John and I joked that if Beckett came today, we’d call him Frankenstein. Well, John was joking, but I think I would have really done it. He is still pretty adamant about being the one to sign off on the birth certificate. That’s probably for the best.
The good news is that at this moment, it doesn’t look like we’re having a Frankenstein! Several lab results came back yesterday indicating that I don’t have any kind of liver infection—Toxoplasmosis, Cytomegalovirus (CMV), etc. This also means that the cause of my (still) increasing liver enzymes and proteinuria have been narrowed down to about three conditions. Atypical Preeclampsia is still in the running (along with its sub-condition HELLP), as is Acute Fatty Liver, and Autoimmune Disease.
Dr. B told me that if I researched any of these conditions, I would scare myself. I’ve had to really distract myself to not do so. I’m a researcher and like to learn for myself, so it’s been pretty difficult. That being said, the links I provided above may not be SUPER informational, as I didn’t really read the pages.
The better news is that two of the three (preeclampsia/HELLP and fatty liver) have a distinct and definite cure: delivery the baby. Not the best option right now, but at least it’s not something that would follow me after pregnancy.
The autoimmune tests should be back within the day. I think both Dr. R and Dr. B think that this option is a long shot, but at this point I understand that they’re trying to rule out everything they can. As Dr. B said, it’d be a shame to deliver a 30-week-old baby if that may not be the cure for the mother’s health.
As a bit of a test, they’ve started me on regular steroid injections through my IV port. The idea is that the steroids will quell, and may even temporarily reverse, my increasing liver enzymes. The way it was explained to me is this: If your ankle is inflamed, the doctor could give you steroids to help the inflammation. Because the liver enzymes indicate potential liver inflammation (even though my liver ultrasound last week was fine), the steroids could help. As an added benefit, the medication also helps Beckett’s lung development.
I am receiving these steroid doses every 12 hours for the next 48 hours, but results could be evident within 24 hours of my first injection (about 5:30 p.m.). The side effects of the steroids include increased energy levels (check), increased appetite (check), and mild swelling (not yet, thank God). As a precaution, I had John take my wedding ring home. I feel so naked.
Reading between the lines, I understand that if the steroids don’t affect my liver enzymes, we will probably be looking at delivering within the week. No one has explicitly said this, but I think that’s where the conversation is headed.
The best news is that Beckett is astounding the doctors and nurses with his tests and monitoring. As I mentioned, I was moved the Labor and Delivery yesterday to monitor B more closely. Since then, he passed both his biophysical profile ultrasound (they measure the amniotic fluid, as well as his development and movement) and all his heart tone monitoring like a champ! I’m still scheduled to be on the monitors for an hour three times a day, but that’s a far cry from monitoring constantly from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., which was the original plan.
Incidentally, I’m pretty bummed that I’ve missed Halloween three years in a row! I don’t have much ghoulishness to offer this year other than a look at all the machines and tubes and yucky stuff that I’ve encountered in the hospital this week. Enjoy!