Sorry I've been MIA. I've been hosting guests from out of state, cramming crackers to ease the nausea, and of course... chasing an active toddler.
But I'm back for an update on babies and blood. I hope I don't bore you...
A few years ago, before I became pregnant with Kherington and after the miscarriages, I was diagnosed with some blood disorders by my fertility doctor. I was told I have 2 copies of the MTHFR mutation, and a protein S deficiency. So I was put on heparin injections while pregnant, and high doses of folic acid and a low dose aspirin every day for the rest of my life.
Well last month I finally made an appointment with a hematologist, just to speak with a specialist in the field and get some details my fertility doctor couldn't provide. I scheduled it early this year, thinking it would be a smart thing to do before I got pregant again. But... you know, things happen! :-)
Most hematologists are also oncologists, or at least work in cancer centers. So as I sat in the waiting room of South Texas Cancer Center, I found myself surrounded by elderly cancer patients, with their worried grown children holding their tissue-thin hands. I felt guilty as a healthy woman in my prime with a thriving toddler and a new life growing inside me. I sat and silently prayed. Giving thanks for what I have, and praying for those who need it more than I.
I felt guilty taking the doctor's time, but I also felt relieved to have answers. She reviewed my original bloodwork and ordered more. They took a ridiculous amount of blood... from a woozy pregnant woman with a history of passing out during blood draws. They poked both arms. Nightmares ensued.
What the hematologist found is that the MTHFR remains... it is hereditary and will never change. But she found that my fertility doctor was misled by my protein S levels. They were normal in my original bloodwork, and normal this second time. (even though pregnancy can make them deceptively low) So she confidently recommended that I stop the heparin injections. She believes my condition can be completely managed by the folic acid, and the aspirin is just a safety net. She suggested I confirm stopping the heparin with my high risk doctor.
So... while nervous, I quit the heparin. Skip wishes I wouldn't. But to be honest, I just feel at peace with this decision. I think it is right for us.
And as a nice little bonus, it will save us about $7,000... just this pregnancy alone!
I see my regular OB tomorrow and have that high risk doc appt on April 5th.
NOW... back to my other baby.
Kherington has had some irregular bloodwork over the last few months, mainly low iron levels. Her pediatrician put her on an iron supplement and checked her levels several times. She also went to the hospital for some in depth bloodwork. She referred these results to a pediatric hematologist.
If I thought I felt guilty sitting among the elderly cancer patients... it was 1000 times worse taking my healthy child into a pediatric oncologist's office. There is no place more heartbreaking. I blame it on my hormones, but I literally squeezed Kherington against me and tried to hide tears. Oh how we take our healthy children for granted!
Dr. Patel was wonderful. Kherington was tired and hungry and grumpy, but he had her in fits and giggles. He reviewed the blood tests and was slightly concerned that either Kherington's bone marrow wasn't working properly or that she had a genetic blood disorder affecting iron absorption and blood cell size. I didn't breathe for a good 20 minutes.
He ordered more blood work. Luckily it was done in-office. But unfortunately a woozy, pregnant mom holding a wiggling (freakishly strong) toddler while they poke both of her tiny arms isn't fun.
One test was run right away, and it looked good. Dr. Patel explained everything to me like the intelligent, concerned Mom that I am. He is now 99.9% sure that the only thing we are dealing with is low iron. No scary causes, no further invasive tests. We are doing another iron regimen, and will see him again in a month.
And despite my better judgment, I squeezed him for his opinion on my heparin situation. And he agreed that I don't need it! He believed folic acid is necessary, but that the aspirin is my saving grace. Just hearing it again makes my life a little easier.
So that's the blood and baby update. Are you still with me? Oh, just you, Mom? Oh well. You love me.