So I just posted about Ollie being a big brother about a minute ago. I felt that needed its very own post, it’s such special news. Because on this one, I’m going to sound like a whiny little baby myself. And, well, since I’m pregnant, I’m going to indulge myself a little.
So what is this “bane of my existence?”
This right here.
This bad-ass piece of medical technology that is going to keep this Li’l Baby Miller from needing to be born 12 weeks early.
Since being diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder after Ollie’s traumatic birth, I’ve known that with any future pregnancies, I’d have to do injections of blood thinners to keep the life support system clot-free, healthy, and working properly. I’d say it with a flippant attitude, truly and honestly grateful that I actually have a diagnosis of some crazy medical anomaly that coincides with Ollie’s early birth. So, so many women spontaneously go into premature labor with no proper diagnosis. Without a diagnosis, there’s no guarantee that any of their future pregnancies will end early, on time, or even last longer than the typical 40 weeks.
Without my diagnosis, I would be terrified of having this child as early, or even earlier than 28 weeks.
I wouldn’t know how to deal with that.
But, BUT! I’m one of the lucky ones! There’s actually a reason why Ollie was evicted from my body so early, and the reason behind his early birth is treatable!
With daily injections of Lovenox, a blood thinner.
I honestly don’t know if I’ve talked before about the reasons behind Ollie’s prematurity, but technically it’s my body’s fault. This clotting disorder, Factor V Leiden, it generally lies dormant until maybe something happens and the diagnosis is made. Often it is undiagnosed because nothing happens.
In my case, clearly something happened.
Because of the pregnancy hormones, FVL can pop up and say hello in different ways. With Ollie, it caused the placenta to become more than 50% clotted. A half-working life-support system does not a healthy environment make, so Ollie stopped growing about 4 to 5 weeks before he was born. A poorly performing placenta doesn’t efficiently generate amniotic fluid and Ollie’s fluid level was so low he was in pretty severe distress. With no place for the extra 25 to 40% more blood volume I was generating, my blood pressure was at dangerously high levels.
So Ollie was delivered early.
With the FVL diagnosed, our goal is to keep this new placenta healthy with blood thinners. Hence the daily injections.
I suppose thinking it out, as I just did, it doesn’t seem so bad. The consequences of not doing it are worse. Many FVL moms experience miscarriages or stillbirths before being diagnosed, and I’m so thankful that I haven’t gone through that heartbreak. And with my blood pressure as high as it was before delivering, the outcome could have been worse for me. Seizures or strokes aren’t uncommon when it’s as high as it was. Scary stuff.
So yeah, I’ll give myself a shot every day.
I pinch an inch on my belly somewhere (at least 2-3 inches away from the belly button, those hurt!), poke the needle in and slo-o-o-o-wly push the plunger. It stings. Oh, sometimes it stings like someone’s pouring hot lava through a straw in my belly, but it goes away after a few minutes. I generally moan and groan in discomfort, carefully place a round band-aid, and go to sleep.
I honestly have a count-down going, and today, right now, I have 224 more shots to go. If I go the full 40 weeks, then 6 weeks postpartum. 224 doesn’t seem too bad, right?
It’s definitely better than, oh, three months in the NICU.