Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Baby Bridget's Beats - 28 Weeks

Baby Bridget and I went in to the doctor yesterday. Because of my wonderful fainting spell last week I had to reschedule our first visit with the MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) office and I am glad to say we got through the appointment with no problems! No more passing out in the hallway for me!

My mom came with me to this appointment because I was pretty nervous. She and I were talking so much in the waiting room (she was doing a good job of distracting me from my anxiety) that we didn't hear my name called the first time! After they called "Candace" once someone else started calling for "Courtney"..... after about 10 calls for "Courtney" they realized that they were calling the wrong name! Lucky for me..... or not..... they all remembered me from my fainting spell and knew I wouldn't have left before my appointment. I guess this pregnancy is going to be very memorable for many people!

Here are the updates:

I have reached 28 weeks in this pregnancy. This is a great milestone for us because typically all the damage done, by the SSA antibodies that I carry, is done by 28 weeks gestation. So my body should stop attacking little Bridget's heart at this time and no further damage should be done. This means there shouldn't be any damage to the actual heart muscle, just the communication center (as I discussed in a previous post). So YAY!
 Bridget is a rare lady already. Her condition does not come up a lot and this means that A LOT of different people want to check her out and see how her heart works. Yesterday I had 4 DIFFERENT ultrasounds in one appointment because 4 different people wanted to check things out and discuss things. It is a little weird being the one to "bring in the show" but I am starting to appreciate that my pregnancy is one they can study. It is very interesting to me that everything else in my pregnancy is so healthy, so it allows this one condition to really be looked at. That is part of what makes Bridget so rare, usually there are other complications in the pregnancy and usually the damage is onset earlier in gestation. Our little lady is already really special and I am SO glad that people can study and learn from her while she kicks around in my belly. She is teaching people before she even has her first breath and that is pretty darn special.

Bridget's heart rate was higher at this last appointment than it was last week which is GREAT. She was registering at 74 BPM yesterday which is a good 10 beats higher than last week. This is due to a combination of her growing and the steroids I am on working. Mostly the steroids, but that helps us know it is the right treatment and that makes my crazy roid rage a little easier to handle!

I do not YET have Lupus. I have the antibodies that lead to Lupus and these same antibodies are the ones that cause the damage to fetal heart. I will likely develop Lupus in the next few years. (I know that isn't about Bridget per say but I get a lot of questions about Lupus as well as a lot of "treatment recommendations" for Lupus and I just want it out there that I don't yet have it.)

I am not on bedrest (thank goodness) I am on "strict baby kick watch". Each day I am to monitor Bridget's movements and make sure she is active from each day to the next. If she slows down that could be my sign that her heart is also slowing down and we would need to deliver at that time. I do go in often to have her heart rate monitored on the machines but it is also essential for me to mommy monitor her.

Dr Branch is my specialist at the MFM center. He is very straightforward and also kind which is what I need in a situation like this. He doesn't beat around the bush about how serious this all is and he makes sure I understand things before he ends the appointment. 

Right now, that is really the only update. Bridget is doing VERY well right now and we are happy to have her sticking around! I have another echo cardiogram scheduled for next week and we should get more details there on exactly how things are working with her heart and maybe a little bit of a game plan as far as how soon we will deliver if she hangs in there.

We are so very thankful to live in the place we do. With so many specialists and incredible NICU units around we are really in the perfect spot to make sure Bridget has everything she needs. We are incredibly blessed to be able to get this care. We are also overflowing with gratitude for the friends and family we have. It is amazing the amount of love and support we have felt in this last week and a half. I can really say, it is because of these amazing support systems that Bridget and I are able to work through this. Without all these incredible people in our lives things would be near impossible. Thank you all :)


Carole said...

Thank you for updates. We continue to pray for the righteous desires of our hearts. We love you.

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