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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 has.

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!"

Postconception Concerns

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."

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