Monday, November 16, 2009

ITP

Before Rob and I got married, I went to the doctor to have a physical before I lost my health insurance. Everything was fine, except that I had low platelets. They rechecked them a couple weeks later and they were still low, so they referred me to a hematologist. When we spoke to someone at the hematologist's office, he said that this may be a fluke and that I should wait a few more weeks and have it checked again before seeing a specialist. So a few weeks later they rechecked and my platelets were normal--yay!

A few weeks ago I had my first OB appointment, which included routine blood work. Everything was fine, except that I had low platelets. I was referred to a perinatologist--someone who manages high-risk pregnancies. I figured it would be no big deal, and I even told Rob that he didn't need to come with me to my appointment. We were talking about it and I said, "I'm sure all they'll do is take some blood." The instant these words had escaped my lips, I had a vision of myself being strapped into a human gyroscope.

I realized that I had no clue what they would be doing, and that there was a chance they would be giving me some very bad news. I retracted my previous dismissal of a loving supporter and asked Rob if he would come with me.

It was a stressful week from the time I found this out until I went to the perinatologist this Wednesday. They started out by doing another ultrasound. Our baby has grown a ton in the last two weeks! We saw its arms & hands and its legs & feet, all of which were just little stubs at the last ultrasound. It was great!

The perinatologist told us that I have something called ITP, idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura. [idiopathic = unknown cause, thrombocytopenia = low platelets, purpura = bruising, a common effect of having low platelets] The "I" in ITP can also stand for "immune" because your immune system attacks your platelets, which is why they're low.

Let me just say at this point that I am okay and our baby is okay--that's all I wanted to hear from the doctor! The baby will develop and grow normally and should be just fine when it is born. It may have low platelets since my antibodies can cross the placenta and attack the baby's platelets, too, but they have treatments to fix that if it happens.

The one major bummer is that I can't have an epidural unless my platelet count is over 100,000, and right now it's at 85,000. I can take steroids for a couple weeks before my due date and that should bring up my numbers enough, or in an emergency they can give me a platelet transfusion.

I feel so grateful and blessed to know that our baby is okay. For a short time I wondered if I would ever get to see this little one, to know what color its hair is, to see if it has chubby cheeks. It is such a relief to know that all my hopes and excitement haven't been for nothing. Thanks to a loving Father in Heaven for a wonderful husband, a little one on the way, and the perspective to appreciate it all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Baby Youngberg

Rob and I are having a baby! In this ultrasound picture you can see its head toward the left, the body toward the right, and a little hand making an appearance above the body. We are so excited! We are especially happy to FINALLY be telling people; we have known for certain for five weeks and suspected for at least two weeks before that. We had our first doctor appointment this past Wednesday and I am 12 weeks along.

Answers to FAQs:
-I am due on May 15th. My due date was predicted at May 14th before they measured the baby, and they said I'm measuring just right to deliver on the 15th.

-I haven't been too sick, thankfully. By that I mean that I haven't had to throw up at all. I have definitely felt blah and there are times when I am absolutely starving, but can't think of a single food on the face of the planet that I'd like to eat. Thank heavens for unsalted top Premium brand saltine crackers!

-I have definitely been more tired than usual. We're talking a minimum requirement of nine or ten hours of sleep every night. It used to be rare for me to go to bed before 11:00, but now it's not unheard of for me to check in around 9:30 p.m. or to not get up until 9:30 a.m. on days I don't have to work. Rob has captured photographic evidence of my sleepiness on more than one occasion.


-I am still working as much as I can and plan on working until I have the baby. I'm not showing yet and don't plan on telling anyone at work until after I have a full-time position secured, if possible. I wouldn't be surprised if the district manager over Utah County chose another pharmacist over me because I am expecting. (Yes, I know that is illegal, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.)

-We are planning on finding out the gender, but probably won't know until some time around New Year's. We have a few names in mind that we have always liked (both boys' and girls' names), but we aren't committed to any of them completely. I am sure there will be much baby name discussing going on between now and May at the Youngberg home.

Overall, we are just so excited. During the first ultrasound on Wednesday we saw the baby moving all around and it was the best thing in the world! Thanks to everyone we've already told for your love and support and for sharing in our excitement.