Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Scare...

Up until December 21st everything had been going great in the pregnancy.  That day I got off work and did some Christmas shopping and headed home.  I checked the mail and there was an envelope from my doctors office...the letter inside told me I had a "level 2 ultrasound" at Midwest Perinatal Associates.  I had no idea what a level 2 ultrasound was so of course I googled it.  I read that they are done when the doctor sees something from a previous ultrasound and they want to exam it further.  Okay, a little scary, I hadn't been told anything was wrong so maybe this was a mistake.  Than I went to the MPA web site and that's when I started to get really nervous.  The office specializes in high risk pregnancies, trisomy 13, 18, 21 (downs), heart defects, kidney problems, ect.  Brett got home so I showed him and I was upset and crying and we just kept telling ourselves it was probably a mistake and it wasn't meant for us.  I really believed it wasn't for us because we hadn't been told ANYTHING and everything thus far was perfect.  Thank goodness we had a doctors appointment the next day.
Brett hadn't planned on coming to this appointment since it was just suppose to be routine so my sister had planned on coming with me but since the letter arrived he decided he better come just in case.  We get in to the office and the nurse does her little routine and than we wait for the doctor.  She comes in and she always asks us first if we have any questions.  I pulled out the letter and told her I had no idea what this means, what is going on?  She said, "they didn't call you?"  I said no.  She said she was so sorry, she checked her computer and it said they had called twice and left messages but I didn't get those messages because of my stupid new phone.  So partly my own fault.  Anyway she went on to tell us that from our last ultrasound she had found what's called an "echogenic focus of the heart."  It's a small mineralization or calcium deposit inside the heart that shows up on the ultrasound as a bright white spot.  It's not a heart defect, it is very common in pregnancies, it often goes away by the 3rd trimester and you never have to worry about it again....however....it is also a "soft marker" for down syndrome.
I immediately burst into tears.  She told us that more often than not it's not a big deal and everything is fine, in fact most doctors don't even tell patients about it.  She feels like because it isn't her baby that we as parents have the right to know, so that is why she wanted to make the appointment for us.  All of our other tests came back negative for downs and our chances were 1 in 10,000...very low.  So the level 2 ultrasound would be a extensive test to look for other signs of down syndrome.  If the specialist doesn't see any other markers than we won't have to worry about it again and it will go away.  If they see other things that would indicate downs they would offer us an amniocentesis (not fun), and we would go from there.  The doctor didn't seem to concerned but I was a mess.
We got outside and I just lost it.  Our entire lives would change dramatically.  Everything started running through my mind, our marriage, finances, how would I tell people? Crazy thoughts I know.  I called and told family what was going on, went home, had a good cry, and slept for 4 1/2 hours.  
The next day I called a friend in Texas whose baby had the same thing and I called a friend of ours in Detroit who is a labor and delivery doc.  Both of those phone calls made me feel a little better and after doing some research on google I was starting to feel better.  
Our appointment wasn't until Jan 10 but they told me I could call everyday and see if they had any cancellations.  So I called Monday and they had an opening for Wednesday!  Although I felt better about everything I was still scared.  So Wednesday came and it was possibly the longest ride to Overland Park EVER!  No matter how many people say they know everything is going to be ok, try and relax it will be fine, there is just no way you can, not until you know something from the doctors.  We got called back into the room, there was the doctor and the nurse who explained everything about the echogenic focus that there is to know and than they got started on the ultrasound.  They went from head to toe, through every body part, taking measurements, looking for anything that may indicate downs.  He kept saying everything was looking normal so I was getting more relaxed as it went on.  He even said that focus wasn't as bright as he thought it would be (which is a good thing because most fade by the 3rd trimester).  So after the ultrasound he said that because of the echogenic focus our risk for downs went from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 5,000 which according to him is still very low.  He said he did not recommend an amnio and he was happy with our results.
I, of course wanted to know 100% but the amnio is the only way to find that out but your chances of a miscarriage are 1 in 400 and he didn't find it necessary so I said fine I'll be happy with your findings :)  And we were on our way!
Of course I feel 95% better about everything, but there is still that feeling of what if....and I'll have that feeling until I see my baby.  
We had so many prayers and thoughts coming our way, it's amazing that a little Facebook post can lead to so many people (including friends of friends that I don't even know) praying for us.  My family has been SUPER supportive and my friends are AMAZING.  I couldn't be more thankful and I can't say enough how much it means to us, you'll never know how much it truly meant.
So thank God for a healthy growing baby boy, thank God for my peace of mind, and thank God for my family and friends.