Monday, May 03, 2010

Antibiotics and Dopplers and Injections! Yet Oddly No Stress!

This morning was my sixteen week check up, and I was totally a high maintenance patient, coming in with a whole list of questions/concerns. Nine in total. The doctor was really nice and took all the time I wanted, fortunately. I always feel bad hemming around, all, "Well, sometimes my heart races for no reason? And I have this weird heat rash on my chest? And I'm worried I'm gaining weight too fast? And...." I apologized for being That Person, with her itemized list of worries, but the doctor just laughed at me. She said, "My dear, (she always calls me "my dear:" offensive or cute?) you've never really had a smooth pregnancy yet, so you're allowed to be That Patient."

Overall it was a reassuring visit, though. And hearing the baby's heartbeat is fun, for sure. Also, it was relieving to get a possible explanation for why I haven't felt much movement the last few weeks: based on where the doctor finally found the heartbeat, the baby seems to have flipped to head down position already (whereas before the baby's feet were down, on top of my bladder, essentially. Which is... sensitive to movement.)

Also got a (kind of gross) explanation for all the cramping and general discomfort. Let me think of a subtle way to phrase this so as not to ick the boys out... Hmm. Let's just say it's an ailment common in pregnancy and has to do with an ingredient very important to bread making. M'kay? So a round of antibiotics and I should be feeling better.

The only thing at all worrisome is that I have been having a lot of calf pain through the backs of my legs the last week or so, and even though there are no visible clots or varicose veins, the doctor was worried. I guess DVT (deep vein thrombosis, the scary kind of clots) can sometimes just present with pain, and not necessarily be visible, so since I'm supposedly prone to clots, I have to go to the hospital this afternoon for a doppler scan of my legs to make sure no clots are hiding in there.

This sounds like no fun, and super boring, but I'm all for ruling out hidden clots which can be potentially fatal, so. Off I go.

Oh and also! I'm supposed to start doing weekly progesterone shots in the next week or two. Apparently several studies suggest that weekly progesterone therapy in the second and third trimesters can improve the odds of avoiding bedrest/premature labor for women who are at risk for such things, and that low maternal progesterone is one of the risk factors for preterm labor. I feel kind of iffy, since progesterone therapy hasn't seemed to really affect my hormone levels in a helpful way when I've tried it previously. However, there is also no substantiated research that progesterone therapy helps AT ALL to prevent miscarriage, which is why I was taking it then, and there IS research suggesting that it can help at the end of pregnancy, so... I don't know. Any advise/experience re: this? Keep in mind these shots are a hundred bucks a pop, every week until thirty six weeks, I think, and they're fairly painful. I'm still not sure if insurance will help with them or not. And I have to do them MYSELF, unless I want to come in to the office with two kids every week to have the nurse do them.


Jess said...

Did you read the NIH study that recently came out that said that women in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters should get 4000 IUI of vitamin D per day, which is more than twice the amount that is currently considered the safe limit? I found that so interesting and really want to talk to my midwives about it, but it is a question I can't ask until I'm, you know, pregnant and receiving prenatal care. So you should ask your doctor and report back! According to the study, the higher amounts of vitamin D can drastically reduce the risk of pre-term labor and the risk of infections.

Here's the article:

Marie Green said...

Gosh, I have no idea what I'd do about the prog. shots... I'd probably do some Hippie Reading to balance my dr's advice and try to make a decision from there.

Good luck with the leg clot sitch. I hate hassling with appointments like that too, even when they are obviously necessary!

d e v a n said...

hmm... not sure on the progesterone. I guess I would probably do it and then most likely be irritated about it and the cost (!!!) but too unsure to stop.

Hope the dvt thing goes well. That has always been one of my secret, irrational fears, that I would get dvt and not know it. Hopefully the appt won't be too tedious!

Scottish Twins said...

You know what I'm going to say ;)

I agree with Marie - so some Hippie Reading. What Jess said about the Vitamin D is fascinating. I think everything can be handled with food instead of drugs, and when you're pregnant, the less drugs, the better!!

Also, make sure you're taking a probiotic or eating some yogurt with live cultures while taking that antibiotic!!

Swistle said...

I would do the hippie reading to see if it raised any questions for me (I'm non-hippie in general with medical stuff, but it's a good way to get an idea of what the problems might be). But I'd probably do the shots, reasoning that maybe in the first trimester it sometimes doesn't work because the baby is non-viable anyway, but that once a baby gets to the second trimester that issue is pretty much done with. Also, I'd be influenced by the studies you mentioned.

Erica said...

My OB wanted me to have the shots, too, but when my insurance didn't cover them he was all "well, there's no definitive proof that they help. I just thought it couldn't hurt if your insurance would cover them."

Erica said...

Also, I read that article that Jess is talking about. My OB has had me on 2000 IUI of D since I conceived.