A High Risk Pregnancy

Its funny how a mother knows when she is pregnant. I wasn't even 4 weeks gone when we were getting our floors refinished, I just had this thought, "what if I'm pregnant? I shouldn't sleep in the house" I hadn't really any reason to think I should be pregnant but sure enough, I bought the test the day I had those thoughts and much to my surprise it was positive! Funny but at that moment I thought something was wrong but pushed those thoughts out of my mind. I called my doctor and they wanted me to come in at 11 weeks for my first ultrasound.
The ultrasound seemed to go really well, the technician was saying things like, "look at the baby waving at you" and "see theres the head" etc etc, she gave me absolutely no reason to be concerned. After the US I was left in the room waiting for the doctor to come in. I remember feeling pure pure joy that I actually had seen the little one inside me, and doing a little happy dance in the room all by myself. At my last pregnancy I miscarried at 14 weeks, the day I was supposed to go for the first US I started spotting so I never actually got the see the baby, he / she was gone before I got to the doctors and they couldn't find a heartbeat. Unfortunately unbeknowst to me I wouldn't get to feel that feeling again of worry free happiness for the rest of the pregnancy. And so I waited and waited and waited for the doctor to come in, thinking it was a little odd that she was taking so long. When she finally opened the door I knew she didn't have good news from her face. "We found something on the scan, fluid at the back of the neck, you should see a specialist right away" I also knew from the words she spoke that this was something really serious. I was handed a bag of pregnancy goodies and a script to see a maternal fetal medicine specialist and the doctor left me with the words "you might not want to tell anyone you're pregnant just yet". The bag was thrown in the boot of the car where it stayed for many weeks, and I called JB in tears with the awful news, something might be wrong with the baby. How could this be happening?
Within the week JB and I were at the hospital to see the specialist. It was a tense appointment and you could cut the air with a knife. "Your baby has a nuchal fold measurement of 7.2mm which means a 50% chance of chromosomal problems, a very high chance of a serious heart defect, or some other awful gene syndrome". He said he was 100% certain that something was wrong with the baby with such a high measurement, and we should speak to the genetic counsellor about our options and schedule a CVS while we still had time to get an idea of what we are dealing with. Once again John and I left the appointment in tears with heavy hearts.
The day of the CVS rolled around 1 week later, John and I were excited to get some answers. Although we couldn't consider termination we did want to know if there was a chromosome problem eg Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13 or 18 or Turners Syndrome so we could be prepared. I couldn't go through the next 6 months not knowing (or so I thought...........) We saw a different doctor this time, a dull serious guy by the name Lescal that John and I took to calling Lestat as he seemed to be the doctor of doom, never cracking a smile, never a hopeful word. By this point I had googled the babies condition until my eyes bled so I was aware of how dire the situation was but we were proceeding with the pregnancy so couldn't he just give us a little shred of hope to hang onto. I guess not ....... The procedure wasn't as bad as everyone said it could be and 3 days later we got the results. Standing outside work on a Monday afternoon I heard that our baby had normal chromosomes!!! John and I were elated, the baby had passed the first hurdle. From then on until 24 weeks we saw Dr Lestat every 2 weeks. Each appointment was so stressful while we waited for the doctor to tell us if the baby was still alive, and hadn't been suffocated by the fluid. At about 20 weeks we were given our next miracle, the fluid had resolved! Although Dr doom and gloom was still wary that this had any meaning as the reason for the cystic hygroma hadn't gone away but we knew that our baby now had a fighting chance of making it to birth as the possibility of fetal hydrops had been seriously diminished. And at that appointment I got my very first pic of Baby Bradley (although I had to ask for it)
At 24 weeks we went to see a lovely doctor in Greenwich hospital for the fetal echo, and once again, miracle of miracles, the heart was healthy!!! We had crossed the next major hurdle!! Around that time we also had the level 2 scan for organ and skeletal abnormality's. Cystic Hygromas can also be linked to severe skeletal abnormality's and skeletal displasgia, but once again everything was proceeding as normal, including the weight and size. I was finally allowing myself to believe that this baby was going to be OK, and he (yes we didn't want to know the gender but one of the ultrasound techs let the info slip that Baby Bradley was a boy!) was coming no matter what! I went out and bought him his very first present, a little orange Tshirt was the words "Take a Hike" . I though it was quite apt.
Unfortunately our troubles were not quite over, at about 30 weeks Baby Bradley's head started measuring about 2 weeks ahead of time, and about the same time I was diagnosed with polyhydramois. Unfortunately high amniotic fluid along with being very very uncomfortable can indicate a problem with the baby, our worries were back to haunt us again. I started swelling at about 32 weeks and it seemed I was taking on the same symptoms as the baby in terms of fluid retention. At 40 weeks I was diagnosed with serious preeclampsia and we went straight to the hospital for induction. After 40 long weeks we would finally get to meet our baby and all our questions would be answered, or so we thought ...........
A cystic hygroma pregnancy is a worrisome stressful time. I must admit that I didn't enjoy my pregnancy one bit. With each doctors appointment I thought I was going to get some answers and they never came. Unfortunately the doctors just don't know all the reasons some babies present with cystic hygromas and normal chromosomes. It leaves you in a bleak no mans land with very little support or information. Its a rare occurrence and even on the Internet I couldn't find anyone going through it at the same time as myself. It was a very lonely frightening time for us but it brought JB and I closer together than I ever thought we could be, and showed us that we were stronger than we could have believed possible and that this baby above all else was a fighter.


TMI Tara said…
This is beautifully written, thank you for sharing it!

I'm wondering if you'd like to share your inspiring story on kidzorg.blogspot.com. Just email me. It will help raise awareness and bring new friends to your blog. kidzorg.blogspot@gmail.com.

Popular Posts