Saturday, January 31, 2009

Herricle is a Boy

We had a rough night last night. Erin went to the ER after she discovered a very small amount of bright red blood. That is a color you don't want to see.

In the course of checking her out it was determined that our baby is a boy!

They are not sure what caused the bleeding at this point. It could be the cerclage or something else.

The baby is 17.5 weeks old now based on his measurements today.

Erin saw him opening and closing his hand and sucking his thumb.

They looked closely at him today. He looks great - 4 heart chambers, brain looks right, 10 fingers and 10 toes.

Lauren, our 3.5 year old daughter stated blankly, "I thought it was a sister." upon hearing the news and stared straight ahead never to speak of it again :)

We are going to see Erin's HR OB Monday to see if they can figure out what caused the bleeding. Unfortunately, the doctors today suspect placenta accreta in addition to what she still has placenta praevia. Given Erin's history, this isn't a big surprise, but it will complicate things further.

As you can imagine, we are excited at the prospect of rounding our our family with a little boy, but are also very worried about getting there from here.

We'll update the blog again after we learn more Monday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25

Herricle still cooks.

We are 2 weeks into full on bed rest. Erin is doing great. It is hard, however to be so confined. Mother instincts seem to help a lot with enduring this type of thing. Our friends have been great - they organized and are all brining us dinner 2x per week. This helps a ton. We have a nanny during the week which is helping a lot.

At the doctor appointment this week, the Dr. checked the heart rate - it was 145 bpm. They didn't do an ultrasound this time. Her next appointment is February 5th.

The baby is about 16 weeks old now.

At the next appointment, we'll probably find out the sex of the child. With Lauren, it was a surprise. Should be exciting.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cerclage Success, Hello Bed Rest

Well that was quick.

Erin's cerclage only took 20 minutes. One of Erin's docs did the stich (Dr. Buckmaster) and the other manned the ultrasound (Dr. Tomlinson). Erin got to watch the baby flipping around in there the whole time.

They were not able to do a conventional cerclage, but were able to get a decent one in they said.

They said that with a conventional cerclage they do a "purse stings" stich at 12, 3, 6, 9 o'clock. She seems to be missing the 3 o'clock part of her cervix from scarring. So the at least have a stich from 12, 3, and 9. They said that she was already a little dialated so they think this will help increase our chances.

The Dr. that also was involved in the trans-abdominal cerclage attempt said that it would have been better as it would have offered more support, but this is the next best thing. He said he is "cautiously optimistic".

Bed rest starts now until delivery. She is at 15 weeks and they want her to get to at least 30 weeks. "Bed rest" means the following:

  • Lay down/recline as much as possible - ideally all but 15 minutes a day

  • Can get up to go to the bathroom

  • Can take a shower

  • Can sit upright for meals in a chair

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"All In"

Erin asked one of her Drs about risk the other day.

He said, that we are "all in" at this point. He meant that there is no low risk path. Carrying the baby is "high risk", but terminating the baby would also be "high risk".

That is actually comforting (to me at least).

It would be a heart breaking decision to terminate a baby that we desperately want. We would have had to do it if the risks to Erin were clearly reckless. It is nice that we are not faced with that kind of decision.

Luckily, the Drs don't think this is reckless - they think its "high risk". There are lots of high risk pregnancies - this is just on the higher end of the spectrum.

I forgot to mention, we got some other good news Friday. The baby tested negative for the genetic tests they did. When Erin was pregnant with Lauren we didn't do any of this type of testing - it wouldn't matter to us. But back then the tests were not so easy. Given Erin's circumstances, the Drs didn't really ask us if we wanted to do the tests - it seems like its the protocol with high risk pregnancies.

The tests they do now is a combination of measuring fluid in the baby's neck (via ultrasound) and some other stuff. The tech said that the baby's neck is "perfect".

We are still so amazed that after everything Erin went through there is a baby with a perfect neck growing in her :) Must be quite a little person in there.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Jan 9

Erin had another appointment today.

The heart beat was 155.

We didn't get any pictures, but saw the baby. Erin suspects its a boy! She saw the butt and thought she saw something else. Time will tell.

Erin's cervix improved a tad the last couple weeks so they are going to make another attempt at a cerclage - this time the conventional way. Erin will have the procedure first thing Monday morning.

The baby is now 14.5 weeks old.

The placenta still shows signs of previa, but it could change.

All in all, we are still cautiously optimistic. We'll update this after the procedure Monday.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jan 2

Jan 2, 2009 Ultra Sound Pictures

As you can see there is still an apparently healthy baby in there from the pictures above.

Today the baby measured 13 weeks 4 days.

The doctors are still concerned about Erin's cervix and uterus. They do now think that it would be possible to place some sort of a cerclage in, but are not convinced its the best path forward. Its too early to tell what her placenta is doing, but it does appear to be low right now, which means she might have placenta previa. The biggest unknown is her thin lower uterus from her b-lynch suture. There is just no way to know right now how it will develop as there is very little data on this type of case.

We continue to be impressed with the people (doctors, nurses, techs) at Northwest Perinatal Center. Erin is clearly a rare case - even there.

Erin has been on mostly self imposed modified bed rest for the last 2 weeks. Her doctor told her today that she could be a bit more active. He said that she should enjoy a bit of freedom now while she can as she'll undoubtedly be on bed rest for a long time soon.

All and all we remain cautiously optimistic. We have been really well supported by family, friends (old and new), and my employer. Thank you all for your support - it has made a big difference :)