When having a new baby, I believe every parent has wishes of a smooth and easy 9months. You don’t ever plan on hearing the words “abnormal” come out of the doctors’ mouth. If you’ve ever had a pregnancy go smoothly, then a pregnancy where the unexpected happens, you’re still not ready for “abnormal”. There’s absolutely nothing that can prepare you for the journey called Pregnancy, no matter how many you’ve had, every pregnancy is different. ❤
Since we have previously experienced HELLP Syndrome and Pre-E along with placental insufficiency leading to IUGR with a preemie at 34 weeks, the OB and midwives are being extra cautious with us.This is a double edge sword. I mean we are having numerous tests performed, but with testing come the waiting period and results. I will share our journey so far…
At 12 weeks we had testing done by MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine) to look for chromosomal abnormalities. This is typically done between 11-13 weeks. They perform an ultrasound, taking measurements of every little part of the baby’s body, and took my blood. We never received a call, so no news is good news right?
At 16 weeks pregnant we had a consult with a new group of OB & midwives we were looking into switching to. Dr. Guy informed us our baby had a 1 in 52 chance of Downs Syndrome. WTF was he talking bout? Nobody from MFM or my old OB had called to talk to me about this. I think my heart stopped. He suggested further testing called the MaterniT21 test which would give us a definitive answer, yes or no, if our baby had DS. He also wanted to test me for Lupus, and run numerous clotting disorder panels. Clotting Disorders have been linked to HELLP Syndrome, although there still is no known cause. He also explained based on the ultrasound he didn’t believe it was DS, but there’s a protein called PAPP-A which typically they use as an indicator of DS, the lower the level the higher chance of DS. A normal value is 1.0, my value was 0.19, no where near where it needs to be. He also explained that this PAPP-A *can* be an indicator of placental insufficiency leading to IUGR. This has not been proven, but they do see a correlation.
I can’t put into words exactly how I felt at that appointment, other than my heart stopping. Randy was with me, and I could see the terror in his eyes. We spent the next 12 days anxiously awaiting the results. We had many conversations about having a child with DS. This isn’t something a parent plans, but it also isn’t the worst thing that can happen. I cried, and I cried a lot. I lost countless hours of sleep. I confided in my doula, looking for support, and she was wonderful. She checked on me everyday, and kept me in her daily prayers.
At 17 1/2 weeks pregnant, I finally received the call-NEGATIVE!! our baby was negative for chromosomal disorders!And all of my testing for Lupus and Clotting Disorders were also NEGATIVE! I cried tears of joy! What a relief. We saw the midwife a few days after we received our good news, and our routine appointment was wonderful! The testing we had performed also could tell the gender of the baby!! We had asked that they don’t tell us, but rather write it & put in an envelope for us to deliver to a baker to have a gender cake made. We wanted to reveal with friends and family the gender of this blessing!
At 18w pregnant, on July 13th we cut into our wonderful cake surrounded by many family and friends, revealing PINK! It’s a GIRL!! We couldn’t be happier! This will soon make 2 girls for us along with my 2 boys from my previous marriage. 2 of each gender, and it’s perfect! Randy said he knew all along it was a girl, he just had a feeling 🙂
At 20 weeks we saw MFM for the routine Anatomy Ultrasound. This is typically when women find out what they’re having, this is the “BIG” ultrasound, but for us we already knew it was a girl, and knew in our hearts she was perfect. Randy’s sister decided to come with me, Randy thinks Ultrasounds are just creepy, and his sister wanted to go. It is great having the support. The tech handed us wonderful pictures, told us she weighed 13oz and was in the 37th percentile. We never saw the MFM doctor, the tech said all looked good, so I was smiling ear to ear! We never received a phone call, so no news was good news, right?
At 22 weeks we had a routine appointment with the midwives. Each appointment we are trying to see a different provider, because we do not know who will be delivering, it all depends who is on call that day, as we are not planning an induction. This appointment started off with the usual peeing in a cup, weight and blood pressure. Randy came with me to this appointment, I think it’s important for him to meet all of the providers as well. The midwife comes in, introduces herself, pulls up some info on the screen and asks us if we have any questions regarding the “abnormalities” found on our 20 week Ultrasound. Randy and I just looked at each other… nobody had mentioned a single word regarding abnormalities or anything!?! Once again, we had no idea what she was talking about. So here we go again…She explained 2 abnormalities. 1 was with me and 1 was with the baby.
Abnormality #1-with me. So I have an extra placental lobe sometimes referred to as an accessory placenta. She explained to me I need to tell every person at every doctors apt I have along with anyone I see at delivery about this. Basically I have the placenta the baby is currently growing in, AND another placenta with nothing in it. The cord that does from my placenta the baby is in to the baby inserts at the placenta where the other placenta starts, therefore it is feeding the empty placenta. They do not have one known cause for this, but there are some theories. I could have been pregnant with twins at one point and miscarried one early on. This is possible because i was a few months pregnant having what I thought were my periods before I found out. Those periods could have been a miscarriage, there’s no way to know. Another theory is when the placenta implants, it gradually moves, sometimes creating another placenta. No matter the cause, which we will never know, it is important the doctors know this when it comes to delivery because my body must deliver the other placenta, and if I do not deliver it naturally with the placenta, I will need surgery. I really didn’t want to hear this, I don’t want surgery. She gave me the option to have a scheduled c section so they know 100% it is coming out, but I chose not to. I believe in my body. The second issue with this extra placenta having blood flow to it is it *could* starve the baby from nutrition. This often happens with twins, making one twin larger than the other. So I will need followed by MFM for growth with routine Ultrasounds, which the typical woman doesn’t get.
Abnormality #2-the baby’s renal pelvises are dilated to 3mm, they should not be dilated, this means she is holding in urine and the kidneys are not functioning properly. This is a common abnormality found on ultrasound and could mean nothing. We asked what they do for this? what does this mean for her? The midwife explained, they simply watch it through the pregnancy, if it is still present right before birth the baby would need to see a kidney specialist prior to discharge. We left this appointment in disbelief, not one but TWO abnormalities. Just when we thought everything was good, we get more “abnormal” news. Randy said he’s never coming to another appointment with me because all they have is bad news. He said all he wants is to be handed the baby and told she’s perfect, all the other stuff in between is a roller coaster and he’s not enjoying the ride. I completely feel him, I mean this is my baby # 4 and I had never once been told of an abnormality or an increased risk of any kind in any pregnancy.
At 25 weeks pregnant, I had a follow up appointment with MFM, they repeated the Ultrasound looking at the baby’s growth and her kidneys. Randy didn’t want to come, so his sister came with me. This baby is GROWING!! She is up to 1lb 13oz and jumped up to the 49th percentile. I still have the accessory placenta, and it is still being provided nutrients by the vein, but it is not starving the baby, she’s growing wonderfully!! Jumping percentiles is so good! When they looked at her Renal Pelvises, they were unable to be measured,which is GOOD! This means her kidneys are functioning properly and she is not retaining urine in them! They said she’s doing great and we will come back in 6 weeks on October 3rd for another growth ultrasound! We got the sweetest pictures of her, one with her foot clear up to her nose (we actually got to see her suck her toes), and another of her fist in her eye. She is a very active baby girl! I have an appointment in the morning with the midwives before going to work. It is a routine appointment.
I have learned in the past almost 26 weeks that we need to stop holding on to things, and let go. We will never be given more than we can handle. I am not going to worry about tomorrows appointment, or what they “might” say, I’m simply going to “Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be….”-unknown