My Health Advocacy Part 21

The Journey to Childbirth Chapter One

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So Hazel was finally pregnant. And this time, we were not taking any chances. We decided to go to a specialist in perinatology, a high-risk pregnancy OB-GYN. She was the first obstetrician we went to after we were married and because of her track record, we decided to return. Her name: Dr. Ana Marie Madamba-Burgos.

Dr. Madamba-Burgos has built quite a reputation for herself when it comes to helping people bring their children to term. Since she specializes in high-risk pregnancies, she required frequent appointments and more tests than what was requested of Hazel when she was pregnant for the first time.

We liked her a lot though. She was very patient with us and answered all of our questions. She was very kind, with a calm demeanor. And she thoroughly explained what she had to do as well as coached us on what we were supposed to do.

In the process, we discovered that Hazel’s blood clots faster than average, thus her sub-chorionic hemorrhage (SCH) in her first pregnancy. Her clotting caused the blockage in her blood vessels that prevented the proper amount of circulation from reaching the sac, leading to the miscarriage. To keep this from happening, I injected Hazel daily with Heparin, a blood thinner, for the first few weeks and she took Aspirin daily as well.

She also needed Prednisone, a type of steroid, injected as well to fight off the inflammation associated with SCH. This was a particularly painful injection due to the size of the needle and the viscosity of the solution.

Another test showed that Hazel had a tendency towards a thyroid hormone imbalance, which can affect her metabolism and in turn, affect the baby’s development. Thus the need for Euthyrox once a day an hour before breakfast to help bring back balance in the thyroid functions.

Lastly, Insulin was prescribed because of gestational diabetes. This occurs when the pregnancy hormones affect the action of insulin, making the absorption of blood sugar suboptimal. This was also the most painful and frustrating aspect of her pregnancy because she had to test her sugar by pricking her fingers four times a day and inject her stomach with Insulin three times a day. It was difficult for me to see her in pain until the last days for her pregnancy particularly because I was the one who injected her Insulin for her, even going back home during lunch time just to do so.

The syringe was similar to an Epipen, with a short thin needle and with premeasured amounts of insulin that only needed the turning of a dial to prepare the proper amount to be dispensed. A pen would hold several shots worth of Insulin, and disposable needles were the only things that needed to be changed until the Insulin ran out. Sometimes the injection would be painless, but most of the time they were enough to make her react. The worst ones made her wince with pain and they became more frequent during the last few weeks of the pregnancy. I hated having to inject her every time because of how she was hurting.

And even with these, there were other things we had to do during the pregnancy.

To be continued.

Read Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 78, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

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