Once we got the positive pregnancy test just a month or so after ‘trying’, then additional treatments kicked in. I continued the pregnancy supplements, Chinese acupuncture and dietary changes that I documented in my last post ‘Lets get ready to conceive’ throughout the pregnancy, but in the first trimester, the notable changes were…
Baby aspirin (150mg daily) – I continued taking two baby aspirin’s each day. This was advised by a previous consultant because it was found that my blood was clotting significantly more than was normal during pregnancy. I was told to start before we conceived, but generally speaking the advice is to start once you have a positive pregnancy test and ONLY if you have been advised to take it by your doctor. The dose is typically one 75mg aspirin, but I was advised to take 150mg daily.
Progesterone (400mg twice daily) – I was also prescribed progesterone by my consultant because it apparently calms the uterus. I took both the aspirin and progesterone until quite late into my pregnancy – around 34 weeks. I’d taken aspirin in the previous four pregnancies but they didn’t result in a living baby. But this was the first time I’d taken progesterone.
Consultant-led care – One significant difference in my 8th pregnancy was that I was under consultant care at my local hospital. And more significant than that was the consultant I had actually cared. I felt cared for. I felt like I was the only patient in the world. I felt like my pregnancy was as much my consultant’s concern as it was mine. I can’t stress just how critical a factor this was for me. I had someone to call, someone who cared, someone who made time to see me and who just wanted me to have a baby.
Regular scans – As part of my pregnancy care plan, I had regular scans – every 2 weeks until I reached the 14 week stage. This was so so so important in me maintaining a calm mind, especially in the first trimester when emotions can be so turbulent from my 6 past experiences of miscarriage in the first trimester.
In the second trimester there was a pretty significant addition to my treatment…
Cervical stitch – At around 14 weeks, my consultant operated on me to insert a cervical stitch. While my tests didn’t show that I had a weak cervix, the fact that I had gone into premature labour in my 7th pregnancy with no underlying cause, my consultant thought it best to insert the stitch as a precaution. The risks of having the stitch far outweighed the risk of having yet another pregnancy loss.
Regular scans – After having the surgery to insert the stitch, I then had appointments every 2-3 weeks to check the length of my cervix. Basically that was to check whether my cervix was shortening and whether premature labour looked likely.
And finally, in the third trimester I had…
Steroid injections – I had 2 steroid injections in my butt, 24 hours apart. The purpose of the injections was to help my baby’s lungs develop just in case I went into early labour again.
Stopped the aspirin and progesterone – I think this was around 34 weeks for both the aspirin and the progesterone, and under the advice of my consultant.
Occasional acupuncture sessions – I reduced the frequency of my acupuncture sessions in the third trimester and when I did have a session I was sat almost upright, rather than lying down.
Recalling all of the above was quite a task!! I wish I’d kept notes at the time! But it has made me realise just how much ‘treatment’ I had during my 8th pregnancy and just how deeply grateful I am for the care I received throughout my whole pregnancy.
*It’s worth saying, as with anything, it’s best to discuss treatment options with your doctor or consultant and remember that everyone’s situation is different and the treatment offered is also likely to be different.