In the interest of full disclosure, I decided to post about my doctor appointment today. And I suppose, more than full disclosure, I just didn’t want to tell the story over and over… It is not a fun tale to tell.
Today Matt and I had our second ultrasound. During the first one, the baby wasn’t sitting in a good place for pictures. My maternal instinct definitely kicked in during the first (and then second) ultrasound as I watched the technician become more and more frustrated about the position of my baby. At one point, I almost told her it was her fault she couldn’t get the pictures, not the way my baby was sitting… which is, of course, ridiculous.
Anyway, our ultrasound started out in much the same way. As soon as she looked at the baby she said he was sitting in the same place. She struggled to get the pictures of the heart she needed and went to get the head ultrasound technician to come try. The head technician came in and worked on it for a while, but shortly gave up. She told us we would have to set up an ultrasound at the hospital to do a more in-depth viewing. She also said she wanted to do a consultation with the doctor before we left just so we scheduled the right appointment. At this point I am not too worried. I just assume baby is not in the ideal place to take the pictures of the heart and spinal cord. I even made a bad joke about how the baby was grounded to his womb until November, possibly early December.
Matt didn’t think that was nearly as funny as I did.
So we were sent to the waiting room until the next available doctor could see us. I do not do well with the waiting game. And I am pretty sure I drove Matt up the wall while we waited. Finally after about an hour of waiting, I went up to the front desk to see how much longer it would be. The receptionist told me that Amy, the head of the ult. depart. had just finished putting together her report.
This was when I did a bit of a double take. Why would Amy need to create a report for a referral for another ultrasound. Usually all you need is the referral stating why and a ROI so they can get the information. We were called back to a consulting room and waited for the doctor. Unfortunately my doctor is on a two-week vacation right now. So I did not get to talk to her.
The other doctor came in and basically told us there may or may not be something wrong with our baby’s heart. She gave us three scenarios: 1.) The ultrasound picture was bad and, due to how baby is sitting, we just can’t see everything clearly. 2.) There is a problem with one of the chambers or valves that can be fixed with surgery after baby is born. 3.) Baby has a heart problem that cannot be fixed with surgery.
Kind of scary.
And we don’t get to go see the heart doctor until Monday. They scheduled our appointment with her for before her schedule even starts. Then, after we have the heart echo, we are having a level 2 ultrasound to make sure all the other organs and body parts are growing and developing appropriately. Finally, depending on how the first two appointments go, we may meet with a genetic counselor who will help answer our questions if our baby does have a disease which falls under scenario 3.
The most disheartening part of all this: the doctor we met with told us that Amy is really good at her job (which I had already surmised, my doctor is top quality, best you can get for ob/gyn–ask Oprah) and she probably did see something wrong with the heart. I wish she hadn’t told us that before sending us home with a whole weekend to wait.
Matt and I knew there was a possibility of passing genetic illnesses to our children. My family has a history of Cystic Fibrosis (although, I was tested and found out I am not a carrier) and Matt has Nystagmus which is a genetic eye disease with varying degrees of severity (we do not know if we passed this on to our child yet). I just never thought, when planning on a baby, that anything else could be wrong. Heart problems were outside the realm of possibilities for my child, which is pretty ignorant, but it is hard to imagine your child being sick.
And of course there is fear. Fear that my child will fall into scenario 3 and, God forbid, die without ever really living. There is fear that even scenario 2 could go horribly wrong: what mother wants her child to have open heart surgery within hours of his birth? And there is a fear that somehow I did this to my baby. That I failed at being a mother already and I didn’t take good enough care of myself and my baby.
I am praying for scenario 1, planning for scenario 2, and freaking out about scenario 3. I know that there is nothing to do for the next few days but wait… followed by four more months of waiting. I know that if scenario 3 happens, Matt and I will adjust and do everything in our power to help our baby have the best life he can have for however long that may be. I also know that if it is scenario 2, our baby will be fine. A lot of children have valves and chambers fixed after they are born (it doesn’t make me any more eager for option two, again what mother wants her child to go into the OR right after birth?). And I know that scenario 1 is also common. It is possible that I just have to live a little bit of a nightmare for the next few days to find out my baby is healthy.
We would really appreciate your prayers this weekend as we play the waiting game. I will let people know what happened after the appointments.
ps: use of “he” was because I don’t want to think of my child as an “it”. just picked a gender for the blog.