Entry 3: The News, Part 1

Posted by Sherri Viner on March 20, 2015 at 1:55 AM

Another week goes by since the negative materniT21 test and I'm already back at the doctor’s office for the routine anatomy scan. I already knew that I'd have to come back for another one since I wasn't as far along as they thought I was. Regardless I was just excited that we were going to able to see him for the first time.

My name finally gets called from the waiting room and Jimmy pushes the ridiculously huge stroller through as I drag along my purse and Alexander's large bag of goodies- basically they're things that we can try to entertain or bribe him with to help keep him calm and not have a freak out tantrum during the appointment. The toys, books, and food worked. He was pretty good through it all, thank goodness. I hate being that person. You know the ones, the why can’t you get control of your crazy screaming children kind.

I can't recall the ultrasound techs name but she was super friendly and perky. I got on the table and the ultrasound began. Oh my goodness- there he was. It was the silhouette of an actual baby! I was surprised to see it so clearly so soon. He looked perfect with all his fingers, all his toes, all his bone structures intact, and we even saw a human looking face on the 4D scan. It was still a little distorted since at 16 weeks pregnant the baby doesn't have much fat and he was still a bit skeletal.


 We were making small talk with the tech during the scan and she would point out different images as we were going along. Then as she was concluding the scan she says "the bad news is…you have to be pregnant longer." What!? Was something wrong?!! My brain had stopped at "the bad news is." Who does that? Why in the hell would you start a sentence with that to a pregnant woman getting an anatomy/anomaly scan? Once I processed that she meant because I was supposed to be over 19 weeks but I scanned at 16 weeks 2 days, I was okay. A rush of relief passes through me and the scan was complete. She walked us back to the waiting room since I had back to back appointments. They set up the routine visit with my OB doctor in conjunction with the ultrasound for convenience which was really nice. Jimmy decided to take Alexander home since the second appointment wasn't going to be anything special and was going to be short.

My OB came in the room and asked all the same questions I've been asked before, like was I experiencing any spotting, any issues, etc. I went through the questions and was getting impatient since I wanted to get back home so that Jimmy could get back to work and I could get some of my own things finished. She then proceeds to say you just had your ultrasound right…umm yes? It was the way she said it- I started to get a bit of a sinking feeling. She said that it looked like the baby was smaller than they first thought. Again, I confirmed and said yes and that I was expecting that though. She then says there was an issue they spotted on the ultrasound. She said that they couldn't see four chambers of the heart. Seriously- what did that mean?! She then calmly said that she was going to refer me to see a high risk OB doctor so that they could do another ultrasound since they were better equipped and can get a better look at the heart. She said that they would try to get me in early the next week and that if I didn't hear anything by Monday to call. The current day was a Friday which meant I had to endure the torture of waiting the entire weekend. All I said was “okay”. That’s all I could get out as I had a sick feeling come over my entire body. Somehow I managed to keep myself composed while I was still in the doctor’s office.

It felt like I was on the longest walk of my life trying to get to the privacy of my car. That’s when the first tears filled my eyes. I had no idea what just happened, everything seemed fine when we were with the ultrasound tech. She didn't hint to anything being wrong. I even recall laughing with her about some trivial things during it all. It was a bit surreal, I was feeling a bit shaky and was overcome with fear for our baby. I had to keep myself together to drive home but luckily we are only 5 minutes away from the OB office.

I walked through the door and no one had any idea what was happening. Alexander came running over to me and then my eyes filled up again. Jimmy said hi and noticed that something was wrong and asked what was going on. I couldn't even bring myself to speak because I knew if I tried I would spill out crying. I just motioned for him to wait a second while I tried to catch my breath and get myself collected enough to speak. I told him what the doctor told me, which wasn't much. He had me recall exactly what she said as if to try to read into something that maybe I had missed.

From there I did what any rational person would do, to the Google. I read post after post of several women stating that their doctors told them that they couldn't see the four chambers in their baby’s heart and that they needed to do another ultrasound as well. It brought a little ray of hope but I just had a bad feeling that it was more serious. I tried to look up heart issues and I actually was surprised to read that congenital heart defects affect 1 in 100 children. That seemed really high to me since it never seems to be brought up as something doctors warn you about. We were preparing for what would be the worst case scenario, a full heart transplant. Even with a full transplant, all hope wasn't lost since I read that many babies survive into adulthood and go on to live relatively normal healthy lives.

The weekend was full of worry and Monday finally came. This was the day I would find out when we were to have another ultrasound. I stared at the clock all day and checked to make sure the phone lines were all working. I told myself that if I didn't get a call by 1:00 pm I would call the office but I had to keep myself from calling sooner. Several agonizing hours later it reached 1:00 pm and I immediately called the office. They put me on hold as they called the referred office and relayed to me that they received the notes on my file and would call me that afternoon. As I sit waiting I kept thinking to myself what notes? What was it they sent over? Shouldn't I be privileged to know what was being said about me? Then the phone rang. Appointment was set for the following day at 1:00 pm.

Categories: March 2015

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