June 19, 2012

the value of prenatal care

Things were sailing along so smoothly, I was starting to think, "what's the big deal about prenatal care?"  You always hear how horrible it is not to have it, but I guess besides nutrition, you don't really need it unless something goes wrong.

Now things are going wrong, or potentially wrong.  Besides mental health, I've always been healthy -- low blood pressure, okay weight, and normal lab results.  I didn't think anything could go wrong in pregnancy, you know?

Besides the positive screen for open neural tube defects, it seems my thyroid levels are high, and my online searches keep coming up with this scary phrase "Grave's disease."  I can't possibly get that just from being pregnant, can I?

I am hanging onto to my numb denial for now, declining to panic unless I have a definitive diagnosis, but stray thoughts do come to mind.  Like doom (I'm not meant to have a baby, I'll end up an old maid after all) and gloom (I don't want to go back to being not-pregnant, I may not be able to recover and muster the courage to start over from the beginning, I might as well give up, I might spiral downward).  I am fairly confident that I can handle what comes my way, and I doubt that I will ever give up on this dream, but this is not at all a comfortable step in the process.

I knew my life would change (and drastically) when I had a baby, but I had *no* idea my life would change the instant I got pregnant.  The 4 weeks of hellish nausea, the waves of depression, crying all the time, irritability, and now this!  I guess a little ignorance going into pregnancy doesn't hurt ;)

I can see now the downside of screening tests, which have been in the news lately (breast, cervix, and prostate cancers).  The waiting to find out a diagnosis is so demoralizing.  The not knowing is very confusing, because I imagine at once the extremely different emotional roads ahead, either relief and elation on one hand or grief and devastation on the other.  How to find some sanity here?  Yeesh!!


  1. Hang in there and wait until you have a chance to chat with the doctor. I have had an "enlarged thyroid" since I was a teenager. To the point that the doctor would have med students come feel my thyroid, and yet it is a healthy thyroid. Even though I have convinced myself that I have Addison's disease, and graves several times! The body is odd like that, it could just mean a medication that you need to take.

    As for the baby, a bunch of my friends have had false positives on test results for things like downs syndrome. Not to mention, many neural tube issues (like spina bifida) have made huge advances in treatments.

    In the meantime, stay OFF OF GOOGLE!!! It is always the scariest diagnosis that pops up first in a search! Hope you hear some more back from the doctor soon.

    1. Thanks so much, Ali! I'll try to stay off google ;)