Monday, February 4, 2008

It's a....

First the fun stuff:

We went for Mess 1's two year check-up last Monday. He's 29 lbs 2 oz (60%), 35 inches tall (55%), and his head circumference is 50 cm (80%). Pretty consistent with all his other checkups.

He has reached all his milestones for development, and the doctor had a great time playing catch with him to check his motor skills. After he and the doctor had a long talk, during which he learned the words "pediatrician" and "stethoscope," the doctor declared him brilliant. The doctor then asked if we knew what a challenge that was going to be and told me that we are going to have our hands full.

Um, yeah, we'd kind of figured that out. I never expected to have to tell my two year old I don't know all the words to one of the songs he learned at daycare. He's up to 15 or so songs that he can sing completely by himself, and seems to know a new one each week. I'm already dreading his math classes ;0)

Oh, you thought this post was going to be about the baby?


Well, it is, mostly. We had our ultrasound on Friday and found out we are having a girl. We were so excited to hear that news!! Once again I guessed correctly, and her Daddy's face when he heard was priceless; I wish I had a picture of it! Here's her sweet profile:She measures dead on for her due date of June 21, which was good to hear. Other things that were good to hear: the umbilical cord has three veins, her hands were open and her fingers had all three bones, she doesn't seem to have a cleft palate, her nose bone was visible, the chambers of her heart were well developed, and the skin fold at her neck was a normal thickness.

Why was all this so good to hear? Here is the not so fun stuff of the last two weeks.

The day of Hubby's recital my quad screen came back abnormal; our risk for Down syndrome went from 1:500 (due to my age), to 1:29. This is very high; apparently from what the doctor said you move into the high risk category at 1:200. When all of the positive factors listed above were figured into the picture our risk factor moved to 1:48 which is much better but still high risk. The only negative thing they saw on the ultrasound was a possible area of calcification near her heart, but it was not definitive.

After a long talk with the OB last Friday (she must have spent at least 30-45 minutes with us), here is how things stand:
  1. We do not have a diagnosis. We have indicators that something might be wrong.
  2. Based on the ultrasound from Friday, even if the baby does have Down's there is the strong possibility it will be a mild case, with few or no other complications like heart problems.
  3. An amnio is the most conclusive way to diagnose Down's, one way or the other, until after birth. Because our risk factor is still so high, the doctor recommends we have it done, however it is completely our choice.
  4. We have decided to have the amnio, mainly because we feel this is the best way to plan for her care both before and after she is born if she does indeed have Down's.
  5. This may also be the best way to plan for care to get both of us to a healthy delivery. The doctor said, based on what she and others have seen in their practice, if the baby comes back negative for Down's the abnormal test result may have to do with me and some of my risk factors, specifically gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and preterm labor.

The next steps:

  1. We have an appointment for a level 2 ultrasound on Wednesday. That will be followed by genetic counseling and an amnio on Thursday.
  2. We will have preliminary results in 7 days, final results by the end of the month.
  3. We may have an additional level 2 ultrasound near the end of the month to look at her heart again, if necessary.
  4. My GD screen is March 6. (Since I flunked my first one last time the doctor gave me some tips to help avoid a false positive, for which I am very grateful. The second screen was miserable! Since they have to do four blood draws in three hours they can't afford to miss any of my veins, which means they dig until they get the stick. Ugh...)
  5. Assuming everything is fine with the baby and my GD screen is negative, everything will progress normally until 32 weeks (end of April). At that point I will start seeing the doctor twice a week so they can check my blood pressure and some other things. Basically, things will get "really intense," (a quote from the doctor) as they do everything they can to detect any problems as early as possible.

Writing this out has really helped me organize the ton of information we have been given (it's taken me three days to write this so it makes some sort of sense, or at least it now does to me), but I'm not really sure how to wrap this up. I guess by telling you how we are doing with all this.

First, we are very excited about our already much loved little girl and can't wait to meet her! We currently have the same hopes for her as we do for her big brother, and if those have to be modified a bit so be it. We will give her the best we can no matter what.

Second, we are so, so thankful that overall she looks healthy and that the test results did not indicate anything worse; while not our desire, Down's is minor compared to some of the other results we could have been given. Also, that we are being given such great care by our physicians and their staff. The doctor who gave me the news balanced information with compassion very well, and the poor OB nurse has talked to me so many times in the last week I think she recognizes my voice without me giving her my name. She even pulled some strings to get our appointments moved up from the 26th to this week. All the specialists we need to see are here in town, which is also wonderful news.

Third, we are thankful to have all of this information. We had this test done when I was pregnant with Mess 1 and it was reassuring to get the results. While the results were not what we wanted to hear this time, they will allow baby and me to get the care we need for a healthy delivery and, if necessary, Hubby and I can have a support system in place to give our baby girl the best and earliest care we can when she is born.

So, we ask for your prayers. Waiting the week between the news and the ultrasound was very stressful, and I know the next three will also be hard, especially since patience is not one of my virtues. Also, this is now a high risk pregnancy, so we will be a little on edge until she is here even if the test results show everything is normal.

I'm sorry this is so long, and for sharing in this manner, but this seemed the best way to organize the information. Also, I know that I'll have more to tell as we travel this road, so documenting the beginning seemed to be a good idea.

Besides, I am planning to share the wonderful news that she is fine at the end of the month, and it will be so much more fun if you understand why, right?

(PS: stop crying Mama, we will all be alright, and yes I know even though I'm not supposed too. As Hubby says: "Apple - Tree" as he holds his fingers about 1/4 inch apart.)


  1. My family and I will definitely keep you in our prayers during the next couple weeks (and months).
    Any little girl names picked out?

  2. Hey Missy, thanks for the comment. Yes, I hope you are right..this too shall pass! :)

    And, congrats on finding out you are having a girl!!! How fun. And thanks for sharing all about your appointment and what y'all might be facing. We will say a prayer for y'all tonight.

  3. Mama, yes the apple tree. You know me too well. I know that what ever it will be okay. God couldn't pick two better parents to deal with any challenge that might face them or their children. Grace, Mom

  4. Wow. I'm behind on reading things this week. Praying hard.

  5. Thoughts are with you all- you seem to have it all in the right perspective. She will be lucky to have you two as parents and the brilliant big brother too.

    :) Love you all,