I know that I have been incommunicado for the past few months. Things were kind of busy with the farm and the holidays. Anyways, I'm back and a lot has happened this past week.....
Last Friday I had my first appointment with our midwife. I had previously been seeing an ob, but was not totally happy. I made the decision to have a homebirth (my partner was on board) and then lived with it for a few months. In the meantime I hired a doula (also a good friend) who is totally awesome at what she does. She and my partner have really helped me stay sane and positive this week. So back to the appointment with mw. All good, very excited about our homebirth and everything looked great. Last thing we did was check baby's heartbeat. It was all over the place! Normal, then super fast, then skipping. We immediately went to the hospital to get it checked out. Hubby had tried to count along and was googling like crazy. He lost some faith in the mw we had chosen, thinking that there had been a mistake and she had overreacted. An ultrasound (actually a few) turned up that she was right. Baby's heart was alternating between regular rate but with an arrhythmia, an racing up to 270 bpm.
I was admitted to the hospital, so that baby could be monitored overnight. So frustrating, because we had no answers and I had to stay in bed attached to monitors that could not even accurately trace baby's heart. The arrhythmia would cause it to freak out and any heart rate that was too high or low, the machine would double or half to make it fit within the realm of normal. I'm still not sure what the point was since you couldn't tell what was going on unless you sat next to my bed and listened to the rate/rhythm. At the nurses station the monitor made the rate look normal.
Anywho, Saturday, we were able to meet the pediatric cardiologist and I was finally able to come home on Sunday. Long term looks good and baby should out grow this by 1 year of age, if not sooner. I have to take Digoxin 3xs a day for the remainder of my pregnancy to help regulate baby's heart. I've seen the pediatric cardiologist twice this week, while we work out the correct dose of Digoxin that will work for us. He is so nice and very positive, which makes this a lot less scary. I will require blood drawn regularly, to measure the levels of the drug in my system, and weekly ultrasounds to check baby's heart.
Needless to say I risked out of the mw's practice on our first visit, and now also out of my original ob's practice. I have my first appointment with the maternal fetal medicine group on Wednesday, and I'm nervous about meeting a whole new group of ob's and what this might mean for our birth, now that I am labeled a high risk pregnancy.
Of course I am happy to switch my care in this situation and I am glad that it was caught and that it seems manageable. I am bummed that I will not be able to try for a home birth and anxious to talk to the mfm obs to see how natural of a birth I will be likely with the new developments and now having to deliver in a hospital. (With our first daughter we started in a birth center with a mw and had to transfer to a hospital- same one actually, so we are familiar with being flexible.) And also bracing myself for a longer hospital stay after baby arrives and what that might entail. Thanking my lucky stars daily (if not more often) that this isn't something worse and that we have an awesome doula who is working with us.
If you made it this far, is anyone else dealing with anything like this? Being labeled as high risk with no warning? Having to switch from a homebirth to a hospital? How did you did you make this work? A baby with heart issues? Tips for helping us and our 3 year old deal with all this change. Our toddler is pretty bonded to the baby. She did pretty well when I was away at the hospital and she was home with her daddy. (We were able to arrange some fun playdates for her so dh could visit me in the hospital and meet with doctors.) We will need a plan for when the baby is born now too.
Thanks in advance. (<- me remembering to breath) Now my presence is being requested by a 3 year old pirate captain who wants to take me to her boat to nurse her five crying pirate babies...