Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hide and Seek

We had been waiting for weeks for the 3D images of our baby, and finally the day of the scan came and we received the following email:

Greetings from SCI Healthcare..!!!

We hope you are doing well.

We would like to inform you that we have done a USG scan for Meera as per our schedule.

Kindly find attached herewith reports of the same.

We would like to inform you that our obstetrician has reviewed the reports & found the same within normal limit.

Your baby is doing fine.

Kindly note that the baby was changing the position & face was not in view as the baby was trying to hide the face during scan.

So, Dr. Jolly was not able to capture 3d images of baby.

In view of the same, we have arranged Meera's meeting with Dr. Jolly tomorrow to capture the 3D images.

We will keep you updated.

With Best Regards,
SCI Healthcare

What a mischievous baby, putting us through such torture!  Or maybe s/he was just shy, like her daddies.  So we put away our 3D glasses and would have to wait another day while the baby played peek-a-boo.

We would have to settle for the following report.  Imagine our surprise at how much the baby had grown!

Yikes, 31 weeks and 4 lbs?!?!

This had our hearts racing as we contemplated the baby coming in as little as 6-7 weeks vs. the 13-14 we thought we had to get ready.  We fired off an email to SCI asking about our due date and whether we should plan to come earlier than anticipated due to the baby's size and growth.  Dr. Shivani responded that normally the obstetrician will discuss with the surrogate and if all is OK they will wait for spontaneous labor, up to 40 weeks.  If nothing happens by then, either the surrogates opt for induction or c-section.  If there is any medical problem, the OB will recommend induction or c-section sooner, or closer to 38 weeks.  We would have to wait and see.

The next day we heard from the OB that the baby can be born any day between 5th November till the end of November.  What a window!  So much for booking flights and making hotel arrangements in advance!  We will have to research some options and wait for things to become clearer as the time approaches.  We may just have to wing it, given all the surprises this baby has thrown at us so far!

Finally, the 3D scan we had been waiting for arrived.  Yes, we agree with some of you who find it a bit eerie and alien-like.  There are squishy, unfocused parts and it's not a perfect angle, as the baby is still hiding a bit.  But it's the first glimpse of what s/he will look like, and it has made everything suddenly very real for us.  

Seeing the image makes us almost feel like we will eventually be parents.

It's a wonderful feeling.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Iron Injections

We received an unscheduled update from SCI:

We hope you are doing fine.
We would like to inform you that Meera's iron levels are low and due to intolerance of high dose of oral iron we are planning to give her iron injections.

Please note that the Iron injections are given as 6 doses each in saline slowly over 4 - 6 hours.
This has to be given in a fully equipped hospital -- as the risk includes anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction causing among other things inability to breathe) so needs to have emergency care faclities and and medical staff available within seconds.

Each injection is given as a day care procedure.
We are happy to inform you that Meera is doing fine and your baby is also growing well.

We will keep you updated with further progress.
With Best Regards,
SCI Healthcare

First and foremost, we are glad that Meera and the baby are fine.  I had heard that iron deficiency was common in pregnancy.  The internet says that about half of all pregnant women develop iron-deficiency anemia. The following is taken from babycenter.com:

Your iron requirements go up significantly when you're pregnant. Iron is essential for making hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases until you have almost 50 percent more than usual. And you need more iron to make more hemoglobin for all that additional blood. You also need extra iron for your growing baby and placenta.
Unfortunately, most women start pregnancy without sufficient stores of iron to meet their body's increased demands, particularly in the second and third trimesters. If you get to the point where you no longer have enough iron to make the hemoglobin you need, you become anemic.
Your risk is even higher if you have morning sickness severe enough to cause frequent vomiting, if you've had two or more pregnancies close together, if you're pregnant with more than one baby, if you have an iron-poor diet (e.g., some vegetarians), or if your pre-pregnancy menstrual flow was heavy.

I did a bit of research to understand the treatment of iron injections.  The following information is taken from Anemia.org:

Iron injections are liquid solutions containing iron which are either injected directly into the blood stream through an IV or into the muscle – often the upper arm. Unlike oral supplements, iron injections need to be administered at a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office by a trained professional.

Iron injections are often given because patients are not able to take their full dose of oral iron or their body cannot properly absorb iron through their digestive tract. Because iron by injection does not have to be absorbed through the intestines, but is delivered directly to your circulatory system, it can help build red blood cells more quickly than oral iron.
Patients receiving iron injections can experience side effects, including flushing, headache, muscle and joint pain, dizziness, nausea, rashes, pain and inflammation at the injection site, fever or chills. Some patients may also experience a drop in blood pressure. Side effects may appear while receiving the injection or following completion of the injection. 
A very small percentage of patients who are allergic to the type of iron injected can experience anaphylaxis or an anaphylactic shock. Anaphylaxis will usually bring about hives that itch, flushed or pale skin, and can include a constriction of the airway, swelling of the tongue or throat, a weak and rapid pulse, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness or fainting. These severe allergic reactions must be treated immediately in the emergency room or hospital. If untreated, anaphylaxis can lead to unconsciousness or death.

From what I've researched, most patients are able to tolerate the injections well.  If anyone else has experience with iron injections, good or bad, please let us know.
We started this blog to share information and our experience, in order to help those behind us, as we have been helped by those before.  I thought my posts have been fair, even if painfully honest about our emotions and difficulties.  In the end, it is just our opinion based on our particular experience and feelings about the process and the events that happened to us.  "Your mileage may vary."
Thanks to everyone for their support, both on this blog and offline. 
We are currently at 24 weeks and expect to get our 3D scans next week.  We're very excited about the scan and making it to this point in the pregnancy.