Our journey through a prenatal Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) diagnosis and beyond

I wish it were possible to recognize at the beginning of our life’s story what an incredible journey we are truly on. If so, I would have sat down years ago and begun documenting all the ordinary and extraordinary events in this amazing life I have been blessed with. Sometimes, though, it may take just one more thing to open your eyes into the beauty of the life you have led and causes you to pause and truly count the blessings that are now so many they will never be enumerated.

If you are just joining us, please go back to September 2012 to get caught up.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fetal Echo

Wow!  What a fantastic appointment today.  The sonographer was awesome.  The doc's nurse was awesome.  The doc was awesome.  I felt such a sense of relief and comfort knowing that baby and I are in the right place right now.  Incredible.

So the fetal echo (a more detailed heart ultrasound) took about an hour.  She checked over baby's growth and my other concern areas, too, which were all ok.  No more kidney dilation!  Still no nasal bone.  Baby was VERY wiggly the whole time and I felt like a bit of a contortionist as I moved into various positions so the tech could get a better look.  I can surely see why they like to do these tests earlier on--baby is just getting too big and squirmy in there!

What we found out:
  • Baby is growing on track so far.  Up to 4 lbs 3 oz, which is in the 55th percentile.  This is great news and was reassuring because when Kate was born at 32 weeks, she weighed 4 lbs 8 oz.
  • The structures of the heart all appear to be present. (4 chambers, inputs and outputs and valves)
  • No holes were detected!
  • There is a bit of fluid around the heart.
  • The right heart wall is still thickened, but does not appear to have changed since the last scan.
  • Baby has some hair already!!  I will upload the pic in a little bit, but the old wives tale about heartburn and hair is SO TRUE for me :)
  • My cervix is incredibly boring this time around.  (much to the mother and mother-in-law's dismay.  I think they miss the cervical updates!)
Baby's hair!!

What next....
  • Doc recommended non-stress tests (NSTs) on the baby every 2 weeks starting next week.  This will keep track of heartrate and rhythm and screen for any other issues that might arise.
  • Doc recommended a follow-up growth scan in 4 weeks to check baby over again and ensure that all is still on track.  If there is significant growth change, this could indicate a need to deliver early.
  • IF concerns for baby come up that are heart-related, I may need to deliver at our original hospital because the new hospital does not have pediatric cardiologists on staff.
  • Once baby is here, they will perform many more diagnostic tests to see what is really going on and causing the thickening.
It feels so good to have a second opinion and a plan going forward.  The amount of time the doc spent going over everything and my history and the future was wonderful.  She expressed concerns about delivering late (ha ha ha, seriously!) and I told her the OB and I already discussed inducing at week 39 if baby had not arrived.  {I will be SUPER SHOCKED if that happens, btw!}.

Next week I meet with the OB to go over everything and I am so excited.  This pregnancy has been such a different experience and I am so grateful to have found this OB practice and set of specialists to support us in all of it.  It has truly made a scary and worrisome experience so much easier to handle.

It was very difficult to change medical systems and doctors for me, but it sure is proving to be the right choice!  I have a true sense of peace about all that will happen with this little one.  We have done all we can to ensure a great start for baby and are as prepared as we could be.  I really am enjoying this pregnancy and so looking forward to meeting baby!!

I am just over 31 weeks, so about 8 weeks to go!

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