"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Friday, January 10, 2014

Week 11 (12?) - Good news, bad news (again)

I have officially grown a hatred for 11-week appointments (well, apparently they're saying I'm 12 weeks along, but whatev). With Landon, I was put on bed rest at this point. And now this time....well, read on. (I apologize that this is really long and for the blurry pictures - I just used my phone to take pictures of the ultrasounds because it's easier than scanning them.)

So, good news: I had an ultrasound at Dr. C's office (high risk doc) yesterday and my cervix is still looking good. Ironically enough.

Baby's head is on the left in this one...

Bad news: our baby's neck was measuring much larger than it should be, which means there could be a chromosomal issue, like Down syndrome, or worse (as in the baby may not make it). The baby could also be fine, but Dr. C thinks its serious and wanted me to get a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) done - similar to an amniocentesis, where they stick a needle in my belly to get a sample from the placenta. The results would tell us what chromosomal issue the baby has, if any. She doesn't want me to get a cerclage if the baby has a condition incompatible with life, so she thinks we need to know what we're dealing with. Dr. C wanted to do the procedure right then and there, because it is time-sensitive, but Logan (who was with me, thank God) and I felt very uneasy about making that decision right away. I already had an appointment scheduled with Dr. H this morning, so we decided to talk to him and to family and friends, before making a definite decision. In a way, it was a blessing that my appointments worked out that way, as opposed to back-to-back like they usually are, because we had time to process everything, think about any more questions we had, and then we got to talk to Dr. H.

....and the baby flipped somehow and now the head is on the right! You can see the back of the neck in this one. That gap is what they were looking at and measuring.

I've always had the mindset that I would never have that type of test done because our baby is still our baby, regardless of any test result, and it wouldn't change the fact that we would still do everything we can to help the baby live as long as possible. The only reason I was even considering having the procedure done is because I need a cerclage. If our baby does have something going on, it increases our risk for preterm labor and a bunch of other things later on - many things that I'm already at risk for with an incompetence cervix. It's already scary to think of what could happen later on in the pregnancy, and when you add in the possibility of a chromosomal abnormality, it just adds to the different scenarios and scary things that could happen.

It also makes me really nervous to think about having a big needle stuck in my placenta when I already have an extremely irritable uterus. Logan keeps saying he would never forgive himself if something happened as a result of the procedure. Chances of miscarriage for a CVS are actually pretty low (1%), but Dr. C said my chances probably go up because of my cervical issues. Even with that though, she said she never recommends anybody doing this procedure unless she sees something serious, and she does think it's serious enough.

So, after being thoroughly freaked out and crying a lot (okay, it was just me crying), we went home, talked to our wonderful family and friends (seriously, y'all are awesome), and prayed. Prayed a lot. Not once was I ever at peace with having the procedure done. But it also scared me not knowing anything either.

We went to see Dr. H this morning, and once I filled him in on my appointment with Dr. C, he got the Doppler out to check my baby's heartbeat. It was strong and fast like it should be, so he looked at me, kind of surprised, and said, "That's pretty good!" The baby was really active during the ultrasound yesterday, so I wasn't as surprised, but it was still reassuring. Dr. H sent us to his office so we could talk about everything.

I showed Dr. H our ultrasound pictures from yesterday, and he could see the nuchal translucency - the thickness of the neck (I went to nursing school but I am still learning something new every day!). Since I wasn't wild about having the CVS done, he didn't push it. Instead, he said I could do a blood test that screens for the most common chromosomal abnormalities - Trisomy 13, 18, and 21. So, the downside of that is that our baby could still have some kind of issue but we wouldn't know based on that lab result. Since it is far less invasive than a CVS, I did have the blood test done today. We should find out the results in a week or two. Apparently, if the results do come back positive, they will probably still want me to get a CVS done, but I will worry about that when the time comes. I still have the option of doing an amniocentesis later on in the pregnancy, which is a simpler procedure, so hopefully I can just wait and do that if necessary. I'd rather not do anything, considering my cervix and uterus have issues, but we will see what happens.

Dr. H said he will still do a cerclage, regardless of the test result, if that's what I want - he said it's my decision. There are risks (which I will clarify with him before we have it done), but like he said, we have to do what we have to do! Did I ever say how much I love Dr. H? Yes, he's the best.

As we were walking out of his office, his ultrasound tech was standing in the hallway, so Dr. H called after us, asking to see the U/S picture again. He showed the tech to see what she thought, and she didn't see anything too concerning. Dr. H turned to look at me, and I just laughed. Because really. I was done with the roller-coaster ride, thankyouverymuch. To be sure, his U/S tech said she would take a quick look, so she did yet another ultrasound and Dr. H came in to see for himself. The tech was getting smaller measurements of the baby's neck than they were getting yesterday (2mm as opposed to greater than 3mm), and she really was baffled at how they were getting such a big nuchal translucency measurement. So I said, "Maybe all our people prayed it down." She agreed that it was certainly possible! So thanks to all of you who knew and prayed because you are awesome and we love you. :)

The ultrasound this morning

Of course, we're still being realistic and know that anything is still possible, but our hearts are more at peace. Once we get the results from the blood test, we will evaluate again. At this point, we're planning to put a cerclage in around 14 weeks or so, although it's not scheduled yet. The good thing is that my cervix is looking good right now so we don't have to rush to put it in like last time. I will still be taking it easy though!

Again, thanks for all the prayers and please continue to pray for our baby. :)

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