Today I had a great morning running all kinds of errands with Charles and checking off quite a few "nesting" things from my list, including picking up the custom-made mattresses for Simba's cradle and crib and ordering sheets to be made to fit them. Successful errands in Nairobi are not a given, so that was really a good day! I even had a good experience at the post office picking up a package from Kristoffer's mom! And after this great day, Kristoffer and I went for my ultrasound.
As predicted, Simba is still breech. The ultrasound doc confirmed that the placenta is still fully functioning, there is plenty of amniotic fluid to facilitate Simba's turn, and that there is also still a little bit of room in there. The baby's heart rate was normal at 150 and s/he is weighing in at just over 5 lbs. Life is good in there...we just need this little one to FLIP already! The doctor suggested giving him/her time to do the right thing and then checking back in 3 weeks when I am 39 weeks pregnant to see the status. If Simba has not flipped by then, which we are confident that s/he will, we will talk about what our other options are (including acupuncture, massage, etc....I am really trying to avoid a c-section here!).
So far a great day, right? Well, as it also turns out I have not been feeling so great the last week or so, with some digestive troubles that have been unpleasant and persistent. So earlier this week my doctor ordered a test, and I got the test results today. My doc was at a conference outside of Nairobi today so I called her nurse to get the test results. Basically, she said: "Lisa, your test results indicate that you have worms." To which I naturally replied, "Come again?"
After several moments of feeling more disgusting than I have ever felt in my life and freaking out more than a little bit, I called my doctor on her cell phone. She didn't pick up and so I sent her a text message that read something like, "Your nurse just told me I have worms. Help!" While waiting for her to hopefully get back to me late on a Friday afternoon, Kristoffer took me to the pharmacy where I begged the pharmacist (here, called a "chemist") to de-worm me. She said that unfortunately de-worming medication cannot be given to pregnant women and I would have to wait it out until after delivering. This was bad news because if worms are untreated they just get worse with each "episode/attack", indicating that I would just be getting sicker for the next 4 weeks until I deliver. NO!
My doc shortly called me back - she is GREAT! She said she was on her way back to Nairobi and she would call the lab to get more specific results than just "worms" as her nurse had told me. Then we would figure out what to do. OK - that was reasonable. She called me about 3 hours later to tell me that I do not have worms, but that I do have the very specific parasite called "giardia". It is an intestinal parasite that is very common in developing countries and among travelers. Luckily, it can be treated with medication that is safe for pregnant women and babies in utero. I will start this medication tomorrow and she said I should see an improvement very quickly.
The symptoms of giardia (explained at this comprehensive website: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/Giardiasis/factsht_giardia.htm) affect pregnant women and young children more than others. This explains my lack of weight gain in the last few weeks (I most likely got the parasite right when we got back to Kenya because it usually takes about 2 weeks for symptoms to present), my general feelings of lethargy and yuckiness, and a few other symptoms I have attributed to late-term pregnancy. The lab results also showed that I have a yeast infection, but she said at this stage of pregnancy there is nothing I can take for that so we will follow up with that post-delivery.
The good news is that I am not TOTALLY disgusting with worms and that giardia can be treated. The bad news is that maybe my immune system is a little bit weakened and I have to take it really easy to get through the next four weeks before Simba arrives as healthy as possible.
My doctor is really great - she has texted me twice in the last hour to check on me and said I can call her any time this weekend if I have new symptoms or if anything gets worse. I have an appointment to see her next week anyway and hopefully I am feeling much better by then!
Never a dull moment over here...but me and my baby and my parasite (it's getting crowded in here!) are quite tired now so I think we will all go to sleep.