Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paranoia

This is really silly, but in the last week or so I've become really paranoid that I'm not pregnant, or that this pregnancy is not viable, but hasn't miscarried of it's own accord. By this time in both my previous pregnancies I'd had an ultrasound, it's my choice not to have had one this time and I stick by my reason to make that choice, which is that we have no doubt over dates, being fractionally more accurate isn't necessary and also that routine ultrasound has been found my many large studies to not improve pregnancy outcomes and potentially to worsen them and it has been suggested that this is due to stress caused by thinking there might be a problem and then having to wait to have it confirmed that it isn't.

One example of this is a not insignificant number of pregnancies, about 3% are found to have a cyst in the baby's brain called a choroid plexus cyst, they are much more common in pregnancies where the foetus has Down Syndrome (and possibly other triploidies), but the numbers work out such that a finding of this alone in the 2nd trimester isn't an indicator at all, but it is enough to worry you! It turned out that Banana Girl had these, but we weren't told, the scan that found that was done in Korea, we knew there was something as they called a doctor in and then another, but when they eventually told us everything was fine, we believed them.

When we moved back to the UK I got copies of my notes, but the writing was small and I never read them in detail, everyone in the UK seemed content with our verbal communication that things were ok so no one spotted it whilst she was still in utero. I stumbled across the notes when she was a few months old and found the info out and googled for more info, well at that point, it was obvious she was fine. I was tempted to feel angry with the doctors in Korea, but in the end I was glad, it confirmed to me why I'd planned not to have ultrasounds, I'd had them because I'd been suffering quite a lot of abdominal pain (turned out to be from my kidneys), so there was a reason for it.

On balance I think I still do want to know everything, I don't want my caregivers to shield information from me and I will be asking for copies of any test results. My theory is, that if I have a test, then whilst at that time I'm happy to know the results are normal, a month down the line if I'm experiencing a particular symptom, it's useful to be able to look back and say, oh, that number was quite near the end of the range, maybe this symptom is caused by that now being out of range. I've had occasional blood tests say I'm anemic, so for me being told it's normal isn't all that helpful, it could be that it's a tiny bit in range and I still need to keep a close eye on what I eat, or it could be well into range and I can relax a bit.

At this stage of pregnancy, when there is no day to day feeling of the baby, even having heard or seen the heartbeat once isn't a complete reassurance each day, of course there is no such thing as certainty and I can see why people do end up renting or buying their own doppler so they can keep checking, even though the medical people advise against it. One thing I can rest on is that God is in charge, if things go bad I can trust He is doing it for a reason even though I know I would find that very hard and probably be angry with Him for a while.

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