Archive for November, 2009

MTHFR

I’m trying to put together a post on MTHFR. It’s been difficult to figure out what I want to say and what medical information is important to give.

Let’s start with my personal brand of MTHFR ūüôā ¬†According to my lab work, I am compound heterozygous for MTHFR mutations. “Right…” You say. “What does that mean?” It basically means my body can’t absorb Folic Acid. I can’t metabolize it or Vitamin B9. Does that make any more sense? Not to me. Not even almost a year after diagnosis. I still don’t understand.

What do I do to treat my MTHFR? I take Folic Acid and baby aspirin. Oooohhh, big deal, huh?

From the research I’ve done in the past 11 months and from what the doctors have told me,¬†it seems like something that is life altering. Yet, my life doesn’t seem that different. In fact, most days I wonder if taking this extra folic acid and aspirin are really helping. And helping what? I don’t feel any different. I’m 31weeks pregnant. I can’t stand taking pills. After taking 3 folic acid pills a day, I missed a couple and nothing happened. So, I put myself down to 2 folic acid pills a day (and the baby aspirin). Still don’t feel any different. I guess right now it’s a waiting game. I’m wondering if I should get retested after the baby is born. Maybe there was a mistake? Maybe I really don’t have it?

According to some websites, MTHFR can cause pre-eclampsia, placenta abruption, IUGR, stillbirth, having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities, recurrent pregnancy loss, clotting problems, strokes, hypertension, and heart disease. They say this is all hereditary. Yet, nobody in my family has these issues… except me. And the only ones I’ve had are miscarriages, possibly mild pre-eclampsia, and IUGR with one of my pregnancies. My other three full term pregnancies were fine. I was born with a heart defect, but I don’t think it’s connected.

People with MTHFR are supposed to be on a blood thinner when pregnant. My doctor recommended Lovenox injections. I refused. I took the chance that my body would take the extra folic acid and aspirin and do what was needed with it. And so far, it has.

 So, were my tests wrong? Or am I the only one in my family to have MTHFR? Are there other family members suffering from it, but not sharing the information? And what would happen if after I have this baby, I stop taking the medicine? Do I really want to risk stopping medicine and end up having a stroke? No. But, do I want to keep taking these pills for the rest of my life? No. But, I am lucky that this is the only thing wrong with me. I am blessed to be so healthy.

30 Weeks

I¬†have hit 30 weeks! I had¬†an appointment with my midwife this week.¬†Everything is fine. I gained 10lbs between 20wks and 30wks and that’s what she likes to see, so I guess I did good there I measured 29 1/2cm so pretty much right on. My blood pressure was good and there was no protein in my urine – so no signs of preeclampsia (I was worried last week with my swollen feet and headaches, but it looks like it was just stress and the trip home for my cousin’s funeral). Baby’s heartrate was in the 140s, she was sort of vertex, but sort of transverse LOL! She’s just like her sisters, she likes to flip around.

I refused the glucose test and she said she’d draw my blood next time for the repeat CBC and all that fun stuff.

Right before we left for NY, I had an ultrasound. I was a little over 28 weeks.¬†They called with the results while I was away.¬†On the phone they told me I was 1cm dilated already. But, the report says .75cm. So, the midwife did look inside and said she could see it was a tiny bit dilated, but not to 1cm yet. So, the good news is that I’m not dilating anymore right now. She said who knows how many people go around dilated at 30 weeks because normally OBs and midwives don’t check at that time.

The second thing the report showed was mild dilation of the kidneys.¬†Nobody is worried about this. It’s something that often clears up and if not, I’ll just take the baby in to have her kidneys checked when she’s born.¬†My oldest¬†was born with a kidney problem and it’s all okay.

Third… the placenta. It’s still only 2.1cm from my cervix, so it’s considered low lying, but not previa. They were hoping it would migrate up, but guess it’s being stubborn. My midwife said it might be because it’s posterior. She wants to talk to some other midwives about it and get their opinions. But, her gut tells her it’s fine and she’s not worried about it. It might be a bit of a challenge with my MTHFR status, so we’ll be keeping an eye on the bleeding in labor. I spoke to my old doula who agrees with her, that as long as it’s 2cm away, a vaginal delivery is fine.

The research I’ve done online seems to go either way… some say 2cm is the cut off. Anything less and it’s a c-section. Other sites say it should be 3cm. Some say you shouldn’t do an ultrasound to check the placenta until 35 weeks or so because it still has a chance to migrate. Some say home births are too risky. But, I’m comfortable right now. If my gut tells me different, I’d be switching. (I also looked up the placenta location in my other pregnancies, they were all posterior, but none were ever marked as low lying).

Anyway, I see her again in 2 weeks at her office and then 2 weeks after that, she’s coming here again! I love when I don’t have to go anywhere. She said something about being full term in 6 weeks! WOW! Just 6 weeks. And being the holidays, time will fly even faster!!!!