Monday, August 26, 2013

14 Weeks

This week was a busy week, with the start of second trimester, another appointment with the midwives, and a trip the E.R.

First things first, new baby apparently decided to celebrate being out of first trimester by moving all over the place, as I had a pretty hard time finding the heartbeat a couple of times.... and then so did the midwife. Each time she found it, a split second later it would be gone as the baby moved away. Sneaky thing :) Besides that, this month's appointment went well. I had been concerned with some of my lab results that the midwives had uploaded to the private file share/communication page (which is awesome and I wish all my care providers had that, by the way), and it turns out that not only had I misread the results, but I'm not even GBS positive (yet). So that was very good, and I started on probiotics this week to hopefully keep it that way.

But then Thursday night I started feeling not so great, and barely slept that night since my muscles on my torso were hurting so much. I thought it was just some normal pregnancy stuff (dealing with the digestive system), so I brushed it off even though I continued not feeling so great Friday either (which I then attributed to my lack of sleep from the night before). Saturday I woke up feeling fine, but by the afternoon my torso felt like it was being constricted, everything hurt from my midback up to my jaw, and I couldn't take a deep breath since it hurt too much. I tried laying down at one point and shot right back up, gasping for breath, since my back hurt so much and it was so difficult to breathe.

So first thing Sunday I went to Urgent Care, and of course I felt pretty good, with just some residual soreness at the bottom of my lungs when I took a deep breath. They thought I looked fine, but recommended I go straight to the E.R. anyway to rule out a blood clot. Did you know pulmonary embolism is the leading cause of death for pregnant women in the developed world? I sure didn't, but I learned this and much more as I frantically tried to conduct some internet research while sitting on a gurney so I could try to make an informed decision about the diagnostic tests they wanted to perform.

The E.R. suspected a possible blood clot in my lung, but also did bloodwork and tested for a UTI to try to see what might be going on, since I kind of suspected a virus might be at fault too, given Josie's random bout of throwing up Thursday night, my low grade fever Saturday, and Ryan waking up Sunday feeling like he got run over by a truck. They also wanted to do a CT scan, but I pushed back because of the risk of exposing the baby to radiation. So instead we did a V/G scan, which involved a chest X-ray (which has a lower level of radiation than a CT scan, and the baby was double shielded), and then getting an injection of radioactive isotopes (which go through my heart and then stay trapped in my lungs for 24 hours) and then having images of my lungs taken with a gamma camera. So also not great, but still well below the level of when radiation is normally damaging to babies. They also did a reduced dose of the isotopes and skipped the ventilation part of the scan, since the perfusion part looked fine, so that further reduced the baby's exposure. This is all still quite concerning to me, but since I'm no good to anyone if a blood clot takes me out, I felt like I needed to risk the exposure to confirm if that's what was going on.

And after all that - and 6 long hours on "E.R. time" as I started to call it as the minutes slipped away while I laid around waiting in various hallways - they were able to rule out a blood clot, said my vitals and bloodwork looked great (including no white blood cell elevation, so I guess that disproves my virus theory), but still didn't know what was causing all the pain. I feel much better today though, so who knows, and hopefully the opportunity won't come up again to give the doctors another shot at figuring out what it was....

Below is this week's comparison shot. Apparently I can still suck in my belly, seeing as how it appears to have shrunk this week :)
IMG_0311     IMG_0338

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