September 29, 2010

Through the wringer

On August 30 we had our regular level 2 ultrasound to check Baby's anatomy. Dave and Charlie went with me, and we had just decided that day to find out Baby's sex for Charlie's benefit. We didn't find out when we were pregnant with Charlie, so it was a nonissue for me and Dave.

The scan seemed to go well. Baby was active and let us know that he is clearly a boy. I was shocked because I just knew it was a girl. I had had a dream in which my mom had bought all of these baby girl clothes, took the tags off, and washed them all because she was so certain it was a girl. In real life, she had thought girl early on, but that had suddenly changed to boy. She was right.

The sonographer finished up and said that she needed to write up the report and would return. Well, she did return, but she was accompanied by the maternal-fetal doctor. I knew that the doctor only comes in when there's a problem, and my face went numb.

The doctor told us that Baby has a few anomalies that are of concern. First, the umbilical cord should have two arteries and a vein, and ours has only one artery and a vein. She called it a two vessel cord and I've also seen it called single umbilical artery (SUA). She also said there is excessive amniotic fluid. All the while, I'm thinking “Okay, this is great but hurry up and get to Baby...” She did get to Baby and said that his right hand shows syndactyly or joining of the fingers in two places. She said that it appears that Baby's pointer finger and middle finger are joined and then his ring finger and pinky are joined. I'm thinking “Gee, that's weird, but doesn't really seem like a big deal.” Then she said, “There is also an issue with Baby's heart” and all I remember hearing is roaring in my ears. One side of the heart is larger than the other. The doctor suspected blockage of some sort, but needed better images to know more.

The doctor said that all of these things may not be serious issues by themselves, but that these are often indicators of a chromosomal syndrome. At this point I was just in sponge mode, trying to absorb everything that she said. I glanced over at Dave who just looked like a statue, he was so stunned. She recommended amniocentesis to check Baby's chromosomes and offered to let us go home and think about it or go ahead and have it done right then. There was no disagreement between me and Dave—we wanted it done immediately.

As the sonographer, doctor, and interning doctor got ready for the procedure, I told Dave to take Charlie back to the lobby where he could play. Dave had no clue what amniocentesis entailed, but I knew about the long needle. I was also concerned that Charlie would see them inserting the needle into my stomach and then try to imitate it on the dogs or himself!

I've read lots of horror stories about amniocentesis, but mine was no problem. There was no pain or pressure, and the doctor was very reassuring saying that she had had two of them herself. She even made the shy interning doctor hold my hand throughout

Then ensued two weeks of waiting for our results...


Wendy said...

Oh Julie - we will keep you, baby, Dave and Charlie in our prayers. Keep us updated on how things are going and if there is anything you need us to do.

McBabble said...

Thank you so much! We really appreciate your support. It's been an awful month of waiting and worrying. I didn't really want to share what was going on until we had more answers. So it's nice to finally be able to talk about it. Knowing that we have the support of friends and family has helped keep us afloat when we felt like we were sinking!