Archive for April, 2011

Fertnal: Scares and reassurances…

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

After our good check up last week, we were supposed to go two weeks before the next one. But apparently this pregnancy would rather be “interesting.”

I serve on a task force that’s working to improve transit access for seniors and disabled individuals. The task force met Monday at United Way, and I had an apocryphal story I wanted to tell, so I didn’t want to miss the meeting. I packed a snack, grabbed my water bottle, slung my laptop bag over my shoulder, and headed out.

By the end of the two-hour meeting, I felt weird and really low energy. I stopped in the ladies’ room to pee and was horrified to discover that I was leaking bright red blood. Needless to say, blood is supposed to stay inside during pregnancy. I belatedly realized that I was feeling crampy, too. Yikes!

I raced home to lie down and called my nurse in a panic. She reassured me that as long as the bleeding and the cramping stopped soon (rather than getting worse) that things would be okay. Nonetheless, she invited us to come to the clinic Tuesday morning for an ultrasound to make sure everyone is okay.

You can imagine how anxious Bill and I were the rest of Monday afternoon and evening. While these embryos are only 6 weeks old, they’re ours and we’re already attached to them. The thought that something might happen to one or both of them is really disconcerting.

The good news is ultrasound confirmed that our tiny guys/gals are still okay. Audrey A has grown to 15.6 mm with a heart rate of 170 bpm. Audrey B is up to 15.4 mm with a heart rate of 153 bpm. I observed that A’s heart rate is again faster than B’s. Tracey, the sonographer, said that could be a coincidence, or that “B” could be our “mellow baby” and we should be glad to have one of those.

The bad news is the ultrasound also revealed a subchorionic hematoma, meaning bleeding between the uterine wall and part of one of the placentas. Free blood is an irritant and can cause uterine contractions (i.e. miscarriage), but if we’re lucky, it will safely reabsorb over the next few weeks. They don’t know what causes subchorionic bleeding, but heavy lifting is implicated. I guess I’m going to have to be more judicious with my laptop.

So Wednesday marks “8 weeks” pregnant and our embryos are 43 days old. Another ~223 days to go!

Bill and I were too concerned Tuesday to capture any video. But in case you’re interested, here’s another remarkable photo of a 6-week-old (“8 week”) embryo. It’s from Houston pathologist Ed Uthman via the UNSW Embryology site (click for larger):

p.s. While I find these images fascinating, it occurs to me that you may or may not enjoy looking at embryos over your morning coffee. I’m interested to hear whether you like seeing them or would rather I hide them behind links. Thanks!