Monday, June 10, 2013

PPROM: Nuts and Bolts and Ranting

Let's get practical.  We're gonna chat a bit about pprom (preterm premature rupture of the membranes), how our particular situation is going and what I'm personally doing on a practical level to try and keep myself and baby as safe as possible until our perinatologist appointment.

When this first happened, I didn't even know what to call it.  I was pretty sure I was leaking amniotic fluid, but if you google that, you'll find all sorts of message boards filled with people who, it turns out, have little experience with noticing regular discharge or have weak bladders.  I am not a member of the latter club and, thanks to many years of NFP, am the mastah discharge analyzer.  The more I searched, the more frustrated I became.
Then the next day, after our first appointment where we saw via the ultrasound that the fluid was gone, we were led to believe babies can't survive this and we would probably miscarry within the next 48 hours.  We were told to go home and wait it out.  I was simply in shock.  Felt powerless.  Was not given any tips to help save my baby.  Was advised no vigorous activity but was not told to hydrate like a mad woman. Truly my brain went to a weird place of denial where if nothing I could do could help, I'd have to just go about my life as if everything was normal.  "What other option do I have?" was the mantra going through my head.

But you guys, I never went into labor.  Never started bleeding again.  Never had any cramps.  And only leaked approximately once each 24 hours.

We surprised them by showing up for our appointment one week later and surprised them even more with a baby that seemed to be doing just fine DESPITE THE FACT THAT SURELY IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE.  According to the doctor.  And did she then offer me supplementation advice?  Hydration advice?  Bedrest advice?  Diet advice?  Antibiotics for the infection surely I'm going to suffer from having a compromised amniotic sac? No, no, no, no and no.

This is why people get their medical advice from the internet, people!  It was like "well, your baby isn't gonna make it.  Why bother stressing yourself out?"  Well guess what?  Everyone dies of something eventually.  Should we never bother to help anyone ever because, like, what's the point?  "Hey, sucks that have that cut on your leg.  But eventually you're going to die, so why should I bother putting antibiotic ointment on it?"  I mean, that sounds crazy, I know.  But isn't it the same thing?  Oh my gosh.  So frustrating.

So we left the office with no prescriptions and no advice and a promise for a referral.  And the warning that it's not a question of IF baby would be lost but WHEN.  Ugh!

But you know what? I posted about the appointment and the love, prayers, support and stories with happy endings started pouring in.  From everywhere.  In one day, from one blog post, I received piles and piles of stories.  If there are so many willing to share their stories personally with me, so many who saw that one post of mine within one day of my sharing it, how many others must there be out there?  How can the situation be so completely hopeless when clearly others have survived?  It makes no sense!  Here is one story that I know I can share because she has already shared it on a PPROM support website: http://www.inkan.se/pprom/stories.php?page=story&id=448 .  Read it.  You will not be sorry!

And then I find very, very short stories like this one: http://www.inkan.se/pprom/stories.php?page=story&id=1001 written by women who were given stories of no hope and death from infection who are shocked and saddened to find out after the fact that maybe their babies could have survived.  Double, triple, quadruple what the heck, you guys.  Babies are being born over here yet women are still being told there is no hope?  I don't get it.  Is it just a question of lack of experience?  Lack of information?  Lack of sharing?  Well guess what?  The sharin' is fixin' to start up in here!  Because even if our baby is one of the ones that doesn't make it, other women need to know that there are babies that DO make it.  Possible.  Possible.  It is POSSIBLE.

Sorry.  Clearly I didn't plan this out and you're just getting everything that's in my brain from the last few days.

Okay, nuts and bolts.

First of all, imagine my amniotic sac is like a water balloon.  It seems that the tear is near the top (praise God) and so it is able to basically fill up for a while.  After it fills up, if any pressure is put on my abdomen, fluid leaks out.  So bending over, hoisting a kid on my hip, going from a standing to a seated position...you get the picture.  If I can avoid those things as much as possible, I seem to experience minimal leakage.

As for supplementation, I am taking daily:
-4,000 mg of vitamin C with biofalvinoids (well, the ones with bioflavinoids haven't arrived yet.  On their way!  On their way!)
-800 mg of vitamin E
-500 mg of mercurymagnesium (edited because my brain is....a little mushy)
-a prenatal dha supplement
-a regular prenatal supplement
-a blood builder (iron) supplement unrelated to this condition but rather in response to a) all the bleeding from the subchorionic hematomas and b) the fact that my blood test came back indicating anemia

Consuming LOTS of fluids in the form of water, broths, and soups.

Eating as much protein as I can during the day (our 10 year old looked up a recipe for homemade protein shakes and makes them for me.  She is fab.)

I also have a prescription for an antibiotic, which was actually my idea (?!?!?) but the doctor went along with it (?!?!?!?) because of the risk of infection from the torn sac and because of research done by the Pope Paul VI Institute indicating that an antibiotic protocol has helped to heal PPROM in the past.

Whew!  Does that seem like a lot?  It sort of feels like a lot.  But that's good, you know?  It feels so much better knowing there is a lot you can do versus thinking there is nothing you can do.

So keep those stories and comments coming.  They have been an incredible blessing to me on top of all the amazing prayers and support we've received.  And if you ever find yourself in this horrid situation, TALK TO ME.  If you hear of someone else going through this, tell them that there is hope!

Ooooooh, and yesterday, at 16 weeks and 2 days, I felt the baby move for the first time.  Move! It was a wonderful, truly miraculous moment, made possible by your prayers that buoyed me enough to go out and find my information for myself.  So thank you, thank you, thank you again!



{Unrelated photo of my boys watering what's left of our compost pile after GardenFest 2013.  If I were to shoot this again, I'd open up my aperture (this is f16) despite all the sun so that I could use a faster shutter speed and get that silly dog and those water droplets in focus.  She is cray cray!}

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89 comments :

  1. Dweej I have been following your posts about baby and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers constantly. SO GLAD that you are the inquisitive type who will search out answers and not except one Dr's words as all there can be. Love you!

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  2. Oh my gosh I am THRILLED for you but this makes me SO. FLIPPIN'. ANGRY. Doctors only know what they've been told in med school and SO VERY FEW make the effort to learn anything new or EVEN USE FLIPPIN' COMMON SENSE to give hope and practical advice in situations like these. And babies literally DIE as a result. I have so many stories similar to this.

    THANK YOU for sharing this and I hope it helps many people. The internet is so so important for this stuff. I'm pinning it, too, so that maybe possibly someone can benefit from it that way.

    p.s. did you really mean mercury? I'm confused/intrigued!!

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    1. Magnesium! Doh. Still got pregnant brain despite all the supplements ;) Thanks for catching that. And yes, I am SO angry. Righteous anger!

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    2. Ha! Okay...I thought maybe that's what you meant! Please don't take mercury :)

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    3. Hah! "Lemme just get this thermometer and crack it open...."

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  3. Natasha's story just broke my heart. I'm so glad you are doing all of those proactive things to help this baby! Continuing to pray for you all! And btw, the fact that your older girls are doing so much to help just gives me warm fuzzies.

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  4. I hate how one doctor can sour people's taste for doctors. They are only human and do not know it all. I worked as a tax accountant for years...did I still know everything about taxes? Nope! Did I ever give the wrong info out? Probably. Doctors see SO SO SO many bad things and always ere on the side of caution and "let's prepare for the worst" because they know that the worst could happen. Now, all that being said (I come from a family of doctors, can you tell?) I love my PCP because if something comes up, he is not afraid to research it or send me to a specialist. Now THAT"s a good doctor. Doctors should not take away hope, and that sounds like what your doc did. So good for you for researching and trying anything to save that sweet baby growing inside of you. I hope your specialist treats you much better, and I really really hope you are one of the success stories. Prayers and hugs, Dweej!

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    1. Thank you, Colleen! The specialist I requested came recommended by two different Catholic women in the area, so I'm really looking forward to that appointment :)

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    2. Colleen, you are right. Doctors are human, and they do have gaps in knowledge just like the rest of us. That is forgivable. What is not forgivable, IMO, is a SYSTEM that allows an obstetrician, for example, to get all the way through medical school without any training in prenatal nutrition. Thankfully, the tide is turning, but it is ever-so-slow, and there are many many OBs out there who don't give any more nutritional advice than: don't drink, don't smoke, and take a prenatal vitamin.

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    3. Thank you, Colleen! Not all doctors are callous SOBs who rigorously avoid any kind of new information on any subject. A lot of them read, read, read, read every single night for several hours, both on the internet and in medical journals -- I know because I'm married to one of them. He is also comfortable with saying "Hey, I don't know as much about this condition as I should to help you appropriately - would you mind if my colleague came in to evaluate the situation?" So basically you need a doc with a low ego and a High Hopes Quotient.
      I know that's not what you were saying, Dwija, and I'm certainly not judging women who have been treated by doctors who really don't care to learn more -- I've been there myself, as well. You DO need to be an advocate for your health, and I am glad that you have found such a wealth of information. In fact, as I was reading your post I was thinking how I was going to share this with Rob when he gets home - just in case he ever has a patient in your situation!! Prayers are with you!

      PS: And baby MOVING!!! This kid is a fighter, mama! Yes!

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  5. Wow, I read those stories! I'm praying your baby is one of those miracles, Dwija, and that it's not really that much of a miracle - that other babies in that situation have a great chance of survival too! And that poor, poor mama that terminated her babies not knowing there was hope! Do you think doctors are just uninformed? Cynical? What? How terrible!

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  6. haha about posting mercury instead of magnesium

    about telling the doctors what to do- YES! I have baby #3 and 4 because of this. 10 years ago, we lost a baby at 20 weeks- baby was perfect but the placenta was totally calcified :( basically- my mild lupus/autoimmune probably caused this....so I told the docs they would give me a script for progesterone and heparin for any next pregnancies- and they did.

    It's a balance- but the internet is a great resource- also- I think that everybody should also consult a natropath md when they are dealing with huge things like you...maybe some herbs to strengthen? Red raspberry leaf tea is good

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    1. I would definitely consult an herbalist, naturopath, or other expert before taking any herbs, though...I feel like there's a lot of contradictory information about which ones are safe. I was told by my ob that red raspberry leaf was good for the third trimester but shouldn't be used before then because it could cause contractions...but I don't know how accurate that info is. The herbalist I see seemed also to want to err on the side of caution.

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  7. Strong, strong,both you and your baby. Still praying, and furious for you!

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  8. Completely and utterly appalled by the response of the medical 'professionals'! Thank God you are being proactive! Praying so hard for you and the little one. Hopefully with the help of your perinatologist, you and your sweet baby will have a wonderful story that can shock and educate those complacent doctors to ensure that they actually offer complete care to patients in the future. Prayers and hugs and lots of hope heading your way!

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  9. Oh gosh! I'm still praying lots for you and hoping that these things will be the answers - that these precautions will let you carry to term and give birth to a healthy child. Thank goodness for other stories of hope. May your posts of positivity and ongoing hope remain for many months yet :) I'm so glad you felt your baby move - that must be so special.

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  10. I'm so proud of you! You sound great! I've seen freaking tiny babies at Children's Hospital NICU during my daughter's stay three years ago who are now doing perfectly well. So I'm praying hard that you get to "keep incubating" your little fighter for a few more days.

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  11. Oh as for people who haven't had first hand account with the "culture of death" at an otherwise okay OB clinic. I think its good this Mama is angry. I think its a holy anger. There is too much "miscarriage isn't a big deal because you can always have another baby" going on in OBs today. Miscarriage is a big deal. This baby is precious and wanted and irreplaceable. It's up to us Catholics to say "All Life Matters".

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  12. So glad that you and the baby are still fighting. I'll keep praying; you keep drinking water. Try some naturally flavored seltzer water if you get tired of plain water...so refreshing in the summer!

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  13. This type of thing drives me BONKERS. As a birth educator, I could fill a book with the lack of info doctors give patients. I am just so so so glad that you are being so proactive. Your baby is lucky to have you!!!

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  14. You should have been referred to a perinatologist when you were diagnosed with the sub chorionic haematomas. Just sayin'.

    I am glad that you are finding some good advice, and that you are on antibiotics. That was my main concern.

    I hope you are resting, resting, resting! And I am also glad that you don't have the weird "can't drink anything" stuff that you had with Mary! Rest, rest, rest! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And we will pray, pray, pray! We prayed for you at Sunday Mass yesterday - the whole Catholic community of Juneau is praying for you!

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  15. YAY for justified rants. They make me feel all happy inside (seriously).

    Also happy for you right now. That baby (and you) are in our continued prayers.

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  16. Zinc, zinc, zinc, zinc, aaannnndddd zinc! builds a strong amniotic sac, might help repair, heck, zinc is known for mucus membrane strength! So grab some coldeeze and suck on them all day!

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  17. and can I add, as a former childbirth educator, doula and midwife, that it was very annoying to me years ago, when I had a client whose water broke "too early" and the dr. on call made her stay in the hospital, hooked up the iv and kept her on magnesium to stop any contractions "to hold that baby in as long as we can." UNTIL, her regular doctor came back from vacation, flipped out that the "other" doctor didn't deliver immediately, and proceeded to do an "emergency" cesarean to "save" the baby....the histrionics caused by the second doctor seemed to stress out mama more and put the baby in more danger, as she needed extra care for another month...which is what the first doctor tried to avoid by keeping the baby in utero for as long as possible!

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  18. Good for you for doing your own research. Knowledge is power! Still praying.

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  19. I think our culture is just too averse to risk and suffering anymore. "What? You may go through a difficult pregnancy and the baby may not make it anyway? Better save yourself the trouble, inconvenience and heartache and just kill it now."

    How ridiculous.

    So glad you found that information and that you are sharing with the rest of us. We will continue to pray for your and baby's health, and for God to grant you the strength you need. Hugs!

    Oh, and I won't pretend to be a photography expert (or that I have a fancy camera!), but I love the result when I use the highest shutter speed possible and then adjust the aperture based on that. It does help to keep movement from blurring! One of these days I'll get a camera that will do that in lower light conditions, too...

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  20. Awesome rant! Do all the things! I will keep praying.

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  21. I am so so so so glad that you are an example to people. I had never heard of PPROM until last year and now sadly you are the third person I "know." But since all three mommies have been prolife and courageous individuals they are great examples of educating yourself and being your own advocate!! Fluids, rest and prayer. (Ya know besides all the other stuff you're taking.) I believe in your baby and your body! Many prayers for you!!!

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  22. I am praying for you, Dwija! Good work researching for yourself. What an strong mom you are!! May I dare to add one more thing to your regimen? I would add a probiotic daily to help restore the good bacteria the antibiotic will get rid of. Take it at least 3 hours between your abx.

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    1. Yes to this! Eat those pickled asparagus! They are loaded with good probiotics.

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  23. We are still praying and this might be captain obvious...but maybe you should switch your doctor? She/he sounds like an idiot. What is most appalling to this story, in my sweet opinion, is it is your doctor's job to FIGURE IT OUT! Give you a plan. Help you give your baby the best shot. That's what's awesome about medical science, the things we CAN do now that we know how to do things. ARGH

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    1. You beat me to it. Consider changing doctors. There are better ones out there. I promise.

      I just love your spirit and attitude throughout all of this. You are inspiring so many, in so many ways. God bless you and that sweet babe.

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    2. I have to agree with these ladies - it is time to fire your doctor. I am on my 4th high-risk pregnancy with an OB who is truly an advocate for my baby and myself. Yes- we discuss the risks but she is always more focused on what we (teamwork) can do to minimize those risks and increase our chances for a safe, healthy birth. It is clear to me that she respects life and even when we have had to discuss the chances that baby might not make it - she never mentioned termination as an option to consider.

      Great job doing your own research - and focusing on what you can do!! My prayers remain with you, your amazing little one who continues to thrive, and your wonderful family!!

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  24. This is an awesome post and God bless you abundantly for sharing this with other moms in the same situation!!! We will continue to pray for you and your little one!

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  25. So much I want to say, but really, all that's important to say is, I'm praying for you, your baby, your sweet family, your specialist, and the doctors who encourage life. I'm also praying for doctors who are so quick to say "hopeless" and "options". I pray they someday read some of these stories of hope and success and have a change of heart.

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  26. Thank sweet baby Jesus for Pope Paul VI Institute! Their work helped bring our little Clare into the world after 2 devastating no miscarriages and I'm so so happy their research is helping you and baby. I'm going to tithe, Today to them in your honor Dweej. We don't have much but I can do something ,to help all of us in desperate need of their pro-life medical wor k and message. Thank you so much for sharing and your family rocks! Prayers and hugs.

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  27. So, the next question is: how do get this post to show up as the #1 Google result when someone searches for PPROM? :)

    You rock, Dwija. SO many prayers for you and that sweet pea.

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  28. Girl I don't know how many people here know you in real life, (I don't) but I feel like one of a million ladies surrounding you and this baby with so much love and prayer that I just don't know how there can't be amazing good out of this! I'm glad you are strong and fighting and it sure sounds like you passed that on to your baby! I wish you had gotten more info from your OB sooner too, but this little one wants to make it and with a mama who is researching, an appointment with a specialist and a hurricane of prayers things sure look a whole lot better than your OB ever thought they could, huh?

    And the first movements are always amazing, but I've teared up more for this one than for any of my own three, I think! Grow baby, grow! And come on sack...heal up!

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  29. So, so glad you're getting all this help and being PROACTIVE. Way to go. After this baby is born, maybe you can be a help to someone else. And maybe (just maybe) your beautiful, healthy baby will give that doctor pause to know what to tell the next patient that comes into the office with a similar issue. Keeping up the prayers. This baby will be so loved when it gets here!

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  30. still praying, Dwija. and What a blessing to learn all of this information!! I am so happy you felt movement, that's such a positive sign.

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  31. This is so encouraging! I'll keep the prayers pouring in for you and your family!

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  32. Oh, goodness, I'm new here - love your blog already, love you and your baby and family too. Praying for you.

    And isn't it just the truth, all that you have said about the medical profession.

    I know, I know - you aren't making sweeping indictments. I get it. I've SOOOO been there - different problem with a baby (rare rh problem for which there is no shot) - but to be faced with sheer ignorance (when upon closer inspection there are a lot of practical things to be done!) is so frustrating. I have swung the pendulum over the years (nine kiddos) and have gone from total free-wheeling "I don't need no stinkin' doctor" to "there is too much crazy advice to absorb online so I'll just listen to my doctor" to now being back (because of the sort of thing you described, where they just throw bleak and uncalled for diagnoses out there and thing you aren't going to worry....it's just another kid...) to finding that happy balance of knowing I NEED the doctor's help to get me thru this event BUT knowing that I need to be smart and research and ask for advice from others who have been there.

    I was wondering why they didn't put you on bedrest....so crazy! And to drink? And to heal the membrane? C'mon...it even I know this, they should know this. It's basic body biology, isn't it? Pregnancy related troubles 101? Do they automatically jump to "outcome" vs. treat the patient? I think so....

    Aw, well...sorry for my mini-rant. It is in empathy...

    Will keep praying -

    Holly J.

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  33. Praying, and so glad you have more hope, and so sad for those who listened to the docs who said it was hopeless before they knew better.

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  34. Yay for baby movement!! Thank God for Dr. Google..right? Seriously...what would we do without the internet! So glad you got some good information and are able to take proactive steps for your and your baby's safety! Sounds like you are totally on the right track.

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  35. I'm so glad you aren't taking 500 mg of Mercury/day.

    I've been praying for you, and will continue to do so. I'm so happy that you felt that baby move! What a wonderful thing!

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  36. I'm new here. Praying for you and your sweet little baby.

    I don't understand why OBs seem to be in the dark? With your situation and with friends struggling with infertility, the doctors just seem to not want to treat it! It just seems crazy to me.

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  37. Yay and GOOD FOR YOU! I can't even go into all I think about these doctors and their blinders. Sometimes I think you should find the oldest male doctor out there and crosscheck with the oldest midwife and do what they say, because all that knowledge comes from the time that people just did what they could instead of settling for the outcome for you in advance. It's truly so frustrating.
    We are praying for you and this story of yours is just -- AMAZING.
    A big hug!

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  38. Isn't the internet great when our medical professionals seem to take a doom and gloom stance? I'm glad that your OB agreed to giving you an antibiotic based on your research. It does make you wonder why they weren't the ones to suggest it. I'm praying for you and the baby every day at Mass.

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  39. This is the first (and hopefully the last) time you've ever had prenatal care with this OB, right? (I'm assuming you saw a midwife for prenatal care with Mary, since you had a homebirth.)

    I'm willing to bet that the OB has never encountered a case of early PPROM leading to a live birth, because most women he (or she?) encounters probably go on to have an abortion after the doom and gloom parade. :( So since s/he has never encountered it, s/he offers no hope.

    I'm glad you're getting a second opinion and fighting so hard for this baby! Knowledge is power!

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  40. Mmm, got teary eyed when I read about the baby moving....and since you are welcoming good ending stories I will be e-mailing you one in a little while. Hugs, Dwija!!!

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  41. So glad you were able to get antibiotics! I would second a really high dose probiotic as well and fermented veggies, kefir, etc. In the mean time we are praying!! God Bless, Renee

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  42. Dwija, I dunno about you but I am a big math geek. So when I went to that PPROM website that you mentioned, I found the statistics page.

    Your doctor is nuts. According to these stats, a bunch of babies survive PPROM. The later the better, of course, but there's a case from ***11 weeks*** where the babies (twins!!) survived! Heck, if we round everything off, Baby B has a 50-50 chance of survival! Which I know is still scary, but it's waaaaaay better than "fugeddaboudit."

    Darned if I'm reading through all these millions of comments from your fans, but is there a med school anywhere nearby? Does anybody research PPROM? Is there a special kind of OB for these babies and mamas?

    So glad you are doing bedrest and all them vitamins and minerals! Except for the mercury—oh, wait, you changed that . . . :-)

    Still storming heaven! So's my family! So are my praying FB friends!

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  43. Oh Dwija - praying over here for you too! One of us better get to have a November baby and you know it is not me, so it has got to be you! No pressure or anything, right? :)

    But seriously, since we were pregnancy buds for oh about 9 weeks, I do feel a special connection to this baby and I am hoping and praying that I get to "meet" him/her even if only via the internet.

    P.S. We had the funeral and burial for our little Anne on Saturday and I offered my communion up for your baby and any future babies we may conceive - that we are able to hold and cherish them here on earth. Love you!

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  44. Dwija, I am not a mother ... nor am I Catholic. I started reading your blog because you were from MI and had bought your house unseen, off the internet (and I gotta admit, I thought you must be a nutt. Yep, sometimes you're pretty nutty ... but I like nutty.) Anyway I have just forwarded this post to my niece who is finishing her residency in OB/GYN this year in Portland, Maine. (She's actually from the UP.) I sent it to her so she could see how "the patient" is feeling when given this diagnosis. I hope that all goes well with your baby, you and the entire family.

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    1. Thank you, Cindy! That is so generous of you to think of your niece's future patients :)

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  45. Probiotics to keep good bacteria (maybe 8-12 hrs after antibiotic dose).

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  46. Love, love, love this post, and so happy that for once the interweb turned up a ton of useful information and support and not a mis-diagnosis of mercury poisoning or something. (I'm looking at you Web MD!)

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  47. I think I'm just super blessed because I've had some really good doctors including the ones that found my preeclampsia (my neurology nurse practitioner), treated it when it hit (my GP) until she could get me transferred to a hospital who could handle it (I was going downhill pretty rapidly), and did the c-section to deliver my son (my perinatologist who does high-risk obstetrics as a vocation). I'm pretty picky and will switch doctors if I'm not happy. At the moment, I have a fabulous nurse practitioner who lets me decide how to proceed.

    Totally loving, however, that you found lots of information and support on the Internet. It can be a lovely tool.

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  48. Dwija- I followed another link here, as so many others have, and am praying for you and your baby every day. I have two sibs in heaven, and I've ordered them specifically to nag at St. Gianna and Mother Mary for you, never mind St. Rafael (my confirmation saint, archangel of healing, St. Luke, and everyone else Upstairs who's listening. Stay strong, sweetie, stay off your feet, and God's will WILL be done!

    xoxox

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  49. Dwija
    Thinking of you each day, storming heaven. I soo believe in miracles, and around the net I smile to see bloggers also storming heaven for you:):) Totally awesome that you are being proactive and finding some positive, useful advice, which you're following. And so pleased you've sourced a doctor who sounds like he could be a gem.

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  50. Boo to doctors who think they're god! That is unacceptable. Good for you for being Mama Bear! You're still in my prayers. Thank you for keeping us updated!

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  51. Praying praying praying like mad for you!!!!!

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  52. Still sending prayers to you and your baby.

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  53. Still sending prayers your way. What great news!!! Baby moved, yay!!!! I'm glad you've found help and resources and supplements to improve baby's chances. How very encouraging!

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  54. When I heard Sunday's Gospel at the vigil Mass, I offered Mass for you and baby. Then went back Sunday and did it again. You're not a widow and your baby's still living but I figure it's the same category of miracle. Praying and praying and rejoicing as God answers those prayers.

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  55. I have appreciated reading your updates about your pregnancy. I have been praying for you, and have also asked my daughters to pray for you, your baby, your family and your doctors. They are very good prayers. Much better than me. Good for you for searching out answers and finding hope in the situation-not an easy thing to do, I'm sure. SO many prayers for you.

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  56. Adding you, baby, and your family to our daily prayers! God bless you for fighting for your baby when your doctor wouldn't. I will offer my morning sickness for you. May you know peace and joy as you navigate the days ahead.

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  57. Dwij, I'm praying for you and I'm so excited that you got to feel your baby move. You're about a week ahead of me, so I might get to feel mine moving soon. I can't wait! It sounds like you're getting good information and lots of help - your big kids sound like Godsends. I hope you and your baby continue to do better and better.

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  58. You have been in my prayers and will continue. I know you have received lots of advice - I want to tell you that in my 10th pregnancy, I felt a warm gush feeling nearly every afternoon beginning at week 8 - this continued until week 14 or so - I know it was amniotic fluid, it was too watery and 'gushy' to be anything else. (sometimes it was pinkish blood tinged) No one believed me. It eventually just stopped on it's own and that girlie was born safe and sound at 39 weeks - amazingly, IN THE CAUL! My water never broke with her - we had to break it after she was born. My midwife, though she didn't believe it was possible for me to be leaking fluid at 8 weeks, chalked up that strong sack at birth to the cod liver oil I took each day. Who knows? I will keep on praying.

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  59. Wow, can you find another OB?? Yours is making me so mad, I don't know how I could keep going! I had another issue, not pregnancy related, that I am still frustrated by the doctors' (yes, many if them) response to. I suffered so much pain and got a horrible infection because of their lack of information. Anyway. I am praying for you!

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  60. Still praying for you, Dweej! I got a warm, fuzzy feeling when you wrote that you felt your baby move. I am appalled at that doctor!! So frightening to think of the babies that could have been saved if help had been forthcoming. Thank you so so much for the updates!! How you must feel that your life has been turned upside down and yet you are sharing so much with us. God bless y'all a million times over!!!

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  61. Greetings,
    I hope you don't mind but I shared your story on Facebook asking one of the OB/GYNs' (who is in the same practice as mine) to read your story and offer advice. Here is him post:
    Dr. Brian Gosser
    I hadn't seen the story. I think many ob/gyns have had experience with patients whose water leaked very early and they were on bedrest from very early. We have them come into the hospital at 24 weeks because that's when intervention may have an impact for the baby. I have seen mom's heroically suffer for weeks to buy time for their babies. peace.

    These men are saintly men and we here in St. Louis are so blessed to have their faith and knowledge on our side. My heart aches to read your story, thinking of your helplessness as well as hopelessness. I am certain they would give great council should you wish to hear their advise. My OB is Dr. Michael Dixon, his partner is Dr. Brian Gosser of St. Gerard's Obstetrics and Gynecology in St. Louis MO.
    Blessed are you for the cross you are carrying!

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  62. Praise God! Now, let others hoist kids up etc! We'll pray you through this!

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  63. Hi Dweeja,
    I found your blog a couple of weeks ago through a friend and have been praying for you and baby. I am also an occupational therapist who works with moms with pprom who are prescribed bed rest. One suggestion...you could try the "log rolling" technique to get in an out of bed to help reduce loss of fluid. You can google this to see what I mean. Hope this is helpful and not annoying, unsolicited advice. Prayers!

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  64. Hi Dweeja! I was sent a link to your blog via facebook from my cousin. I had this exact situation happen to our family. We recently moved from KS to Austin, TX. We had two small children 3, and 1 and we were 16 weeks pregnant with our fourth. (We lost our third the summer before). I was finishing by doctorate in physical therapy at the time and i was working in an in-patient setting. Sometime between 20 and 24 weeks i started bleeding and they couldnt figure out where it was coming from. At 24 weeks to the day they realized i had no amniotic fluid left. They left it up to me wether or not to admit myself or go home and wait it out. I chose to admit myself because with less amniotic fluid i had an increased risk of cord compression for the baby because there was no cushioning for it. I was told i would most likely go into labor within 72 hours. i had an amazing physician who pointed out that since they dont know when my water broke, who knows if the 72 hour rule would apply and that maybe i wouldnt. I was told by nurse after physicain after random person "i wouldnt want a 24 week old baby"...well i did and i had to try everything and i didnt ask them what "they wanted". i sat there hooked up to monitors for 6 and a half weeks. I had one nurse transfer me to antepartum for a day only to check on the baby every 4 hours with the doppler. i complained to the physician and said "if thats the case i should go home, because sam could compress his cord during those 4 hours" and she agreed and transferred me back to the L&D floor for 24 hour monitoring. He rolled on his cord every now and then but i would change positions and he would roll back. I sat in one spot and drank water all day long. i got up (maybe) 5 times a day to pee and shower once a day. I was told to make sure no one freaked out and tried to take him early. I had to have my two babies go back to KS without me since my husband worked nights and we did know anyone here in TX to watch them. And I prayed. A lot. I asked questions. A lot. and I blogged. A lot. i slept in a reclined position because i was afraid if i laid down the fluid leaked out. if you cant be in the hospital you can rent a doppler to listen to baby while at home. i like the log rolling suggestion from the OT. and i would just be still and listen. God had a lot to tell me during that time. Our son Sam, was born on St Patrick's day at 3 lbs 11 oz and was 29 weeks and 4 days. He was diagnosed with hypoplastic lung because he had no amniotic fluid to practice breathing. He was in the NICU for 2 1/2 months. He is absolutely perfect. He is right on target, meeting all of his milestones. He is our EASIEST baby. honestly. He is a miracle and was well worth the wait. I learned a lot during that time. I learned to be still. If you ever have any questions feel free to contact me (margieb5@gmail.com) Many prayers- Margie B

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  65. Hi Dwija. I'm so happy that your baby is so full of life that you can feel it moving! I had PROM with a happy ending, and there are a few more care things that I was told which you don't mention (although you may be doing them anyway). I thought I'd tell you just in case it's news to you. When I was sent home from the hospital a week after the waters broke the main thing I was told to be careful of was infection for the baby, who's no longer in a totally sterile environment. I was given antibiotics for the first week or so and told that there's no indication that taking them any longer helps (I was like, can't I just stay on them? For the next four months? But no). The baby is at risk of infection from anything internal and from you getting sick. For the internal one, then: no sex, tampons, and no letting doctors or anyone do internal exams, swabs etc without a REALLY important reason. Keep your legs crossed, girl! And really good hygiene down there - clean towel for every shower, try to keep the area really dry in between leaks. For the other one: I was told to take my temperature four times a day. I used an ovulation thermometer which was quite accurate and was told that if my temperature ever went up by more than 0.3 of a degree to go to the hospital straight away (also if I felt unwell, headachy, feverish or similar). This is because if the mother gets a fever the baby can get one too which they find hard to cope with. I think the idea of the four times a day is that you get a really early warning if you're coming down with something, and maybe if you get treatment early enough it can be kept to a minimum and the baby is protected. And try not to go anywhere where you might be likely to get a cold or anything - lucky it's summer. Now I had totally trashed membranes whereas if you have just a small hole up the top your baby will still have lots of protection, I would guess. For some people doing things like taking your temperature four times a day might make you more anxious rather than less, so you might want to give that a miss, I don't know. My midwife was quite firm on it though. Although this all sounds scary, nothing bad ever happened to my baby or me in all that time, it's just about taking sensible precautions really.
    Also, I had two steroid injections 48 hours apart to mature the baby's lungs. I was a few weeks further on than you by then, I don't know if there's a point you wouldn't want to do that earlier than, but it might just be something to look into.
    And, andandand, a PROM baby is more likely to be born early but that doesn't have to be a big scary thing either. Before 30 weeks is a bit more worrying (even then, I have a friend with SCH like you who delivered at 26+5 and it was a long hard road BUT her daughter is now big, fit, healthy and bright). My baby was induced at 32 weeks and could breathe, cry, suck, digest and generally do everything he needed to. He was in NICU for 3.5 weeks while he got bigger, and never needed any medical treatment in that time. I took him home at 35 weeks and treated him exactly the same as all my other newborns and I swear, he's never had a single bad effect from having no fluid or from being early. So, that's what a 32-week baby looks like and guess what? YOU'RE ALREADY HALF WAY THERE!

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  66. I think that everybody should also consult a natropath md when they are dealing with huge things like you...maybe some herbs to strengthen? Red raspberry leaf tea is good .

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  67. You are already being a wonderful Mama to this little one by doing all you can, despite poor medical advice. More prayers comin' atcha!

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  68. I read those stories! I'm praying your baby is one of those miracles, Dwija, and that it's not really that much of a miracle - that other babies in that situation have a great chance of survival too!

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  69. New to your blog--I just wanted to throw out there something I just heard from our Bradley instructor--she said that she's read some research that eating watermelon can be really good for helping your body create amniotic fluid, even beyond just the water content. Don't know a whole lot about it, but summer is a good time for watermelon anyway! Praying for you!

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  70. Praying hard for you and your baby! Maybe eggs would help, too? I always had super strong amniotic sacs, and my midwives suggested it might be from all the eggs I ate on the Bradley prenatal diet. I've asked the intercession of St. Gianna and Our Lady for you, and our family will pray for your baby during our rosary decades tonight. God bless! And keep courage!

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  71. Dwija, I'm following your baby's journey, and praying, and following, and praying ....

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  72. I have thinking about you and your baby the last couple days wondering how things were going- I am so relieved to read this!!! I will continue to pray for you all!!

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  73. So happy to read that you are able to FIGHT for your baby! You go!!!

    Also, I have to second the suggestion of eggs. My mom, an RN, went to a special talk regarding nutrition and this neurologist/expert guy (so technical, I know) recommended that pregnant women get plenty of eggs (lots of protein, plus choline). Just a thought. You are already doing so many great things.

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  74. Excellent post. I struggled with childlessness for years and tried any and everything I possibly will. I wish you lots of love and support on your expedition. Red Clover and Nettles are excellent choices for herbal support fertility prop up. Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesdays! I hope you'll join us another time and share more of your breathtaking posts in the future. Message Boards

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