Thursday, August 14, 2008

still waiting

So apparently I don't know the difference between an EKG and an echocardiogram, and there is one. When I asked my midwife to order an EKG for me to be screened for Marfan-related heart issues, she happily did so. However, I didn't know that I really needed an echocardiogram and I didn't know that they were two different things. I'm sure she knew that, but she didn't know enough about Marfan to know what would be the appropriate test either. So, I went in for my EKG today and realized that I was having the wrong test done. The technician who handled my test did reassure me that an EKG would be useful, but that I would for sure need both tests. Ugh. This basically means more waiting and appointments and struggling to make appointments because of childcare issues. Man, I wish my parents or at least some family lived close by.

In the meantime, I've learned a lot more about how Marfan could affect pregnancy and childbirth. IF my aortal root is abnormally large, which is a big IF (I don't know if I have the Marfan Symdrome anyway), then I would have to get an epidural and I would not be allowed to push Jonathan out. They would have to extract him when I was fully dilated, either with forceps (yipes!) or with the vacuum thingy. Mainly, the concern is that the pressure from pushing and straining through contractions could cause the aorta to dissect or rupture, which could kill me. Again a huge IF, because my aorta would have to be larger than normal, and I've already had three children with no trouble. There's also some risk of clotting, but I don't understand that completely. Supposedly, pregnant women with Marfan take a combination of Heparin and Beta Blockers for most of their pregnancies. If you know what these are and how they work, than you understand more than I do. Anyway, like I said, I'm waiting to know more, and trying to rest in the knowledge that God is in control of this, one way or the other. So far Jonathan is healthy and as far as I know, I am too. Both are blessings.


Keri said...

Wow, Karen! So is this something that you've probably had all along and are just now finding out about it? Would it not have affected your other deliveries? Please keep us posted on your progress and tests. And it seems like my blog entry today would apply to you right now, too! :)
Love, Keri

Karen said...

Well, maybe not. If I have it, which is one of the things I'm waiting to find out, then it's pretty cool that I've had three uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. If I don't have it, then thankfully, this was all just a precaution. What's unnerving about all of this is that there's a 50-50 chance that I inherited it from my Dad, even though I don't have severe symptoms like him and it's hard to get a diagnosis. I will definitely keep you posted though.

katiek said...

Hey Karen, not to sound too blunt or wierd, but I think you're just fine. Take that for what it's worth. You can call it prophetic. But I have faith and confidence that you and JOnathan will have an AOK experience from here on out. God of course will take care of anything you may go through, but if you can hear Him through my words than take it and keep it. BLessings to all of you!