Never in my life did I think I would be in this position. Beginning this appointment was the highest high I have ever been on and I ended it at a scary low point. Now, getting scary news at a doctor’s office is not something new to me, as you may know. But scary news about the life you have created and are carrying is the absolute worst.
As discussed at our last appointment, this week 13 visit would include an NT scan and some genetic blood work (with our intentions mainly being to find out the gender a little early). The appointment began with an ultrasound, and it was the best, coolest ultrasound yet! Baby K was looking more baby-like and bouncing around in my uterus like a little bean! It was so funny and cool to see so much movement.
After the ultrasound, we met with the doctor to only get news that we were not expecting. The purpose of the NT scan is to measure the amount of fluid at the back of the baby’s neck. There is a “normal” amount, and anything outside of that range is “abnormal” and often times a sign of something deeper in relation to the baby’s health and condition. Unfortunately, Baby K showed an abnormal amount of this fluid, and by that I mean our baby has too much fluid. As the doctor was explaining what this could potentially mean, I essentially blacked out. I couldn’t imagine something being abnormal with my baby, especially something that can result in a fatality or pregnancy loss. I remember starting to cry out of fear and anxiety. The only thing we wanted was a healthy, happy baby. Isn’t that a wish every parent has?
We moved forward with the Prenatal Screening that tests for the 3 common syndromes/conditions linked to an abnormal amount of fluid at the back of the neck: Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18. If you don’t know anything about these, Trisomy 13 & 18 were “worst case scenarios” to us because it doesn’t guarantee a life in utero or a life after birth for baby because of severe complications. The blood work was taken and sent off to the lab. My doctor advised us that we would have the results back in 7-10 business days.
So once again, here we were, playing a crazy waiting game. Needless to say, we didn’t get much sleep in this time and were very “on edge.” We knew and understood that our doctor’s job is to tell us the worst case scenarios to prepare us for what would have been the unexpected. We were just shocked after seeing (what looked like) a happy, healthy baby on the ultrasound. I was immediately scared of losing this pregnancy and going down the same road we traveled on the last time around.
The thing that got us through this waiting period was distractions. We surrounded ourselves with our closest friends and family and ate up as much support as they were willing to give. I know I say this a lot, but a strong support system is EVERYTHING during a hard time. We are so blessed.
Every single day after the appointment, I was tracking the status of our results online and it was looking like we were going to receive our results early. Monday, May 8th, I got the call from my doctors office to deliver the results. I remember shaking and pacing back and forth as she (my doctor’s nurse practitioner) was talking. When she told me that the screener came back as “a normal representation of chromosomes 18, 13 & 21” and was negative, I started sobbing. Like, hard sobbing. I’ve never felt so relieved in my life! Then she asked me if I wanted to know the gender of our baby. OBVIOUSLY I said yes. So, to make this day even more amazing, we found out that Baby K is a…
sweet little girl!!!!
As any parent, we would have been happy with either gender, but Kyle and I both secretly (maybe not-so-secretly) wanted and prayed for a little girl. So, this was exciting!
The nurse practitioner advised me that this test that was done is a screener, so it is not 100% accurate at chromosomal and genetic testing, but it is a very positive, good sign that we should embrace. Since Baby K has the fluid at the back of her neck, there still needs to be more testing and close monitoring since it also could be a sign of a congenital heart defect or some other things. With that said, we were not “out of the clear,” but the Maternal Fetal Medicine (high risk team as I like to call them) department will take over from here and I should hear from them within the next couple days to set up some appointments including a Fetal Echocardiogram.
We were elated, hopeful, and so positive after these results and couldn’t wait to celebrate and tell our families! Although we still had some questions in the back of our mind, we promised each other to hang on to every positive moment we could!