Becoming the Domesticated Diva

Finding my inner homemaker… one flub at a time!

Pregnancy oddities

on March 11, 2013

Part one of a mini series..

While I was pregnant, I read a lot.  Like most pregnant women, you always wonder about every little thing that comes up.  You sneeze and wonder if the baby felt it, you have an upset stomach and you wonder if the baby will starve – completely irrational things, but things you wonder about nonetheless.  During my pregnancy, I spent the first few months in complete bliss.  I felt great!  Got to eat all kinds of yummies, didn’t have to worry about gaining weight (too much!), and didn’t have any morning sickness.  I had a couple migraines which led to me getting sick on my stomach (which then led to my eyes swelling shut because of allergies); but despite that, I had a fairly problem free pregnancy.  Until about 20 weeks.  That’s when everything started for me.  And for the next 10 weeks, I learned more about the oddities of pregnancy than I ever expected.  Because of this, and because I know it happens to other women, I wanted to share my experiences and what I’ve learned.  I never dreamed I’d go through these things… heck, I never even knew these things could happen.  But hopefully my sharing will help others when they go through them and don’t know what to expect.

It all started when I had my triple blood test – the one that checks for various problems your child could have at birth, including Downs Syndrome.  My doctor told me I probably didn’t have anything to worry about.  I didn’t have the normal “warning signs” – not over 35, no history of birth defects in my family, no diabetes, etc.  However, about 4 weeks later… the test came back with much higher than normal chances that my little one had Downs Syndrome.  I was devastated.  I couldn’t believe it.  So, my doctor recommended an in depth sonogram to look for any other discrepancies.

Off to the Winnie Palmer Hospital (http://www.orlandohealth.com/winniepalmerhospital) I went.  There, my doctor found that not only did my little guy have extra fluid on one of his kidneys (another symptom of concern), but I also had a two vessel umbilical cord (yet another symptom).  Because Winnie Palmer is a research hospital, my doctor recommended I try a new blood test that had just come on the market that separates the mother and the baby’s DNA and is able to check for the extra chromosome 21 which indicates Downs.  I was thankful for an option (called MaterniT21) that wasn’t invasive – but gave me another chance to know for sure.  And thankfully, a couple of weeks later I got word.  Less than a 1% chance that my son would have Downs.  By then I had come to realize that it wouldn’t matter either way, my baby was going to be getting lots of love no matter what.  But I did have to worry about these other things that were definite.  The fluid on the kidney was somewhat common with boys anyway – so I turned my worry over to the two vessel umbilical cord.  What did that mean?  How did it effect my son?  And how did it effect me?  Here’s what I discovered..

How does having a 2 vessel umbilical cord effect me?

  • It doesn’t.  The cord only effects the baby.

How does having a 2 vessel umbilical cord effect the baby?

  • Sometimes, it doesn’t.  The most common thing is a lower birth weight, because it does effect the back and forth flow from mother to baby.  The one artery does make up for the work of the missing one.
  • There is a very minimal increase in risk of stillborn birth.
  • Because the baby’s heart and kidneys form around the same time as the umbilical cord, there is a slight increase of abnormalities in these organs.  Your baby will probably be examined a bit more closely during the last trimester and/or after the baby is born.

Is this common?

  • More so than you might think.  It happens in about 1-1.5% of pregnancies.

How did this happen to me?

  • There’s no real answer to that.  It’s just something that happens sometimes.

Next week.. I’ll share what I learned about hypertension (high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes during my pregnancy.  And to all you new or expectant mothers out there, take care!  🙂

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