Stories & Such

From a mother of three to you.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Baby Russell Ultrasound #8

Let me begin by saying that the baby looks to be completely healthy.

On Monday, January 22nd, we went in for a "level 2" ultrasound. This is apparently no different then a level 1, except it is read and interpreted immediately by a perinatologist and they are looking for anomalies that would suggest a specific problem with the baby. In our case they were looking for any markers of Trisomy 18 or 21 (ugly chromosomal problems).

Per my previous post, in our last ultrasound the radiologist found a Choroid Plexus Cyst in the baby's brain. The Choroid Plexus is a section of the brain that does not have any bearing on the child's development, and a cyst in that section is not at all harmful to the growth or development of the baby what-so-ever. People are born with them and live with them all the time, and most often never know it. The only thing going on in that part of the brain is the development of spinal fluid. The cyst does not hinder that, and very often it disappears before the 3rd trimester anyway.

So, why is it a concern? While cysts are common in completely healthy babies, they are prevalent in babies with chromosomal abnormalities like Edwards Syndrome and Downs Syndrome. So while a cyst is not an issue at all, the level 2 ultrasound is performed to make sure that there are no markers for these other conditions. In our case, after two very thorough ultrasounds, we were assured that there was nothing on any of the ultrasounds that would give any indication that our baby has any abnormalities at all.

This is, of course, a great relief. Regardless, because this pregnancy has been a bit stressful (just a bit), Paul and I did decide that we would like 100% confirmation, so we made the choice to have an amniocentesis which will verify 100% that there is nothing at all wrong with the baby. The procedure was performed today and we will have our final results in 10 - 14 days. Of course we will keep you all posted.

The people who read this blog our are family and friends. Please feel free at any time to call us or email us if you have any questions or concerns about what we've told you so far. We do not mind talking about it.

So, look for my next blog entry by the end of next week, and breath easy because we've already been told to expect the exact results that we are looking for.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Baby Russell Ultrasound #7

On Friday, January 19th, we had our detailed 19 week ultrasound. This ultrasound showed a small mass in the baby's brain called a Choroid Plexus Cyst. This kind of cyst shows up in 1 in 40 of normal pregnancies in the second trimester, and disappears completely by the third trimester. With no other indicators (genetic testing which we have passed, age of mother, which is not at issue) the cyst is not anything that will cause harm to the baby. Here is a passage from Wikipedia on these Cysts:

Choroid plexus cyst

The brain contains pockets or spaces called ventricles with a spongy layer of cells and blood vessels called the choroid plexus. This is in the middle of the fetal brain. The choroid plexus has an important function of producing a fluid called cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid produced by the cells of the choroid plexus fills the ventricles and then flows around the brain and the spinal cord to provide a cushion of fluid around these structures.

Choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) occur within this structure and come from fluid trapped within this spongy layer of cells, much like a soap bubble or a blister. CPCs are often called "soft signs" or fetal ultrasound "markers" because some studies have found a weak association between CPCs and fetal chromosome abnormalities.

It is believed that many adults have one or more tiny CPCs. CPCs have no impact on an individual's health or development or learning. The fetal brain may create these cysts as a normal part of development. They are temporary and usually are gone by the 32nd week of pregnancy.

I have already been given and passed the genetic tests that, if associated with the CPC, might indicate a chromosomal problem with the baby. I am scheduled on Monday, January 22nd, for a Level 2 ultrasound with a perinatoligist to confirm that this is a typical CPC.

In the mean time here is a picture of the baby.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Baby Russell Ultrasound #6

Just an update here. My last ultrasound was on Thursday, January 4th. The SCH was still measuring 4.5 x 1.8, but it had moved upward away from the cervix which means less uncomfortable symptoms for me, but no change in prognosis. There are no pictures from this week. The tech was able to confirm that we are having a girl, but she was all scrunched up and they were unable to get any good pictures or measurements. So, I'm going back for a full ultrasound (the one you normally get at 18 weeks) on January 19th at 9:40AM. I will surely have pictures from this one and will post them as soon as I can.

17 weeks, 2 days and counting