My little family!

My little family!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So what happened...?? (and 21 weeks)

First and foremost - I won't bore you all with EVERY.SINGLE.DETAIL about what has been going on the past few weeks (although this will be a long post and I commend you if you make it until the end). It's been emotional, stressful and scary. It's been a lot of waiting. It's been a lot of tests. And the end result is that it appears EVERYTHING IS OKAY! Which is the news I hoped to hear (and quite honestly didn't expect...) - I'm not a religious person but I do believe in the power of love and I SWEAR the amount of love and kindness we've felt from family & friends has been so incredible, healing all the pain associated with this whole thing.

Let me back up...

We had our anatomy scan. This is a scan done between 18-22 weeks to get a detailed look at the baby. It also happens to be when you can find out the sex so it's a very exciting time. We had our anatomy scan done in office. I noticed the technician (extremely nice) taking extra pictures of the brain. After having multiple ultrasounds with Layla, I have become a expert novice at reading ultrasounds and had a feeling something wasn't quite right. I shook off the feeling and focused on the fact that our sweet baby was a BOY! We were elated. The tech also told me had partial placenta previa (see below). And that was that. We left with our pictures from the scan as thoughts of boys and trucks bounced in my head.

Fast forward to dinner - out with my entire family - I receive a phone call from my OBGYN.

"Can you go somewhere quiet? This is your doctor and we need to go over some results from your scan."

NOT the words you want to hear.

I sit down and she begins to explain the findings (again, see below).
I begin to break down. I faintly remember listening to her and she ended up with stating I needed to follow-up with a level 2 ultrasound (more detailed).
I couldn't breathe. Thoughts danced in my head and they weren't pretty. What was happening? Why was this happening? Did I do something wrong?

Here is what we were told:

Partial Placenta Previa (I had this last time, the reason I had a C-Section) - I'm not surprised. I am on pelvic rest (no sex), no exercise, limited lifting, etc. It sucks but it can move as the baby gets bigger. I can't have a vaginal birth but I am having a repeat C-Section on 1/14 anyway.

Choroid Plexus Cyst (I had THIS last time as well) - - Here is an article but basically they are NOT harmful most of the time. They tend to disappear by the 3rd trimester (Layla's disappeared one week after the initial ultrasound). They CAN be scary if paired with other abnormalities (stunted growth, another organ having issues).

Enlarged Ventricles - THIS was the part that scared me. In the brain there are ventricles and B's are enlarged/wide. The doctor sounded worried and said that I needed to go for further testing. I broke down. I didn't understand what was happening or why. After discussing with my sister (mom, sister in laws, brother, brother in law and even Ava, haha) I calmed down. Kind of. We all did a lot of research and it seems to be BETTER than we had originally thought which was good news. My sister texted me "Statistics are definitely on our side. From what I can tell there will be a lot of ultrasounds to come. Maybe even weekly. They will be looking for a decrease in ventricle size (most likely scenario), the same size (good scenarios, less likely) and increase in size (worst scenario but least likely)."

SO. I have the level 2 ultrasound a couple of weeks ago at the hospital. The tech is again very nice. Explains as she goes along and later brings in the doctor (a specialist).

He tells me that it appears ONE ventricle is enlarged (not both as we first thought). He goes on to say this can be an indicator for abnormalities. It can be harmful. It can cause damage. I stare in disbelief because I was hoping the original scan was wrong. He says there are 4 things we can do -

1. Amniocentesis - We denied this as there is a small risk of miscarriage. As we had already opted to keep the pregnancy no matter what (he's my baby boy, after all) -- this seemed too scary for us. It would provide a definite answer of any abnormalities (everything else cannot provide a certainty).
2. Blood Work - Sometimes infection can cause the enlarged ventricle. I had this done last week and the results all came back negative.
3. Follow-up Ultrasounds every 4 weeks - Self explanatory. We will continue with this until it's deemed unnecessary.
4. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - A day of testing. We opted in to do this yesterday. And so we did.

We left the ultrasound room with a little more hope but I waited and waited - that's all I could do. I made my appointment with CHOP and hoped for the best.

Yesterday finally rolled around and my day of testing began.
Josh was unable to miss work so fortunately, my mom was able to join me.
I picked her up at the bright dark hour of 6 AM and off we were to CHOP.
We were scheduled to be there by 7:00 AM and we were only a couple of minutes late (due to traffic + getting a little confused).
We were sweetly greeted by a receptionist and I was prompted to fill out paperwork, go over insurance information, etc.
The room itself was nice - big - comfortable seats and ABC was on TV so we got to watch Good Morning America. Than the waiting began -- not too bad and my mom and I were able to catch up :) Plus I FINALLY wrote some of Layla's 1st birthday thank you notes (seeing the positive in an otherwise gloomy day).
I was called in for the first test...

A Fetal MRI. If you've ever had an MRI (I've been lucky enough to have two thanks to headaches in college and viral meningitis in 2008) -- you basically are squeezed into a tube, ear plugs stuffed in and you lay still for a long time. I was told this could last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on baby. Thanks Moses baby boy cooperated because 23 minutes later I was done. I don't have claustaphobia but it's not the most fun place to be. Not too bad and fairly quick.
After that, we met with our coordinator, Stephanie. She was very sweet (and perhaps the tallest woman I've ever met) -- she went over my medical history, family history, etc. Lots of talking. Lots of questions.

After that, we waited some more.

Then we went to an echocardiogram - for baby. It was basically an ultrasound but focused solely on the heart. Sometimes genetic disorders can affect the heart - so they were looking for anything wrong. At the end of the test, she let us know that the baby's heart was "text-book perfect". Beautiful. His heart rate was 147.

After that, LUNCH! Thankfully because I was starving. We made our way to the cafeteria and were pleasantly surprised. It was gorgeous - sushi bar, salad bar, sandwiches -- amazing. We got lunch and ate. I looked around and noticed how many little kiddies were in scrubs. Patients. Their parents looked exhausted and beat up. My heart ached for them. I heard a set of grandparents singing to (what appeared to be) a 5 month old baby boy that he was finally able to go home. I couldn't imagine. As lovely a place CHOP is, I never want to experience this again.

After lunch, we headed back upstairs and waited some more. By this point my back hurt something fierce and my nausea was in full force. Lovely. We sat and I responded to the numerous calls and texts I had received all day. It brightened up an otherwise gloomy day.

After a while, we had our last test - an ultrasound. That lasted 90 minutes. Literally. They looked at every detail. Their equipment was far superior then anything I had ever seen. The technician asked where we were from - when I explained I grew up in Philadelphia and now live in a suburb right outside the city, she was surprised. "You're lucky!" she exclaimed. She went on to explain that a lot of people fly to the city for the very tests I was having. I couldn't believe how much I took for granted how lucky we are to live so close to one of the best children's hospitals in the country. We continued the scan and clearly me and the tech became BFF. She was so sweet, as was EVERY SINGLE person we dealt with that day. She gave us our souvenir (picture above) and we went back to wait. We were the last 2 to remain (earlier in the day the waiting room was filled with expecting mamas with big bellies and heavy hearts).

Then the doctor came over...

He directed us to a room. We sat down. In the middle of the table was a box of tissues. I was sure it was bad news. We knew we'd be meeting with a doctor at the end of the day to go over all the results but it finally hit me that it was time to see. He sat us down, smiled and said....

"This is why I love my job. The times I get to give good news are the best part of my job."

I sat silent.
My mom cried.
We held hands. My mom hugged the doctor. I sat and stared in disbelief.
He went on to say that per all of the tests, the ventricle is not enlarged anymore.
He is not concerned with the cysts or previa.
He cannot say with 100% anything but by all accounts it appears the baby boy is perfectly healthy.
I couldn't (still can't) believe it.
The nightmare is over.
I asked if I would need to come in for further testing and he said nope!
I will continue to have ultrasounds at the hospital to monitor the cysts and previa but as far as he is concerned, they are a non-issue.

We left CHOP smiling. We are the lucky ones. We got the good news. Not everyone does. And I am well aware of this.

We celebrated over Chinese food and frozen yogurt with my sister and the kiddies last night.

I started a Babies R Us registry.

I started dreaming of my babies playing together again.

It's not that I didn't think about the baby all the time..... But it was always filled with fear.

Now, I think about this darling boy and I cry because he'll be healthy. Life is hard. It's full of twists and turns and it's a constant obstacle course. I couldn't bear the thought of him entering this world already dealing with pain.

Now hopefully the only pain he feels as an infant is a little hit or two from his big sister.

Thanks again for all your kind words. We love you!

Tune in this weekend for a special appearance from the Dada himself - he requested a chance to be a guest blogger and I couldn't be more excited!!!!

How far along? 21 weeks, 2 days. The length of a carrot! He is currently weighing in at ONE POUND, ONE OUNCE!
Total weight gain/loss: No idea. It was bad news earlier in the weekend so this morning I hid the scale and I've opted for the every other week weigh in. Why add stress to the baby party?
Maternity clothes? Need them. Bad. Maternity shopping must be in my very near future.
Stretch marks? Bio Oil - please work your magic.
Sleep: Sometimes good, sometimes not. Quick naps help. Early bedtimes (sometimes) help. WEIRD dreams. Lots of potty breaks. 
Best moment this week: See above. The best part of this week, this month, this pregnancy.. so far. Knowing my sweet boy is going to be healthy.
Have you told family and friends: Yes. I've been very forthcoming this pregnancy with everything (way more then last pregnancy). I guess it helps to talk about it?
Movement: Yup! Lots. My mom felt a swift kick yesterday - so cool. Josh hasn't had a chance to feel movement yet, hopefully tonight.
Food cravings:  FROZEN YOGURT! With chocolate toppings.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still dealing with bouts of nausea but nothing compared to even a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was fairly nauseous in the afternoon - I think it's spinach? I eat it a lot and I always feel like poo afterwards. I had a spinach salad again today for lunch. I guess I like torturing myself?  
Gender prediction: Confirmed again yesterday - BOY BOY BOY! 
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In! But weird. And shallow.
Wedding rings on or off? On! But seem to be getting tighter. Crap.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happier then I've been in weeks. 

Weekly Wisdom: Trust your gut. Bring your mom with you to long day appointments. And eat a blueberry muffin if you're in the mood.
Milestones: A huge milestone, indeed. We can breathe a sigh of relief at the fact that our boy is seemingly healthy and well.

Belly in clothes!

And 11 fun facts while I think of them......

1.      Layla is now 90% walking all the time. She doesn't do as well in shoes as barefoot so for the most part, she's shoeless. I don't mind. And she's getting FAST. It's so so so cute.
2.      I'm obsessed with the new local frozen yogurt spot, Yo Fresh. It's 15 or so flavors of low fat/fat free frozen yogurt and all the toppings a pregnant girl could wish for. We've been two nights in a row. I also made friends with the boss. Obvi.
3.      We are getting our next furniture delivered next Thursday and I can't wait!! We are finally making home changes. It's really fun. My list is literally two pages long. My brother Matt told me it would be easier to move. He may be right.
4.      We are considering getting the Dodge Grand Caravan - they may be helpful in getting out of my lease early. I love my Nissan Rogue but the trunk space STINKS. The 4 things I want/need in this car are automatic sliding doors, a DVD player, hands-free Bluetooth and a remote starter. I'm SO excited about getting a mini-van. Despite some hesitation from Josh initially, he's completely on board.
5.      I can't remember if I wrote about it but we are officially booked for our next vacation to the outer banks -- a week with my ENTIRE family in a 12 bedroom, 11 bathroom mansion on the BEACH. Layla will be 26 months and baby boy will be 7 months. I can't wait. Literally.
6.      We are going down the shore on Friday. I want to gamble. Bad. And swim. But gamble more.
7.      We are going apple & pumpkin picking on Sunday - we went last year and Layla was a little peanut. This year she'll be able to run around a bit more - I'm so excited!! FALL IS HERE! Almost. Whatever. The cool mornings are a clear indication fall is upon us.
8.      Next week is my 29th birthday. My last year of my 20's. A fun, exciting, scary, crazy and otherwise fabulous birthday -- Josh & I are heading to DC for dinner, relaxing and a tour of the white house!!! How patriotic of us! ;)
9.      The monopoly playing is out of control. We're obsessed.
10.  I'm so excited for all my shows to come back!! Smash, Shark Tank and Once Upon a Time specifically. Did anyone else watch the Bachelor Pad finale? Holy moly!!!
11.  Josh surprised me at lunch today on the way to his appointment. It was a 60 second hug and kiss in front of Saladworks that made my day complete. I hope we're always this in love. Even when we're old, wrinkly and can't hear each other. ;)

Layla rocking out at music class - so happy to be back in the swing of things!

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