Based on the consult I had back at the end of 2015, the specialist from the U of M OB’s and my autoimmune specialist said that I would be considered a high risk pregnancy because the baby is at risk for congenital heart block due to my positive SSA/SSB antibodies. During a certain timeframe during pregnancy baby would be at the highest risk for me to pass those antibodies; so he needs to be watched carefully. My care team consists of the OB’s from the U of M, the Pediatric Cardiologist team from Children’s and then my high-risk OB at my clinic. The U of M team and the Pediatric Cardiologist team are who set the plan for baby’s care.
My plan consists of the following:
- Weekly doptones to assess fetal heart rate starting at 16 weeks to 32 weeks
- Fetal Echocardiograms every 2 weeks from 19 weeks to 28 weeks- this recommendation had just been increased by the pediatric cardiologist board. So in the off weeks I would have to go in to do the doptone testing
- Fetal growth ultrasounds every 4 weeks starting at 23 weeks
- Weekly Biophysical profile ultrasounds starting at 28 weeks
- 2x weekly Biophysical profiles ultrasounds starting at 30 weeks
Needless to say, I have spent a lot of time at the doctors office. We are very fortunate that they are watching baby very closely. It does seem that when someone new looks at my chart and the recommendations, they are surprised at how often I am in the office. Since 16 weeks, baby has seen a doctor at least once a week and I have seen baby on an ultrasound.
I have conflicted feelings about the frequency of the appointments- yes, we are grateful and it’s exciting, but every appointment I walk in to, I still hold my breath and hope everything is ok and have to wait for the doctors to tell us so. It makes me anxious, it is stressful and exciting all at the same time. There were times we would have to wait at minimum for an hour during an echocardiogram so they could get the right angle of baby’s heart to get the picture they want. It’s a little intense!
This is quite the journey that we are embarking on.
Here are a couple of photos from our fetal growth ultrasounds. It is pretty crazy the technology they have so you can see babies!