Now is the Time

Today I had my regular check-up with my CF care team. Though I’ve mentioned the possibility of a pregnancy in the past, today was the first day that we seriously discussed how a pregnancy would affect my health and my day-to-day treatment regimen.

My doctor reiterated that he thinks I’m in great shape for a pregnancy and confirmed what my husband and I have thought ourselves: that now is the best time. He told me again that my lung function may very well remain the same, but due to the stresses pregnancy will place on my body, it’s best to do it now when my health is at its best. My lung function was even slightly up today, to 86%. I’m hoping to get back into the 90’s again with more exercise; in fact, tomorrow is the first session of an exercise class I signed up for since I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m terrible at self-motivating without the structure of a class or trainer.

My care team seemed surprised today at how far I’ve already gone in trying to conceive. When I mentioned it as a topic for today’s visit the nurse asked me with raised eyebrows if we’ve had genetic testing done. This particular nurse can be kind of a Debbie Downer, so it was pretty satisfying to tell her that yes, genetic testing was done months ago, we’ve met twice with the fertility doctor, and I’m working on establishing care with a high-risk OB-GYN. We’ve got this covered!

Since we’re thinking at this point that September or October will be our first IUI attempt the plan is to go over my medications and make some changes in the late summer. My doctor told me that there’s nothing I’m on now that would necessarily harm a fetus, but he would prefer me to be on as little as possible (while still keeping me healthy) during pregnancy. He also told me he’s overseen all of the CF pregnancies at this hospital – which has a fantastic CF program with a large number of adult patients – and he’s had good results with all of them, so I feel like I’m in good hands. When I’m pregnant (and he told me to say “when,” not “if” – I love his positive attitude!) the frequency of my check-ups with him will increase from every two months to every month, then as the pregnancy progresses, every 2 weeks – and in the final month I’ll come in every week. Thank god I have good insurance!

Hearing about all this is reinforcing my decision to reduce my commitments starting this fall. Currently I work several days per week and I’m also taking four classes as part of a post-bacc program. Starting in August or September I will probably be leaving my job and reducing my number of classes to make school and pregnancy/health my priorities. Fortunately my husband makes enough to support us so this is financially feasible. While I’ll be sad to leave my job, I work in the healthcare industry and the exposure to radiation and certain drugs, as well as the high-stress nature of the work, are not ideal for healthy baby production.

Tomorrow my husband and I are headed back to the hospital: he to drop off his sample for semen analysis and get bloodwork done, and I for a glucose tolerance test. Ugh – it’s my least favorite. It takes forever, the glucose drink is foul, and fasting is a pain. But my doctor wants it, especially given all this pregnancy talk – so off I go!

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