What is it? Too much amniotic fluid. In my case it is likely because the baby’s esophagus is being squished by the other organs in the chest cavity that aren’t meant to be there. Not all women who have babies with CDH have polyhydramnios and if you do have polyhydramnios it doesn't mean there is something wrong with your baby. In fact, in more than half the cases, doctors don't know why it develops.
Normal fluid is about 800ml at 34 weeks and 600ml at delivery...there is a amniotic fluid index (AFI) that indicates how much fluid is too much. Using an ultrasound, the sonographer measures the 4 deepest pockets of fluid without baby parts and adds up the total number of cm. Polyhydramnios is indicated over 20cm. Mine is currently 40cm. Last Monday I was having contractions and was admitted to the hospital. They gave me drugs to stop the contractions and drained 2.5 Litres of fluid to bring the AFI down to 30 cm. 9 days later I am still in hospital and the fluid level is back up to 40cm. I look like I am having twins or triplets. There is about a 50% chance I will go into preterm labour and one of the complications is a prolapsed umbilical cord. That happens when the baby is floating around in all the fluid and the cord gets caught and squished when the waters break. This cuts off his circulation and would be very bad - thus I am in the hospital so if my waters break they can get him out in 5 min or if I go into full out labour, then can control the waters breaking. And to answer some of the most common questions:
- no, I don't have stretch marks.
- yes, it is very likely I will need c-section.
- amniotic fluid looks like pee and yes, Neil took a picture.
- yes, my belly is much, much bigger than normal for 32 weeks.