Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This must be the other shoe.

As in "waiting for the other shoe to drop".

Thus far, I've had what I would think is a totally normal pregnancy, and I'm totally unaccustomed to that. But, I was enjoying it. I got pregnant for free and without constant trips to the doctor, shooting up hormones every morning and night, surgery. I found out by surprise, not by counting the days until I could test. I felt sick and actually threw up once. I was exhausted. I was really, really bitchy (actually that hasn't changed). I was bloated, then it went away and when it came back, it was a baby bump. I gained a respectable amount of weight as opposed to the oh, 8 pounds in the first trimester I managed to pack on last time. I wasn't bleeding. I wasn't on pelvic rest or bed rest. I was one of the normal ones.

Well, that was all shot to shit.

And it very likely could not be a big deal, or it very likely could be a big deal, but regardless for the next several weeks, I'm not normal again. Pregnancy sucks again. MY pregnancies just don't go well.

We had our NT scan yesterday, which is the first trimester genetic screening now offered. Part blood work, part ultrasound. The primary purpose of the ultrasound is to measure the nuchal fold, which is a space in the back of the neck that collects fluid. The size of this fold is used as an indicator in determining the risk for the fetus to have any of the trisomys (most specifically Down's Syndrome -T21, and Trisomy 18) which are chromosomal defects, as well as potential risk for heart defects. The blood work done early in the 2nd trimester helps determine the risk for all of the above plus neurological defects and things like spinal bifida.

You're welcome for today's free medical lesson.

Ideally the nuchal fold measurement is under 3, some places set the cut off at 2.5 but the average seems to be about 3.

Ours was determined to be 3.3, which is really an average since they took 20 different measurements. The measurements ranged from 2.8 to 3.8, most hovering around 3.5.

The good news is that measurement combined with the blood work we've done so far indicated we were screen negative for Down's and Trisomy 18.

The bad news is the higher nuchal fold measurement then indicates an increased risk for heart defects.

There isn't anything else we could really determine yesterday, aside from most everything else looks "normal" and what they could see of the heart so far wasn't setting off any major alarms for them, but they couldn't see everything they needed to see with the heart. Like, oh, one entire chamber. Which could be because they couldn't get the right angle, could be because there is a problem with that chamber.

Have you noticed yet yesterday's theme was basically, "Could be this, could be that" ?

So we wait for the next step, which will be counseling with a genetic counselor, probably an amnio and definitely a fetal echo cardiogram around 18 weeks.

And? I'm scared. I don't deal well with the unknown. A sick kiddo, we can handle. I just want to make it to that point. I don't know if I can deal with the alternative, and frankly it's my worst fear - losing a child mid pregnancy. Having to deliver a stillborn. It's just something I don't think anyone should ever have to go through, and I've seen too many of my friends in the computer suffer that kind of loss. I can rationalize a sick child. While we realistically would have no idea what we were in for, we would fight. We can tell ourselves it's the hand we were dealt for a reason - it's our responsibility to make our child's life the best it can be, and we can do that to the best of our ability. I can't make sense of losing a child. At any point, honestly. I can't rationalize that. And if I can't find a reason for something, I simply don't cope well with it. Let's not revisit my crazy phase when I lost my first pregnancy. And I was only 3 months pregnant when I lost that one.

But we know it could also be nothing, just like a perfectly textbook NT scan doesn't mean everything is fine.

In the meantime, we're not sharing the news with the general public, mainly because my tolerance for stupid comments is at an all time low (and let's face it, it was pretty damn low to begin with) and I just do not want to be put on the spot with questions or stories from a friend of a friend of a friend who went through the EXACT thing but their kid was fine. I don't want to talk about it if I don't bring it up. So I turn to my friends in the computer who have always been a huge support in my fucked up pregnancies. And also because you can't ask me questions unless I turn on the computer :)

So while I loved all the nickname suggestions and I'm still partial to Freebie, I think the most appropriate right now is Lucky. Thank you, A. :) Let's hope Lucky continues his or her streak for the next weeks to come.

In the meantime, my daughter turned into a teenager (that sucks her thumb), and I'm not sure I'm ready for that, either.

But, could she be any prettier? (Hint: the answer is no).

So very thankful for this little one. She makes every day, every minute, better.


Faith, the Authoress said...

Hope all is well, K. Sabrina is quite the beauty.

Brakes and Gas said...

She could not be any more beautiful! Thinking of you and the family!

A said...

Wow, that is a lot to be dealing with. I won't bother with the platitudes- I'd be just as scared as you are. Of all of it. Best wishes for you and Lucky is all I have.

Love the Sabrina pics, she is adorable! But you already know that! :o)

Ava said...

Cr@p this sucks! I'm sorry that you're dealing with this. I hope your amnio is soon, quick and painless and gives you the assurance you need.


Aunt Becky said...

Well damn, yo. I'm sorry and that's scary and I'm sorry because that's just what you didn't need. I don't have anything good to say about it besides that I'm sending you my love and light and waiting anxiously alongside you.

GingerB said...

Indeed your daughter is a lovely girl, and I just wanted to post a note that I've had some of those unwanted results and still come out ahead. Risks don't always mean results, so hang in there and focus on the joy part and not on the spooky and vomity bits to the degree you can. We are rooting for you.s