It’s been months since I last blogged.
Approximately 5 months since the last proper entry on the hospitalisation of my boy. That was some drama on it’s own. But thank God, thus far, he had been kept out of trouble and we are doing the best to prevent any illness of any sorts.
We are happiest when he’s healthy.
Behind the silence, there were some events unfolding. I don’t know what to say.. not sure if I want to share. Or rather, perhaps we are weary.. of unforeseeable circumstances again….
I was diagnosed of hyperthyroidism about the same time that Xi En was warded in the hospital. It’s something I have never heard of…. didn’t even know where my thyroid is located! Blamed the fact that I didn’t study biology. Simply put, it is the disorder of thyroid glands which are located near the lower part of one’s neck. It’s also commonly know as Grave’s disease named after the person who discovered this disorder. Not the most hopeful name in my opinion.
My condition was picked up by a routine medical check-up which I had postponed for ages. The doctor broke the news to me while I was in Shanghai and that’s when I realised the reason behind the tell-tale symptoms such as heart palpitation, sweaty palms, hand tremors, irritability and etc. These were subtle symptoms which I had conveniently ignored for months; attributing them to lack of sleep, overworked and maybe just the usual-me!
The doctor advised me to seek treatment as soon as possible as my marker readings were over the roof. It’s about 100X higher than the tolerance levels. It’s a miracle I haven’t collapsed on the streets. But of course, warning from the doctor was enough to trigger a chain of actions once I came back to Singapore. I consulted my regular GP, the polyclinic and (im)patiently waited for an appointment at SGH to see an endocrinologist. All these while my boy was doing his best to recover in KKH.
The GP could have given me a regular medicine to counter the disease as I found out that it is pretty common among women to have thyroid disorders. But all are complicated by the fact that we were planning for a second baby. The dates were not aligned for me to know if I was pregnant or not. And certain thyroid medicine is not safe for a growing foetus. Thus I went from the GP to the polyclinic and ended up with an endocrinologist at SGH. The endocrinologist is a pleasant, well-meaning lady who advised me against having a baby at this time. The body is not at it’s best stage. Lot of medicine to take to bring things under control and etc.. In her words: “Would be a silly idea to have a baby now.” That of course I understood and agreed. She packed me home after ordering a pregnancy test (to be sure) coupled with a huge stack of medicine which even the pharmacist questioned if I needed that much medication!
Armed with all that, I went home that day and ready to pop some pills. I am good with pills; a pill-popper. Well trained from my days in KKH.
Less than 2 hours later, the endocrinologist called my mobile….. my heartbeat stopped for that few seconds. I think I knew what’s coming. The test result came out positive! No words of congratulations; just words of advice to reduce my pills dosage and to see an obstetrician as soon as possible. She said “We can only take it one day at a time…”
Jackpot! Or is it Murphy’s Law? Of course, I was thrilled with having a 2nd child whom we had wanted. But the coincidence of having an untreated illness together with the unknown fact of how it will affect my baby… it’s just too much to be overjoyed. The next thing I did – I texted Kim – “you are going to be a father, 2nd time”…… He called back immediately; same reactions as me. As any normal parents-to-be, we were happy but anxiety filled the air too.
We went on to understand that I have to continue with the thyroid medicine (Propylthiouracil – PTU). That is the safest medicine for pregnancy. But all medicine would cross over the placenta nonetheless and reached the baby. In other words, there is a chance that the baby might be born with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism (the opposite). There are other potential risks such as the body rejecting the pregnancy, low birth weight, premature birth; developmental issues and etc.. The list goes on… more than what we were prepared to hear.
Bringing the story closer to now, I am still carrying my 2nd BOY (yes, he’s a boy; another strong one again). Currently at 24 weeks gestation, he had braved through the odds. I wasn’t concerned about temporary common symptoms of pregnancy such as nauseas; lack of energy etc. Instead, I was constantly wary of blood and the amniotic fluid. My first pregnancy taught me too much…. Thank God all went well from then…. just 1 episode of bleeding brought me to A&E; I am thankful enough.
It’s nerves wrecking though……. Pregnancy that is……..
A few days back, I had a growth scan to ensure that baby 2 is doing well in my womb. I always held my breath during these scans; because I knew well enough now what the sonographers were looking for…. This time, she focused on the placenta. Something wasn’t quite right but she wasn’t saying. We waited to see our favourite obstetrician to understand more. The condition is known as Placenta Previa Major or more commonly known as Complete Placenta Previa. I asked a few times if it’s just a low lying placenta which I vaguely heard before. But she reiterated that it’s “major”. A goggle search later gave me the full realisation that it’s the ultimate form of placenta previa – where the placenta is covering the entire cervix. This condition should had been picked up in earlier scans but then again, it might had just added on earlier to my long list of worries. Accordingly to the doctor, she said there’s nothing that can be done. It’s how the conception went which determined the position of the placenta. In some cases, the placenta might move upwards during the 3rd trimester aided by the growing uterus. It’s a slim chance though.
*The risks of such condition include:
problems for the baby, secondary to acute blood loss
Intrauterine growth restrictions due to poor placenta perfusion
increased incidence of congenital anomalies
life-threatening haemorrhage for the mother
increased risk of postpartum haemorrhage
increased risk of placenta accreta
It’s another bomb shell to our current situation. As if it’s not enough to deal with Grave’s. We don’t need this; we don’t want this. We don’t need more. We just want a healthy baby.
All we have asked for is a normal pregnancy. I envied those who can go for babymoons; carry their baby to full term; go about doing their daily work and etc. When some friends complained how their baby bump is heavy and how they can’t wait to give birth and etc… quietly I wished they could understand that their “misery” is what some other mummies can’t even choose to go through.
But amidst all, we are HOPEFUL. We are praying. In the same light as my PPROM story, we believe in miracles; in the heart of God even when we can’t see the hands of God.
Little baby 2 is due in mid Feb 2013. We are believing in HOPE.
HOPE with us.
“ Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)