Saturday, December 18, 2010

And Now I Can Exhale

I wasn't sure I even wanted to write this . . . but I think the gratitude that I have for life right now and the peace that has come over me are a feeling that are worth remembering.

On the 9th when I went to my doc for an ultrasound, the tech mentioned to me that she saw 2 Choroid Plexus Cysts on baby boy's brain. She didn't seem knowledgeable and couldn't tell me anything, so I took it with a grain of salt until I got home and did a little research.

You can google the term but the general idea is that in about 1% of all pregnancies cysts can form. They do absolutely no harm whatsoever to the baby - in fact, many adults have them in their brain. It's simply a backup of cells around the choroid plexus, which is the part of the brain that flows spinal fluid. HOWEVER, in some of those cases the cysts can be considered a soft marker for chromosomal defects Trisomy 18 and 21 - Edward's syndrome and Down syndrome. The medical community is split - some docs feel that the cysts really have nothing to do with either one of those and in 99% of all cases they go away by week 28 anyway - so sometimes it's not even mentioned to patients. Other docs feel that since they are a soft marker, further measuring and testing via ultrasound should be done to rule out those defects.

I received a call on Tuesday that I needed to have a Level 2 ultrasound done down in Nashville because my doc falls in to the 2nd category. I was also told that the 1st available appointment was on the 27th. After falling apart for an hour or so, I got it back together and started bugging the doc's office to get me in sooner . . . finally they squeezed me in yesterday.

It was a nervewracking drive down there by myself . . . lots of things went through my head. You see, while people live just fine with Down Syndrome, Edward's syndrome is pretty much not compatible with life. Most babies are born still born and if they are alive don't make it past a month or at the max a year. But it's hard for me to even hear that - almost 43 years ago no one knew how long my brother would live . . . most probably assumed he wouldn't. In March he will turn 43 and I can pretty much guarantee you he will outlive my mother. So it would be hard to look at a prognosis like that and make a decision while having a very close living, breathing reason not to believe in medical odds . . . . and no, my brother's situation in no way shape or form affects me. My brother was born hydrocephalic - that is a virus and is in no way genetic or passable.

But after 45 min of ultrasound measuring and movement testing with the sweetest girl I have met in a long time . . . the conclusion is that we can be 98% certain that our boy will be just fine. The cysts will be checked again in 5 weeks and likely will have resolved themselves. The doc said if I wanted 100% certainty we could do an amnio . . .no thanks . . .

In the end, if you go through enough pregnancies you are bound to start hitting weird things, right?! I mean, now I have experienced gestational diabetes, choroid plexus cysts, and with Sam an ultrasound tech hyperventalating because she thought she couldn't find the 4th chamber of Sam's heart! My gut told me there was nothing wrong with our boy - but my mind needed to see it!

So I left feeling about 100 lbs lighter . . . oh, and with the knowledge that while everything else on the boy is measuring great at 20 weeks, he is 14 oz (11oz is the average) and his arms and legs are measuring at 21.5 weeks . . . she asked if my husband was tall . . . hahahaha Looks like the boy might be my 10lb 2ft long baby! :)


Tina. said...

Great news!! I'm glad you had a better experience with the girl who helped you at Vandy. I always felt I was getting the best care from the nicest people anytime I went to a Vandy-associated doctor. And I went to quite a few...

Wiz said...

So glad that everything is ok and that you can relax and not have to worry about it over Christmas! Hope you have a great Christmas!