Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Life of the mother?

I had a three page post on the questions Dr. H asks in Lutherans and Contraception. I told him I’d take a stab at his questions once we got back from our long weekend visiting Josh’s folks (Mallory traveled well, by the way).

I ended up deleting the original post I wrote because the more I think about the questions, regarding how moral it is for women to abstain from having children if they are high risk, considering modern medical advancements, the more questions I have, personally.

We abstained from having children for a couple years because my platelet count had the potential of being unstable enough to prevent implantation and unstable to the point where my life could have been lost had I gotten pregnant. Then Josh went to Iraq and his leave just happened to not coincide with my “fertile peaks.” So, Mallory is our post Iraq deployment “souvenir,” as our unit calls such babies. (You know you hang around too many military types when infants and children come with a description relating to a deployment.)

Our very pro-life (Catholic, NFP only) GP said my ITP should no longer be an issue, so, before Josh came home, I started pre-natal vitamins. We easily got pregnant. Apart from what turned out to be some minor issues, I had a nice pregnancy from week 20 to about week 32 or so. My pulse started racing and instead of going on meds, I worked it out that I could come home from work around lunch, take a nap, and work a half day at home. I went in for my normal 39 week, and in the span of a week, I had a substantial increase in BP. My BP had been borderline low, but was now in the high range. So, we went to the hospital for some labs and were told to stay in the neighborhood incase I would be induced that night. Turns out I was induced because of severe pre-eclampsia and my ITP. I had a lot of problems during labor and delivery, including a paralyzed diaphragm and a BP drop from 150/100 to 70/40 in a span of minutes, all during the C-Section.

Mallory was a pro the entire time. She was never in any danger, thank God.

I didn’t write the above to say, “Oh, poor Liz, she should never have any children again.” I love babies and long for more, and with modern medicine, it certainly could happen. But, we need to consult with an OB/GYN instead of our GP. In fact, our GP refuses to discuss it with us. We know, already, I’d have to have a C-Section (no V-Backs for women with a history of pre-eclampsia) and I’d have to go under instead of having an epidural (what paralyzed my diaphragm). The question we’ll make our decision off of is: How early can we deliver to maximize baby’s health and mom’s safety?

If an OB/GYN thinks my risks are that great where there is no point (ITP, pre-eclampsia and all) where baby’s health and my safety are both maximized, then we’ll have some serious decisions to make. All of these decisions will be made a year or so from now.

But, I do have some things in writing… when Josh was deployed I gave a medical directive stating child’s life above mine, just in case I got pregnant over leave. It was the easiest part I chose, really. When you talk about different life saving measures, one wonders, at my young age, what I’d feel while completely out of it. Those extreme cases were hard. But it wasn’t hard to say “baby over me.” It’s just hard to say, “Future pregnancies over me” or “Me over future pregnancies.”

I pray that we’re good stewards of our resources, both our medical advantages and our lives.


  • At 11:07 AM , Blogger Mossback Meadow said...

    Goodness Liz, that's quite a story. I'm glad you and Mallory are fine and I certainly understand your fears about next time.

    You mentioned ITP - you mean Idiopathic thrombocytopenia? Not sure if I spelled that right. Do you have it chronically, or was it an immunune system flare up?

    We had a bit of experience with that with one of our boys when he was 3yrs old.


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