you.
That would be an even better trip for them!
I'm sending out many prayers to you, Sarah
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix View Post
Can your grandparents cancel and get their money back, and save it for a trip over to see their new great grandbaby once you've delivered? That would a wonderful occasion for all of you to look forward to.

I am glad you've cancelled the flight (yah, I was conservative as a nurse too...), but understand how disappointed you are. I hope they'll be able to plan a trip to see you.
Their main trip is actually to the UK (from Australia), and it just worked out they'd be near London when we were supposed to be in Dublin, so they organised to pop over, which is why I was going to see them.

So no, they can't just come over to the US
post #23 of 23
I'm sorry you are having so much difficult and disappointing news. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you and the baby.
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