Week 33 And All The Ones Before
Today I’m exactly 33 weeks pregnant. As I’m typing this our little boy is kicking me in the belly while resting his foot behind my rib cage. I wouldn’t trade these days for anything.
This pregnancy journey got off to a rocky start, a placental bleed a few times early on. Given the 50/50 chance, we were very hopeful for a positive outcome. I had a week here and there of bed rest, a lot of morning and evening sickness. The exhaustion has been unreal, I am more tired this pregnancy then my first.
As the weeks went on, my age and my husbands age required us to do Integrated Prenatal Screening (IPS). There is a new type of testing for this called Non Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT), you can do this test as early as 9 weeks, but it is more accurate after 12 weeks. NIPT testing is covered by OHIP only if you have something flagged on the IPS testing. If you wanted to pay $550 CAD you could do the test before the IPS testing (Which I opted to do).
I did mine at 9 weeks (which in hind sight was too early).
After waiting 7 days, the results came back with ‘no-result’, low fetal fraction. This could have meant a few things, but we opted to re-test at no additional cost. Waited another 7 days, doing the test at around 11 weeks (again too early for me). It also came back ‘no-result’, low fetal fraction with a recommendation for genetic counselling.
My Dr referred me to the genetic clinic at McMaster. It was about a 2-3 week wait to get into the clinic, in that time period I started my IPS two part test, which involves two blood tests and an ultrasound.
When I went to the clinic, I was expecting to be told, it was okay not a big deal, everything was going to be fine. Instead I got the exact opposite, and it was highly recommended that I have an amniocentesis (amnio). This was a very hard decision, as we knew all the high risks this involved, we opted to have one.
The clinic at McMaster with the doctors and the genetic councilors, is such an amazing team of professionals that are supportive, informative and very skilled. The day of the amnio, my husband couldn’t be with me, so my parents drove two hours to my house and the hour to McMaster to be with me and help me. The procedure was more painful and crampy then any of the staff let on that it would be, later I would find out it was because they went through my placenta (as it was laying across the front of my belly). The emotional toll, the pain, and everything I had been through so far, I had the rest of the week off work.
As I layed in bed for the week, I was also praying to the universe and spirits and hoping all would be okay.
There are two different ways they will get results from the amnio, the first is a rapid test for the 5 major things, and this can be calculated in the first 5 days. My rapid test came back inconclusive because of maternal blood. This meant they needed to incubate the sample for two-three weeks to have my blood cells die off and the babies grow.
The longest two weeks of my life, I got a call through the car, it was my genetics councillor telling me the rapid test with the incubated cells have come back clear!! Whoop step one complete and successful, and we found out in the same phone call, it was a BOY!!
We just had to wait another week, or two as they unravel all the babies DNA and check the whole strand for markers/flags.
More waiting, and by this time I was about 22 weeks pregnant; Was this pregnancy viable? Was everything going to be okay?
The final phone call came in and everything was clear, everything was going to be okay!
We were going to have a baby boy come another 18 weeks!!
This also started the rush of putting together two lists, one of what we needed to get for the baby, and two what we needed to clean and do around the house to get ready for baby.
OMG Panic… after 5.5 years we had just sold a lot of our baby stuff. Thank goodness we had kept the crib, and all my cloth diapers systems. The rest of the items I have been able to pick up from local mom buy and sell groups on Facebook, very generous friends and family that have given us amazing gifts and a few hand me downs from his older sister.
McMaster referred me up to the high risk clinic for pregnancy related high blood pressure and the microadenoma in my pituitary gland (wanted to make sure it wasn’t growing from the pregnancy hormones, which it is just fine).
After two visits the high risk clinic at McMaster released me back to my OB but keeping my file open, making sure that I followed the recommendations of getting my CPAP machine asap, and following the babies growth. Any dips and we would have to come back.
Well, a month ago, we did another ultrasound at Karma in Kitchener, and with their measurements the baby was sitting at the 4th percentile, which meant a huge drop in size. My OB plotted the size and measurements into the graph that McMaster had provided us and it was over 10th percentile, so something didn’t add up.
Back to McMaster I went.
It turns out there are many different algorithms for calculating the babies size, McMaster uses the most accurate and up-to-date method. After another ultrasound and appointment, everything was just fine, the baby boy was doing amazing, and looking great!
I just had my final appointment at McMaster this week, I’ve been released into the care of my OB and I couldn’t be happier. I have to take my blood pressure twice a day and track how that goes. Keep an eye on headaches and watch for signs of pre-eclampsia, as that is what happened with my first pregnancy.
Not long left and this miracle will be born!
Through all this though, I have been so thankful and enjoying all of the pregnancy, the belly, the movements, even the rough stuff, grateful for it all. This is the greatest gift, thank you spirits, thank you universe!