Fierce fam, y’all are the best. You love on us so well and we’re deeply grateful for the way you support and carry us.
Many of you have questions about this pregnancy, so grab a mug of something cozy warm (someone drink a chai for me!) and let’s chat through four of the most common questions we hear.
1 – Are we using the same doctor?
No, and that’s a good sign. As long as this pregnancy progress without concern, there’s not really any way that we could.
Our line of doctors with Norah was long, starting with our family doctor, then birth center midwives, then Dr. C (the perinatologist that started the birth center), then a team of perinatologists and other specialists at MN Perinatal, and finally a handful of NICU nurses, neonatologists, and other specialists.
Here’s why we haven’t seen any of them again: our family doctor delivers at a specific hospital which is not the one we’re choosing to deliver at (we’re going to the same hospital where Norah was born). Due to my previous c-section, I’m not able to deliver at the birth center and the VBACs they assist don’t take place at our preferred hospital. MN Perinatal is specifically for high-risk pregnancies only and requires a referral.
This time we’re working with a clinic that delivers at our preferred hospital based on the recommendation of Dr. C, and have been very happy with our care thus far. We received incredible care with Norah and loved our entire medical team, but not seeing them is truly something to be celebrated.
2 – Am I considered high risk?
No. The complications in my pregnancy with Norah all stemmed from her unique genetic development, not my body’s ability to carry the pregnancy. With her Trisomy 13 not being inherited and my being in good health overall I am not considered high risk.
I did have elevated blood pressure with Norah, but it was closely monitored and never diagnosed as anything. It was thought to be a result of anxiety in a medical setting (White Coat Syndrome - it’s a thing). Not surprising considering our appointments often greeted us with more bad news or a terrifying heart rate drop. Constant fear makes a healthy level of ‘chill’ pretty difficult to achieve.
They’re keeping a close eye on my blood pressure this time around; so far it’s been high-ish but not concerning yet.
3 – Am I having another c-section?
Possibly. Our goal is to schedule a c-section on or as close to the due date as possible. If she decides to come early, we’ll try for a VBAC. But to be honest, I could care less how she gets here as long as we’re both alive and healthy at the end. That’s all that matters.
4 – Are we doing genetic testing?
(Disclaimer: Please know that choosing whether or not to do genetic testing is a highly personal and situational decision. Every family makes the choice that’s right for them — that might look like testing, or it might look like not testing. Both decisions are equally valid and made from a place of love. If your decision looks different than ours — beautiful. I’m simply sharing what we’ve chosen to do.)
We have chosen not to do genetic testing for two reasons:
1 – Norah’s version of Trisomy 13 is not inherited. It was a genetic fluke confirmed by multiple medical professionals and genetic specialists after her birth.
2 – After our anatomy scan with Norah we did the blood test that scans for trisomies that was said to be highly accurately (although not diagnostic). The results of that test came back saying there was no sign of any chromosomal abnormality. Yep, our test results were incorrect, giving us a false sense of security. (And yes, the company has been contacted and informed of our case.)
We could have chosen to do an amniocentesis with Norah to get diagnostic results, but the slim possibility of complications resulting from doing test was too high for us. (When you already have a child that’s a statistic anomaly, 1 in 100 sounds essentially like a guarantee).
We’ve decided that doing genetic testing with this pregnancy would add unnecessary anxiety to an already stressful situation. No matter what the results would be, they would provide zero comfort because we would constantly be second-guessing their accuracy.
So we’re approaching this pregnancy much in the same way we did with Norah – if concerns arise, we’ll address them as needed.
Pregnancy after loss is a unique and complicated journey, one that I’ll continue to try and unpack for you as time goes on.
But right now, we’re simply focusing on loving on this little lady as much as we can.
Her big sister taught us that God will handle the rest.