Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where it all began ... Payton's birth story

In April 2005, I went through IVF in order to try to get pregnant with my second child. Success ... it worked the first time! We were ecstatic, as going through all those infertility treatments {i.e. shots, monitoring, egg retrieval, etc} is very stressful. I had some "old blood" spotting early in my pregnancy, but it was always written off as nothing. I never had that during my first pregnancy, so I was sort of worried since I didn't necessarily think it was normal.

Fast forward to my 20 week sonogram ... you know, the big sonogram where you find out the sex of your baby. "It's a girl! Congratulations! Everything looks great." Kyle and I left the appointment on cloud nine ... we were having a girl and we already had a boy ... what could be better?

That afternoon Mason was sick, so I had him at the pediatrician's office, which happens to be right across the hall from my OBGYN. My phone rang and I let it go to voicemail since we were in with the pediatrician. I listened to the message as soon as we were done. "Hi Bethany ... it is Dr. Smith. There were some concerns that were seen during your sonogram earlier today and I'd like to speak to you about them. Please call me." What? What concerns?! The radiologist told us everything looked great. How could there be concerns?

I decided to go straight into the office of my OBGYN and asked for Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith took me back to her office and explained that they had two concerns: 1) the baby's kidneys were dilated; and 2) they did not see a nasal bone. As soon as I heard that I lost it. No nasal bone? My baby is not going to have a nose? My OBGYN then told me that absence of the nasal bone could be indicative of a chromosomal abnormality. What?! No way, not me ... how could my child have a chromosomal abnormality? Things like that only happen to other people, not me! I was in hysterics ... and meanwhile Mason, my very busy little 20 month old, was running all over the place, tearing up the office. How ironic that life continued to go on in his mind, while it had come to a screeching halt in my mind ... and I was forced to deal with it.

I left my OBGYN's office confused and heartbroken. I went home and just started googling ... trying to find out what all this meant. Once I was able to catch my breath, I called my OBGYN back and got some answers to some of my questions.

Will my baby not have a nose? What does absence of the nasal bone mean?
I was told that the absence of a nasal bone does not necessarily mean what it says. My child would have a nose, it would just be more flat and not as pronounced as a typical person.

What is wrong with my baby's kidneys? Why are they dilated? What does this mean?
I was told that many babies have dilated kidneys in utero, and this often resolves itself by birth. My OBGYN could not really connect this issue to the lack of nasal bone, so that was even more confusing.

What do we do now?
Even after telling me these concerns, my OBGYN still told me it could be nothing. Maybe the ultrasound tech missed the nasal bone ... maybe it is really there. The kidney issue could be nothing and could resolve itself. Even if there is not a nasal bone, that does not necessarily mean the baby has a chromosomal abnormality ... even though it typically is indicative of just that.

We were referred for genetic counseling, where we would discuss having an amnio. We were also still waiting for my AFP test results and we scheduled a level II ultrasound with a specialist, where they could get a closer look at the nasal bone. It was a week from when I was given this news until we could get these things done ... all I did was cry. My heart was broken.

To be continued ...

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