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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Goal: Full Term

If you're a long-time reader of the blog, you might remember that Evan was 5 weeks early. Not early enough for him to have any long-term health concerns, but a bit too early for our liking. He had to spend his first week in the hospital, mostly due to low glucose levels (for the first 24 hours) then high jaundice levels. He then had very large issues with breast feeding and I ended up exclusively pumping for the first six months.

Obviously, we would like to avoid that situation again. The problem is, there was really no definite reason for why I went into labour at 35 weeks. We do know that my water broke first, and this is what induced labour. This absolutely doesn't mean that it would happen again. In fact, though my chances of early labour are increased because of my history, there's still a relatively good chance that I could go full-term this time with no interventions.

However, there are lots of things that can be done to increase my chances of making it to full-term that aren't too invasive, are safe for pregnancy, and don't have any side effects. 

First, I'm taking vitamins C and E. Apparently this combination of vitamins has been showed to strengthen the membranes of the amnionic sac. This might prevent my water from breaking early, which caused me to go into labour last time.

Second, my thyroid levels were measuring high at the beginning of my pregnancy, and this has been linked to pre-term labour and growing large babies (Evan was also quite large for his gestational age - 6lbs9oz). So, I am taking Synthroid, which has lowered my levels into the middle of the normal range.

Third, I am on progesterone injections. Some (but not all) studies have shown that this greatly increases the chance of going full-term in women that have a history of pre-term labour (but otherwise normal and healthy pregnancies). This is the least fun and most-invasive of the three, as I have to give myself an injection once a week. 

Will one or all of these help? Who knows - and we really won't ever know. If I go full-term, it could be because of these interventions, or it could be because it was going to happen that way anyway. If I go early again, it could be because none of these things actually helped or because of some other factor we didn't take into consideration. 

When deciding whether to go ahead with these interventions (especially the injections), it all came down to whether I'd be okay with going full-term and not knowing why OR possibly going early and feeling like I could have done something. So, after some research, I chose to go ahead because the positives far outweighed the risks. 

The goal is to get to September 26th - after that, Jelly Bean can make his appearance any time!