Exhaling After Holding My Breath For a Year

*Sigh* He’s perfect.

Or it sure felt like it.

About 6 weeks ago, I had a routine ultrasound that revealed bilateral choroid plexus cysts, meaning they found cysts on both sides of the baby’s brain in an area that produces spinal fluid. That finding, in and of itself, isn’t harmful. The cysts don’t affect brain development or function, even if a person has them their whole life.

But they are a marker for 2 different chromosomal abnormalities: usually Trisomy 18 and sometimes Trisomy 21 (Downs Syndrome).  Scary, huh? (Trisomy 18 almost always ends in fetal or infant death.)

My doctor reassured me that the likelihood of Trisomy was quite low, but he wanted a closer look to check for other signs and to recheck the cysts. Often, the cysts will disappear on their own.

I left that appointment feeling rather devastated, not quite sure if I should worry or not worry or just how much worrying was acceptable. I did just enough Googling to get myself into trouble and then tried not to think about it in the weeks that followed. But when I found myself having a hard time buying things for the new baby and I couldn’t think of any names for the new baby, I knew the idea of losing a baby was somehow affecting me.

Fast forward to today’s ultrasound.

The ultrasound lasted almost 90 minutes. Every single body part was examined and measured, sometimes measured 2 or 3 times. The baby didn’t make it easy – he was bouncing around and flipped over 3 different times. It was actually encouraging to see the baby moving so much because it means that he’s thriving. I was also happy to see that all of the measurements she took in “weeks and days” were falling between 24 & 28 weeks, so right on schedule, if not a little bit big. A baby with a choromosomal defect would likely be smaller.

After the ultrasound, I waited a whole 6 minutes for the doctor. That was a LOOOONG 6 minutes. Results were immediate, so I assume the radiologist was sitting in another room looking at the pictures in real time.

The doctor came in and he was soft spoken. I don’t know why, but that worried me. He re-explained choroid plexus cysts and Trisomy. And then he said BUT.

But. What’s with that word? Or maybe it was the pause that followed. It was the moment that things could go either way, and he had not given any clues one way or another what direction the news would go.

“BUT THE CYSTS ARE GONE!!!!”

That very moment I felt like I had exhaled after holding my breath for a year. My mind was uncluttered immediately, I smiled until my cheeks hurt, I might as well have been hoisted to cloud 9. I almost hugged the guy, but I was still covered in ultrasound gel.

He went on to add that he found no other signs of Trisomy and then basically asked if I wanted an amniocentesis for further confirmation while at the same time saying it probably wasn’t necessary. Yeah, I think I’ll pass on more abdominal needle pokes. I get enough of those with insulin injections.

Now, I’m not so naive to believe that just because everything looks fine that it is fine. But I don’t feel like worrying about that today. I’ll have plenty of time later for the standard run-of-the-mill pregnancy and delivery worries. I’m so thankful for the great team of doctors and nurses helping me navigate all the hurdles pregnancy presents to me.

So, there you have it. Good news. The best news.

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One thought on “Exhaling After Holding My Breath For a Year

  1. Ya!,, love this blog I have another that I follow of one of my friends whose daughter has cancer She lives in NY

    Know everything will be fine

    Sending happy thoughts

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