I have shyed away from posting for awhile because the last several weeks haven’t exactly been smooth sailing like I had thought the second trimester would be. But this is my journey, and I wanted to use my blog to document it, so I am going to stick with it. The reason I have been hesitant to post much is because I don’t want to come across like I am complaining about being pregnant. I know how difficult it was to struggle through infertility and then listen to people who were pregnant complain about it. But the truth is, pregnancy can be really hard on you - physically and emotionally. I know how lucky I am to have the blessing to grow this sweet little baby inside me, and I give thanks to the Lord every day. I absolutely love feeling him kick away in there and love seeing my growing bump.
But this pregnancy has definitely not been perfect, and I’ve learned so much about so many different things I never knew about. I had no idea what an echocardiogram was before this pregnancy, and baby has already had two and I’ve had one! Here’s an update on the past few weeks.
During our 19 week anatomy scan, the Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) doctors determined that our little guy had a Velamentous Cord Insertion (VCI) - which means that the umbilical cord inserts into the fetal membranes then travel to the placenta, whereas a normal cord would insert directly into the placenta. The concerns that come along with this are making sure that the baby is getting enough nourishment from the placenta and growing properly, and also to ensure that the vessels are not too close to the cervix because that can be a really scary ordeal (Vasa Previa). Luckily, during the second part of my ultrasound they determined that the vessels were far enough away from my cervix that they could rule out Vasa Previa. We’ve been getting ultrasounds every four weeks to monitor baby’s growth (glad we get to see him!) and so far we’ve been consistently tracking about a day ahead. Luckily, the VCI hasn’t had much of an impact on baby thus far, and we continue to pray that it continues. It is always scary to find out that there’s something that’s “not normal”, but feel great about the fact that we’ve been under such great care with the MFM and OB docs to this point.
During week 22, we had our fetal echocardiogram because babies conceived through IVF have a slightly higher risk of heart defects. They don’t know why, but to take all the proper precautions, we had a fetal echo done to make sure things looked healthy. During this appointment, the nurse took quite awhile toward the end looking at the flow of the blood over and and over again. At the end of the appointment, the MFM doctor came in and let us know that they believe that Baby has a hole in the heart of the two upper chambers, an ASD (Atrial Septum Defect). The good news is, this is super common and a lot of times can resolve all on its own. But, they referred us to their other clinic to meet with the pediatric cardiologist for a follow up. During that appointment, they determined that it was actually something totally different - a Persistent Left Vena Cava (from my understanding all babies early in utero have this, but it typically dissolves and becomes a ligament, but in our case it didn’t) with a Dilated Coronary Sinus. This goes way beyond any knowledge I have of the heart, but I’ve included a the diagram we got from the doctor that shows what this is in the highlighted part. Baby will have another echo at 32 weeks to make sure the Coronary Sinus isn’t constricting any blood flow, and then baby will have one when he’s born, too. This was another appointment where it was scary to hear that things weren’t perfectly normal, but there were no immediate concerns for his health, which was a huge relief. We continue to trust in God and pray that these conditions will not cause any issues for our little guy, and rather we are just under such great prenatal care, that we are armed with a lot more information about our little one.
Vasovagal and Anemia
One of the most challenging symptoms that I have experienced over the past month and a half of pregnancy has been Vasovagal. It all started around week 20 when I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and passed out. When I came to, I was sweating from head to toe, and still really light headed. I called the doc and they explained that fainting can be normal in pregnancy and to make sure I change positions carefully. Early the next week, I had my 22 week appointment and talked with my Dr. in more depth about it. She also told me that I had to stop playing tennis because if I were to get hit by a ball, it could be very dangerous. I feel like God was at work, because that evening I was supposed to play a tennis match about 45 minutes away from where I live (but had to tell my team I was out for the rest of the season), and I had a terrible incident driving home from work that night (which I would’ve been headed far away from home if I played my match). I had to cut over three lanes of traffic at the last minute because my vision started getting black and spotty, my ears got all clogged and I could feel another “episode” coming on. I pulled over into the gas station at the top of the exit and laid there in my car with cold air blasting until I felt I could drive again. After 15 minutes, I headed home and I still hardly remember the drive home, I felt so sick and disoriented. These episodes started happening daily, and usually when I was driving or right after I got out of my car, which has been really scary.
My doctor referred me to a Cardiologist who did an EKG, an Echo and then had me wear a patch for a week to monitor my heart. Luckily, they determined that everything is OK with my heart and it isn’t a cardiac condition that is causing these episodes, rather it’s Vasovagal. I’ve always had low blood pressure, but pregnancy has made it even lower. From my understanding, when my blood pressure gets really low my heart over compensates and starts having palpitations and I start to get light headed, my ears clog up and my vision starts to go black. I feel really sick when it happens, and always want to go to the ER, but if I lay down with a fan for about 30-60 minutes, I feel fine. It’s gotten to the point where my doctors had to write me a note to work from home as much as possible so I can avoid driving. When I had three episodes occur in one day I went into the OB because I was nervous. They tested my thyroid and for anemia, and determined that I had mild anemia, but then at my last appointment my numbers kept dropping. So I am trying to eat as much iron-rich food and am taking supplements, because I tend to believe that this could be contributing, too.
This is the only part of pregnancy that I really wish would resolve, because it’s so unpredictable and so scary when it happens. I always worry about baby and whether he’s not getting enough blood flow when this occurs, but the doctors have reassured me that he’s my body’s number one priority. So for now, I am just trying to take it really easy. It’s a bummer because my husband and I go on a walk around neighborhood park every day, and I have had episodes on our walks so we’ve had to cut back on those and listen to my body.
At the end of the day, what is important is that baby is healthy and growing just as he should be. We pray that things continue to progress well, and cannot wait to meet our sweet little guy this winter.
I wanted to end this post on some more “fun news”. We shared our name with our families at Halloween. :) I started registering for my shower and realized that I wanted some monogrammed gifts and asked my husband if it would be OK if we shared the initials. He suggested carving a pumpkin and sharing the name with our families since they’d all be here on Halloween. I immediately said no, because I thought we were waiting, but the more I thought about the idea over the weekend, the more it grew on me. The next day, my husband went and bought a gigantic pumpkin and carved his name in it (all a surprise to me) - so we lit it up and shared it at our party. Our little Parker David, we love you so much already. XO
Hi, welcome to my blog! I started my blog as a way to channel my creativity and document our life happenings. From the pretty, styled shots to the real, raw experiences, too, like our journey to start our family. I love to share about my faith, my personal style for interior decorating, holidays and entertaining & for our little guys. too. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your support. XO, Lindsay