Retinopathy Progressing


I'm 20 weeks today (half way!), but so scared after my eye doctor appointment last week.  Before getting pregnant, I had mild background retinopathy- one or two microaneurysms at some appointments, none at others.  That had been going on for about 10 years.  When I got pregnant, my doctor said he'd be surprised if I had any progression given that I barely had any retinopathy to begin with.  So- 3 months later, I have had some progression.  There are now "cotton wool spots", which don't seem to be an issue themselves (not causing any vision problems), but it's the change that's concerning.  I'm giong back to the doctor in 1 month and I'm honestly terrified.  My eye doctor said that retinopathy progression during pregnancy usually clears up after pregnancy and the post-partum stage.  I try to take comfort in that, but who knows?  This wasn't expected to happen at all and I still have 20 weeks to go.  I feel so helpless because there doesn't seem to be anything that I can do (besides keep my A1c at a good level- it's 5.4).  I'm just so scared and can't even think about it without crying.  I know the stress isn't good for the baby.  Has anyone dealt with this?  What was the outcome? 


Hi Jen,

Please try to relax as best you can, and trust your doctors. The good thing is that you are going to the doctor often enough to catch any problems early, delaying any sort of huge issue. It can be fixed if needed. I know it's upsetting and scary, see what happens in your next appointment. There is no use in getting yourself all worked up without knowing if there is something major happening. Ya know?

You should try doing some breathing exercises when you feel as though you are losing control. It will help relax your mind and body. Congrats on your a1c btw, 5.4 is great! I believe you will be ok on your next appointment, I will be thinking of you! Hang in there girl! 20 weeks goes by really fast trust me!

Thanks, Gina!  

I was honestly just starting to relax (even though all of my posts here are about being nervous!) last week because my OB and Endo said that I was through the riskiest part and the main concern now is having a big baby.  To me, that's not too bad!  I really wasn't expecting eye problems.  I hope that the progression stops and then clears up after delivery.  My dr said that it's possible that I will end up needing laser, and that scares me.  I don't want to lose any vision.  :-(  Tomororw is my 20 week anatomy scan, so I'm definitely anxious for that.  Hoping that we can find out the sex and that everything is ok!!


I know how you feel. I had to learn how to relax during my pregnancy too. Once, I was over that risky hump, I was finally able to become better about everything. Did they say why your eyes were progressing? I always thought that the eye issue was when you were going through labor and delivery because of the pushing it would cause bursts in the eyes. I have no idea really because when they told me that it wouldn't affect my eyes and everything was good with them, I stopped reading everything on the internet related to it. Reading too much about pregnancy and what "could" happen was driving me crazy. Once I stopped reading and trusted my doctors, my pregnancy experience was wonderful.

Your doctor said it was "possible" that you may need laser. He didn't give you a definitive answer because he doesn't know himself. Try to stay positive and think happy thoughts! Do the best you can right now and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow!

Let us know what the sex is!! We found out the sex at week 18, there he was legs wide open with a clear view! Even if you can't figure out sonogram pictures it was a very obvious he was a boy! haha

Please try to enjoy your pregnancy! If you ever need to talk to someone about anything feel free to inbox me anytime day or night! I am usually around all hours of the day!