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there is a light in your eyes

November 13, 2009

I’ve finally gone through and gathered up the posts about the Stuff surrounding Keira’s birth from my LJ memories through the end of 2005. The pictures don’t work because the server they were on is no more. …and I’m spent.

Ultrasound Pictures & News – July 6, 2005

Okay. I don’t really know how to leap into relaying stuff like this, so we’ll start simple: there is good news and not-so-good news. And now I shall just spill it all as I remember it.

Measurements averaged out to put me at a due date of only two days before my previous one, so that’s cool. So, the deal is that in Baby’s brain there are ventricles, just like in your heart. The lateral & third ventricles are enlarged. Head circumference is 1.7cm; the “limit” for “normal” is 1cm at this stage. The different may not seem like a lot, but it means it is measuring at 23wks instead of the 21wks 4 days I currently am. On the other hand, the legs are measuring 21wks and abdomen 20wks, both within normal limits. The radiologist is fairly confident the enlargement is due to aqueductal stenosis, causing hydrocephalus. I’m being referred to a perinatologist in Sioux Falls. The appointment is early tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

FIL said we are probably looking at 1) Baby getting a shunt and 2) the possibility of the head getting big enough that they will want to do a C-section. I can’t dwell on that right now.

The ultrasound experience itself was very cool. I don’t want to forget that. We saw the aorta, which got the tech really excited b/c she said she doesn’t get to see it that clearly very often. Baby wouldn’t give us many face-on shots, but we caught a quick glimpse and I saw Baby’s wee nose. We also got a front view of a leg and both bones were amazingly clear. While the radiologist was looking at things, Adam was able to see a profile shot and the Baby turning its head.

ETA: Sorry, I totally forgot to write about trying to discover the sex. The tech was finally able to catch Baby in a pretty good position, just not crystal-clear. She said since I am this far along a penis should have been really obvious/visible, but it wasn’t — only it wasn’t clear enough for her to see labia. Take from that what you will. She thinks it’s a girl.

More Ultrasound Pics + Perinatologist Appt – July 8, 2005

You’ll want to read the previous entry before you read this one. I’m going to try to make this coherent. Really.

My appointment was at 7:50, and Sioux Falls is about an hour & fifteen minutes away, so Adam & I hit the road by 6:15am. I didn’t get to sleep until 1ish, so I was hurtin. Despite what we thought would be a setback, we got to the Doctors Plaza by 7:30. I found out she — the perinatologist — had agreed to squeeze me in before the regular schedule of patients began. I was back there until 9:15. Both the u/s tech and the perinatologist did a bunch of ultrasounding (some in 3D) and then they did an amniocentesis.

We got to see some gorgeous pictures of the bebe, who was very active and uncooperative. Being facedown meant they couldn’t get one of the measurements they needed, so they had to go internal. Thanks for doubling the u/s part of the bill, child.

Dr. W agrees with Dr. S’s finding of aqueductal stenosis. There is also a possibility that the corpus callosum is missing, b/c she could see a ventricle that is normally blocked by the cc. She was confused why Midwife changed my due date from Nov 5 (calc’d from the date of my last period) to Nov 11 (b/c of measurements at my first u/s). I don’t know what she wants me to go by now, so I could be either 22 or 23 weeks pregnant at this point. I know it doesn’t technically make a big difference, but I like just having one answer, you know?

I’m finding it hard to verbalize some of this. The amnio was to determine if there are chromosomal defects, like Trisomy 21 (Down’s) or Trisomy 13 or 18 (fatal). The results won’t be back for 10-14 days. It could take even longer, technically, b/c the cells take longer to grow if there is blood in the amniotic fluid (which there was). The possibilities are incredibly wide-ranging. The hydrocephalus could stabilize and not get worse and everything could be fine, or not. The baby could be normal or there could be developmental delays, also ranging from mild to severe.

My next appointment is in four weeks. I don’t get to see Midwife anymore; I’m being transferred completely to the Maternal-Fetal Medicine unit and Dr. W’s care. This means that they will probably want me to give birth in Sioux Falls, especially if a C-section is required. At some point, Dr. W is going to have us talk to a pediatric neurosurgeon, who would be the one putting in the shunt. If all that happens, I won’t be able to bring home the baby right away. Obviously.

It’s just…a lot. I’m on such a rollercoaster of emotion. You know, talking about how we can handle anything and I want to be one of those strong moms who doesn’t let this stuff defeat them…and then having to talk myself into taking a shower. Looking online at babygirl clothes, and then thinking I shouldn’t set myself up for more pain/disappointment. I think the majority of my stress, really, is financial. This is going to be nightmarish. There’s just no getting around that.

The ILs have been fabulous. FIL told me that they are looking at this at something we are facing as a family, not “this is your problem and we’ll support you to some degree”. He has a lot of contacts in the Sioux Falls area and we already have the name of the best two pediatric neurosurgeons when the time comes.

That’s all I can remember right now. I think it’s time to get on with the pictures — taken 07.06.05.

Return / Amnio / Clarification – July 24, 2005

We’re back. Anyone want to do laundry for me?

For anyone on OD who didn’t see Jaybriel’s entry, or anyone on LJ who didn’t hear my phone post, I got the amniocentesis results last week. There are no chromosomal defects, and bebe is definitely a girl.

The clarification has to do with the hydrocephaly; all of that is still valid. The amnio was to see if there were Even More Bad Things on top of this one. Thanks for all the yay-notes. :-)

It Heals the Soul [Perinatologist Appt] – September 2, 2005

Friday 09.02

The appointment went well. More 3D pictures. :-) The fluid is still in the ventricles, but they are measuring the same as they have been. I asked Perinatologist if they were going to want to schedule a C-section or what, and she said no way – her goal is for me to have a normal delivery. At this time there is nothing obstetric that indicates a C-section is necessary or would benefit me or babygirl. YAY! She asked about contractions and I told her that while I don’t think they’re real ones, I’d been having a ton of BH and the really uncomfortable, unrelenting tightness last night. She wanted a non-stress test, so off I went for that. Of course since it was morning I didn’t have anything like the night before, but she said she saw some signs of irritability so while she’s not putting me on bedrest I’m supposed to stay off my feet more.

But to see her was to love her, – November 17, 2005

Thursday 11.17

The four of us went to Sioux Falls for Keira’s neurosurgeon appointment. Her head circumference is such that while within normal range, it – combined with the fact that her soft spot feels puffy – is enough to make him want a CT scan. She will get one December 1st and I’m praying she doesn’t have to be sedated. If she does, she can’t eat past 7am for the 11am procedure, we have to check in at 9am, and we won’t meet with the neurosurgeon until 4pm.

CT Scan, etc. – December 1, 2005

Thursday 12.01

We left really early for Keira’s CT scan. The roads were bad, but since we weren’t rushing, it was fine. Everything went so smoothly, it was a good day. We left at 8:30 and got there at 10, got admitted, and went up to peds. A nurse hooked me up with an empty room so I could nurse Keira. Instead of saying okay, be done by 11, she asked how much time I needed and told radiology that’s when we’d be down. The nurse said she stirred a little when they put her down but that was it. Her clothed weight is 8lbs 4oz. :-)

We ate lunch at Chevy’s, then called the neurosurgeon’s office to see if we could get in earlier than 4:00. She said to come in after 1 and they’d see what they could do, but she didn’t sound very promising. I expected we’d still have to sit for a couple hours, but when we got there they said oh good, Keira’s here! and took us straight back. The waiting room was packed full of people who now hate us.

K’s head circumference is stable and following the curve she established and the CT results were also good. The fluid around the outside of her brain has decreased a bit. The ventricles are still “generous” but he reiterated that some people are just built that way and told us about a guy he saw with huge ventricles who was perfectly fine. Since she’s just a li’l bit he wants to monitor her HC for a while. My smart husband asked if it would be reasonable for FIL to take the measurement and call up with the results, explaining that a) it’s a big trip every time we go up and b) it’s at least $150 a pop. Neurosurgeon said absolutely, no problem.

I’m so happy.

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