fetal echo/anatomy scan

Yesterday was our big ultrasound down at UC Davis. We had a fetal echo on the baby’s heart, a meeting with a genetic counselor, and the detailed anatomy scan.

In a nutshell, everything is PERFECT. This baby has all four chambers in his heart. His arteries are connected in the correct places, the blood flow is good. His little spine is formed, his head is measuring right on track, he has these tiny cute bones in his arms and legs. He has two kidneys and a little bladder. Watching the monitor- it just all became real. This is happening! It’s working! There is really a baby in there and he’s mine and he’s growing and perfect.

I think I’ve been holding my breath for five and a half months–and after our appointments yesterday, I could finally exhale. I cried in relief for this baby and for my family and for Max and everything. I just wasn’t sure if this would ever happen again and it’s happening!

We had our fetal echo first, and right away I could see four little chambers pumping away. The tech can’t really tell you anything until the end, but she was kind and pointed out little things along the way. We met with the pediatric cardiologist at the very end and sat down to go over everything. He was quick to put us out of our misery and tell us that the baby’s heart looked totally normal. He went on to ask about Max- he wanted to know more about his defects. We talked and he told us that he has only had one patient born with the trio of defects that Max had- only one patient! After he diagnosed that patient in utero, he did some research and only could find seven recorded cases with those specific defects. We knew all along Max was unique!

We always assumed that Maxwell would not have survived even if we had every intervention and prior knowledge of his condition, but it was really reassuring to hear it from a pediatric cardiologist. Everything went the way it was supposed to go, and I wouldn’t go back and change anything.

We later met with an OB/GYN who was also a geneticist? She went over all of our family history and showed us the odds of us having another baby with a cardiac defect. We also talked about the miscarriages and what might have caused them, ultimately she thinks that because all of our tests have come back with no answers, it’s likely they weren’t compatible pregnancies. Also a relief to know. Just totally interesting.

Our last appointment was the full anatomy scan at their imaging center. It was THOROUGH. I mean, over an hour, they were really careful about getting every picture. The intern took pictures, the tech took pictures, and even the perinatologist came in and scanned a few things. Thorough. We got a huge line of pictures printed off, little shots of feet and toes and spine and profile. He’s 1.4 pounds, measuring in the 65th percentile, just doing great.

After all of those appointments, we went to the Cheesecake Factory and celebrated all of our good news and answered prayers. We texted our friends and our family a big ol’ HALLELUJAH! I felt so happy!

So here we are! Roughly 16 weeks to go. That seems long but also short! Just through the summer and he will be here. I’m starting to think of other things like a new car seat and like where we are going to put him and just the logistics of bringing home a baby. I know I’ve been sort of blocking those thoughts for awhile just for self preservation but feeling him kick and move now is so exciting.

Just a few things I want to remember about this pregnancy. Food has to be super HOT or COLD but not in between. Like I had ice cream last week and it wasn’t cold enough? I put it back in the freezer in the ice box part and that helped. Weird. All of my maternity clothes are geared for winter so I’m working on that. Someone please create a modest and flattering maternity line for women, please. With sleeves, in neutral colors, with fun details. This summer is going to be hot and I can tell I’m going to be laying under a fan in my underwear a lot.

And just like with our other kids, we are in search of the PERFECT NAME. Always so hard for us! Usually something just clicks towards the end, and we have some ideas but nothing concrete. We gravitate towards multiple syllables, can be shortened into a nickname, goes well with our other kids’ names, and doesn’t end in -son or -sen.  Go.

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