You ever get so much information that you don't even know where to begin when trying to process it all? That's where I'm at. So please forgive me if this sounds disjointed.
The good news first: my little guy is measuring BIG. He's a full 2 weeks ahead of the average 26-week old. His estimated weight is 2lb,6oz (average is 1lb,12oz). The peri said that if this is an indication of how the 2-vessel cord is restricting the baby's growth, then maybe we're lucky he's got it, 'cuz otherwise he'd be a 12-pounder at birth. (grin)
They did a full heart evaluation because 2-vessel cords can sometimes indicate cardiac problems and everything looked great. No problems whatsoever. So yippee for that! All of his other organs looked good today, too. No signs of swelling or anything like that.
Now for the not-so-good news: the baby's anemia level is now in the moderate range. The upper-moderate range, to be precise. That means that I have to see the peri more often and that my little guy is now experiencing oxygen deprivation, though no one can know right now to what degree and whether it will have a long-term effect on him. It also means that if things slide over into the severe range, Charley and I have to make a decision regarding whether we want to do in-utero transfusions or deliver early. Both options have risks. The transfusion carries a 6% chance of killing the baby then & there due to shock, plus there's all sorts of associated risks like triggering labor (and subsequent delivery), infection, harming the baby ('cuz they'd have to sedate him by a direct injection ~ the thought of which makes me feel ill. I can't imagine giving a baby a shot in-utero; it seems cruel), and lots of other things that I can't remember because my head is swimming with information. And early delivery obviously has risks ~ death, ROP (retinopathy of prematurity, which can cause blindness), infections, etc...I know I should remember everything I was told, but I can't right now. Anyone who's had a very premature baby knows all the risks I'm thinking of, though.
I also have an excess of amniotic fluid. I suspected as much because I had the same situation with Adam and this baby moves very much like he did ~ kind of all over the place really quickly, like he's floating *really* freely. Anyhow, it's not a big deal, but I figured I'm mention it just because it was one more thing we learned about at today's appointment. It does explain my sudden growth, though.
What else? I feel like I'm forgetting something, but I can't remember what it is. Oh well. If I remember later, I'll come back and post about it.
Charley and I have lots of talking to do, as well as researching the possible options. We were told that if a future appointment shows another large increase in anemia level like today's did, then we'll have to make decisions right away, so we are going to research all the possible complications of prematurity. Right now, without knowing FACTS, we are leaning toward delivering early versus doing transfusions if we have to make that choice. Of course, we're really hoping that the anemia doesn't get severe. I didn't ask what the chances are of it NOT happening...wish now I'd thought to ask that....sigh...
This is really, really, really depressing/stressful/overwhelming to me. I'm still hoping that we'll get a miracle and he'll be born a healthy, term baby. Even if he needs blood transfusions and bili-lights and other interventions at birth, that's better than him having all of the complications of severe anemia coupled with prematurity. Oh, and of course there's the 20% chance of stillbirth that was brought up today. That was a lousy thing to hear about and contemplate. I had read online about that possibility, but having the peri bring it up in discussion was really horrid.
Okay, now I know I'm rambling. I need to go try to process some of this, write down all the "pros and cons" of each option (transfusions versus early delivery) and pray.
Oh, here are a couple pictures from today. I think he is an especially-darling little guy, probably because I'm feeling so utterly worried and helpless with everything going on.Hand next to faceLegs and cute baby feet