We found something on your ultrasound, your Midwife and Doctor will go over it with you in the exam room. Please wait here while I go speak to them… I will be right back.
That’s how the beginning of my 23 week appointment went while pregnant with A.J., and it only got worse for a few weeks. The ultrasound tech found a birth defect on our little guys ultrasound in the form of “2 Vessel Cord”. We were told at that appointment that most babies umbilical cord has 2 veins and 1 artery in it. The artery is what supplies baby with blood (and nutrients) from it’s mom, while the veins act as the garbage men, carrying toxins away from the baby. With only 1 vein in A.J.’s umbilical cord, we were placed on “watch” and needed monthly and eventually bi-monthly ultrasounds to watch A.J. grow. What would happen if he wasn’t properly growing you ask? Preterm induction, because although he had a birth defect, in only existed in my womb which means once he was out of me, he would be able to grow just fine.
We went home from that appointment relieved and believing that everything would be just fine.
However, that evening when I was getting ready to leave for a bible study I was a part of, we got a phone call from the head of midwifery at our hospital who had a few more concerns. After she and our doctor took a second look at the ultrasound, they started to get concerned about the babies kidneys and heart, and brain. We were informed that we needed to make a few appointments at National Children’s Hospital to have some more testing done and potentially some genetic counseling.
Confused and needing to talk to my husband, I told the midwife that I would call them back. Since we had just let the appointment a few hours before and were told that everything would be just fine, I was at a loss as to why we were now being told a different story.
After talking to my husband (and staying home that evening), we called the midwife back and spoke with her together.She told us that the ultrasound was picking up soft markers for Down Syndrome and that it was best to have more testing done. My husband and I decided, with our midwife that rather then rush down to Children’s right away, we would wait for our next appointment AND ultrasound and then make the necessary appointments in these soft markers had not gone away.
Our thought process was this… nothing could change our mind about our baby and the love we had for him. For us, the option of abortion was not actually an option and therefore they couldn’t give us any information that was time sensitive. Considering that anything new information they could give us was not anything that would “fix” any “problems” in the womb, we also didn’t feel as though it would help us make any decisions differently than we already were.
So we waited… we also cried a bit, prayed a lot and did something we shouldn’t have done, we “googled”.
One month later, we were back at the doctors office and I was convinced that nothing was wrong with our baby. I had a whole slue of theories about why this was all happening… every hear about milking someone for their insurance, or a testimony that will bring you to your knees, or that sometimes technology and medical advances are to good to be true and pick up things that aren’t really there? Anyways, the ultrasound came back the same as before, and we were following through on our part (with much hesitation mind you) calling and making appointments for more testing and genetic counseling.
We went to the appointment and everything I said about options and information remained the same. The chances of our baby having Down Syndrome, Hydrocephalus, Kidney or Heart problems all remained the same and the final verdict was that we wouldn’t know anything for sure until this little guy was born.
So the ultrasounds continued. A.J.’s growth was watch until I was 34 weeks when it was confirmed that he was actually surpassing all of the markers they look for in terms of organ development. At this point, 11 weeks later, they told me to go home, relax and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy.
Little side note here… I threw up until I was 22 weeks pregnant and then cried my eyes out between weeks 23 and 34 because of birth defect fears. The idea of going home, relaxing and enjoying this pregnancy was literally something I couldn’t comprehend.
Spoiler alert… A.J. was born without any issues at all. His heart rate didn’t even drop once during labor, but I’ll get to that later.
My son is by far one of the strongest and most self motivated babies I have ever seen. If you don’t believe me you can watch the video on my phone that I have of him rolling over at 2 weeks. If that doesn’t do it for you, then talk to the hospital staff who were amazed at his ability to hold his own head up an hour after he was born. Or maybe you should just watch him nurse, that is an experience that says nothing but self-motivated and strong.
I wanted to share this part of our story with all of you because sometimes science is wrong, most of the time pregnancy is hard n some way or another and all the time God is in control. I wasn’t told these things prior to being pregnant and I think it’s important to hear.
Our boy is perfect and we thank God for that multiple times a day.
Pop back in next week to hear all about A.J.’s birth story and how it only (sarcasm) took him 50 hours to make his way into this world.