"High Risk" mamas? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 40 Old 04-26-2014, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Any one else considered high risk this pregnancy? It might be early to start a chat, but maybe not?

DD was born at 27 weeks due to ? Chorioamnionitis ? Abruption ? Incompetent cervix (some combination of one or more, it's hard to know for sure) so this pregnancy I will have cervical length US frequently and progesterone shots. I can do all that thru our local OB (small community hospital). I've already had a consult with the maternal fetal medicine group and the big university hospital 1 hr from here (preconception) to go over the plan.

This baby was conceived at/ will be due at almost the same time as DD. I feel fairly relaxed right now (having a plan is very calming for me, and this is one of those times where modern medicine has a lot to offer). But as things progress, I don't know... Also right now I think I am still honestly thinking it was a fluke and song happen again but in all reality I could end up on bed rest at 18 weeks or something.

I was seeing a naturopath/HB midwife with DDs pregnancy. In some ways I'm curious to do a consult with her to hear her opinion on reducing the risk of preterm birth. I haven't sold myself on the idea yet... I guess I view HB midwives as experts in supporting normal birth and that's not really what I would be asking her about. Thoughts?

This seems like a nice place to have our freak-outs together.
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#2 of 40 Old 04-27-2014, 12:38 AM
 
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I am. And the freak-outs have been spectacular!

My first pregnancy ended in MC in November 2013 at 8 weeks. At that time, I was seriously overweight (BMI ~ 55) with diabetes on insulin, high blood pressure and a massive uterine fibroid (~ 6 inches across).

Fast-forward 6 months - I've had weight-loss surgery (BMI now 38), monitoring closely for possibly return of the diabetes and hypertension.

The fibroid remains, smaller but growing again. I am led to believe that it may not prove problematic, and my OB favours trial of natural delivery (as do I).

I think it's essential to have a team - for me, while I really value the OB, dietician and obstetric physician*, the midwife attached to the practice brings the sense of normalcy/constancy.

* and my GP, surgeon and Pilates therapist.
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#3 of 40 Old 04-27-2014, 07:01 AM
 
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I'll join you for some good freaking out. I'm O.L.D. So far I don't have any diagnosed issues that would be considered high risk other than my age but... I am concerned about chromosomal abnormalities. We have looked into all the screening available and it is SO expensive! I think we have pretty much decided to save up our money for an amnio in a few weeks. I'm nervous about that. I hate going in hospitals because of the infection risk. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

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#4 of 40 Old 04-28-2014, 10:08 PM
 
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I'm classified as high risk because I've had 5 miscarriages following the birth of my son nearly 9 years ago. My hormones are mostly to blame, as I have an underactive thyroid, which messes with all hormones in the body, including progesterone and estrogen. However, I was miscarrying even while my TSH levels were under control. No one really knows for certain why I continued to miscarry. However, my OB believes that the Depo-Provera shot I took following the birth of my son is to blame. My periods and my hormones have never been the same since I took that cursed shot. 

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#5 of 40 Old 05-03-2014, 05:32 AM
 
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I announced the pregnancy to some close family today (10w5d gestation). Am now fighting wave of paranoia that I have "jinxed" us into a poor outcome. (In my rational mind, I know that hope and joy don't make bad things happen).

 

It's looking like insulin again. It might help if I wasn't eating quite so much anxious chocolate. Prayer and ritual to sustain pregnancy in one hand, Easter chocolate in the other. Probably need to aim for a happy balance between these.

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#6 of 40 Old 07-20-2014, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How are the "high risk" mamas enjoying pregnancy?

I am mixed... Everything has been good thus far on cervical length ultrasounds, and after a few delays and tantrums to the pharmacy I'm doing progesterone shots... But this time feels pretty stressful, I'm sure each stage will have its reason why... Right now I'm 23 weeks. DD's "labor" was so fast that if whatever made that happen occurred again now, my baby wouldn't make it... And that will probably be the case for a few weeks after viability as well... Since we live 1hr from the NICU.

Today I was listening to my iPod and a song came on that seemed like it would be good on a labor playlist. It was pretty emotional to select it to put on the playlist. Like, I'm being hopeful, or is it overly optimistic? that I will have a labor that will be long enough to cope with in a non crisis situation.

I have one OB in the practice who is a cheerful family man type and he chatted with me about camping at our last visits. With DD I was backpacking (just an overnight, but still) at this point in the pregnancy. One of the other OBs had a placenta previa, Abruption, NICU stay with her baby. I appreciate that she gets that right now the only thing on my mind is the NICU and my body not killing my baby. I'm sure at full term I'll appreciate the cheerful family man OB but right now I can tell that while medically he's providing good care he just doesn't get it, and I appreciate that the other OB gets that this just sucks and that there's no way around the anxiety.

I was talking with the OB (who'd had the placenta previa) about work. I don't medically have to stop, and to an extent I find it distracting in a good way. But she was like, if you want to cut down, go ahead (of course I'd have to use my vacation time). If some thing happens even if it's unrelated to work, you'll always wonder and you can't take that back. I do have vacation time available and my boss has been talking to me about doing some administrative stuff, instead of just 12 hr shifts in my feet, and I'm taking her up on that and sort of pushing it forward some. Last pregnancy I was very like "I can doing everything even though I'm pregnant" (appropriately so- not like drinking or deli meat, but still traveling, etc). I just feel like I don't have anything to prove this time.

I do worry a lot about sex though... Not enough to totally cut my husband off, but it's on my mind... I don't know if it played a role with DDs birth but in hind site, everything is suspicious...
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#7 of 40 Old 07-21-2014, 06:33 AM
 
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I'm considered high risk for many reasons. First pregnancy I delivered 6 weeks early, and he didn't make it past 3 days outside of my womb. And the amount of miscarriages I've had since my son. Now to add to that list, placenta previa is a major concern, and my body has been having issues so I'm on full bed rest. I'm allowed out now, but not solo and only for short periods of time. First pregnancy, I was working full time and then some (I was salary paid), traveling, and doing everything on my own. Now these days I'm lucky if I can make it through a day without needing help from someone. It's not easy, and it's hard to get through some times. I'm 21 weeks now, and even though things are going quickly, it would be nice to have less help and more independence.

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#8 of 40 Old 07-21-2014, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When will you be finding out more about the placenta? Next ultrasound?

I'm taking a prenatal yoga class and eating out a lot for lunch. I'm coping a bit by being very entitled- like, I expect to be fanned and fed grapes. BUT that's self-imposed, and I'm sure I'd hate it if I was on bed rest.
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#9 of 40 Old 07-21-2014, 08:06 PM
 
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There will be more placenta info at the 28-30 week hospital ultrasound. My OB won't talk about it without good reasoning. (We knew this was an issue prior to our anatomy scan). I have frequent scans with my OB since I'm so high risk, and then I have to deal with the hospital for their "required" crap.

Other than that, this is my strongest pregnancy. Stronger than my first. But issues always come up. Ugh.
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#10 of 40 Old 07-22-2014, 02:28 AM
 
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I wouldn't say I'm enjoying pregnancy. I feel protective of our baby and aware of her presence over the day.

It makes me a bit cranky when friends belittle my preference to take a very calm approach as neurotic - as though denying them a pleasure they are owed. We live in a small space and live quite simply. The idea of a Baby Shower is generous however we appear to have what we will need in hand-me-downs.

I get only very occasional kicks, now at 22w. This could be due to several factors...it is a conscious decision not to allow this to become a source of worry.

I have no libido while awake. Asleep is a whole other matter. DH is away with work, which hopefully will be timed well so that he is around for the 3rd trimester and beyond.

Reading my response and I seem to make a bleak picture when it's not really. It's just a quiet time. And full of fervent prayer for safe carriage and arrival, for we love her so already.
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#11 of 40 Old 07-22-2014, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD was born just before my baby shower(s) so I've never had one, but I think don't miss that. I also don't need stuff and am generally uncomfortable being the center of attention that way. My friend is planning a "sibling shower for September for her sister's 4 y.o. and my 3y.o. Which feels better. I could never be so optimistic so far in advance... It is very "1 day at a time" for optimism. I have tickets for a (low key) concert next week and even that I wouldn't take for granted...

I just had a mildly busy day (in the public pool with DD and my friend's family), nothing strenuous or aerobic, but it's hot, and on the drive home I had several "Braxton hicks" ctx, but my labor wasn't particularly painful either... And I know DH was hoping to have sex tonight... My uterus quieted down on the way home but how an I ever feel relaxed about it? Well, yes, deep into the third trimester I guess, but I can't think that far ahead...
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#12 of 40 Old 07-23-2014, 03:51 AM
 
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And just when I felt quite joyless last night....the marvellous creation we call "the passenger" gave a series of mighty kicks. Hello baby!

"One day at a time" works for me. Typically, "I am one day closer to her safe arrival than I was yesterday".

I may have reminded my husband that my delicate condition was good evidence that he gets to have sex sometimes. He is being quite sporting about that state of affairs.

Do you find the progesterone makes you moody? I was nearly unfit for work on it (I work in mental health, a clear headspace is rather essential for a good day at work).
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#13 of 40 Old 07-23-2014, 12:12 PM
 
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And just when I felt quite joyless last night....the marvellous creation we call "the passenger" gave a series of mighty kicks. Hello baby!

"One day at a time" works for me. Typically, "I am one day closer to her safe arrival than I was yesterday".

I may have reminded my husband that my delicate condition was good evidence that he gets to have sex sometimes. He is being quite sporting about that state of affairs.

Do you find the progesterone makes you moody? I was nearly unfit for work on it (I work in mental health, a clear headspace is rather essential for a good day at work).
I think, at 43, I am considered high risk. Also, I'm having trouble controlling my blood glucose. Plus, this is #8 .

Added up, I think most OBs would consider me high risk. I don't consider myself high risk, though.
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#14 of 40 Old 07-23-2014, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, I don't feel particularly moody. When I'm driving by myself for an hour or more I tend to get emotional and tearful but not otherwise, and that seems pretty normal in my mind. Were you doing progesterone orally, vaginally, or injections? I wonder if that has anything to do with it. My dreams are sort if awful though, not scary or upsetting or sad but more just annoyingly stressful for the whole night. Like 8 hrs of increased cortisol levels. Either about work (even though I don't feel stressed at work) or fighting with people (not even people I know in real life) or being chased although not in a particularly threatening way... I hate going to bed. Maybe the progesterone is to blame.
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#15 of 40 Old 07-23-2014, 09:29 PM
 
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No, I don't feel particularly moody. When I'm driving by myself for an hour or more I tend to get emotional and tearful but not otherwise, and that seems pretty normal in my mind. Were you doing progesterone orally, vaginally, or injections? I wonder if that has anything to do with it. My dreams are sort if awful though, not scary or upsetting or sad but more just annoyingly stressful for the whole night. Like 8 hrs of increased cortisol levels. Either about work (even though I don't feel stressed at work) or fighting with people (not even people I know in real life) or being chased although not in a particularly threatening way... I hate going to bed. Maybe the progesterone is to blame.
Now that you mention it, I think my emotions have evened out a little since I got off the progesterone supps. Do you have to stay on them the entire pg?
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#16 of 40 Old 07-24-2014, 12:21 AM
 
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I was using the vaginal pessaries in a previous pregnancy, my own progesterone levels have been OK this time. I get a good dose of PMT which is also progesterone related.

Lovely hormonal moment today - I went to a "Christmas warehouse" to pick up supplies for "Christmas in July" (a secular event to enable consumption of roast meats and steamed puddings in the midst of our winter). And cried. 3 times. Over nothing in particular. The elves did not appear to find this unusual.

Am not sure how steamed pudding will sit with my attempt to maintain normal blood sugar!
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#17 of 40 Old 07-24-2014, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am taking the progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor, so until 34-36 weeks. I started at 20 weeks. I haven't had recurrent miscarriages or generally low levels (actually, never had it measured) so didn't have to use it in the 1st trimester.

When I was in school I recall reading about and writing a paper on risk and how it becomes a disease- in my case, I actually have nothing wrong with this pregnancy, I'm high risk because DD was so early. I don't have any inherent cause for it (like a uterine abnormality or underlying chronic medical condition). When I wrote the paper I was all fiery at the medical establishment. To a certain extent I was right- like, being over 35 is not a disease and the added stress of being considered risky in that case is unnecessary (I guess-I'm 34, so I don't want to make assumptions yet). But for me the risk is totally equivalent to an actual disease, to something I carry with me every day, that influences my role as mother and job and marriage and house, that I take medicine for, that I get seen weekly for, etc. it's sort of vindicating to have my risk viewed as an actual disease though, it does make my anxiety justified- it doesn't add to it. I would be stressed whether anyone labeled me risky or not. All these interventions have a fair chance of having no impact on the pregnancy outcome in the end (maybe it would never happen again anyways, and/or they don't prevent all recurrent preterm births). But I at least have the benefit of "doing something." Which I guess is a barrier to achieving a state of acceptance if uncertainty, but maybe this just isn't an aspect of life where I'll be achieving enlightenment.
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#18 of 40 Old 07-24-2014, 10:59 PM
 
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I dislike being labeled as "high risk," but it is what it is. The difficulties from my pregnancy with my son and the endless miscarriages and my lack of a stable pregnancy in 5 years put my "young" uterus on their red alert/monitor list. But Madison is surpassing every goal, making it through more than a 100% better, and is ahead of her growth percentile. And she has a beautiful heart rate and size, and they measured her lungs at the anatomy scan this week. Hearing positive things regarding those was such a weight off my shoulder considering my son's passing was related to his.

I al definitely a day by day person, and I feel connected to Madison more and more each day. My pre post partum was making me feel many other things, but now I'm medicated and doing so so much better. Getting a grip on things now is better than ending up doing badly 3 months after she is born.
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#19 of 40 Old 07-26-2014, 08:19 AM
 
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I am taking the progesterone shots to prevent preterm labor, so until 34-36 weeks. I started at 20 weeks. I haven't had recurrent miscarriages or generally low levels (actually, never had it measured) so didn't have to use it in the 1st trimester.

When I was in school I recall reading about and writing a paper on risk and how it becomes a disease- in my case, I actually have nothing wrong with this pregnancy, I'm high risk because DD was so early. I don't have any inherent cause for it (like a uterine abnormality or underlying chronic medical condition). When I wrote the paper I was all fiery at the medical establishment. To a certain extent I was right- like, being over 35 is not a disease and the added stress of being considered risky in that case is unnecessary (I guess-I'm 34, so I don't want to make assumptions yet). But for me the risk is totally equivalent to an actual disease, to something I carry with me every day, that influences my role as mother and job and marriage and house, that I take medicine for, that I get seen weekly for, etc. it's sort of vindicating to have my risk viewed as an actual disease though, it does make my anxiety justified- it doesn't add to it. I would be stressed whether anyone labeled me risky or not. All these interventions have a fair chance of having no impact on the pregnancy outcome in the end (maybe it would never happen again anyways, and/or they don't prevent all recurrent preterm births). But I at least have the benefit of "doing something." Which I guess is a barrier to achieving a state of acceptance if uncertainty, but maybe this just isn't an aspect of life where I'll be achieving enlightenment.
I think that is part of growth and maturity. There are so many things that I accept now that I would never have accepted 10-20 years ago. With each year of life, one faces new challenges and circumstances. It is better to learn from them and grow from them than stay stagnant and closed minded.
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#20 of 40 Old 09-12-2014, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So with entering the 3rd trimester, this makes some high risk stuff better (bigger baby with better lungs!) and other stuff worse (more stress on our bodies, uterus, and placentas). For my issues, I'd say better. After talking with a friend a lot about "birth plans" yesterday (she is due end of sept) I had a dream about being in labor. It was interesting. I can't tell if I was term or not but I was just laboring with intermittent monitoring and no IV, which is something I'd love if I could. The contractions only felt like Braxton-hicks contractions. Maybe I was having a lot last night? Downside being these mild Braxton hicks had (in the dream) gotten me to 5-6 cm, ie if it was really me now I could be walking around at 5cm dilated at 31 weeks and not know it. They have stopped checking my cervix routinely. And I started having sex again, after having not since about 24 weeks (in real life, not in the dream). The dream really did capture a lot of hopes and fears. I just want a normal birth, even if it was including the normal term birth problems (like a post dates induction, or c/s for whatever). Sigh.

I do feel big uncomfortable in a way I never was with DD1. So, I should be enjoying that I have all the classics- heartburn, back ache, stomach muscles ache, swollen feet, etc!
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#21 of 40 Old 09-12-2014, 09:34 AM
 
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Placenta previa hasn't been an issue since my 25 week ultrasound, so no more pelvic rest. Yay sex! I know, I sound like a 16 year old but my hormones have been dying here. I'm still high risk thanks to everything else, but I've accepted it. I would rather be over monitored these days and on bed rest opposed to doing things that will stress or harm Maddy. She's trying extremely hard for an early grand entrance, which is probably the scariest thing I have to deal with now.
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#22 of 40 Old 09-12-2014, 10:13 AM
 
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I'm considered high risk too. My first was born at 35w5d, not sure why. My second, well it took so much out of me to keep her in until 37w6d. I was also gestational diabetic.
This time, I'm 35, and GD. My OB is pretty adamant that I be considered high risk, and it's frustrating. She wants me in twice a week for non-stress tests, and biophysical profiles. I agreed to once a week. Now, I'm pissed about it. I'm trying to locate a homebirth midwife,or heck, at this time a freebirth. I'm frustrated as all get out. At least I'm not contracting and dilating. Well, I have no idea if I am or not, I'm not getting checked, but at least I haven't been in the hospital at this point, as I was with the past two, to stop labor. So go me!
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#23 of 40 Old 09-13-2014, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, twice weekly NSTs & BPPs would be exhausting (even once weekly). I could see how one could argue the benefit of it, but there's just so many blips with the heart rate that they could get jumpy about, and what are you going to do about it so early? I'm not familiar with people going through so much monitoring for 1) GD 2) 35 yo and 3) previous early births. But maybe it's all 3 together? Or just a jumpy OB? I totally get why you're looking into other options at this point.
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#24 of 40 Old 09-14-2014, 01:27 AM
 
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My recent landmark has been suspending superstition enough to begin buying essentials. I really struggled with the pricier items like the carrier, in horror of what it would be to have these about if something sad happened.

My husband and I went on what might be our last weekend away for a while this weekend. I realise the next time I pack a little bag, it will be with hospital stay in mind. Cue panic.

My OB tells me our chances for normal delivery have risen due to the fibroid changing position (getting out of the way). She suggests that induction is not likely to be an issue (vs preterm labor), which I also take as a positive sign that I might avoid caesarian.
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#25 of 40 Old 09-14-2014, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Suspending superstition". It's funny how we can feels so powerless at times to prevent the bad stuff from happening, yet so powerful that buying a carrier could make bad stuff happen. Maybe it's just the awareness that none of us is "owed" a good outcome (despite the fact that we will probably all get it in the end).
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#26 of 40 Old 09-15-2014, 08:45 AM
 
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I am not high risk but am having a big baby, which means I may be fighting in the end against induction. My first baby (11 years ago) was 11lbs 2oz and this little girl looks to be on the same growing trend as she was. I'm 100% sure of the date on conception as I was charting, so it's not a dating issue....I just grow them big. However, I am getting nervous about being given a hard time about induction....so I'm really hoping this little lady decides to come a week early all on her own.

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#27 of 40 Old 09-15-2014, 12:18 PM
 
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Hi All, I am stepping in here because, like some others of you, I am being considered high risk by doctors but don't feel like my current situation completely warrants it.

I am pregnant with di-di twins, and my original midwife's hospital backup was requiring once-weekly ultrasounds & non-stress tests (plus once weekly prenatals) starting at 32 weeks. That's 3 appointments a week. I actually switched providers with my midwife's help to a practice 90 minutes away where the backup ob does vaginal breech and so is much more likely to "let me" try for a normal birth. Their extra testing is also confined to 2 ultrasounds to check for positioning and growth (one at 32 weeks and one at 36 weeks).

I am still in a bit of a bind because my labor with my first was so fast and furious (3 hrs total), so I'm not at all sure that we'll be able to make it to the far away hospital in time - so they are pressuring me to induce at 38 weeks. My original midwife (who I'm still seeing for some appointments), is encouraging me not to - given I had a pretty small singleton at 42 weeks. We figure that if worse comes to worst, I do live very near a hospital, and my midwife lives very close by as well, so I won't be forced into driving so far if it doesn't look like I'll make it.

And of course, this is all dependent on my getting to full term in the first place, which I am somewhat worried about, given all the talk of twins being early.
Like everyone else, I did not anticipate being in this much of a fraught situation in pregnancy where everything feels difficult to navigate. I am really struggling to balance my fears and "what if" thoughts about bad outcomes with my fears and "what if" thoughts about creating problems that aren't there, which I feel like the medical world can do very well if unchecked.
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#28 of 40 Old 09-15-2014, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That's one of the things about "high risk"- it's not a diagnosis on its own, it's more of a concept and a threat... There's some components of it that need to be taken really seriously but in a lot of ways it's just a mental game.

As we move towards "birth plan" time I'm starting to think about the aspects of "high risk" that will influence it. I'm in a great practice, it's a small community and I'm I the medical field so there's a lot of respect between us all, but still they are OBs and I am a pregnant women wanting a low intervention birth.

Dimples- did your last 11-pounder go well?
http://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-...al-Indications
http://www.acog.org/~/media/District...915T2149162837
ACOG doesn't want to restrict the OBs too much, but they seem to be pretty clear that induction for a big baby is elective. I always try to not get into an adversarial relationship with providers, but the guidelines ARE on you side. Sucks to have to fight though.

Alk209- sticky spot to be in. A lot of these things might just work themselves out- spontaneous labor when the time is right, vertex babies, etc. but now you've got weeks to mire in the confusion of "high risk." my friend had di/di boys, switched practices at the end for the same reasons (actually going from a very holistic progressive practice- but no breech and lots of u/s- to an old school local guy, one of the last around doing breeches) and then it all went differently anyways but well. Full term, normal sized kiddos. Ended up being a c/s for other reasons but she had a great birth (her first was a very natural vaginal birth- and I know she is happy with both experiences).
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#29 of 40 Old 09-16-2014, 01:07 PM
 
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It did go well, I believe. It took me 3.5 hours of pushing which they were not happy with and that last 30min was pretty intense as they were threatening (and prepping a room) for an emergency c-section. Although, I was able to push her out with no vacuum or forceps needed (they did do an episiodemy) so yes, I do believe it went well, and even though they are concerned, they do agree that I did it once already....so they know I can do it.

Sarah (35) Married to Jason (32)  Cali (11)  Madeline Due 11/17/2014  
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#30 of 40 Old 09-16-2014, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hah, went well for you and baby, but sounds like their panties were all in a bunch.... Are they trying to save stress on you and the baby by inducing, or on themselves? Maybe THEY should be the ones carrying around the high-risk label, not handing it to you.
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