Fertility Diaries: They Dreamed of Motherhood Together
Hoping for the Best continued...
Jody's pregnancy is being monitored by not just one doctor, but three: a
regular ob/gyn, a high-risk ob/gyn, and a hematologist. Her pregnancy — a
result of in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a technique called
intracytoplasmic sperm injection — is considered to be high-risk both because
she has a blood-clotting disorder known as Factor V Leiden, which probably
played a role in the miscarriage that she had a year ago, and because of the
way she conceived. Studies have shown that IVF brings an increased risk of
pregnancy complications, including a condition called placenta previa — which
Jody: The placenta is between the baby and the cervix, blocking the
opening. People bleed all the time and can go into preterm labor because of
that, so I've been ordered not to exercise or do any heavy work. So far I'm
okay — I hope I don't have to go on bed rest! If things continue as they are,
then I'll have to have a C-section, even though that's riskier for me than for
other women because of my clotting disorder. It's kind of scary, but I'm trying
not to worry about it too much. My ob/gyn wants to wait and see what happens at
my next appointment with the high-risk ob/gyn before we start talking about
what will happen during delivery.
But other than her morning sickness — which continued into the second
trimester, abating somewhat from the "all-day sickness" of the first
trimester — Jody feels great. "I'm tired more and out of breath more, but I
feel good. I'm even staying awake past 6 p.m.!" she says. Since Jody works
as a teacher of the hearing impaired, she's had some time off this summer — and
she already has a long list of to-do's to prepare for Zoe's arrival in
September, including decorating the nursery and "shopping for all the cute
clothes!" with Jenny and Carrie. Jody will be watched closely through the
remaining weeks of her pregnancy, and the daily injections she takes to control
her clotting disorder will be ramped up to twice-daily shots of a different
drug as labor draws near — but it's all worth it, she says: "It's been a
long, hard road to get here, and I can't wait to meet our little girl!"
If you've conceived through assisted reproductive technology such as in
vitro fertilization (IVF) or fertility drugs, studies show that you're at
higher risk for certain pregnancy complications, possibly because of underlying
conditions that initially caused fertility issues. "While serious, all of
these conditions are highly treatable," says Tracy Shevell, M.D., a
perinatologist and the author of a recent study reviewing 36,000 pregnancies.
"So see your doctor immediately if you spot any of the symptoms."