This week I met with my new OB. He came highly recommended by my RE and many other moms in my area. He actually spent a good amount of time with me and did a much more thorough ultrasound than I was expecting. He also seemed sensitive to the fact that I wanted – no needed – to get right to the ultrasound part as fast as humanly possible. I don’t think the fear of loss gifted to us by infertility ever goes away during pregnancy, and possibly not even after birth. So like usual, I was pretty much in a state of panic as I walked into my appointment, fearing that the baby maybe be, well, you know. And so we got right to it.
With a tear of relief, I saw the familiar flicker of my baby’s heart beat even before my OB could get the words out. After all, by this point I know how to read the basics on an ultrasound – from follicles to heart beat. Then he went through and diligently measured all of my baby’s parts, sounded off measurements, and assured me that everything was normal, and there were no markers to be seen of any deficits or disease.
I did find out, though, that my placenta is covering or partially covering my cervix. He followed this fact with reassurance that this is really common at this stage, I’m 15 weeks pregnant, and the placenta usually moves around as the pregnancy progresses. He said in most cases, this will resolve itself, but if it’s still covering my cervix at 20 weeks then that could be a placenta previa. I’m sure he quickly realized his mistake in telling someone like me about this, as panic washed over my face. When I asked what that could mean, he said that I would need a c-section (a mute point for me, since I’m going to need one anyway) and could cause bleeding after 20 weeks. Although I hadn’t read much about placenta previa prior to this, I knew that it could also mean other “bad things”. But I’m doing my best to not go Google-crazy or think the worst. Hopefully, my placenta will pack its bags and settle in somewhere away from cervix land.
And speaking of my placenta (because that’s a phrase I use often), my RE had me come back the day after this ultrasound for one last progesterone check. I had been off all progesterone supplementation for 3 days so we were hoping to see that my placenta was pumping progesterone like a champ. After looking at my placenta and baby, my OB assured me that my RE would tell me my progesterone level is fine and I don’t need any more supplementation. But, no, that’s not what happened. Of course not. My progesterone level came back at 19 and I was told to continue using Crinone once per day until 20 weeks. At that point, I was told to simply stop. Not sure why we would stop then, but of course, I’ll be insisting that my OB check it again at that point. I’m not leaving anything to chance.I’m way too obsessive and controlling for that crap.
During the second trimester, a normal progesterone level is 17 to 147 ng/ml. That’s quite a range, and my level is in that range. I guess my RE continues to take a conservative approach with me, which I don’t mind. I mean, Crinone is a nasty little demon and I’d love to not use it, but hey – I’ll do it for the baby. I may completely forget what it’s like to have sex, but what’s a few more weeks? And in case you’re curious, yes you can have sex while on Crinone, but it leaves this chunky, waxy white substance in your vagina – think cottage cheese on steroids – that you have to periodically scoop out with your finger. Sounds attractive right? My fear is that if we have sex, the Crinone wax will get packed into places that I simply can’t reach. If I was planning a vaginal birth, I’d be afraid that my baby would be forever trapped behind a Crinone wax fortress. Good thing there’s another way out.
The last little bit of interesting information from my OB appointment, is that my OB asked if I’d like to have my tubes removed during my c-section. Wait, what? While preventing a natural pregnancy is laughable – as if that would ever happen – the main reason he offered to remove my body parts is that current research is finding that a majority of ovarian cancers actually originate at the ends of the Fallopian tubes. So the idea is that if you remove tubes you don’t plan on using anyway, you could prevent, or at least significantly reduce, your chance of developing one of the most deadliest forms of cancer. This info is completely new to me and I’ll definitely have to do some research. The procedure is called salpingectomy, and is not to be confused with a tubal litigation (i.e., “getting your tubes tied”). The former completely removes your tubes from your body, while the latter cuts, ties, or blocks your tubes and leaves them inside your body. I’ll post my finding on this topic in the future when I find out more.
So for now I have about 3 more week of peace until the panic returns the night before my next ultrasound. That one will be my anatomy scan, which is scheduled for my 18th week. I’ll be doing that with a maternal-fetal-medicine (MFM) specialist – the high risk pregnancy doc – not because I’m necessarily all that “high risk” (age blah, blah, blah), but because that’s who I saw last time around and so I was scheduled with him again. Besides the MFM has a much bigger ultrasound TV screen and the plushest exam table I’ve ever laid on. So yeah, I’ll take my anatomy scan luxury style.