Friday, May 22, 2020

Elderly pregnancy update

Greetings from elderly pregnancy-ville.  I wasn't going to write about this at all, but I can totally see myself NOT BLOGGING ever because I feel like I am hiding something, so, here goes:

I have a thick placenta, and it might be impacting the baby's growth.

She was measuring perfectly on track at my 20-week ultrasound, but they thought maybe my placenta was thicker than it should be, so they asked me to come back between 24-26 weeks to see it again. I came at 25 weeks and 4 days, on May 15. I got a semi-not-good vibe from the tech, who was not chatty and kept measuring certain things again and again in a way that did not reassure me at all. When my midwives' office called to tell me about the results of my labs (glucose test and CBC-- both fine), I specifically asked about the ultrasound, saying I wanted someone to call me as soon as they read the report if there as any kind of issue.  No one called, so I thought I was fine.

On Wednesday the 20th, I had my first midwife appointment since 16 weeks, and when the midwife asked if I had done my ultrasound yet, I felt a little sick to my stomach. I assumed that no one called me because it was fine. Apparently no one called me because they just didn't call me.

The baby looks good-- her organs are still great. She still has plenty of fluid. Her heartbeat is strong, etc. BUT. My placenta still looks thick, and this time they do not think it is the angle. The baby has also fallen off the typical baby growth curve. The midwife was quick to tell me that this can be a normal thing and that after 20 weeks, babies DO start to follow their own curves. I haven't ever had a post-20-week ultrasound before, so I don't know how the others were measuring at this point. I do have small babies. Cooper has been the biggest at 7lbs 5 oz-- and he was overdue! Harry has been the smallest at 6lbs 4 oz, and Jack and Dorothy were both in the 6lb and change range. So, it could still be totally OK.

BUT. It also might not be. I have an ultrasound at the perinatology clinic (at the hospital I will use for delivery) on June  9th. I could not get in sooner, and I called my midwives' group to see if they thought I needed to get in sooner, and they reassured me that June 9 was fine, as did the ultrasound scheduler who told me it was OK to wait based on the order. I guess that should make me feel better, but in light of no one calling me about the 5-15 ultrasound, it just makes me think no one is paying super close attention to my chart. And because I am super anxious about ALL OF THE THINGS all of the time, I have no good sense of what my gut feeling is about the care I am receiving.

On one hand, I feel great (they gave me a belly support band for my back during my visit!). My blood pressure is great. My weight is fine. My labs are fine. The bay's heartbeat is fine. I can feel her move, etc. On the other hand, I am old as shit, so I want someone to pay more attention to me-- but is that because I am anxious and selfish or because I legit need a closer eye on this pregnancy? Should I have chosen the same OB group I used before instead of midwives? (We have never been able to use midwives with our insurance before this pregnancy, but that was always the model of care I thought I wanted).

IF the baby is growth restricted, I will have weekly ultrasounds and monitoring at the hospital. The midwife said based on her read of the report that she did not think I would end up as a candidate for this. She also said that despite my age, I have no pregnancy risk factors and said I could keep spacing out my visits. I have to come back at 31 weeks, at the end of June.

So, anyway. I am worried because I am a worrier. I did a brief Google search, BUT NEVER AGAIN, so please don't tell me what Dr. Google says.

I just feel really selfish for having another baby-- which was already pretty selfish. I mean how many resources does one family need to consume?? I really thought, though, that everything would be fine because it has always been fine, and one little bump in the not fine direction has sent me into a tailspin.

Writing, yoga, lots of water-- all of these things help me feel less stressed, and less stressed? Is my goal for the rest of this pregnancy.

Also as a friend pointed out on Instagram-- a thick placenta has to to weigh like 15 of those 20 pounds I have gained, right?


  1. Anonymous7:14 AM

    I hope everuthing turns out okay. And it's not selfish to have another baby! Did you consider switching back to the OB now?

  2. Did you let your midwife know that the level of care you are receiving is affecting your anxiety? I let the heart doctors know I was not satisfied with how things were being communicated with me during my 2nd hospitalization last summer and I felt like such a narcissist. But my anxiety was skyrocketing, so I spoke up (why is this so hard?) and they changed a few small things and it was so much better.

    I'll be sending peaceful vibes your way!

  3. Anonymous9:00 AM

    If it makes you feel better, I have read your blog for years and I am not having any children (we fostered for a bit and it was HARD) so let that offset a few of yours.

    You are doing a way better job of parenting than I did/would do. I wish you had been my mom! I love how you do so many fun things with your kids and they get tons of toys and desserts and trips to the pool and library visits and walks--you seem to really like hanging out with them, which was not a sense I got from my own parents, and not a feeling I had that much when I was fostering.

    And I work on Social Security policy and the low US birth rate is a real challenge for the program's continued solvency. So thank you for having so many kids and raising them in a way where they will contribute to society and pay for my retirement benefits one day.

    Hope your pregnancy continues to go well! Looking forward to reading about the little one when she arrives.

  4. 1. You are not selfish
    2. Second, you have readers who have been of advance maternal age and empathize with what you going through. I had a fibroid through both my AMA pregnancies and the second one I saw an OB and a OB specialist.
    3. If you are uncomfortable about what happened with the Midwives, then yes, seek a second opinion from the OB/GYN who delivered your other four. It is your body, listen to your body, go with your gut.

    You got this!

  5. Not selfish. Seriously.
    I would call and talk about how them not calling you back about the ultrasound has caused you to feel extra anxious.
    What OBGYN do your midwives have as their physician? Can you callthe doctor they are associated with to see what his or her opinion is?

  6. I second and third what all the previous commenters have said here already, but am adding my voice to the chorus.

    Well wishes, and hope you and baby are fine, do talk to the Midwives practice about the no-call... And YES you are such a wonderful parent, I wish all the kids I mentor had experienced the kind of love and care yours get from you. Had to chuckle about Anon saying you could have some of their offset kids.

  7. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Sending good vibes your way.