Monday, April 28, 2008

UPDATE ON THE BABY:

hello everybody...i'm back from my doctor's appointment.
i had NO idea a sonogram could be SO miserable.
i was a nervous wreck, and then had to wait in the lobby for 30 minutes at the hospital.
which of course, feels like an eternity!!!
so they bring me back and situate me on the table and a sonographer comes in and does her 20 minute thing. same as friday. except this time i was near tears the entire time. and this time, the sonographer informed me, "i can't relay my findings -- the doctor is going to have to discuss everything with you when i'm done."
great.
so we sit there for 20 minutes in silence while she measures and stares at the baby's brain for FOUR LONG MINUTES.
then she moves to the baby's mouth (to check the palate)....
then she moves to his heart....and stares at his heart for AGES....
and then stares at his kidneys...

BY THIS POINT I AM READY TO BURST!!
tell me SOMETHING!
ANYTHING!
she finishes up and prints some stuff out and tells me to wait and the doctor will give me her findings.
:: wait on the table for 10 more minutes ::

doctor comes in and WONT SAY ANYTHING EITHER until he DOUBLE CHECKS all the measurements. so i have to lie back down for ANOTHER long, silent sonogram.
brain...mouth...heart...kidneys...spine...umbilical cord....

i couldn't even watch the screen, which is a shame because normally it's so fun. whenever he'd tilt his head and stare at the screen for long periods of time, i didn't even WANT TO KNOW what part of the body he was studying.
it was truly awful.

so after about...an HOUR of sitting in the presence of SILENT medical professionals, i nearly lost my mind.

all to say -- they turned the lights back on and said that:
1) brain is normal
2) palate is normal
3) heart is normal
4) kidneys are normal
5) spine is normal
6) fluid is normal
7) body is measuring on target for gestational age.
8) umbilical cord is missing an artery.

so they confirmed he in fact is dealing without a 2nd artery in the cord.
questions i asked him, in random order as they buzzed through my brain:

Q: why is "single umbilical artery" significant and how did it form?
A: no medical reason is known yet, as to how it happens. 1% of babies (i knew my doctor and his "10%" average was too high) acquire this issue and there's really no reason. it's only significant IF paired with abnormalities that are found in the brain/heart/kidneys/etc. if it's an isolated event, in most cases, the mothers to be are treated just like any other pregnant woman, with maybe an additional sonogram thrown in there for growth size.

Q: if there WERE to be a heart/brain/kidney problem, would it have manifest itself already or could things still derail in the future?
A: it would have manifest itself already. if anything else were to go wrong with the baby, the likelihood that it has anything to do with this umbilical cord is rare. it would be another random, isolated event -- with no correlation to this anomaly.

Q: then why do 20% of babies die from this, if it's so insignificant?
A: WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT INFORMATION? it's inaccurate. if that were the case, we'd have alot of dead babies. when a stillbirth occurs, we don't even check to see if it was an artery issue in the cord, it's not even used in the process of elimination.

Q: so if you were my doctor, where would you go from here?
A: (he smiles because he SORTA answered that question already...) i'd assume this is a non-event and treat you as i would any other patient.

Q: aren't arteries important? he's obviously supposed to have TWO and he's only got ONE...how can he properly function with HALF of what he should have....
A: how do people live full and normal lives with only ONE kidney, when they were meant to have two? same difference. your body should compensate for the lack of the artery, and be fine.

Q: will my baby suffer from growth restriction?
A: some old school doctors draw that conclusion, though it's hard to prove that growth is restricted due to a single artery, as opposed to two. more times than not -- babies with a single artery are in the normal weight range.

Q: so will you send my results to my regular OB?
A: yes.

Q: what will your report say?
A: normal, with the exception of a single umbilical artery.

**********
essentially, the BABY is great! the baby's connection to the placenta is less than perfect. the placenta is great. and the VEIN in the umbilical cord is what's more important b/c that brings food/air/stuff TO the baby. the arteries are what bring away the baby's waste. he said that since there are normally TWO arteries, and i only have one....that the one artery actually stretches to accommodate the load of what two would normally carry.

i follow up with my regular OB tomorrow morning for a normal prenatal and hopefully we can chat more about this and about how often he'll want to see me, as opposed to how often they were wanting to see me before (once a month).

but this is a huge answer to prayer and a huge relief :) we still have an "issue" but it seems to be isolated and carries no significance to the overall health of the baby. i'll probably still pray a little bit more about this than i normally would over the health of my child -- but hopefully i'll start to calm down now.

THANK YOU so much for your prayers and thoughts and concerns and emails.....
i'll pass along whatever the reg OB says tomorrow!!!!

another day down....
136 to go.....
it just can't go fast enough....!!!!
gosh.
it's been 11 days since my last post.
i'm impressed.
it feels like 11 LIGHTYEARS.

we are officially in our house -- drowning in boxes -- but we made it!! WEIRD.
honestly, i dont think i've slept more than 6 hours each of the past 11 nights and that would be considered generous. i bet the average is under 5. which is pretty bad.

i could list for you all the things that have gone SPLENDIDLY...and all the things that...well...haven't. but that's sorta boring and the whole point would be missed because if you haven't LIVED IT with us....then, the impact isn't there.

i will note that we have spotted the neighborhood nazi.
she's already informed us that our garden needs to be weeded.
and that "today is trash day. that means you need to bring your trashcan back into your garage."

i literally looked around and EVERY SINGLE NEIGHBOR had a trash can sitting outside their garage. why? BECAUSE IT WAS ONLY 4PM and everybody was STILL AT WORK. yet....i personally had to get mine into my garage IMMEDIATELY.

"....nice to meet you, too."

note to self: deliberately leave trash can outside for an additional day JUST to find out if she'll say something again.

another BIG mention = we painted our entire house. and then...i decided it all needed to be painted over. i had a little meltdown over it. cried. swallowed my pride. called my painter. made my offer. she accepted. we're in the process of repainting everything. FORTUNATELY, after 17 pints of "test paint" (DO YOU KNOW how much that really is, if you add up benjamin moore pints TIMES 17?!), i'm officially in love with the color that is now on our living room walls. the office will stay blue. the rest = will go.

then i spent 3 days in court with the dept of health.
i was on channel 7 ABC news.
i was chased by TV cameras.
i was put on the stand. sworn in for the first time. no Bible involved. nothing like what you see on TV.
all because RUDY was attacked by another dog. i wont lie -- it was NASTY. people LIED through their teeth. my blood boiled. and then i went home and pretended the verdict (which we still await) impacted my life in a REAL WAY somehow. like....pretended it was my MOM on trial, or CHAD, or my best friend....and realized.....this is SO STUPID. in my heart i DO NOT CARE what happens to this stupid Labrador. but apparently the district of columbia does and court resumes on wednesday. nice.

in other news -- i need prayer.
i think i can talk about this without needing tissues, today....so i'll proceed.
on friday, i had my 20 week sonogram. chad and i bounce into the office, excited to see our baby again, excited to see how much he's grown. excited to get another peek at his cuteness. i lay on the table, she proceeds to take her measurements, chat about his heart chambers, tell me what position he's laying in, show me his kidneys, measure his brain....yada yada....it's all chipper and hunky dory (where did that saying come from anyways?)....and she wipes the goop off my stomach and goes:

"everything looks fine, except for his umbilical cord....it's supposed to have 2 arteries in it -- and his only has one."

blink, blink.
blank stare.
blood trying to burst out of my warm cheeks.

".....what did you just say?"

"well, every baby is supposed to have 2 arteries and 1 vein in their umbilical cord, and your baby only has 1 artery and 1 vein in his cord....therefore he'll probably be a low birth weight."

oh, no no no no.
as fast as you can take a BREATH, i had a list of questions BURNING through my brain. all while thinking....this absolutely can't be happening to me.

she said i should direct all additional questions to my doctor when i see him next, but that otherwise, "things look fine and you shouldn't worry."

AREN'T ARTERIES PRETTY DARN IMPORTANT THINGS IN OUR BODIES???
DON'T WORRY?!

i left feeling numb.
and apparently stupid, because i came home and googled, "Single Umbilical Artery," and it all resulted in me sobbing for 4 hours on friday night.

single umbilical artery "SUA" can be pretty darn serious.
go pull it up on wikipedia.
it's horrific.
and then in a majority of cases, it's not.
but in 30% of the cases = it is.
you've GOT to be kidding me.

i felt like i was going to snap.
the stress of the move. the stress of court. the stress of chad traveling, the stress of keeping up with my clients....and then finding out i didn't pass my sonogram with flying colors only compounded the anxiety to a point of me crashing and burning. and of course, in these moments, my husband is clueless on what to say, because frankly, we're both clueless about what this means.

i paged my regular OB on sunday, still in tears.
he called me back and chatted about this.
he said 10% of patients have this weird umbilical issue.
i think he's lying.
but moving on...

he said that IF they happen to find any OTHER physical or chromosomal anomalies going on with the baby, in addition to the umbilical issue = we probably have a significant problem on our hands.

IF they don't find anything else wrong with the baby = this is a fluke thing and i shouldn't worry. (haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa) he said they'll be keeping a very close watch over me for the next 5 months, with extra sonograms, stress tests, visits to make sure the baby is growing in proportion to his gestational age. i may deliver early. and i fall closer to the "high-risk" catagory than i did before.

he suggested i call the fetal medicine/perinatal specialist on monday to get a high-powered sonogram done asap, to make us all feel better -- and we'll have a better idea how things are shaping up for bebe morgan. swell.

obviously, that's what i did this morning.
i'm on the books at the fetal medicine clinic at the hospital for tomorrow at 3pm.
and i'm going alone b/c puffy is out of town. :(

at the end of the day = there's nothing medically known to CAUSE this. and there's nothing medically known to fix it. it is what it is. and i guess i need to be prepared for some sort of issue to arise, but i'm really trying to stay positive because nothing will transpire outside of the Lord's will...AND odds (not that odds matter AT ALL) are technically on my side. well. if you get past the point where only 10% of babies have this issue...and i fell on THAT wrong side of the fence. (every piece of research i've read says only 1-7% of babies have this....but my doctor must know the right things to say to sobbing, paranoid freaks like me who would stalk them at home on weekends if not sufficiently attended to ASAP.)

i also know two girls who went through this and came out on the other side just fine.
one of them had a 10lb baby DESPITE the growth restriction warning.
so that made me feel a smidge better.

this time tomorrow -- i really hope this is put behind me.
i do however feel that over the last 24 hours, the new realization has washed over me.
there REALLY IS no control over this life. my life. my baby's life. my next breath.
it's easy to say that when i get an A+ on a sonogram, like i did 4 weeks ago. "whew...we're getting CLOSE to me feeling like i can breathe again...maybe i really am having a healthy pregnancy!?"
but to have a person look you in the face and say with 100% certainty that there is something abnormal about your sonogram....renders me more helpless than i ever felt capable of understanding. even if tomorrow goes swell and the specialist tells me all is well....something else in this life will seem crushing and disappointing and unexpected. and there's not a DARN THING i can do about it. at all. and so, in a way....tomorrow's sonogram doesn't matter.

facts are:
i'm pregnant.
i'm almost 21 weeks pregnant.
i've never had an "abnormal" sonogram yet.
and boy oh boy, have i had a zillion sonograms.
my most recent sonogram is all the sudden, abnormal.
yep...still pregnant, though.
pregnant until the Lord chooses differently for me.
with a potential "abnormal" reading....until he's born to prove otherwise.
nothing i can do about either of those.

so i try to let it all go.
but i'm a little bit scared about tomorrow. i'd be lying to say i have no emotions over it.

just say a prayer for me on tuesday at 3pm if you think of it.
i'm not excited about being there alone...but the Lord is always present and He'll provide all that i need.
*********

on another note:
yes, we DID get some photographs of baby morgan on friday.
and yes, he's a doll :)
the appointment started with us not able to get a clear shot of his face because both of his hands were joined in front of his face like he was praying. *swoon* he loves Jesus already :)

but here's his profile shot.
and then his celebrity shot. giving us the hand. after 20 snapped images....clearly he'd maxxed out and simply relayed that to us with his hand up. so funny!

he measured perfectly for his age and shows no signs of growth restriction at this point.
he's 12oz, which is on the high end for "normal" at 20 weeks....and she said that from what she can see, his heart, brain, kidneys, etc look typical. please Lord let the news be promising tomorrow.

i've gained a total of 10lbs and on a good day (aka, my jeans haven't been washed in 2 weeks) i can still fit into ONE PAIR of regular jeans. you shoulda seen what i wore to court. i was so safety pinned together, that going to the bathroom took an hour. work clothes just don't have any stretch!!!!

and at night, he throws a kegger in my stomach.
when he's born i'll have to give him a heads up that it's not really acceptable to drink ALONE, but for now, he's so darn cute jammin' and bouncing around, that i'll let the late night (solo) rave in my belly, slide below the radar. i just can't tell his father.

anyhoo, here you go!



and the hand!



ok...it's 1215AM and i still need to pull apart a bookshelf tonight, to make room for the cable installer to bang holes in my newly painted walls tomorrow. and then i'm going to crash into bed, so i'm bright eyed and bushy tailed (aka, stumbling around with bedhead in sweats) at 8am for the window coverings measuring dude to make his cameo as well.

when do i get to be that chubby pregnant chic who eats ice cream and watches oprah all day?
whew.

8 comments:

ckuretich said...

late-night rave - celeb shot - you re-painted your house - you were on TV for a doggie court case - I'd feel like you make this stuff up, if I didn't know any better. :)

But obviously you are chosen to go through drama. Or these things would not happen to you. I'm proud to hear a tone of assuredness & confidence in you post today - and I know this will be ok. I mean, your husband is 6 foot 100, your child (especially of the male species) is NOT going to have growth issues! Unless it is because he's so tall he's sliding down the vaj too soon...AHH!!!! Gross. but funny, you laughed, come on.

i love you, and i want pictures of your house when the new, acceptable colors are done. and this blue office!

Julie Nickerson said...

Praying for you!

And of course, Mini Puff!

You poor thing....sooooo much going on. Please call me if you need me!

Glenna Marshall said...

I've already prayed for you several times today, Allison!! I'm praying expectantly...I'm looking for good news when you update! Don't leave us hanging, if possible.

Little man is PRECIOUS. I love the hand picture. His profile is perfect.

Love, love.

Nikki said...

I know I haven't replied to the email you sent but know i'm praying for you and love you guys! And seriously - SOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!! Those pictures, oh my gosh, I want to squeeze the baby already!!!

Hope said...

"both of his hands were joined in front of his face like he was praying. *swoon* he loves Jesus already :)" That was precious!

Wow you have an intense life going on! I hope the court case ends great...glad Rudy is doing better.

Praying for you, praying everything is a-ok with the baby...and you!

((HUGS))

Eric and Emily B. said...

You are in my prayers!

Emily,
xanga.com/lovedme4me
used to be baby_beezhold

Chrissy said...

NEWWWWWWW post. we miss you.

Anonymous said...

ALLY IT'S YOUR MOMMA AND IT'S PAST TIME FOR A NEW POST!!!!