Wednesday, 21 September 2016

36 Weeks - Polyhydramnios

Due to birthdays, M getting chicken pox, our summer holiday and party prep, I haven't had a chance to let you all know how our meeting with the Consultant went.

Bump at 35 Weeks + 4
Bump at 35 Weeks + 4
Before the meeting I wrote down everything I wanted to ask her, and some facts and figures I felt could be helpful to me.

It was a really positive meeting. We came away feeling heard and cared about.

The Consultant assured us that she would make sure that the safeguarding referral would be either removed from my notes or that she would get something inserted to say that the referral should never have been made.

We talked about possible reasons for polyhydramnios.

One of the most obvious would be poorly controlled Gestational Diabetes, but as my sugars are very well controlled, this is less likely to be the cause.

There is a tiny chance it could be caused by Rhesus Disease.

Infections such as syphillis and rubella can cause polyhydramnios, but I don't have syphillis. Rubella isn't tested for anymore, but we're pretty certain it's not that.

And then there's something called a tracheo-oesophageal fistula. This is where the lower part of the oesophagus is joined to the trachea, causing breathing and swallowing problems. If this is the case, then it would explain the high waters because baby wouldn't be swallowing amniotic fluid properly.

Tracheo-oesophageal fistula can't be detected by ultrasound, so after birth a tube would have to be put down into baby's gullet to check whether the passage is obstructed. If it is, then baby will have to be in NICU and fed intravenously until an operation to repair the defect.

This is a rare birth defect, but the idea fills me with so much fear. The thought that my baby could have to go through such trauma in the first days of its life outside of me is horrendous. And knowing that it could further complicate what I already know will be a difficult breastfeeding journey just makes me sad.

I'm holding on to the hope that "All shall be well."

So, there are the possible causes. Now for the risks of polyhydramnios.

The excess waters could mean that the baby's head won't engage properly. If that is the case, then when my waters break the umbilical cord could come out first - a cord prolapse.

Cord prolapse is serious and would result in an emergency caesarean section.

I'm terrified of having a caesarean.

The Consultant recommended that because of these risks, and because of the need to check baby for tracheo-oesophageal fistula, which midwives are not trained to do, a hospital birth would be a better option than homebirth.

However, she also said that she would be happy for me to give birth in the Midwife Led Unit, which was comforting.

We agreed that I should continue with the plan to have scans every 4 weeks to check water levels, but she also said to ignore the Estimated Foetal Weight, both because it's only an estimate and because I have big babies and am able to birth them without difficulty.

The Consultant ended our meeting by asking whether I wanted to change my obstetrician, and when I said yes, she said she would be my Consultant from now on. And then she scheduled an appointment with her for the day after my due date. That felt reassuring, because she isn't pressuring me into induction before baby is due.

I had a scan the day after our meeting with the Consultant. The fluid around the baby is still above the normal range, though baby appears to be growing at an appropriate rate.

That was disheartening. I had really hoped and prayed that the fluid levels would have returned to normal.

But, "All shall be well," right?

Everything I had been planning has been falling apart. I had been doing so well, controlling my blood sugars, and having a much better pregnancy than my previous two, and now there are so many things out of my control.

It's frightening.

I'm anxious.

But "All manner of thing shall be well."

36 weeks pregnant chihuahua
Baby is the size of a chihuahua

Statistics from the last 3 Weeks
Average after meal sugars: 4.9 mmol/L
Average fasting sugars: 4.1 mmol/L
Weight:  -2 lb

Catch up: 33 Weeks
Next: 38 Weeks


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Images: Pixabay

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