Thursday, September 8, 2011

High-Risk Mama

Early in my pregnancy I was tested for a protein associated with the autoimmune disease called Sjogren's syndrome. Not surprisingly, I was positive. Before conceiving, my doctor had explained the risks. The baby stands a 2-5% chance of having a congenital heart block, where the circuitry in the heart isn't connected right. The baby could be fine, could require a pacemaker, or even not survive. For the past few weeks my husband and I have been traveling 180 miles round trip weekly for a specialized ultrasound that detects the early stages of the block. The baby is perfectly healthy, but the trips are wearing because they eat up an entire day. To not go, puts the baby at greater risk.

Before conceiving, I did not think much of the risks. But after learning of the extent of monitoring I needed and after becoming pregnant, my attitude changed. The chance is very small, but the reality is there - if not for me, for someone else. I take joy in feeling my baby move because I know that he is well. (Yes it's a boy!)

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