Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back on the Meds

Almost immediately after our meeting with the perinatalogist, I went off the Lovenox and started tapering off the prednisone.  Then last Thursday, while on vacation and on my last day of prednisone, I woke up completely covered in hives.  I've had hives in my life before and they have always been related to stress.  Since I was on vacation, I doubted that.  Additionally, the hives covered my thighs, my stomach, my back, my arms, my hands, and were in between my fingers.  

Despite being in another country, I called my doctor on my cell phone and got his lame opinion that I must have been "exposed to something" on the trip and his good advice to go back on the full dose of the prednisone.   Within two hours, the really bad hives on my hands began to recede.  6 days later, I still have the bumps, but they are not "hive-y."

I also decided at that moment that I'm going to stay on the meds as long as I can.  I did a little mental calculation, which is the worst error:  to be on the medications and not need them or to to be off the medication and need them?  

If I'm on the medication and I don't need them, what is the worst that could happen?  Well, for the Lovenox, the only harm is the amount of money I'm paying each month ($50) to be on the meds.  It will not harm the babies or me, even if I don't need them.  For the prednisone, it may make me more susceptible to colds and stretch marks, but again, it won't hurt the babies.  

If I'm NOT on the medication and I actually do need to be on them, what is the worst that could happen?  Well, the worst that could happen is that the babies die.  

So let's compare the costs of being "wrong" in this situation:  $200 for the additional medication vs.  my babies die.  Even as cheap as I am, the $200 seems like a lot less costly than losing my children.  

I was all prepared yesterday to get fiesty with my OBs on my insistance on staying on the meds, when I was lucky enough to get the OB in the practice who has the most experience with immunology.  She absolutely no problem with me staying on the loveonx and wrote me a 6 month prescription.  She has decided that we need to get me off the prednisone (I agree) but we have to do it much, much, much  slower than my previous tapering method. (It is likely that the hives came from my body's withdrawal from the meds)  It will take me nearly 6 weeks to get off the prednisone now.  What I love about that is that we'll be close to 20 weeks or more when I'm off the prednisone and, God Forbid, if I do have a much more serious auto-immune problem than I thought, the babies will be very well established by then.  Also, if I get another outbreak of hives, we go even slower of a taper than that.  

So there we are.  

I am gaining weight at about the right pace.  I'm a few pounds behind my goal of 25 lbs by 20 weeks so I've got to pick it up a bit.  

I'm also hoping to post a bit more.  I do have some DE thoughts I want to work through.  And I have no idea why, but the NY Times continues its trend of writing stories that are highly relevant to what I am dealing with right now.  I hope we can discuss this article on what scientists are finding out about genes and their effects on personality, behavior and even height.  The long and short of it:  Personality, behavior and physical characteristics are all inherited.  However, the genes' role in "causing" these outcomes?  Not so much.  Go figure.  It's  A LOT more complicated than you are the way you are because you got half your genes from two other people.  It is not all environment, but it is most definitely not all genes.  

Just some food for thought to encourage you to read that long article, since I think it's highly relevant to us.  They have found the 12?  8?  strongest genes for predicting height in people's genomes.  And do you know how much variance the genes predict of people's height?  2%.  TWO PERCENT!!  One of the most inheritable, objective characteristics of people and genes predict 2% of how tall one will be.  (That means 98% of someone's height is predicted by something *other* than these genes)  Yeah.  I thought it was interesting, too.

Ok.  I'm posting early and it's time for breakfast number one.  

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Obviously, I'm very interested in the effects of nature vs. nurture in children's personalities and appearances.  (Personalities more than appearance, to be honest)

What I have found to be so interesting is all the new evidence that even clones do not look or act exactly alike.  Clones: identical twins.  We've never been able to study identical twins carried by different mothers before.  With clones, we now have that chance.  

This article in the NY Times today compares cloned dogs that do not look exactly alike and have anywhere from vastly different to somewhat different "personalities." What this says to me is that the environment to which the baby/puppy is gestated and born has a much bigger effect on genes than has been recognized in the past.  I don't want that to worry women who use gestational surrogates to complete their families.  But for me, it means I have a much stronger effect on my babies' development into MY babies than has been acknowledged by science or my nutjob pre-DE therapist.

Happy New Year everyone.   I hope you're looking forward to an adventerous new year as much as we are!