Monday, August 31, 2009


I had my NST today. First they did a quick ultrasound to check the fluid and the baby's position. Yes, he's still breech! He's a stubborn little guy...let's just hope the doctors will convince him to flip at my ECV next week. I was also able to see him take practice breaths which was very comforting...he's getting ready for his journey into the real world :-) He was a little quiet during the first few minutes of the NST so I tried sucking on a blowpop (thanks for the tip Liz!) and it seemed to wake him right up. He was fine after that and the test went great..there was a good heart rate and no contractions.

I met briefly with Dr. Wu and he went over the ECV procedure next week and then what the plan is after that. If I don't end up having an emergency c-section next week then they will either induce or do a planned c-section the week of the 20th. So, we'll see. I'm just really happy I made it this far...I'll be 37 weeks by next Monday, which will make me full term. :-)

-- Post From My iPhone

Just Heartbroken

I am just heartbroken. Ever since I started following these blogs, three have lost their battle with CDH, Angels Evie, Jackson and Ireland Rose. I can't imagine what the families are going through right now but my heart goes out to each and every one of them. I know I need to stay strong and keep positive thoughts for my little boy but I'm terrified. I just pray that Maximus, who is in the hospital right now fighting his battle, stays strong and continues to improve.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

ECV it is!

Dr. Wu called me yesterday during my NST at Kaiser...which went well by the way. He was very active and his heart rate was just what it should be...and I didn't have any contractions. :)

Anyway, Dr. Wu said he brought up my options during their meeting and they didn't think I should try the Moxibustion. They felt it was risky because they really don't know enough about it. So, they thought the best option was to try the ECV and go from there. If anything goes wrong during the procedure, they will be prepared to do an emergency c-section. If it doesn't work and the baby doesn't want to move then they will schedule a c-section at around 39 weeks. If it does work (which is about 58% of the time), then they will just wait for me to go into labor. They scheduled me to go in on Sept. 9th for the procedure and I'm a little nervous about the whole thing. I've heard that it can be somewhat painful. I am just hoping it works and it's nice and quick!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Turn, Baby, Turn!

I had an NST on Wednesday and Friday of last week and both were good. I had one contraction during the test on Friday but it was very small. The nurse wasn't concerned at all.

Yesterday I headed up to UCSF for my weekly appointments. First, I had the ultrasound. Sometimes I hate getting ultrasounds...they always make me nervous. The technicians seem to have this look on their face, probably a look of concentration but I mistake it for a look of concern. I'm always afraid they see something wrong but I know I can't ask them because they're not doctors and can't tell me anything anyway. So, I lay there for 45 minutes just watching them do their work and pray that there's no bad news forthcoming. At any rate, I guess it was just a look of concentration because there was nothing new to report from the ultrasound. I did, however, find out that the baby is now 5lbs, 2 oz. which, I was told, is normal for his age.

I had some time after my appointment, so I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed to OB for my NST. The baby seemed to be asleep for the first 5 minutes of the NST, which didn‘t make the nurses very happy. They woke him up by putting a loud buzzer (which they call a baby alarm) on my tummy and set it off. He jumped when he heard the noise, which made me jump. He moved a little bit after that but then settled back down. The nurses then gave me chocolate, which they claim stimulates movement but that just gave him the hiccups. The nurses did seem a little concerned, as did I. With the membrane separation, there's a chance the umbilical cord can get pinched and that's why they want me to get NST's so often. They showed the results to Dr. Wu and he said there was enough movement and his heart rate was fine but I should continue to get the NSTs three times a week as a precaution.

After my NST I met with Dr. Wu. He said that the baby is developing normally and he looks good. He was concerned that the baby is still breech. Because of the membrane separation, my fluids are a little low and the baby is running out of room to turn. He gave me three options to consider. The first is to just schedule a C-section, probably at 39 weeks. The second is to try to turn the baby by trying an external cephalic version (ECV), which involves manually turning the baby around externally. He said there's a risk that this might break my water (again because of the membrane separation) and they'd have to do an emergency c-section anyway. There's also a risk that it might lower the baby's heart rate and, again, they'd have to do an emergency c-section. If it is successful, then they would monitor me for some time and then send me home and wait for me to go into labor. The third option is to try Moxibustion – an acupuncture technique using the herb moxa. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese technique used to encourage a breech baby to turn around. Moxa sticks or cones are burnt close to the skin at the acupuncture points on top of the fifth toes. The heat from burning moxa sticks can stimulate the baby's movements and encourage it to turn. It sounds weird but he said it's been known to work about 70% of the time. He said he will bring it up during their weekly meeting this morning to get everyone else’s opinion and give me a call later today to let me know what they thought.

Monday, August 17, 2009

34 Week Ultrasound

We went to UCSF for an ultrasound today and the LHR has gone back up to 1.2. So, that's good news. After the ultrasound, we met with Dr. Rand. He said they are concerned because the ultrasound indicated that I am at high risk for preterm labor. He said I have CMS (Chorioamniotic Membrane Separation) which isn't uncommon after fetal surgery but puts me at high risk for preterm labor. I will need to go in to UCSF each Monday for an ultrasound and an NST and to Kaiser every Wednesday and Friday for an NST. They still plan to deliver somewhere between 37 and 38 weeks but he will let me know by next Monday what they decide. I've been put on modified bed rest until delivery, which means I have to stop working for the duration of the pregnancy. We didn't plan for me to take this much time off prior to the baby being born but I guess we'll find a way to make it work. Robert should be able to take some time off after the baby's born, so that should help. These next few weeks are going to be critical so please keep those positive thoughts coming! Thank you for all your prayers and support...we really do appreciate it! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Glad to be Back Home!

Well, I'm glad to be back home. I was discharged yesterday afternoon and am now back home resting. It was so nice to get a good night's sleep! In the hospital I was continually getting the NST (non-stress test) which monitors the baby's heart rate and my contractions. You can't really change positions with the monitors on because they'll move and have to be readjusted to find the baby's heart rate again. That along with continual visits from nurses and doctors, sleep just wasn't easy. I appreciate the great care but it is really nice to be able to sleep in my own bed.

The night following the procedure I did have some regular contractions but they weren't too concerned because I wasn't able to feel them. They also gave me regular doses of Nifedipine which is used to stop/prevent contractions.

I had an ultrasound yesterday morning and Dr. Lee called me with the results. He told me the LHR would go down after the balloon was removed and indeed it had. It's now at 0.9. He said they were happy with the results and that everything went well, but I wasn't as pleased with the news. I was hoping for a higher number or at least the same. At any rate, it is higher than when we started this whole journey. So, we've done everything we can do to give him the best chance possible. It's up to him now. All we can do is hope that I go full term and that he's a strong little guy. Both Robert and I were preemies and we fought to stay alive those first few weeks of life...I just hope that our little boy inherits that same will to live.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Balloon is Out

The balloon is out, or at least it's not there anymore. The procedure was quick but they weren't able to locate the balloon. The doctor thinks it may have gotten dislodged in the last week or so because they weren't able to locate it on my last ultrasound. Either way, he says it's fine. They do know that the lungs have grown and the important thing is that the balloon is no longer blocking his airway. He can now be delivered normally without an EXIT procedure. So, now we just wait and hope he stays where he is as long as possible.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, August 6, 2009

All Set for Monday

I had the fetal ECHO today. They said the pulmonary artery has grown which can be an indication lung growth. :) They weren't able to tell much more from the ECHO but felt that everything is fine with the baby's heart because the heart rate was good and the ECHO I had earlier in my pregnancy was normal. I got my second shot of Betamethisone and they monitored the baby's heart rate and my contractions for while. Evidently, I had a couple contractions which I didn't feel at all. The nurse said this was normal for 32 weeks and they were just Braxton Hicks contractions. The doctor came to visit me for a few minutes to answer some of my questions. He said everything looks good and they're all ready for me on Monday. I'm just hoping it goes as smoothly as it did for the first procedure. We will post an update after the operation & let everyone know how it went.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Busy Day of Appointments

It was a busy day of appointments at UCSF. First I had an ultrasound, which took longer than expected. Unfortunately, after that appointment, I didn't have any time to talk with the doctors to discuss the results. The nurse did email me the LHR, which hasn't changed since our last visit. They again calculated a range of 1.2 to 1.4. After the ultrasound, I received a shot of Betamethasone, which is used to stimulate fetal lung maturation in the off chance they'll need to deliver when I have my second surgery on Monday. Then I had to drive across town to get an MRI (in San Francisco rush hour, getting across town can take a while). I was a little late but luckily, they were still able to squeeze me in. Thankfully, the baby was very cooperative and didn't move too much during the procedure. The technician said they were able to get all the images they need and I should expect the results by tomorrow. Tomorrow I will also get a second shot of Betamethasone and a Fetal ECHO to check the baby's heart.