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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.

Monday, August 9

Watch and see

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)!


Pam said...

I love it that we're pg at the same time!

Is hubby too needle-shy to administer your shots? Paul does mine at home, and he's gotten quite good at it.

Will your progesterone be natural or 17-Hydroxyprogesterone Caproate (synthetic)? Just curious about how our docs' protocols might be different, especially since I've studied this quite a bit....

Stacy Thomas said...

I know...I've been follow yours pretty closely since I'm sure we'll be going through similar experiences and you're a couple weeks ahead of me (weird how that worked out!).

Unfortunately, Jim is terrified of needles.

I didn't know to ask that question about progesterone. Is one better for me/baby than the other or more effective? I have an appointment with my OB in two weeks, so I think I can ask those questions then. Any info you have would be much appreciated!

My cervix looked great, so at this point they are not doing the cerclage. But if it starts to funnel at all, they probably will at that point.

Pam said...

Well, both 17-OHC (synthetic) injections and natural progesterone vag. suppositories are widely accepted, based upon studies of both. The 17-OHC is typically given 1x/wk. at 250 mg, and the vag. suppositories are taken daily at either 100 mg or 200 mg.

Dr. Hilgers (my "hero" dr. in Omaha) always uses natural progesterone, first as an injection from the beginning of pg, and then if you need it more than 2x/wk., he *adds* the suppositories. My local dr. prefers the 17-OHC, but he will not object to the suppositories, as they have also been used in double-blind studies. He also has his patients start at 16 wks.

I just don't completely trust the synthetic stuff (see Wikiedia). I took both natural and synthetic injections last pg (the natural from the beginning of the pg, and the synthetic starting at 17 wks.), and this time I've decided to try all natural. I've had the injections from the beginning of the pg (levels based on blood draws ordered through Dr. H), and I start the daily suppositories at 16 wks. (to make my local dr. happy, and Dr. H isn't against it). I will continue the blood draws through Dr. H, though my local dr. thinks they're unnecessary (no logic there, really), as the studies he's read didn't bother doing blood draws.

Anyway, I'm guessing you're slated to receive the 17-OHC, as it sounds like a 1x/wk. injection, and b/c it starts at 16 wks. (per the popular studies' protocol).

Again, I'm not *sure* there's anything wrong w/ the synthetic, but I just feel more comfortable going w/ all natural this time.