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  • I Have A High-Risk Pregnancy, And I Needed To Leave The House For An Ultrasound

    I needed to have an ultrasound ASAP, and then start treatment for reproductive-immune failure.
    by Alex Rey .
I Have A High-Risk Pregnancy, And I Needed To Leave The House For An Ultrasound
PHOTO BY iStock
  • I'm sure I am not the only one who bought a pregnancy test kit on one of those grocery runs during the quarantine. Perhaps the unique factor in my case is that I've had three miscarriages, and my husband and I were diagnosed with a reproductive-immune disorder (RID). 

    This means my pregnancy is a high risk one, not just because of my age or underlying conditions. I tested positive for RID Category 1. (APAS, the more popular repro-immune failure, and there are three more.) It's crucial to start Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy (LIT) before I reach 8 weeks into the pregnancy. Otherwise, there is a big chance we'll lose the baby again.

    All those thoughts ran in my head when I saw two very clear lines on the pregnancy test. It would be our first time to go for the treatment, and I was excited to finally have a better chance at it. But the quarantine made things more complicated. 

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    It was a conscious choice to try not to worry. Stress, after all, will not be good for the baby. There's nothing else to do but to care for my "ECQ baby," as my friends dubbed him or her, one step at a time. 

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    How I booked to get an ultrasound during the quarantine

    The first step that I needed to do was have a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm and check the viability of the pregnancy. After informing my doctor about my positive pregnancy test via chat, she gave me a transvaginal ultrasound request as proof that my husband and I are out for a medical reason. She suggested looking for an ultrasound nearest to my home to avoid checkpoints. 

    I also avoided going to the hospital for an ultrasound because I'd rather leave them busy caring for emergency cases. I also didn't want to be possibly exposed to COVID-19 in a hospital environment, even if I am sure they already implement strict screening procedures.

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    Laboratories and diagnostic centers are either closed or operating with a skeleton force, so booking an appointment beforehand was necessary. Luckily there's Google, so I made a list of clinics, and my husband called each one to check for a schedule. I also sent messages to the Facebook pages of the clinics. 

    Out of 10, we found three ultrasound clinics near our place that were open. One was closed on weekends, while one clinic was available on Saturday afternoon, but I still needed to call in the morning to check if the sonologist would be reporting to work that day. We booked one that could straight up confirm our schedule.

    What happened when I got my ultrasound during the quarantine

    Since the ultrasound was by appointment only, we had to arrive on time. We left the house a little earlier just in case of any possible cause of delay. I wore a dress, so it's easier to get in and out of the ultrasound bed. 

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    There were only a handful of people at the clinic, and all of them were wearing masks. Healthcare workers were also wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Seats that we can use were marked to practice physical distancing. Every counter in the clinic had a plastic divider.

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    I found out that during the two hours that the obstetrician-gynecologist/sonologist was available, they booked only three patients. (I consider myself lucky that the one doing the ultrasound is an ob-sonologist, by the way.) All patients had to fill out a screening/disclosure form to check for COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, if any. 

    Unlike previous ultrasound sessions, my husband was not allowed inside with me. The nurse said they'd call him inside... if need be. I couldn't hold his hand while waiting for the ob-sonologist to say something about the ultrasound. She talked to me and tried to make me comfortable, and I told her my obstetric history. I couldn't even see her facial expression under the mask and face shield, plus the plastic barrier between the bed and the ultrasound machine. It was nerve-wracking, to say the least.

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    Then, the ob-sonologist asked for my husband's name, and before I knew it, he was in the room. The doctor turned the monitor towards us and pointed at the gestational sac, developing fetus, and his excellent heartbeat. It looked like a small blinking dot, and it was the best sight ever. I am 7 weeks pregnant!

    After the ultrasound, we waited for the results for a bit and went back home. The appointment lasted for only about 30 minutes tops. I took photos of the ultrasound report and scans and then sent them to my doctor with a big smile on my face. 

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