Last week, I met with my Perinatologist (a doctor specializing in high risk pregnancies) to discuss our plan of attack to help prevent another preemie. Because I had a preterm premature rupture of membranes (pProm) with Bennett, there is a 31% chance that it will happen again. Now, that 31% figure comes from a study that looked at all moms with a history of pProm - which included known and unknown reasons and risk factors. We don't know why I ruptured so early with Bennett. It could have been a total fluke! Or, there could have been something going on that they could never find that caused it. But, its maddening because without knowning the cause, its very difficult to assess my true risk for a repeat pProm AND to take appropriate precautions to prevent it.
That said, even with known causes, its pretty diffficult to prevent pProm. The Perinatologist recommended weekly 17 p (hydroxyprogesterone) shots, bi-weekly ultrasounds of my cervix (because a common cause is "funneling" at the top of the cevix, leaving the amniotic sac unsupported), lifting no more than 10 lbs, and restricting exercise to light walking. I am also Group B Strep positive, and will be monitored for that and possible spread of infection throughout my pregnancy.
So, the next day, I go to my regular OB check up and report these recommendations to my doctor, who should be the one to prescribe and administer the shots for me. Despite my Perinatologist's recommendation for the shots, my OB was very resistant to it and was trying very hard to convince me that I did not need them.
The 17p shots were designed to help prevent preterm labor. They work by keeping the uterus calm, hoping to keep you from having any contractions. Since I was not having contractions when I came into the hospital after my "full" rupture, my OB said he doesn't think that was the cause of my rupture and therefore the shots won't help me.
That would make sense EXCEPT for the fact that I have a very irritable uterus in general. I have already been having contractions here and there with this pregnancy, and I'm still a few days away from 15 weeks! Furthermore, I actually started leaking fluid at 21 weeks - three weeks before I was admitted to the hospital. Who knows if I was contracting then or not! And the day that I ruptured, I was having contractions on and off the whole day. They weren't regular contractions, so I assumed they were Braxton Hicks - but WHO KNOWS!? The point is, we don't know. But if there is a chance these shots could help me prevent putting another baby through hell, I'm going to do it!
Then my OB had the nerve to say - "Yes, but you realize that this is an added cost [the co-pays] and pain and inconvenience for you?" Does the man not realize that I would hang from the ceiling by my ankles for the rest of my pregnancy if I thought it would keep this baby in? Does he think I care that it will hurt or cost $10 a week? He has obviously never had to sit at his child's bedside daily for nine weeks watching him struggle to breathe. I would do ANYTHING to keep that from happening to this baby.
I was already looking for a new provider before this happened, but now, I feel all the moreso that I need to do just that...
So, starting at 18 weeks, I get to have a shot in the bum every week. Fun, fun, fun! Now, all I need are volunteers to administer them....