// Pregnancy Diaries - v.2

Now I'm back to talk my way through another pregnancy post... you know, because I don't do that in every other post. Yesterday was a pretty big "medical" day for us and we had been on pins and needles for 2 full weeks leading up to it. When I went in for my 22 week appointment, my doctor told me that they had found choroid plexus cysts on the baby's brain. I had absolutely no idea what that meant, and she was trying to tell me not to worry, but my mind was going a million miles a minute trying to process the information. She said 1% of babies get them in utero, and most of the time they resolve themselves. But then she said they can be soft markers for Trisomy 18. Again, I didn't really know what that was off the top of my head, but I knew it didn't sound good. She said I shouldn't get worked up, but that she would give me a referral to Vanderbilt for a Level 2 ultrasound. I walked out into the waiting room to find Mike and Toby (since it was a routine checkup I let Mike entertain Toby outside) and as soon as we hit the sidewalk I broke down. I tried holding it together long enough to make the mad dash to the car and then I was basically hysterical. At this point Mike had no idea what was going on or why I was upset, so I started to explain it to him. I was trying to explain something I didn't even understand, so right then and there we started reading articles on CPCs and Trisomy 18. Uh, big mistake! CPCs in themselves are not really a huge deal. They're not birth defects and they don't cause any functional damage to the brain. But Trisomy 18 is no joke. And right then and there my heart broke into a million tiny pieces.

I kept reading and reading and reading, trying to reassure myself that our odds were good for a clean L2 scan because my doctor didn't mention any other signs of T18. I had to wait 2 days for a phone call with my referral and ultrasound date. That date was yesterday. It was a long, hard 15 days. We only told our parents and maybe 2 friends, because we didn't want to worry anyone unnecessarily. Those 2 weeks were spent reading every article on every corner of the internet just to try and prepare myself for something if it showed up. Which, you know, is kind of not the smartest thing to do in a heightened emotional state. I came across a forum of moms talking about CPCs and how everything checked out perfectly fine and their babies were happy and healthy. I cannot tell you how much reading those accounts helped. Typically I stay far, far away from mommy forums (because those places are WHOA!) but I kept clicking, page after page, soaking in reassurance from strangers who didn't even know I existed. 

my view at 24 weeks. hello baby!

Yesterday was our ultrasound appointment. We took Toby out of school for the day so he could go to the ultrasound with us and see his little brother for the first "real" time. We ran errands beforehand and I tried not to think too much about it. We showed up at the Vanderbilt Maternal and Fetal Clinic and I put on my big girl britches. Normally my ultrasounds take all of 10 minutes or so, but I was on the table for a solid 30 minutes this time. Mike and I would occasionally glance over to each other because we'd notice a note the ultrasound tech would write. At one point I saw her highlight several areas of the baby's brain and then label them "CP" (choroid plexus)... so I was convinced he had a half dozen cysts. Again, babies can be fine with multiple cysts, but the more there are the higher the likelihood of an abnormality like T18. I stared at the screen for the full half hour, watching every single turn the baby made and every little picture the tech took. I began to worry (again) and my heart was racing. Then the doctor came in... and she was lovely. She was so kind and she asked us questions. One of her first questions was "So how much do you know about why you're here and CPCs and Tri18?" and my only answer was "Entirely too much." (Seriously KB, stay away from Google!) She walked us through identifying features on the ultrasound and told us that in her professional opinion, she saw nothing else that would indicate T18. She reassured us that T18 comes with a multitude of other physical markers and our little guy looked perfect. At 1 pound 7 ounces, he was in the 44% percentile and looked as strong as could be. We said our thanks, gathered our things and headed out of the office.

baby's moses basket + rocker for our room

Mike cried in the elevator when he hugged me. He was so relieved. This was the news we had been hoping for! I sent off a few texts to my mom and friends letting them know that the baby checked out perfect, and then we were off to run more errands. 10 minutes later we're standing in the paint aisle in Lowes and I just lose it! I started crying in front of the drop cloths and telling Mike that my heart is just so full. It was such a delayed reaction but it felt so good to cry those tears, ya know? 

I can't begin to imagine what it must be like to experience pregnancy and then have doctors tell you the reality of T18 and your baby. My heart breaks knowing that anyone ever has to go through that. I said it yesterday on Instagram and I'll say it again: I don't take even one second of this experience for granted. I wish I could bottle up this amazing feeling and keep it with me forever because there's nothing like it. I would find myself playing the "What if" game too much when I'd think about the chances of a poor ultrasound. And I even questioned whether we should order our stroller before our appointment... But ultimately we decided that we obviously have to live our lives and hope for the best. So that's what we did. Even if we were told our baby had T18, it wouldn't change our course of action. We wouldn't terminate, and we would love him just the same. Even if we never got to bring him home. Our stroller was delivered while I was on the ultrasound table at Vanderbilt... Maybe it sounds silly to say but it felt like a sign and a good omen to come home to. Mike put it together last night while I had a long phone conversation with Susannah. I walked into the house to find it in the kitchen and my heart skipped 15 beats! I know a stroller is just a material item, but it all feels so real when we start seeing his little things put together. It's a sign that he'll be here in a few short months and we'll get to share moments with him in and around these things. I just hope this sweet little baby knows how much we love him. He has already taken over our hearts. 

baby's new wheels! and his sweet bassinet attachment.

This whole pregnancy thing is such an emotional rollercoaster. There are so many things you do in preparation, and making sure that the baby grows to be strong and healthy inside of you. But there are so many factors that are completely and totally out of your control. If anything the past several months has taught me that I can't micromanage every detail of every thing in life. We're so thankful for a good report and I knew this was something I wanted to share because it's been one of the only things on my heart lately. Thanks to everyone who left such kind words on the IG post I shared yesterday. Please know that every single comment was read and cherished. It feels amazing to have the support of so many people! xo

25 comments:

  1. AHH! So glad that everything is okay. I cannot imagine how frightening that must be. My older sister had a severe bleed when she was just 4 months pregnant and they thought she might lose the baby. She made it through, but then they told her the baby was at risk for amniotic band constriction and they wouldn't know much more until she continued to grow and develop. Thankfully, my beautiful niece was born perfectly healthy without any complications. I was frightened for my sister's entire pregnancy and I cannot fathom how she felt and being in her situation. Wishing you all the best and a smooth journey for the remainder of your pregnancy <3

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  2. I'm so happy to hear such a happy ending to this story! I can't even BEGIN to imagine how that must've felt. I wish you nothing but the best for you and your family :)

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  3. I can't even imagine how rough that is. Side note: I wrote a research paper in college on how the internet affects the healthcare system, mainly WebMD - how people go on it with one symptom and end up thinking they have cancer or they stress themselves out with all the information out there. I've definitely had wrist pain and thought I was dying of cancer :P
    Love to you and your family!

    <3
    carelessly graceful

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  4. We started trying to conceive our second baby two weeks ago, and all I can think about is a new baby... reading this made me freak out so much and double-over in worry that when I get pregnant everything turns out ok...!!! :0 I'm so glad it did for you!!

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  5. I'm so unbelievably happy for you Kaelah! <3

    xo
    Kristina

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  6. I'm so glad to hear that everything is okay. I went through the same thing when I was pregnant with my daughter, at her 20 week anatomy scan they found the cysts of her brain and told us there was a high chance of trisomy 18. They gave us the option to have an amniocentesis done (which I declined), and then they were trying to pressure me into ending the pregnancy! Without even knowing for sure if she had it! It was terrible, and one of the scariest things. And I was only 15 at the time! As if a regular pregnancy wasn't scary enough to deal with! It was terrible. :( Thankfully, the cysts went away and she didn't have any complications.

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  7. I'm so so happy to hear that everything is ok! I work with pregnant woman\babies and I cannot even imagine how scary it is to grow a little person. Thank you so much for posting about this experience too, pregnancy problems are such a taboo subject and I always pass on posts like this to our counsellors. Knowing other people are going through the same rollercoaster of worries and emotions makes such a huge diffrrence. Lots of love to you and the whole clan xo

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  8. You made me teary. I am so glad everything is okay with that little gaffer, and I just - I love the love that you and your family have, for each other and for The Babe (With The Power). I want to hug you...and bring cupcakes. :) I love your pregnancy chronicle, thank you for sharing all of this with us. :)

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  9. so happy to hear every things okay, always so scary to hear that kind of news and not be worried! My midwife had told me after my 22 week scan that I had to go back for another cuz the babies head was to large. When I did they confirmed that it was, and what now? nothing, just stress for me and the midwife assuring me that the head will fold up so it wont be as painful as I think coming out LOL!

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  10. I'm so glad that everything is okay!!

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  11. I am so happy everything is ok!
    I can't imagine what hell you went through!
    xxx

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  12. so glad to hear everything is fine. i can't imagine what your mind must have been going through! i dunno if it'll help (you or anyone else) but jen hammer (google her) has a cuuuute little boy with DS, and wrote about finding out about him having it etc. her outlook and positivity of life is just incredible!

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    1. Thanks for sharing! I'll look her up! While a DS diagnosis still would've been hard, if choose it over T18 ANY day. Sadly T18 is almost always a fatal diagnosis and many parents never even meet their babies. I love reading happy stories of families who are overcoming chromosomal abnormalities like DS. It's so inspiring to see them living full and happy lives! I know it definitely (obviously) has it's obstacles, don't get me wrong (I never want to downplay someone's experience!) but it's so rad to see the advancements they've made in the quality of life for kids (& adults) living with these conditions! <3

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  13. It's such a relief to see that your baby is okay! I hope the rest of your pregnancy is worry free.

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  14. Thank you for sharing your story. What a relief! Pregnancy makes life so real and it just keeps getting more and more intense with each new milestone into parenting. All the best to your beautiful family! xox

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  15. Where is the bassinet and stroller from? Need links!! xo

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  16. Just thinking back on my pregnancy with my son and finding out about the cysts on his brain at our 20 week ultrasound is emotional. T18 has to be one of the scariest things to learn about. We also choose not to talk about it with anyone except our closest people and while everyone tried to reassure us, the internet was just full of bad. All of the emotions definitely came out once the specialist doctor said he didn't think we had anything to worry about. Now we have a beautiful 1.5 year old boy whose so amazing and I couldn't be more thankful. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I think just having positive information out there helps so much. I wish I had found more reassuring stories when I was frantically reading everything. Though nothing is nearly as reassuring as hearing from a Doctor that everything is okay. So glad to hear everything is looking good and I can't wait to "meet" your newest addition. Over halfway there! Yay!

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  17. I read your story on IG but I couldn't read it here until today. I knew you have good news, but I can't help it, I skipped some tears again. I'm not pregnant but I can't help feel terrified when I think of that possibilities.
    Anyway, I'm glad you four are great!

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  18. So glad everything is okay! :]

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  19. I love you Kaelah. And your little bean too.

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  20. Glad to hear everything is good with you and your little Flynn! Pregnancy is hard work, and you're doing the best you can so keep it up and your little man will stay healthy.

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  21. I cannot imagine ANY of the things you're going through (the ups and downs) but I'm so glad to hear about the good news and how strong you and your family are.

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

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  22. I can't remember if I replied on IG, but I am so relieved for you. I can't even imagine all the scenarios that played through your head during that two week wait. So happy for your sweet family and can't wait to meet the littlest flynn!!

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB