Thursday, July 1, 2010

Third Trimester Questions

Parenthood is rapidly approaching now, and it seems like each day we're doing something new to prepare for our little addition. Part of this preparation has involved making sure that all doctors are on the same page when it comes to symptoms, progress, and what to expect during the birthing process.

On top of that, it's good to keep an ongoing list of those last minute (but important) questions, and make sure they're resolved before the big day gets here.

Specifically, here are some things I made sure to discuss with my doctors this week (along with their responses):

1. (OBGYN) Q: Based on my current physical condition, are we still on schedule for a natural childbirth?
A: Yes, a natural birth will be fine, and if there are complications, a C-section is a safe alternative.

2. (OBGYN) Q: Banking cord blood seems to be the latest and greatest thing right now. Is it worth it, or is just another way of sucking a couple grand out of consumers?
A: The patient response has been 50/50. Some are all for it, some people pass, because it's still relatively new. I can't tell you what to do, but I will say that they are discovering more and more uses for the cord blood every day. If you have the money, it might be worth looking into, but again, it's a personal decision. If you decide to do it, just check with your Lyme doctor to make sure the blood is not damaged from the Lyme. I'm not familiar with that aspect.

3. (LLMD) Q: I'm considering banking my baby's cord blood. What are the chances it's infested with nasty little spirochetes? Is it worth saving, or would I just contaminate my child if the cord blood use was ever necessary?
A: You can bank the blood. If you want to bank it, just have it tested first. You can request that they test it for Lyme at the hospital once the blood is collected and before it's sent out to the banking facility.*

*I am a bit skeptical about this, as we've all done the research--often times standard Lyme tests are falsely negative and not sensitive enough to pick up on the infections. At the same time, some testing is better than no testing. But ultimately, I'm still not sold on the whole banking the blood thing. From what I've read, these private companies are preying on scared new parents (no surprise there), and it's not worth it in the end because other people's stem cells are more effective anyway in the fraction of a chance you'll ever need them. Anyone have any input here? Did you bank your baby's blood, or have you decided to do so after you deliver?

4. (LLMD) Q: After I give birth, can I IMMEDIATELY switch my antibiotics to something a little more aggressive?*
*I am not breastfeeding, and my insurance doesn't cover my Zithromax Rx (which barely does any good anyway), so I'm paying over $400 a month on antibiotic pills alone. I've actually had to skip a few weeks here and there because we couldn't afford to fill the bottle.
A: Yes, you can switch back to one of the orals you were on pre-pregnancy, especially since you still have some filled in your cabinet. We can assess if another round of IV is a better option once we see how your body handles the birth. But give it AT LEAST two to three weeks on the Zithromax orals post delivery before you start thinking about more aggressive treatment. The time after childbirth will be a very important time for restoring balance and testing to see how much you can recover naturally. You don't want to rock the boat. We'll see you a month after the baby is born to further assess.

I'm sure there were additional questions, but this is what my foggy brain recalls so far. I'll post more as I think of them. Right now, it's time for my after-breakfast nap. Pathetic, I know. Go ahead and laugh, and then get back to me when you're nearing the end of the third trimester! (I've heard we should enjoy nap time now, as we will forget what sleep even is sooner than later.) I say bring it on!

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