Jim and I went to my perinatologist appointment this morning (Memere is visiting and graciously stayed home with Finn). Perinatologist is an OB subspecialist concerned with the care of the mother and baby at higher-than-normal risk for complications. They did an ultrasound that got detailed information on the baby and my cervix. Pictures to follow!
They could not tell the sex yet at this point, but maybe after our next one. We listened to the heartbeat for a second (Jim freaked out!) and it was strong and around 150 beats per second. Little peanut was a wiggle worm and was doing somersaults the entire time. My cervix looked good and now they have a baseline for future ultrasounds.
The verdict? They are going to be watching me closely. About 20% of women who have had preterm labor have it again (which is one in five). At 16 weeks, I will start going in for an ultrasound every two weeks and I will be getting progesterone shots every week (hopefully, we can set up a home health nurse to administer them so I don't have to go in!). Progesterone is naturally produced by the body when you are pregnant, but some studies have found that women who have preterm labor might not produce enough. The shots will elevate that level and if you get extra, it doesn't hurt you or the baby.
I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting (that's why I like Jim to do there recap posts!), but I'll add as I remember. I felt good when we left...optimistically cautious. The doctor made me feel like they will stay on top of anything that could or might happen and do everything they can to prevent preterm labor again. I said I just don't want my water to break so early! That is what did me in (and caused so much more concern for Finn while in utero). Of course I have other wants as well, but that is top on my list. My next appointment with my doctor is in two weeks and my next ultrasound is in three (going to be busy with all the appointments for baby #1 (Finn) and baby #2)!
Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.