Posted tagged ‘heart rate’

14 weeks

January 4, 2010

I had my 14 week checkup with the OB on Friday. No ultrasounds today, but they did check the heart rate with a nifty little machine that looks like a mini ultrasound. It transmits sound but not pictures.

Oh, that heartbeat sound … I don’t even know how to describe the relief and joy it brings me. A sort of wubb, wubb, wubb, with a fluid-like noise in the background … it has to be the most reassuring sound in the world. Every time I hear it, I breathe a huge sigh of relief and get this huge, goofy grin on my face. That’s our baby in there!

I was concerned because the heart rate is down from the last visit, but the nurse assured me that it was totally normal for the rate to fluctuate from day-to-day. So I am trying to let that worry go.

My weight is pretty much the same as it has been throughout the pregnancy, excepting the period of the worst morning sickness when I actually lost weight. At best, I am up 1 or 2 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I keep forgetting to ask the doctor if this is acceptable. According to the BMI chart, I was in the overweight category pre-pregnancy (thank you, insulin resistance … and cookies), so all of the pregnancy charts I’ve found say that this is a normal weight gain for the first trimester. Still, being the irrational worrier that I am, I could use a little reassurance from the expert. I need to remember to ask this question next time!

I met with the doctor, too. We talked about switching to the high-risk OB, an idea I am starting to warm to, but I still want to double-check with my Endo first.

Then we talked a little about Type one Diabetes. Her husband works in sales for Accu-chek, so I showed her my much-loved Accu-chek Softclix lancing device and raved about it. I don’t even use an Accu-chek meter anymore, but I am still hanging on to this “poker.”

We also talked a little about CGMs. She was familiar with them, but did not know a whole lot. From what she had heard, all of the calibrating and the inconsistent readings sure sounded like a pain. I tend to agree with her, but I’m still thinking about the Dexcom. I would normally just make do with my finger-sticks, but this pregnancy has left me with some remarkably wild shifts in my BGs (sometimes in as little as one hour) and it sure would be nice to spot those trends before the 24 mg/dL hits.

We also discussed the results of the first genetic test, the nuchal translucency test. The test showed good results for our baby. The chances of Down Syndrome are one in 8,000. This is really good because the normal chances for a baby being born to a mother my age are one in 410. So the test shows that the odds that our baby has Downs are even less than they are in most babies born to mothers who are my age. It’s nice to have that little bit of reassurance.

The rest of this genetic test checked for other chromosomal abnormalities, but the lab reported that they cannot determine the results of this test conclusively in an insulin-dependent diabetic. An interesting tidbit that the high-risk OB probably would have already known.

On my way out I talked a little to the phlebotomist (the one who draws your blood.) We talked about how hard it was to draw my blood the last time and she commented that it is important to keep your BGs as steady as possible before a blood draw. A low BG causes the body to sort of go into shock which causes your veins to collapse. I can’t find any research backing this up, but it does seem to make sense.

All-in-all, the visit was pleasant. I scheduled an appointment to have blood drawn for the next genetic test. My next task is to schedule my first real appointment with the high-risk OB, but I won’t do that until after I talk to my Endo.

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12 Weeks

December 17, 2009
Ultrasound picture, 12 weeks

Baby says, "Hi"

Today was my 12 week OB appointment. The purpose of the appointment was twofold: To set me up as an “official” pregnancy patient and to start genetic testing.

The day started out with an ultrasound. Part of the 12 week genetic testing, called Nuchal Translucency, is to measure the amount of fluid in the baby’s neck. This measurement, coupled with some blood work, assesses the baby’s risk of having Down syndrome and some other chromosomal defects.

This whole genetic testing thing is complicated. As parents, you do not have to do the testing, it is just an option. Also, the tests are known for producing false positives, which can cause a lot of worry and heartache. It was hard for us to decide whether or not to do it, but we finally decided that we would rather know what the odds are, and to be prepared for the outcome at delivery.

The ultrasound was somewhat uncomfortable. Because the baby is so little at this stage (something like 2.5″ – 3″!,) you need to have a full bladder to push your uterus forward so that the ultrasound wand can pick up the sound waves. I dutifully drank my 20 ounces of liquid 1.5 hours before the exam. As anyone who has been pregnant before can probably tell you, there is a lot of pressure in the bladder area. Even when your bladder is not full, it sort of feels like somebody is trying to wring it out. I am in the habit of peeing every 1-2 hours, even when I have not had a whole lot to drink. So maybe you can start to understand the pain I was in when I walked into the doctor’s office.

Luckily, I did not have to wait long, and the ultrasound experience, as usual, was mesmerizing. Hearing that heartbeat (171 beats per minute this time!) and seeing a “real baby” in there is just amazing. This time it looks even more like a baby, less like a fish. Baby looked like s/he was posing for us, with his/her right hand in the air as if to wave “hello”. The ultrasound tech also instructed me to leave a urine sample, which was not problem at all!

Afterwards, we spent several long minutes trying to draw my blood. They need something like 6 vials of it for this genetic testing, and my veins are apparently still weak from my dehydration and hospitalization. So we finally gave up on that. I have strict instructions to rest and drink tons of water. On Tuesday I have to go back for another try.

After that, the nurse practitioner recorded some of my genetic history, and then took some cultures. And then I was free to go.

All in all, a tiring visit, but I am so relieved to hear that baby is healthy and growing as expected.

H1N1 Shot and Morning (and Noon and Night) Sickness

November 9, 2009

I got a H1N1 shot last Thursday afternoon. I waited in line for three hours at a clinic run by the county health department at the fairgrounds. It was just like what you see on the news. Gobs of “Tier One” people and small children waiting in long lines outside in the cold.

Don’t get me started about how broken our health care system is.

The bad news is that between the effects of the shot and my morning sickness-turned-all-day-sickness, I can hardly get out of bed. I have already missed three days of work. In a row.

Our appointment to check the heart rate is this afternoon. We are looking for a number higher than 100. Last week it was 97. After  the whole tubal pregnancy scare, this seems like just  a small concern, so I am not too worried about it. The doctor mentioned that he might be able to give me something for this nausea, too. I am definitely going to take him up on that.