Update 3/31/2011

Fluid levels look to have stabilized at the 26cm after the jump last week. No jump this week, we are still at 26 - Woo Hoo!

Polyhydramnios 3/24/2011

Today's testing showed that I have polyhydramnios due to Alli's condition. The doctors previously mentioned that it is common in CDH cases and have been watching me closely for it. Polyhydramnios is the excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid in the uterus during pregnancy. Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds and protects a baby during pregnancy. Your baby breathes this fluid into its lungs and swallows it. This helps your baby's lungs and digestive system grow strong. Because Alli's lung and digestive system are not what they should be, she is unable to process the fluid properly which leads to the build up.

For now I have a mild case which simply means they will continue to monitor us closely. The extra fluid causes me additional discomfort, but Allison still looks great so they will not be intervening. If my levels continue to rise, they may attempt to drain the excess fluid or prescribe medication depending on the severity because polyhydramnios puts us at risk for preterm labor and other complications. The past few appointments I have been at 20cm which is high but still safe - the maximum before they worry. Today I am at 26cm. I will update on next weeks measurements. The hope is for the levels to stay the same or even decrease.

All other testing they did today was great. Allison is doing a great job growing and moving. Her heart rate is where it belongs and so is mine. No visible signs of preterm labor thus far.

Check Up 3/16/2011

Another good check up today! She is now 4lb 8oz and still right on track with her growth. We did some of the monitoring today prior to the regular check ups and she was super active. All the numbers are still positive and she is still on the best end of the spectrum for babies with CDH. As we get closer, it is sounding like an induction may not be necessary which would be great. So far we have gone from thinking a cesarean in Seattle, to an induction around 37 weeks at Sacred Heart, to now most likely allowing her to come on her own at Sacred Heart. The news just keeps getting better - hopefully it will continue this way.

They are saying now that the earliest they would induce, and only if my body is already preparing for birth, would be May 9th (39 weeks gestation). Otherwise we will wait it out for when we are ready on our own. If for some reason she does not want to come out, they are saying they would induce around May 21st (41 weeks gestation) because it gets dangerous for babies to go too far past their due dates. And of course all of this is assuming she does not decide to come earlier on her own - which changes everything. Thus far, things are right on track though, and there are no signs of preterm labor. A lot of ifs-ands-or-buts, so we are trying to just go with the flow and do everything we can in Allison's best interest.

Starting next week we will be doing fetal monitoring every Monday and Thursday. They will do what's called a non-stress-test both days where I have to sit with monitors strapped around my belly for 20-30 minutes. They watch the changes in the babies heart rate while I use a clicker to note each time that I feel her move. One of the monitors strapped around me also watches for contractions and how those affect baby. On Thursdays only, they will also do AFI testing. This is to track the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby and is done through ultrasound. Also on Thursdays, I will have regular visits with my OB. It seems like a lot, but we would do more if we thought it would be helpful in preparing for baby Alli. Hopefully we will have a tour of the birthing center and NICU scheduled soon too, so that we know better what to expect when the time comes. It is creeping up on us really fast!

So, the only bad news we have is that the bills are now starting to file in. Yikes! We are having to fight with the insurance companies already, and she has not even been born yet. It is crazy that a doctor can bill over $300 for just 15 minutes of their time and call it a consultation. Anyway, all is well, and I will update again soon with any new news that comes with the many upcoming appointments.

Baby Shower 3/5/2011

We had the baby shower on Saturday. It was such a great time! I can't thank those who contributed enough. We had such a long list of things to get before Allison arrived that is down to nearly nothing now. We are lucky to have such great friends and family.