I had my anatomy ultrasound yesterday. It was basically first thing in the morning, so we decided to take Nora with us to the appointment instead of dropping her off at daycare first. We thought she would get a kick out of an opportunity to actually see the baby in Mommy’s belly.
Things went well. The baby cooperated, and the ultrasound tech commented repeatedly how “this baby is so good,” and how it easily gave her everything she needed. She even gave us a little treat—she switched to the 4D ultrasound to give us a (somewhat creepy, but also cool) glimpse of the little one’s face.
We also got some good profile shots, and the baby was really showing off his/her hands and feet—with 10 visible fingers and 10 visible toes.
After the ultrasound, I also had my routine appointment. I got weighed. I think I’ve gained about 5-6 lbs. so far. Blood pressure check—110/68, or something of the sort. Then my doctor saw me, and it was super quick. She asked if I had any questions, felt around my belly, and then listened to the baby’s heartbeat via doppler. She said, “Sounds healthy.” She told me that the ultrasound tech had told her that preliminarily, everything looked good, but that she (my doctor) would be receiving a full report in a day or so.
We went on our merry way, texting pics to our families. I happily showed off my photos to curious coworkers. It was fun—a good day.
Today, I was in between meetings at work—had less than five minutes to spare—when I ran back to my desk to get a file that I needed. I saw that I had a missed call from my doctor’s office. I was immediately a little worried about it, because I couldn’t figure out a good reason for why they would be calling me so soon after my appointment. I listened to the voicemail, and sure enough, it was a nurse. So now I was even a little more worried. I had only a couple of minutes before I needed to be running a meeting (not just sitting in), but it was already late afternoon and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to talk to someone, so I called. Thankfully, I reached the nurse right away.
The nurse told me that in the final ultrasound report, the tech had noted that my baby appeared to have episodes of bradycardia—an abnormally low heart rate. She said that I am being referred to a pediatric cardiologist at the hospital, and that I need to go for a fetal echocardiogram. And although it can sometimes take some time to get into the cardiologist for an appointment, she had already called on my behalf and they happened to have an open appointment for tomorrow morning.
Of course, I started freaking out a little bit. I asked questions about what does this mean? Were there structural abnormalities?
I told her I was scared.
She said to not freak out. She said that it could very well mean nothing, and that my doctor had not observed any problems with the baby’s heart rate when she listened to it via doppler (but hey, to be fair, she only listened for a few seconds—maybe a half minute at most). She also said that the tech had made no note of structural abnormalities with the heart.
I tried to stay away from Google, and I’ve been pretty good, but I at least searched “fetal echocardiogram,” because I wasn’t at all sure what to expect tomorrow. Apparently it’s just another ultrasound, but it’s more sophisticated. It can take more detailed pictures of the heart. And, well, that’s when I really started to get scared. Because evidently it can detect abnormalities that a regular ultrasound cannot. Before, I was feeling reassured about the fact that the tech had not seen anything structurally wrong—the nurse said it was a potential problem with the rhythm. And while that is certainly not comforting, I was still thinking that this had to be something relatively minor… right? But now, I’m not so sure. I don’t know what to think. My mind is racing.
I’m scared that there is something wrong with our baby.
Unlike many other conditions or problems, I don’t know anyone who has had this. I don’t know anyone who was sent for a fetal echocardiogram. And I certainly don’t know anyone who was sent for a fetal echocardiogram only to find out that nothing was wrong.
So I also have a real fear of the unknown.
I have always had a really healthy appreciation for all of the things that have to go right in order to end up with a healthy baby. I know what a miracle it is. I know. Now, all I can do is hope and pray that indeed this baby is healthy, and that we will indeed be blessed again.
I want you to be okay, baby. Please be okay.
AboutI'm Heather. I just turned 30. I'm happily married, and mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world (what, you're saying I could be biased?). Determined DIYer and homeowner. Sarcastic. A perfectionist. A bleeding-heart liberal. Frugal. Loves a little dog way more than many humans. Loves food, hates exercise (it's an ongoing battle). A loyal football fan. I love to laugh. Value family and friends above all else. Vie to be a world traveler.
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