I've grown to have a love/hate relationship with blood over the last few weeks. I mean on the one hand you depend on the junk, you're not a whole heck of a lot without it, now are you? On the other hand it can cause so much trouble if you don't understand it, whats going on, or how to fix it. I've got the "whats going on" part down, you can read my previous entry about the dreaded 4g4g Polymorphism if you'd like. I wanted to write about a few of the other blood troubles that I've met(although not closely dealt with) along the way. I also want to write about the "How to fix it" part of the above mentioned dilemmas.
First of all, clotting. When I first started being tested for issues, my original Doc threw our a cluster of probably causes of fetal loss. Most of them were thrombosis issues(read: clots) And there quite a few to choose from. First there is "Antiphospholipid syndrome", "Factor V Leiden", "Lupus Anticoagulant" and then of course there is the 4g4g polymorphism(which he did NOT mention, but its probably because he didn't know), which has no wiki-link. I have become jealous of those of you with wiki-links to go along with your diagnosis.. *SIGH* All of the above accomplish the same sinister goal,
coagulation of blood, in one way or another. No sorry, not just "coagulation of the blood"; OVER coagulation, unnecessary, and excessive coagulation of the blood.
Why is this problematic, specifically for pregnant women(not only, just specifically)? Well, when you are pregnant your body naturally produces more clotting factors, making a pregnant woman SIX times more likely to develop a blood clot than normal.. Not only that but your uterus is growing and expanding, Pushing and moving which can compress important vessels in your body, slowing the blood down and creating the potential for clotting.(click for source) There are actual benefits to your body creating these extra clotting factors, you lose less blood during delivery. I think in a way its a lovely design... Unless of course you have an ugly friend in your body(see list of ugly thrombosis issues above). There are ways to prevent clots, and to speed up the blood flow, and thats where my next topic of discussion begins.
i was under the impression when I started taking baby aspirin that I was going to be lucky enough to not need anything but that tart tablet every day.. Boy was I wrong. At 24 weeks my Dr started me on Lovanox. I got the Non-optimistic, Non-pessimistic, merely REALISTIC speech "This is for your benefit, not the babies since at this point in understanding 4g4g we just don't know if it will benefit HIM at all" Not exactly a vote of confidence, but I'll take it. The shots are taken twice daily. I've been on them almost a month and I will say its 70% mental 30% painful which are decent odds if you really think about it. I've learned to inject in certain spots faster than others, because those hurt the most. So unless you're going for the long slow torture method, you just really wanna go "balls out" for those areas.(IMO the higher you go the more it hurts, just my opinion though ;) ) I've also come to learn the spots that I don't feel at all, but I've abused those spots in the last few weeks, so they're bruised and unpretty.. So I'm going for the fast shots right now. All in all its pretty simple, make sure you're in a reasonably clean environment, get your hand sanitizer and your alcohol prep pads out.. I pinch the area on my belly that i'm about to "shoot up", then make sure you activate the safety shield once the shot is out of your body and dispose. I use an empty detergent bottle for my leftover goodies, they hold a ton of syringes! I usually sit still for a moment or two because I have to "reforget" what I just did or I can't go on with my day with shuddering at the thought. lol I am pregnant after all, so dramatics come easy for me!
Anyway take heart if you're going through this with me.. Its not something I'll soon forget but in the end I hope we can all say "It was SO worth it!"