Monday, November 26, 2012

Feeding and Feeling Sick

This post is another two-parter. I haven't fully gotten over my fatigue yet, so it's been challenging to get online after Max goes to bed. Most nights I just crawl under the covers so I can get enough rest to wake up at 4:30 the next morning. There are so many posts that I've promised. I've got to catch up somehow.

On to the meat and potatoes (so to speak) of this post:

Part One

Max is only now beginning to feed himself foods that aren't easily held in the hand. Utensils aren't really a part of his life yet (no real interest), so feeding himself foods like applesauce can be tricky. Admittedly, I've been slow to push the issue because of the mess that inevitably results. I've finally realized I've got to get over it, and so Max has recently had several fun food adventures. Here he is the other day feeding himself applesauce.

That was a several paper towel clean-up.

Picky-ness has been an issue as a late, as well. Max has a handful of things he likes, and refuses most others. Needless to say, eating what Mom and Dad eat has been out of the question. You can imagine how thrilled I was tonight, then, when Max ate the tiny bison burger I made him to match mine. I figured, hey, just for that, why not let him indulge in a cupcake.

Clearly enjoying himself and signing "more."

This was a full bath clean-up. He got that cupcake up his sleeves, on his belly, even on his toes!

Part Two

In my previous post I talked about my then upcoming sequential screening and ultrasound. I was worried because that was the appointment that changed our lives the last time. Well, I'm pleased to announce that so far, there appear to be no genetic abnormalities. The sequential screening came back normal.

But as life goes, you relieve one stress and another takes its place.

About 10 days ago Max was diagnosed with fifth disease (parvovirus B19), also known as slapped-cheek disease for the brilliantly red rash that colors the cheeks. If you haven't heard of fifth disease, its one of these common childhood viruses that is annoying but not dangerous, and for which there is no treatment.

It's not dangerous for Max, but it turns out it is dangerous for me...or rather for the little baby taking up residence in my belly. Initially, I had a vague idea of the complications associated with fetal infection of fifth disease, but I wasn't worried until my OB called on Friday to say that my blood showed the presence of parvovirus antibodies.

So what does that mean? Best case scenario, that means I was infected at some point prior to now, and am now immune to present or future infection. There is no danger to the baby. Worst case scenario, this is a new infection that could affect the baby.

The next logical question, of course, is how does it affect the baby? According to a number of online medical sources, parvovirus B19 causes fetal anemia. The increased effort of the heart to move enough oxygen-rich blood through the body then causes hydrops fetalis. What? Basically, that means that pockets of fluid develop inside the fetus in places they ought not to be. This can ultimately lead to heart failure and fetal loss.

So, can it be treated? Well, yes. In some cases intrauterine blood transfusions are performed. In simple terms, they perform a transfusion (or multiple) on the baby while still in the womb.

All of this information comes from a number of medical websites online, the most significant being that National Institute of Health. Unfortunately, rates of infection, fetal loss and successful treatment vary across sources.

I'm experiencing a lot of stress right now. One of my girlfriends experienced anxiety-inducing complications during two pregnancies. She advises me to assume everything will be fine. Power of positive thinking and all that. I think she's right. Worrying gets me nowhere. Unfortunately, it's one of those things that is difficult to control.

Anyhow, I'm going for additional testing in a week to determine if the infection is old or new. Those results can change the course of this pregnancy.

I'd like to make a request. If you pray, will you pray for our little baby? We'd really appreciate it.


  1. I will pray for our/your sweet little baby and for you Amy. God loves you two. May God hold you in the palm of His hand and keep the two of you safe from all harm. Amen.

  2. I will be vigilant in prayer. If we believe, your new baby will be healthy. God is in control, rest assured.

    1. Thanks, Matt. I went today for the follow-up blood test. I expect to hear something by Friday.

  3. Hi Amy Iwill pray for you and your baby... Max is beautiful. I am a long time ago friend of your Moms We worked together at the ECF in Oneida. Glad I found her on facebook.

    1. Thank you, Deb, for your prayers. They are greatly appreciated.