I had intended to write about my awesome date with Evan, but the past few days just haven’t gone as planned. Evan got sick not long after we got home on Friday, and then June got the bug too in the middle of that night. The weekend was mostly filled with sick, slightly disgusting kids and lots of laundry.
Today was my 20-week ultrasound. The equipment they use has been updated since I had Evan and June – the sonographer said it’s only about 6 weeks old, and it was so fancy! We were able to see a lot more detail. The brain, heart, and most major organs looked good, but the baby was curled up face-down and the sonographer had a hard time getting a good look at several parts. He asked me if I’ve felt bigger or smaller this pregnancy – I mentioned before that I haven’t gained any weight and I don’t look pregnant, so this is much smaller than before. When he measured my fluid levels, he said they were really low. It’s measured in the distance between the placenta and the baby at several places, and at this stage of pregnancy, a healthy level is anywhere between 8 cm and 25 cm. My fluid level was 3.8 cm, which explains why (1) I’ve been small this pregnancy and (2) he had such a hard time seeing things properly (including the gender – so I still don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl).
He talked a little bit about how the doctor would want to monitor my levels, and I should meet with them this week. He stepped out to talk to the doctor and they decided I’d meet with the doctor today and an perinatologist tomorrow morning. It was a little worrisome – okay, a lot worrisome – how quickly they were getting these appointments set up. Jarom and I went home, picked up the kids, had lunch, and I headed back to the doctor’s office while Jarom stayed home from work to watch the kids.
Honestly, I expected that the doctor would say something along the lines of, “This is something that happens, here’s how we fix it, you really shouldn’t worry too much about it.” Instead he gave me a very sensitively phrased explanation of the bad things that can happen with low amniotic fluid levels at this point in pregnancy. He talked about common causes, like ruptured membranes (which is tentatively ruled out, since I’d more than likely have noticed something like that), defective or nonexistent kidneys in the baby (the ultrasound wasn’t completely clear on the kidneys), or an improperly formed placenta that doesn’t provide enough nutrients for the baby. In all of these cases, the scenario was that the baby won’t survive, unless it’s ruptured membranes and I can make it to 24 weeks, at which point I’d be induced and they’d do their best to help the baby.
Another possibility is that today’s low fluid level was a fluke, and things will look fine tomorrow, but he made it clear that’s a best-case scenario and my ongoing small bump and lack of weight gain don’t make it the most likely scenario.
Tomorrow morning I’ll meet with the perinatologist, who can talk about some of the less common causes of low fluids, and who will do another ultrasound. I suppose having some sort of answer or game plan will help me feel better. In the meantime, we’re hoping for the best but preparing ourselves in case we do lose the baby. Jarom has put me on unofficial bedrest for the evening – not dealing with getting the kids to bed was pretty nice! – and I’m drinking oodles of water, just in case that makes a difference. Fingers crossed, I may just get put on bedrest for a while and the fluid level will go up.
I’ll post an update tomorrow.