Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What We Have Done So Far

Tomorrow Greg is coming to my CF clinic appointment. For those who don’t know, clinic is where I go to make my health is still a-ok. In addition to my CF doctor, I see a nutritionist, a social worker, and a respiratory therapist. I do pulmonary function tests (PFTs) to make sure my lungs are well, and I have a sputum culture taken to see if there are any nasty bugs growing in my lungs.

I go to clinic every three months, so this will be my last appointment before we start trying to get pregnant. I talked to my doctor, Dr. Smith, about getting pregnant at my last appointment, and he told me that I am so healthy I shouldn’t expect anything other than a normal pregnancy. This made me very happy because I was concerned that, while I was pregnant I would get infections more easily and not be able to take medications to treat infections. He also confirmed what I already knew about CF and fertility: men with CF are sterile, but women with CF are not. One thing I didn’t know was women with CF may be “hyperfertile” because, like everywhere else, our mucus, ahem, “down there,” (otherwise known as cervical mucus), is much thicker than normal. This may cause my husbands “boys” to become trapped inside me, (once they make it past a mucus plug), thus giving them a longer time to hang out and wait for the egg.

I also asked Dr. Smith what I must to do to prepare myself for pregnancy. In addition to the usual regimen of taking prenatal vitamins and staying in shape, he asked me to see my OB/GYN as soon as possible. Dr. Smith admitted that he is a pediatrician, and therefore doesn’t know enough about these adult things. He thought my OB/GYN may be able to tell me things he knew nothing about.

Onto my OB/GYN I went. We spent the entire appointment sitting in her office and talking. She told me that she expects it will be difficult for me to get pregnant, because my cervical mucus is so thick that my husband’s boys will have a hard time navigating it. She said I should come see her if we are not pregnant after six months of trying. This was pretty much the opposite of what Dr. Smith told me. I left that appointment feeling depressed.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s appointment because Dr. Smith will be discussing the results of Greg’s genetic test. Greg was tested for 97 variations of the CF gene several months ago, and the results were negative. This was great news, however this does not completely rule out the possibility that Greg is a carrier of the CF gene. There are hundreds of variations, and many more that have not been identified, but a few are the most common and Greg was tested for those. Tomorrow we will learn the odds of us having a child with CF, and if Greg needs additional testing.

My next post will be the outcome of tomorrow’s appointment!

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