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Friday, December 19, 2008

15 Weeks Today

“Try to enjoy it”, my primary-care physician told me when I told her that we were pregnant again. I could tell that she sensed my hesitation and my avoiding the giddiness. It’s been the best advice for this pregnancy that I’ve gotten so far, but still difficult to do.

Last Friday was our first appointment at Maternal Fetal. Oh how we dread this place, the place where Dylan’s heart condition was first detected and where the walls came crashing down on us. I sat in the waiting room, trying to read random magazines to pass the time.

When the tech finally called my name, she walked us to the ultrasound room and began the usual routine. We were going in for an NTS or Nuchal Translucency Screening, where they measure the back of the baby’s neck. That, in combination with a blood test, can be used to determine whether there is a higher risk for certain birth defects such as Down’s Syndrome, Trisomy 18, or a Neural Tube Defect. And wouldn’t you know it, the tech had a difficult time getting that measurement. We were on the cusp of being able to get that measurement in the first place (the screen must be performed between 11 and 14 weeks – I was 14 weeks to the day).

She excused herself out of the room to see if one of the other techs would have better luck getting the measurement. I glanced across the room at the nervousness all over Justin’s face. I called him over to me and held his hand. I know we were both thinking the same thing, “Here we go again. This can’t be good.” The second tech came in and was able to get a few measurements that she was satisfied with. She informed our original tech to take them to the doctor and see if they would be good enough to work with. Our tech excused herself again. She said, “Either the doctor or I will be back in here shortly.” She didn’t tell us anything else, not whether the measurements were good or bad, whether they were in range or not, whether she saw anything else on the ultrasound. Nothing.

So we waited. This time, the doctor entered the room. Again, I thought to myself, “This can’t be good.” She smiled and welcomed us back to the office. This was the doctor who originally suspected that Dylan had a heart condition. As she sat down, she asked how we were doing. I didn’t want to get unnecessarily worked up, so I just started talking away. I was able to tell her how anxious we were and how nerve-racking it is to be back in this position. She told us that, of course, that was understandable and that everything looked good. Whew, a sigh of relief. Another hurdle crossed.

I got a call from the office yesterday giving me the results of the sequential screen blood test. I didn’t jot the specific numbers down, but she told me everything was in range and looked good. They will perform a second round of blood testing in a few weeks.

Of course, we are no where near being “in the clear”. Because of Dylan’s heart condition, she told us, they will be looking at this baby’s heart closely as well. And because of my blood pressure, our Maternal Fetal visits will still be necessary too. She was kind enough to add that if we ever wanted to come in for an ultrasound, even if we didn’t have an appointment, to just call the office for a visit. At the very least, it’s reassuring and may help with all the anxiety that I feel in between doctors’ visits.

1 comment:

Domestic Goddess said...

I am glad that this trip went well. I cannot even imagine the nerves that go along with making this journey again and trying to overlook your fears. That is so great that they offered for you to come in any time for an ultra sound, that is awesome! It never hurts to be on top of things and pay attention to the progress and that is a great opportunity.