The last few days have been quite stressful for us. B discovered that she has obstetric cholestasis, a condition of pregnancy where bile is prevented from flowing from the liver into the intestinal system. Cholestasis causes very itchy skin in the mother and can also cause problems for the child.
B latched on to the statistic that the possibility of stillbirth rises up to five times with cholestasis. It’s important to realise that this is still a small number and that the risk is greatest for babies carried to full term. In most obstetric cholestasis cases delivery is induced between 35 – 38 weeks.
On Saturday we had our first antenatal class at the hospital. There we went through the process of delivering babies and were shown a really bad 80’s video of a birth. The midwife giving the class keep pronouncing dilate as “diletate”, which was very annoying. She must have heard it pronounced correctly so many times in her career.
Despite a break for morning tea B, who has no fat reserves, felt very nauseous. The classes tend to run into lunch and dinner times, depending on the session, which would make it tough for pregnant women who need their regular meals.
After the class we were booked in for some monitoring of the baby. The attach monitors to the belly and chart the baby’s heart beat and movements as registered by a clicker in the mother’s hand. B ended up staying in the delivery suite longer than anticipated as the medical staff were concerned about her feeling ill. Then on Sunday the obstetrician (Dr Ho, who has so far been fantastic) called us to request an appointment today and that we were looking at an inducement within the next two weeks.
His urgency made B very nervous and I have to admit, me as well. The whole past couple of days B was worried whenever the baby was quiet and not kicking as vigourously as it has tended to do. Thankfully, when we met the doctor today he managed to reassure B that the results were not that bad and that the baby was in all likelyhood quite safe. B and her mum wanted the baby out ASAP, but as the doctor said, there is a higher likelyhood that a bay’s lungs are not developed enough before 35 weeks and that you are risking it in another way by removing it too early. Anyway, we both feel a lot happier now.
One thing that the last few days have made clear to us is that we are rapidly running out of time to prepare for the birth. We had the car seat fitted today and fortunately the shotgun seat isn’t as squeezed as I feared. There are so many other little things left to do before the big day comes!