Friday, September 19, 2008

And The Golden Stirrup Award Goes To... new obstetrician, Dr. Fabulous. Ok, that's not REALLY her name, but she's that awesome. And if any of you are in Milwaukee and seeking an OB-GYN, call me, email me, whatever...I'll give you her name. And good luck getting in to see her, because she's so totally booked.

Anyway, today was my monthly prenatal checkup and given the results we received earlier this week from my first trimester screen, I was eagerly anticipating this appointment so that I could discuss those results with my doctor.

After checking the usual stuff at the beginning of the appointment (all of which was fine), the doctor asked us if we had any questions regarding the results. We started off by telling her that at this point, we have decided not to undergo any further testing because we know we would not terminate the pregnancy either way. Dr. Fab told us that based on the results, this approach sounded reasonable. She also suggested that since I have an anatomy ultrasound scheduled on October 28th, perhaps we could take a close look at the results from that study to see if everything looks okay anatomically. She told us that sometimes an ultrasound done at that stage of pregnancy can pick up some anatomical characteristics (or lack of) that Downs babies can have. So if everything looks good on the ultrasound, then we don't need to do anything else, but if something is found on the ultrasound, then maybe we could revisit the idea of further testing solely for preparation purposes. Basically, she said that yes, she would be a little concerned, but she wouldn't freak out at this point. Sounded reasonable to us.

I also asked her about my low levels of the PAPP-A hormone and what dangers that would pose to our baby later on in pregnancy. Ironically, Dr. Fab just attended a conference on this very thing this week, and she told me that about half of the doctors who attended the conference thought the whole PAPP-A thing is bogus (and I had the vague sense that she was one of those doctors) while the other half of the crowd thinks it's a valuable measurement that should be followed closely. She told me that the position at Froedtert, the hospital where I will be delivering and the hospital my doctor is associated with, is that women with low levels of this hormone will have two fetal non-stress tests per week during each week after 34 weeks, one ultrasound per week after 34 weeks to ensure baby is still growing properly, and they will not be allowed to carry the baby past their due date. I should probably start preparing my boss now.

The other thing that Dr. Fab said in regards to the PAPP-A thing is that she has had several patients with the same issue that I have, and none of those patients has had a single problem because of it. Consider me reassured.

The highlight of the visit was hearing the baby's heartbeat. Since my appointment was later in the afternoon, we had to bring Grace with us because keeping her at school till 6pm just didn't seem like a prudent idea. Grace was excited to come with, but she was extra excited when Dr. Fab told her that she would need her help finding the baby's heartbeat. Dr. F had Grace pull up a chair by the table, squirt the doppler goo on my belly, and then together they probed around my belly until we heard Tater's heartbeat loud and clear. Grace's eyes grew wide as she listened, and Dr. F even had Grace listen to both my heartbeat and Tater's so that she could hear the differences in the rates of the two. It was a very cool moment for all of us. Aaron and I have been very careful to make sure Grace feels as included in this whole process as possible, and Dr. F really stepped up to help that happen. I am so grateful.

Anyhoo, it was a good visit. And now it's time for my nightly bowl of Cookie Crisp before passing out on the couch.