MATERNAL FETAL MEDICINE

19 May

*SO MANY WORDS IN THIS! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED*

I am so glad to be on the other side of this post. I doubt I can even convey how I was feeling through words but I’ll try my best. If you are unsure what this is about or why we had to visit maternal fetal medicine, refer to previous Baby Bean posts to read about how at our 19 week ultrasound there were choroid plexus cysts, a weak soft marker for Trisomy 18, found on our baby’s brain. After this happened we got scheduled for a level II ultrasound with a maternal fetal medicine branch in Indianapolis and thus began a long two weeks of waiting.

For the first few days it was miserable. All I could think about was my baby’s health and well-being and what this could possibly mean for us and the future. I also considered the possibility of Down’s a lot though we later found out this really wasn’t a marker for Down’s, just Trisomy 18. There is no good news with Trisomy 18. It either results in a stillbirth or a SEVERELY mentally handicapped infant who dies within the first few months. This was absolutely terrifying. To think about a baby that was currently living in you, moving and with a beating heart just ceasing to function and then exist because of a chromosomal abnormality.

Then, through God’s grace alone I know, I calmed down and was able to trust Him and be patient. We celebrated at our party when finding out that it was the girl we’d dreamed of and then I knew more fear again. Now that we knew the gender she was that much more real and it was scary. The day after the gender reveal I got the call that my quad marker blood-work results were normal and this was a very big relief and help to me. I was able to be much calmer and collected and it carried me through the second week of waiting up until the day before the ultrasound. That day, as you may remember me blogging about, was a mess. I went through the motions of exercise and work and fixing a meal but every second of that whole day was taken up with near crippling fear, followed by prayer and turning it over to God and then turning around and beginning the process again. In some ways it was a great time of growing for Zach and I with patience and our prayer lives and it was definitely a test in trust! The hard part was knowing that even if things didn’t turn out as we hoped that God could still use it for good, even though that was so difficult to imagine.

Wednesday night was restless. While I wasn’t wide awake the whole night, I also never really felt like I was asleep. I was just in this constant state of awareness, half dreaming and half awake. I finally got up a half hour before my alarm Thursday morning needing to occupy my time and keep busy. At 8am Vicki showed up to take over and Zach and I left for this long-awaited appointment. We needed to be there by 9:15 and it was 50 minutes away so we’d left ourselves plenty of time. God’s provision was on us even as we drove because when we were about 10 miles from exiting off the interstate Zach’s gas tank dinged. I told him we’d better get off immediately at the exit that was directly coming up because the rest of the exits to go were too chaotic. He quickly maneuvered the car over to get off and it wasn’t until we were climbing the ramp that we could see the interstate ahead- bumper-to-bumper stopped traffic. We had had no idea and if we’d gone just a quarter mile further we’d have been stuck in it with nowhere to go! Talk about increasing already high anxiety. Thankfully the gas, which for some reason neither of us had paid attention to like normal when we left home, saved us. We filled up and Zach looked an alternate route up on his phone. It ended up being rather beautiful and scenic, an area we’d never driven before, and it got us to the hospital right on time.

Take the elevator up to floor 5, enter a well-appointed waiting area (in which you are the only people) and nervously page through a children’s book together pretending to be distracted while really you are both so jittery and on edge that you leap out of your chair when the nurse calls your name. A very nice young lady took my blood pressure and weight and then led us into our ultrasound room to wait for the tech. The room was huge and incredibly nice and even had a large flat screen TV hanging from the ceiling where Zach and I could watch the baby. After a few minutes the tech came in and almost immediately I asked her if she would be telling us things she noticed or saw as she went along and she told me no. “It’s not my job to diagnose or read the screen but the doctor will be in immediately afterward to discuss it all with you.” She was nice and chatty and tried to set us at ease but I have to admit I was a little stressed out to know we’d be watching all the picture taking without having a clue at what we were seeing and if it was good or bad.

She dimmed the lights to low and Zach took my hand and I nervously joked to him that all he needed was some popcorn! In fact, if it weren’t for such a tense reason, this probably could have been a very nice, relaxing experience. She got started and we settled in for what would be a long 35 to 40 minutes of picture taking. I think she said she took 108 pictures total? But of course we just got a few new profile shots, one facing directly on and a little foot.

IMG_0769

 

Every body part and organ was examined, photographed and captured. Isabelle was moving all over the place! Gnawing on her hand, little mouth working like crazy and rolling around changing positions. The tech frequently was thumping on my stomach trying to get her to move because she was blocking this or that. It was at this point, when she was kicking and waving her arms around that I mentioned how surprised I was that I still could barely feel the baby that the tech told me I had an anterior placenta. Well that explains it!! I don’t know why my doctor hadn’t mentioned it, maybe she didn’t even know, but no wonder I wasn’t feeling strong movement. It doesn’t matter where the placenta is located but it is either behind the baby, in front of the baby or to the side and in my case it’s in front of the baby. That means there is basically a cushion between baby and I and when she is still less than a pound like that of course I can’t feel much yet! She told me that in a few more weeks I would start feeling movement from the outside like anyone else, I just had to wait for the baby to get a little bigger.

It was scary looking at images of the brain and heart and such because since Zach and I have no clue what we’re looking at or looking for, it just all looks strange and bad to you! At the end she took some genital pictures and confirmed that yes, indeed, we were having a little girl. When she finally finished up she printed off our few keepsake photos and left us alone. I got to go to the bathroom (FINALLY) and then Zach and I sat there, trying not to analyze anything we’d seen and be patient. The wait was mercifully brief before the doctor came in. Even though he introduced himself and I’d already been told his name a couple of times, I have no clue who he was. I was so nervous my brain just didn’t even process that information.

The first thing the doctor said, after his name, was “I just want to tell you everything looks great!” I sat there nervously waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Everything looks great BUT…” “We’re going to need to keep an eye on this…” “I noticed this small…” I was sure that even if there was no major issue there was bound to be SOMEthing we’d need to talk about. After all, this ultrasound was so thorough and exact how could it not find some minute thing wrong?! Because as of right now God’s given us a healthy, strong baby that’s how. He quickly went through the pictures with us and all I could latch onto was “normal, healthy, normal, healthy”. Everything looked great! It was even more than I could have expected because on top of the good report, her cysts were totally dried up and gone!! We’d been expecting that but not necessarily so soon. He said she looked great, I looked great and we both couldn’t be any healthier. Izzy weighed in at 14 oz. which is the 45th percentile. That’s practically average! Just slightly on the small side (but hey, I will take a slightly smaller baby!) but nothing like I’d feared. I worried that since I haven’t been putting on weight and am still so small for being almost 5 months that perhaps her development was stunted but nope! She is right on schedule. 🙂

Our talk with the doctor was over so fast that it felt anti-climatic after the wait of the past couple of weeks. It was wonderful to be told by the receptionist, “Looks like no follow-up visits for you! Have a good pregnancy!” Zach and I walked the hall stunned, got into the elevator and then couldn’t stop grinning and staring at each other. We repeatedly said, “Thank you, Lord!” over and over and Zach says, “A healthy little girl, I’m going to cry!!”. It was the sweetest, happiest few minutes. Now I know that I still have almost half a pregnancy to go and anything could happen at any point. (Shoot anything could happen the rest of her life!) I will probably not ever have it in the back of my mind how things could go wrong but in general it was the biggest sight of relief and a HUGE weight gone. We celebrated with brunch at Good Morning Mamas and got Izzy a couple of new baby clothes to commemorate our appointment. It was, indeed, a Good Morning. 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: