We are heading into a new adventure. I haven't blogged about it before because I didn't know if it was really going to happen, but I have had many assurances from more than one doctor that indeed, it is.
In 3 weeks, give or take, I will be giving birth to our second child. A baby girl.
The decision to have another child even after I was diagnosed with PKD was not one we took lightly. We read a lot, we prayed a lot, we asked a lot of questions. But both my husband and I felt it was the right thing to do, and, truly, miracle of miracles, we got pregnant after 4 years of disappointment. During those 4 years, I had 4 consecutive miscarriages, "second infertility", and variety of tests that inevitably came back normal, much to the puzzlement of the doctors. It wasn't until an unrelated problem sent me in for a back MRI did we discover the PKD (although my OB still isn't convinced the miscarriages were related).
When I discovered I was pregnant, I immediately told my primary care physician, who suggested I find some other doctor outside my immediate area to treat me. He even went so far as to suggest I relocate, temporarily, to the DC area, to be treated somewhere there, where they could handle such a special case. I settled for treatment with a perinatologist in the Richmond area who has had experience with patients with PKD. As it was, there are 9 perinatologists on staff, and only 3 felt comfortable taking my case.
I have loved my doctor, and she has taken no chances with me. The pregnancy has not been an easy one, and I have been on a variety of medications for a variety of reasons: progesterone to help guard against early miscarriage, phenergen to help with the vomiting (I get as sick as a dog when I'm pregnant), procardia to help with preterm labor, my high blood pressure, and risk of pre-eclampsia. I have also been on full bedrest for weeks at a time throughout these 9 months.
Last week I finally understood how truly difficult my OB thought this pregnancy was going to be when she said, as she listened to my baby's extremely happy heartbeat, "And there's my little miracle baby. I can't believe we're here."
My nephrologist has also been following me closely, watching my creatnine levels and protein in my urine, to make sure my kidneys are still functioning well enough for the two of us. Like my OB, she has been pleasantly surprised at the outcome, and is relatively optimistic that my kidneys could possibly handle another pregnancy.
My OB (and my husband) are less optimistic, and I have blogged before about the possibility of taking permanent measures to guard against future pregnancies.
As I think about all of this, one phrase my OB said keeps reverberating in my brain:
Progressive disease and pregnancy--they don't mix.
She has a point.
This will probably indeed be my last pregnancy, whether or not we decide to take permanent measures. But I'm grateful that we've gotten this far, and that we will be blessed with two children who, so far as we know, have perfectly healthy kidneys.
I'll keep you posted.