Welcome to 31 Days of Spina Bifida Awareness: Day Ten!
Today I’m tackling more about how SB changed my pregnancy. There are a lot of small things that change. Physically I noticed a lot less movement and it was generally not as strong. It makes sense now that Mason is out and we see his paralysis. What I generally felt were the fluttery hits from his fists, or his hiccups.
I also had some extra aches and pains that, while not unique to SB, were related for Mason. Late in my pregnancy Mason turned breech. While that impacted a few things, physically, it hurt. As he began running out of room in there he ended up with his head up under my ribs. Not fun at all! I had sciatic nerve pain from how he was pressing on my hips and back. Due to his lack of mobility he grew bigger in that position and couldn’t turn head down for delivery. (More on why this matters in another post this week!)
Another big change SB caused during pregnancy was the extra appointments. Up until Mason’s pregnancy I have seen a midwife at a local office less than 10 minutes from my home. Once a month until near the end of pregnancy I slipped over to her office, had my checkup, and came home. Easy-peasy. Once Mason was diagnosed with everything I continued those appointments and added in visits to the high risk clinic’s perinatologist monthly for high level ultrasound in a hospital an hour from home. As I got near the end of pregnancy those visits for ultrasound increased.
Why did I need all the extra ultrasounds? Doesn’t Spina Bifida happen in the first month of pregnancy and stay the same to the end? Yes and no. During these appointments the doctors were checking on Mason’s overall growth and were also watching for the dreaded hydrocephalus to being. Being a baby with the Myelomeningocele version of SB Mason had a 90% chance of developing hydrocephalus in the womb. If it happened too early or increased too rapidly he would need delivered preterm.
In the end Mason did develop hydrocephalus. I know now it was mild compared to some cases but we had to watch it frequently as it was changing.
At the very end of pregnancy I had a few extra appointments getting ready for delivery. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about delivery options (vaginal or c-section).