Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tears And Terrors At 20 weeks

After putting the kids to bed, I hopped into the shower at 8:45pm. I had just finished my workout at the gym. It felt amazing to sweat. I was in a very good mood.

How quickly everything changed with one simple phone alert.

After my shower, I noticed a missed call. Who would call me at almost 9pm? The voicemail was from my OB. She told me she was reviewing my ultrasound and asked that I call her back. Her voice sounded so cool and calm. She didn't give away a single emotion. But a chill went up my spine and I instantly began to worry. Something had to be wrong. Why else would she call so late?

But I had just seen my baby last week. He had all his body parts. He looked like all my other baby ultrasounds. He was moving. He was sucking. I feel him kicking and jabbing all day long. He's alive. How could anything be wrong?

My mind went through a million scenarios. Each one worse than the next. I left her a voice message of my own and waited. I couldn't focus. I couldn't concentrate. I felt sick.

We finally connected and I nearly leapt in anticipation when I finally heard her deep, calm voice over my phone in real time. Oh please tell me it's something mundane. Oh please assure me. Please.

But her voice gave away nothing. And I instantly knew it was something.

"We saw a couple things on your ultrasound."

Silence. Hello. I'm waiting.

"The first is that we only saw two blood vessels instead of the usual three in your baby's umbilical cord. So we will need to do another ultrasound and some non stress tests."

I breathed a deep sigh of relief. They had said the same thing about Ryan and I had gotten all worked up and it turned out to be nothing at all. In fact, when he was born, they discovered he had all THREE blood vessels. I remember being upset at all the heartache and headache they had caused me.

"But there's something else."

Oh my god. They always save the worst for last, right? My heart was pounding and I felt like I was going to collapse.

"Baby has a small cyst in his brain."

And the tears flowed. And flowed. And I sniffled loudly into the phone and couldn't see straight and a gigantic lump filled my throat. And I thought "why?" Why does this have to happen? "WHY?"

"Usually, when there is a cyst and several other findings, it's a sign of a pretty serious chromosome problem. In your case, there is only a cyst. There is nothing else that would indicate a major problem. But it still could be a sign of something. I know you turned down the chromosome blood test but I wanted to give you the option to have the test again. You might also consider additional imaging with [insert fancy specialist hospital in big city nearby]. The testing could help put your mind at ease."

All I could manage were tears and snot.

"It's most likely nothing to worry about. I just wanted to give you all the information."

Nothing she said could have reassured me. Most Likely's and Probably's mean nothing in the face of news like this. When you hear the words Brain and Cyst together, there is only worry.

And I'm totally freaking out.


  1. Reader here in TN...I rarely comment on blogs, but feel that I just have to let you know how much I am thinking about you and your baby. Sending virtual hugs to you as you navigate this terrifying time.

  2. Nothing I can say will take away your fears. So, just know that I am thinking warm fuzzy thoughts and sending {hugs}.

    Kate @ BJJ, Law, and Living

  3. What Kate said ^. I'm keeping you five in my heart, and always hoping for the best.

  4. I am so, so sorry. We had a scare at 13 weeks with an enlarged nuchal fold, so I had a CVS for chromosomal testing and baby and I are being monitored by maternal fetal medicine and more. It's so, so scary, and I'm sorry you too are going through this. Hang in there, mama. From one pregnant lady to another, we've got this.

  5. Oh man, I totally feel you on this. I'm so sorry for the news, and I'm so sorry for the stress and worry. I'll be thinking of you.

  6. Sending all my love, thoughts and prayers to you. Until you know anything else, stay off Dr. Google and remember that more than likely this is nothing. Doctors are cautious as a profession, and sounds like you have a good doctor. <3

  7. Oh no! I'll be hoping and praying that the cyst turns out to be something completely benign and nothing whatsoever is wrong with your baby. I can't imagine how worried and awful you must be feeling right now, but know that we are here for you in this little corner of cyberspace--cheering you on and sending good thoughts!

  8. This probably won't help you, but I have actually heard these are pretty common, and literally 99 percent of the time they resolve on their own (meaning, they just go away) with no complications. It is good to hear that the doctor didn't see anything else on the ultrasound. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. Sending you a virtual hug and strength.

  9. Echoing the others and sending as much love and support as one can through a keyboard. Prayers and thinking positive thoughts for you all.

  10. That is so frightening. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Sending you lots of hugs and good thoughts for a healthy baby.

  11. I see from the post that followed that you're feeling better and more resolute about how you want to move forward. Still--it's really tough to get a call like that. *hugs* Hoping this resolves on its own.

  12. My best friend's second child had a cyst as well, and it actually cleared up before she was born; they did an ultrasound near the end of her pregnancy, and all was well. I know there is very little comfort, especially for pregnant women, in the "I/my friend had this happen and it was ok" stories, but hey, it's something.