Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Tribute to Modern Medicine. a.k.a. Why My Belly Looks Like a Well Used Pin Cushion. a.k.a. AntiPhospholipid Antibody Syndrome Kind of Sucks.

So, a few people have asked why I don't show my bare belly in the pregnancy pictures I post. The answer is, it's a little bit modesty, but not really because I'm not especially modest. I mean, much to my sister's dismay I have a whole category about boobies on the internet. So, mostly it's because I don't want to gross everyone out and lose all my friends.

I have antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), which is a fancy way of saying my blood is too sticky. Normally I take a low dose aspirin every day to counter the effects, but when I'm pregnant the extra hormones up the stickiness factor, and so I use injectable blood thinners twice a day. In my belly. Which makes for a really ugly picture. Not to mention, I have stretch marks. A lot.

The APS, unfortunately, complicates pregnancy. It's to blame for my two miscarriages and can be tangentially blamed for my two emergency c-sections. Also, it means I have to go to the doctor a LOT. I've been going three times a month since the begining of my pregnancy (twice a month to my regular OB and once a month to the high risk folks), and starting this month I will go every week to my regular OB for check ups and NST's and also once a month to the high risk folks. Starting in September? Twice (and sometimes three times) a week! Woot!

I know, sounds like a major pain, and kind of it is, but also it's nice to see my doctors so often and be constantly reassured that everything's going well. Plus, I get so many pictures of the soon-to-be baby! And who doesn't love that?

antiphospholipid antibody syndrome,heparin

p.s. I recently learned that I'm in good company with my APS. Heather and Jenny (yes, I AM totally pretending I actually know them) have it too.

p.p.s. If you're still curious, you can see a picture of my jacked up belly here. Don't say I didn't warn you.

16 comments:

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

ugh, you poor thing! But if it makes you feel any better, my belly looks a lot like that (minus the pinholes) and I am not even pregnant. I am just fat and still have ugly, purple stretch marks...good thing those babies are worth it, right?

Right?

fidget said...

that is how i usually look during pregnancy but this Arixtra stuff doesnt bruise like Heparin. Actually a month ago when I saw my high risk I had a bruise from it and everyone was freaking out b/c they had never seen an Arixtra bruise. I have another 6-8 weeks before i have to switch over to Heparin, Im not looking forward to the bruising.

Anonymous said...

Has Jessica seen the picture of your belly yet? She's going to have to change her name, move... ha ha ha.

Shelli

JennaDee said...

I'm glad you posted this, not many people know all the different things that can contribute to the many things of pregnancy, and even though your belly looks like you've been beaten its not whats on the outside its whats on the inside that is growing. Someone who will love you for what your doing every day to yourself to bring such a beautiful thing into the world.

Jen said...

I had to see my doctors alot too during me last pregnancy. It is fun to get to see the baby or in my case babies alot.

Jen said...

Oh and if you want too, you can give yourself the injections in the fatty parts of your thighs. That is asumeing that you have fatty thighs like mine. ;)

Vered - Blogger for Hire said...

Wow, that's tough! And you're handling it so well and with a smile. You're great!

angie said...

I can't even imagine.

And, I couldn't resist looking. The bruising makes me want to cry for you. Stretch marks suck. It's not fair that some people get them, and some don't. At least for those of us that do get them, have something to look forward too.......they fade. Eventually. :) I think your belly is beautiful! :)

Krista Neil said...

Goodness, that is no fun at all, how brave are you, I'd be done if I had to go through all that every time, but at least you get a baby out of it :)

anymommy said...

That is awful, but I am so glad that you are so closely monitored and that everything is going okay!

doulamomma said...

While I envy your growing belly, I do not miss the days of injecting and bruising and needle marks. I never took close up frontal shots of my bare belly but I assure you it looked just like yours. I was able to use Lovenox until 34 weeks and it doesn't bruise the way heparin does. The hep is a mean bithch.

Jenni Jiggety said...

That sounds like a whole lot of NO FUN, April! If you have to have track marks, it should at least be from having a good time!

Sara said...

A friend stumbled across this blog and alerted me. I'm on heparin this pregnancy as well (was on Lovenox for the first six months) due to a DVT. There are no bare belly shots of me in existence for the same reason ... oh the bruising!

((hugs)) and yay for a drug that can help.

Mama Mel said...

I can relate! I don't have APS, but I have a Protein C deficiency, which makes my blood thick (and even thicker when I'm pregnant). I also had to poke myself with syringes of heparin when I was pregnant. Belly looked like I was abused from all the bruising. Then when I couldn't do the belly anymore, the legs and arms were all bruised! Super fun! :( The good part is, I also had to visit my doctor a lot during the pregnancy, and got extra "pictures" of my son from the ultrasounds. :)

Meaghan said...

and maybe I'm crazy but even with pinholes and bruises your belly is beautiful because your belly is life. I enjoy your blogs and your realness and well, you. Thank you.

Pipsylou said...

Wow! I followed you over here from adventures in babywearing. Had three losses this past year and just found out I have Factor V Leiden, and possibly protein S deficiency. Trying to find out all I can!

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