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Monday, July 22, 2019

Baby on the way!

If you read my last post carefully...all the way to the end! you know that I'm pregnant! And how this whole story developed was, well, super duper dramatic.
Where I left off before my sudden silence, I was scheduled for uterine surgery to remove and biopsy a mass that couldn't be diagnosed via ultrasound. I had been in incredible discomfort for months, compounded by debilitating anemia due to the associated blood loss, and I was eager to have the surgery.
Curiously, my symptoms abated before the surgery. In fact, I called my doctor to wonder if maybe the surgery wasn't even necessary? "Maybe the intense marathon training was taking a toll on your body, and you've improved now that you aren't running," she suggested (this was during my week off after Boston). "But regardless, we have to biopsy that thing. It's a potential carcinoma." So, I dutifully prepped for surgery, and the morning of the procedure reminded myself that the post-op nausea would be worth symptom relief. But...I hadn't had any symptoms in weeks.

I was in my hospital gown about to get my IV when my doctor came in with the news. "I can't believe it, so I had them run the test twice," she said. "We have to cancel your surgery: you're pre-op pregnancy test came back positive!"

I was floored. I started hyperventilating. This was the last news I expected to hear! I have "known" for years that I could not get pregnant due to a combination of several health conditions. Well, amid the most challenging of circumstances, somehow this little baby succeeded! I have a hunch that the high-dose hormones I took in a failed attempt to control my bleeding this winter and spring actually worked like fertility treatments. But still - how one gets pregnant WHILE ACTIVELY HEMORRHAGING is still beyond me (and my doctor).

15-week baby bump in my Boston jacket...
pregnancy hormones are making me all
sentimental and I bought a jacket this year
after I realized I'd run the race pregnant! 
I had the super awkward task of calling David sheepishly and asking to be picked back up 15 minutes after he had dropped me off for surgery. So much for a cute way to tell your husband you're pregnant...we kind of spent the next day or two in shock, but then reality sunk in. This was a high-risk pregnancy. My uterus is...crowded. I don't just have a baby, I have fibroids and I still have the large mass! I decided to go quiet on social media and the blog for a while, to give myself time to tell friends and family: and for that, I wanted to wait until I saw my doctor to actually quantify my risks. As it turns out, you don't really see doctors early in pregnancy (I didn't know: it's my first pregnancy, and my mother never had a doctor for the six pregnancies I observed!). While I did an early ultrasound and requested my thyroid be checked right away, I didn't see my doctor until the end of June: which was also the beginning of my second trimester. So sorry for the silence.

At first, I was excited to hear that all appeared well, and I would be removed from the high-risk category. I mentioned some fairly alarming symptoms I'd been having, but my doctor seemed unconcerned and told me that they'd probably abate as the second trimester progressed. Unfortunately, just a week later, I proved her wrong; without going too far into it at this point, I have a very rare but dangerous complication called uterine incarceration that necessitated a visit to the ER, a catheter, and an emergency procedure. At my follow-up two days later, I showed improvement, but I'm not 100% out of the woods. The uterine mass (which my OB thinks is a submucosal fibroid) is to blame. This is frustrating and worrisome news, but some sort of complication is not unexpected given my age and health. Instead of letting that worry me, I'm focusing on the positive: I'm grateful that I have good healthcare and the prayers of many loved ones!


  1. I'm so excited for you guys, but my heart goes out to you for having a high risk pregnancy, especially something that required a visit to the ER. I know you'll be on pins and needles during this pregnancy but I hope and pray that everything goes well. I am guessing that you are working with a perinatal physician in addition to your OB? That was the case with me and my high risk pregnancy. I had my ultrasounds at a perinatal practice even before we knew about the blood clot because my RA and the steroids I was on to manage it made me high risk. Then I was followed even more closely after I had the blood clot. But it was comforting knowing there was a team of doctors (OB, perinatal, hematologist, rheumatologist) closely following me and working together to make sure we had a healthy baby in the end. I know your situation is completely different than mine, but thank goodness that we both live in an area where we have access to excellent physicians. That is not the case for some people depending on where they live (like where my parents live, they would have a long drive to see all these specialists).

    I'll be thinking of you! You can always reach out to me if you need to vent or chat about pregnancy stuff. I'll be thinking of you!!

  2. !!! Pulling for you and the little one! What an adventure. I hope this adventure is a bit easier from this point forward.

    Your blog title certainly is apt - "complicated."

  3. I know it probably makes it a bit more intense for you but since you have a background in pharmacy you also have higher than average knowledge that allows you to be your own best advocate. I have a handful of friends who have made it through super complicated pregnancy and having a top notch medical team and supportive friends and family is so incredibly important! Sending hugs!!!

  4. Congratulations, and thinking of you!!! I hope things go more smoothly from here on out.

  5. Grace! You never do anything "ordinary," do you?!?! ;-) Praying that the rest of your pregnancy is nice and boring. Congrats again to you and David!

  6. I wish you health and happiness! I have been thinking of you often and hoping that you and the baby are doing well. What an emotional roller coaster this must be! Please keep me posted.