Sunday, March 23, 2014

Third Trimester

I made it! Less than three months until this little girl joins our family.

In the past, I have gone past 40 weeks of pregnancy, but I refuse to do it this time. There is nothing to be gained by waiting to go into labor naturally once I'm past 39 weeks unless my body surprises me by not being ready for labor then, which would be extremely unusual given my past history. My Bishop score (a measure of how successful induction will likely be) is already halfway to where it needs to be because this will be my fifth baby. Also, I'm approaching 40 years old, and I know women near my age who have miscarried around 40 weeks. Recent research makes it clear that, given my circumstances, I can maximize my chances of my baby surviving and even minimize my chances of harm to myself by delivering her at 39 weeks. I'm already planning to take myself out for Indian food in 11 weeks...and then having a medical induction if that doesn't work. :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Vitamin K shot for newborns

Today I came across this blog post by a mom who neglected to get a Vitamin K shot for her newborn little girl. The mom didn't intentionally opt out of the shot; she had a postpartum hemorrhage that made it so everyone at the birth center forgot about discussing whether to give the shot to the baby. Her one-month-old baby became lethargic and ended up having a very serious medical issue due to Vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB):
Dr. Mellema explain that a clot had developed which was placing immense pressure on Olive’s brain. Not only that, but there was bleeding on the back of the right side of her brain as well. The water pockets that are within the brain were completely destroyed, and the tissue on the left side of the brain looked mostly damaged. He said that the lack of Vitamin K in Olive’s system resulted in her body’s inability to clot. Anything as small as putting her down in her bed could have caused this bleed. Since she couldn’t clot, the bleeding didn’t stop. There had been one other case of this that the doctor had seen – I asked what had happened then, and was told that the baby hadn’t lived. We were told that in the small chance that she did survive, Olive would most likely suffer from severe brain damage.

The mother is LDS, so it was easy to put myself in her shoes as she described her reactions and then her reliance on doctors, faith, and priesthood blessings. I'm happy to say that the baby is doing much better and doesn't show signs of severe brain damage now.

The mother recently posted that her baby's brain bleeding was nearly 100% preventable and encouraged everyone to get the Vitamin K shot for their newborns. I second her encouragement. Vitamin K is not a vaccine, and it's distressing to see the Vitamin K shot get lumped in with childhood immunizations and declined by those worried about vaccine risks.