What a hard couple of weeks. Filled with waiting, and some answers. The pain still hasn’t subsided, and I don’t know when it will.
I finally found out my amnio results. And thankfully, they came up negative. This means that the amnio didn’t detect any sort of genetic disorders, or chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome. It confirmed, along with the ultrasounds, that she doesn’t have a neural tube defect like spina bifida. It was also negative for fetal infections like cytomegalovirus and toxoplasmosis.
I was on pins and needles for weeks waiting for these results, especially for Down syndrome and toxoplasmosis. Cats play an important part in the spread of toxoplasmosis through their feces. It also spreads through consuming undercooked meat. Currently, I’m living with three kitties, and even though I haven’t touched the litter-box since I found out I was pregnant, there was still a chance that I could have got the parasite. It didn’t help that the symptoms my baby currently has is exactly what would happen if she had the infection. When a fetus gets toxoplasmosis, they can develop (among other things) hydrocephalus and an intra uterine growth restriction, which is any fetus under the 10th percentile. As of the last scan, she measured in the 7th percentile. Waiting for the results, on-top of dealing with my baby girl’s hydro, was devastating. If I found out she had an infection that I could have easily prevented, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.
We had a second appointment with the OB/GYN specialist after another ultrasound on December 9th at Multicare Maternal Fetal Medicine in Tacoma. During that scan, I was 25 weeks pregnant, and her body measured in the 7th percentile, with her head between the 97th to 98th. It measured two weeks ahead of schedule. I also heard the bad news that 1 ventricle raised from 21mm to 31mm. The other stayed around the same at 22mm. For a healthy baby, both should be under 10mm. Rather than hear that her condition stayed the same or got better, I heard that it got worse. And that was the hardest news to hear.
During that appointment, I mentioned that I’d done a lot of research about hydrocephalus and it’s treatment options. I brought up how I would be more comfortable having the baby’s probable surgery at Seattle Children’s rather than Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Seattle Children’s is ranked nationally in 10 children’s specialities, including neurology and neurosurgery in which they rank 9th. They have a huge team of neurosurgeons that can do shunt surgeries in their sleep. They also are in the process of developing new ways to treat hydrocephalus. Starting from her first day of life, I want her to receive the best care possible.
After that appointment, I immediately told my OB doctor here in Olympia that I wanted to be switched to the Maternal and Infant Care at UW because of it’s connection to Seattle Children’s, and she started the referral process. I heard from UW a couple days later, and everything went through. I have my first appointment with them on the 23rd. I’m hoping to schedule a fetal MRI and a meeting with a pediatric neurosurgeon ASAP.
Lastly, I heard from the genetic counselor that my insurance is going to cover a microarray from the amnio test. This is a more thorough test that analyzes the chromosomes in more detail. It can tell if there are any micro-deletions and/or micro-duplications in the chromosomes. It brings the small possibility of explaining why she might have hydro. If it’s genetic or just how her brain developed.
So, here’s to more waiting…Waiting for the microarray results, and waiting for the first UW visit. Waiting for an MRI, and waiting for her to be born. I have no idea what her ventricles are now. Are they the same, better, or worse? Is she in any pain?
Honestly, I just want to sleep until she’s born.