( Note: I would have posted this sooner, but I won an overnight stay in the hospital this weekend in the Labor and Delivery unit for preterm labor brought on by extreme dehydration from a nasty stomach virus.
Thankfully, I’m back at home now and the baby and I are both doing well.
So now I can get back to blogging... )
Ever since those red flags showed up on my anatomy ultrasound awhile back, I’ve been under close monitoring by the maternal-fetal medicine department at the hospital.
The upside of this is that I was able to get some extra ultrasounds, which means more baby viewing time for me. The downside is that these people like to make me panic.
And panic I did.
After the initial ultrasound, I freaked. I read every medical journal study involving the correlation between short nasal bones and Down’s Syndrome.
Most of what I read was reassuring. But still, I couldn’t shake my anxiety. I have never had anything even remotely concerning show up during any of my ultrasounds when I was pregnant with the boys, so this was all completely new for me.
And all I could do was worry.
For almost a week, I barely slept. I had panic attacks where I felt like my heart was pounding through my chest and I could barely breathe. I was constantly on edge, consumed by the terrifying thought that there might be something wrong with my baby.
It was an awful week.
Then, at my next OB appointment, I told the doctor that I was stressed out over the anatomy scan. He pulled up the report that maternal-fetal medicine had sent to him and showed it to me.
Based on my age alone, MFM had determined that my risk of having a baby with Down’s was 1:3760.
After my ultrasound, when they discovered that the baby’s nasal bone was measuring short, the risk was adjusted.
I was stunned and incredibly relieved to see that the numbers had not changed significantly.
The report alone did not ease my mind completely. I still needed to get through a quad screen and another ultrasound to determine if we might need an amnio.
The quad screen came back normal. It has a 75-80% rate of detecting neural tube defects and Down’s Syndrome. Based on the results of the screen, my risk of a neural tube defect is 1:2074 and my risk of Down’s Syndrome is 1:767.
According to the doctor at maternal-fetal medicine, the normal cutoff for Down’s risk on a quad screen is 1:270.
My results were way above the cutoff. The odds are in our favor.
I had two more ultrasounds with maternal-fetal medicine. The first one showed that the cyst in her brain (despite what the doctor had said during the first visit, the report stated there was only one cyst) had disappeared.
The scan also revealed that her nasal bone had grown since the last ultrasound. This was particularly reassuring, since short nasal bones in babies with DS don’t grow with gestational age.
Another ultrasound a few weeks later confirmed that her nasal bone was continuing to grow. She also is measuring right on target everywhere else.
It’s highly likely that we will be having a healthy baby girl.
And since my last ultrasound was in 3D, I also got a peek at just how beautiful she is.
Now I just can’t wait to meet her.