Sunday, June 15, 2008

Adventures in antenatal testing

Don't get me wrong: I have been, in many respects, fantastically lucky. At 38-plus weeks, I have managed to avoid all matters of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, bedrest, preterm labor, and other unpleasantries common to pregnant ladies of my advanced age.

That said, the last week has been full of surprises. First, there are the amniotic fluid index adventures. Each week, I go for a non-stress test, thanks to my status as an elderly IVF patient. The test measures two things: the baby's heart beat (always fine) and the level of amniotic fluid. The latter was deemed to be declining over the past few weeks, and last Friday the nurse decided the lowish level warranted a physician's opinion. Said physician eventually determined that a) the baby seemed fine, if on the smaller side; and b) if the fluid continued to decline, which she felt was likely, we were looking at an induction sooner rather than later. "You will not be two weeks late," she decreed.

In preparation for my next non-stress test, I hydrated the hell out of myself, and with good results: the fluid level rose. Higher fluid level = no cause for concern = no imminent induction. Good stuff.

Less good, though, was the double-header news that: a) I am positive for group-B strep, requiring me to take antibiotics during labor. I'm disturbed by this because I have a few antibiotic allergies. And b) I seem to be positive for tuberculosis. This news is rather flummoxing, given that I haven't traveled to many exotic locales since I was last tested nine years ago, and I haven't had any symptoms of consumption. Which, like, I think I would have noticed. The doctor now wants me to have a chest x-ray, but I'm not particularly eager to do that at nearly 39 weeks. Seems possible they'll put me on some crazy drug regime to treat what might be latent TB, but I don't really know.

Again, don't get me wrong: I have been very lucky. The antibiotics thing will probably be fine, and the TB is most likely a fluke. Still, when did I become a magnet for infectious disease?


bleu said...

Oh I am so sorry. Please please please make sure you insist on testing again to make sure before you take anything.. There are so many false positives right now it is just not worth it to not check again.
As for group b strep I can give you lots of info on NOT taking the antibiotics if you are interested. Just an an alternative if wanted but certainly I understand taking them if you feel the need. (email me)

Sending love and light.

Lizzie said...

Wow, is TB testing normal? I've always wondered if I might show up positive for TB, albeit never had symptoms or actually been sick, because of all my work in developing countries. Just assume I've been exposed. Hmm. More to think/worry/obsess about (and I'm not even preggers!). Anyway, glad the babe is doing well and there is plenty of fluid, and hoping the other issues don't cause you too much trouble. Take good care.