Something that may explain why I lost Liam.
I know I said I had posted the last about him. But it doesn’t mean that I have forgotten him or have gotten over my loss. Truth is, there’s not a single day when I don’t remember him. Not a single night when I don’t replay the scenes and events at the hospital in my head before I sleep. Not a single instance when his memories do not bring tears to my eyes.
Right now, as you’ve probably noticed in my recent posts, I’m fussing over my enlarged thyroid, which prompted me to research more about it. And the more I research, the more I realize the correlation between thyroid disorder and pregnancy, and the risks it poses to the unborn child.
Somehow, it points to the fact that this thyroid disorder might have caused my baby to develop undetected respiratory problems, which could further explain why he wasn’t able to survive despite the ventilator and medications administered to him. Or why he passed meconium inside my tummy in the first place.
I have mentioned before that I’ve always had a slightly bulging neck and hinted that I may already have a thyroid disorder even before I got pregnant, which has worsened during the course of my pregnancy.
The thyroid gland enlarges slightly in healthy women during pregnancy, but not enough to be detected by a physical exam. A noticeably enlarged gland can be a sign of thyroid disease and should be evaluated. Higher levels of thyroid hormone in the blood, increased thyroid size, and other symptoms common to both pregnancy and thyroid disorders-such as fatigue-can make thyroid problems hard to diagnose in pregnancy.
Subclinical hypothyroidism — a mild form of hypothyroidism that has no apparent symptoms. Subclinical hypothyroidism occurs in two to three of every 100 pregnancies. [SOURCE]
If I did, these were the possible effects on my pregnancy and my baby:
Significantly more placental abruptions (relative risk [RR], 3.0; 95% CI, 1.1-8.2), deliveries prior to 34 weeks (RR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.1-2.9), and respiratory distress syndrome (RR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0-3.3) were found in the SCH group. These differences persisted after controlling for maternal age, race, and abruption. [SOURCE]
The function test result during the first month of my pregnancy showed a normal-high TSH and normal-low TS3 and TS4.
Test results will show high levels of TSH and normal free T4 [for subclinical hypothyroidism]… High levels of TSH and low levels of free T4 generally indicate hypothyroidism. Because of normal pregnancy-related changes in thyroid function, test results must be interpreted with caution.
But the doctor thought nothing of it. I couldn’t blame him though, because I didn’t tell him I was pregnant. I didn’t realize it might have an effect.
If subclinical hypothyroidism is discovered during pregnancy, treatment is recommended to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. [SOURCE]
Because the symptoms of hypothyroidism are almost similar to pregnancy-related complaints, I wasn’t aware then that something might be wrong. But now that I’m no longer pregnant, the symptoms are more apparent:
Hypothyroidism signs and symptom may include:
Increased sensitivity to cold
Pale, dry skin
A puffy face
An elevated blood cholesterol level
Unexplained weight gain
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
Heavier than normal menstrual periods
Brittle fingernails and hair
Nine of those symptoms reflect how I’m feeling since I gave birth until now; fatigue, muscle aches and joint paints most notably. And there’s actually another condition that I’m looking into — postpartum thyroiditis — which could explain the lump in my throat.
Postpartum thyroiditis — a painless inflammation of the thyroid gland that develops within the first year after childbirth — often lasts from several weeks to several months. For some women, postpartum thyroiditis leads to long-term underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
For the majority of women, thyroid function eventually returns to normal. However, some women who develop postpartum thyroiditis develop hypothyroidism and require lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Because hypothyroidism presents a significant risk to developing babies, it’s important to make sure the condition is under control before attempting another pregnancy. [SOURCE]
These are only speculations based on a cursory online research. I will still consult with an endocrinologist to know exactly what type of thyroid disorder do I have and if indeed it had an effect on my baby.
I know getting the facts now will no longer bring Liam back, but at least, I will be more knowledgeable of my condition and prevent unfortunate consequences, if and when God blesses me with another pregnancy in the future.