Since Bella was born, we discovered that I have a genetic blood clotting disorder known as Factor Five Leiden deficiency. This can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women and tends to cause 2nd and 3rd trimester miscarriages because a blood clot will develop in the placenta and cut off oxygen to the baby, or a number of other clotting problems can develop to harm the baby. Pregnancy also makes it more likely for me to get a clot that would cause a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis for me, which I’ve heard are not fun (not to mention life threatening).

So while I’ve never had any symptoms from this genetic disease, we decided with the input of our doctor that I should be put on a prophylactic dose of blood thinners for my 10th through 38th weeks of pregnancy. This means that twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, I get to fill up a little syringe with heparin and inject myself in my belly. Last night as I was preparing to inject myself I was thinking of the Friends episode where Ross has an allergic reaction to the kiwi lime pie and has to get a shot, and he’s asking the doctor if there’s any way to avoid the needle and just “thquirt it in my mouth, like a thquirt gun?”. After 7 months of doing this though, I figure I’ll be a pro (after all, it’ll come to nearly four hundred injections).

I started injections a few weeks ago, and Andrew was a big help at first. After the first few times I decided it was just easier to do it myself though, so it’s been a one person deal for a while now. Initially, they stung a lot and I was bruising to the point where nothing could touch the injection sites (tight shirts were too painful!). This made holding Bella and being hugged by my husband difficult tasks. Fortunately the sites have been less painful lately and I can even handle lying on them a bit when I sleep.

While this is a trial, I’m thankful every time I have a chance to inject myself because of two things. First, it means that God has blessed us greatly by sustaining the life of this little one inside of me and we still have a reason to be taking the medication. And secondly, I’m so thankful for the hope that God has offered to us through modern medicine. While being on blood thinners during a pregnancy is a bit scary (since bleeding is really the last thing a pregnant woman wants to do), we know that the benefits outweigh the risks and this is the best thing that we can do (medically) to ensure the health of our baby.

So while this twice-a-day ritual is becoming a pretty mundane, daily task, we ask that you would pray for its effectiveness and that God would use it to protect me and our baby from any complications stemming from this genetic disease. There are pregnant women with clotting disorders who take heparin and still have devastating complications in their pregnancies, and it is our prayer that God would bless our use of this medication and use it to bless us with a wonderfully healthy baby in May.


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