I had Wilson’s anatomy scan today (“Wilson” is the name we’re trying out for BB2). B was out-of-town at an unavoidable meeting. Dr. H tried so hard to move the scan so he could be there, but we were pushing up against the end of the anatomy scan window, so I had to go alone.
After our elective gender scan 3.5 weeks ago, I had no concerns. I skipped right on in when I was called back. I can feel Wilson moving a lot now, so I don’t worry about finding a heartbeat anymore during ultrasounds, which is nice.
Not the scan to go alone to.
During the scan, the tech spent a LOT of time on Wilson’s stomach. You know how you just know when something seems off? That’s how I felt. She kept measuring this black circle, over and over and over again. I knew not to ask her what she was doing. She seemed rather serious. Red flag #1. I also noticed that when she measured most things, she’d label them on the screen. She was not labeling the black “thing.” Red flag #2. And finally, at the end after not a single attempt at a 3D scan, I asked, “no 3D picture today?” She seemed startled and said that she could try again and quickly said, “the placenta is too close to his face, so I can’t get it.” Red flag #3.
I went out to the waiting room and waited for Dr. H’s nurse to call me back. She was her normal cheery self, so I forgot all about the red flags. That’s how I work – just distract me, please! We chatted about her impending move out-of-state and her fiancée’s residency. We discussed my second trimester screening results (all good!) and my blood pressure. Etc. etc. etc. She left to get Dr. H.
Dr. H popped his head in and said that they were working on scheduling my c-section and that he’d be right back. OK! He came in saying “June 25th at 7:00 – with Dr. O. You’ll need to be there EARLY. Does that work?” with the grin that defines this man! YES – that works! He then said, “now, I don’t want you to freak out.”
He then went on to say that there was an anomaly on Wilson’s stomach. I told him I knew that from how the scan went. He was a bit surprised, but then not so surprised. He showed me that pesky little black circle that the tech kept measuring over and over again. What is it? Well, they don’t know. They have no idea. It could be nothing, it could be something. I was immediately booked with a perinatologist (MHM) for next Friday (9 long days from now). That’s the soonest they can get me in due to their overwhelming practice.
I kept it together rather well. I teared up here and there, but never cried. Dr. H said that it’s not something to freak out about, but that he would be worried if it was his kid. That’s why I love this man – he is so down-to-earth and REAL. As we talked it through, I started getting concerned. “So, if it is something, we’ll just fix it after he’s born, right?” Well, not necessarily. That made me almost cry. He said again that we have no idea what it is, but that some things aren’t fixable. But he hopes this is nothing and if it’s something, that we can fix it. He also said that by the time I see the peri next week, it could be gone. That would be nice. I then made the mistake of asking how big it is.
“How big is his stomach right now?”
“A little over double that.”
Almost tears again. This “thing” is almost half the size of Wilson’s stomach. That concerns me. A lot.
Dr. H knows how my mind works and mentioned that they rarely see cancer in newborns. What what what? My mind hadn’t even gone there (yet). I’m sure it would have, while home alone, so it was good of Dr. H to say that he didn’t think that was a concern. So I asked what it looks like. A cyst-type thing, but they really have no idea.
Dr. H and I talked about the fact that everything else checked out just fine, and that the “catastrophic” things they look for aren’t there. He stressed again that this thing could be gone by next week. We then talked about the appointment in a week. Dr. H said that Dr. W sees the “worst of the worst” and the folks in his practice have built up some pretty tough exteriors. To that, I said, “so I won’t expect them to be all nice like you guys here.” Precisely. He said that Dr. W will meet with us right after the scan with a diagnosis and/or next steps.
I started to tear up again.
He told me that B must be at that scan with me (of course he will be). I started to get scared about the whole thing and asked him when he’ll be updated. He said if it’s bad, that Dr. W will text him right away. If it’s fine, he’ll be updated within a few hours. I asked when my next appointment with Dr. H is and he said not until March 13th. I was crying at this point, choking back tears. Dr. H looked at me and said, “Courtney, if you walk out of there confused, or scared, or concerned, or anything, you just call me. Call me from the parking lot. You call me if you just want me to tell you it’s fine. Just call me.”
I got myself together so that I wouldn’t be the woman walking out of the OB who scares the hell out of everyone in the waiting room. I wasn’t even out the door of the building before texting B. “You need to step out right now.” He called me not even one minute later. I fell apart. I sobbed in the parking lot, I sobbed in the car. B sounded stunned and worried. I can’t imagine being him, making that call, and the first thing he hears is, “there may be a problem.” We talked it through and he sounded more and more concerned, and was very upset that I was so upset and alone.
I went to pick Matthew up at the neighbors’ and I could not get there soon enough. I drove as fast as I could to get to him. I just needed to be with him. Bless his little heart, he came running to me and gave me a huge hug. I cried on his little shoulder.
I told my neighbor about it and she comforted me. And then I collected my boy and drove home. Thank god for him. He kept me distracted until lunch with a good friend, and she took over from there. After lunch, I brought Matthew home and it took everything in me to put him down for a nap. I just wanted to keep holding him. I wanted to keep rocking him. I wanted to keep smelling his hair and feeling his breath on my cheek as he dozed off.
I don’t think I wanted to be alone.
I got a lot more hugs from Matthew throughout the day as I easily resisted bing-ing (because we don’t go.ogle anything in this house) what we saw on the scan. I won’t research this. There’s no need – it will only scare and upset me. I called my little sister to tell her, since I talk to her almost every day and not telling her would be lying. I advised her that I am not telling my parents because I can’t take their unwanted advice, drama, and research on the situation. Until there’s something to know, there’s nothing to tell. And right now, there’s nothing to know.
B came home early from his trip and asked if we could try to go to the university hospital sooner for the scan. I told him that I like the timing – that a week gives it time to grow, or shrink, or – hopefully – disappear. If we could get the scan this week, they’d just tell us to come back in a week or so anyway. I’m good with the timing and he seems to be too.
My mind has already gone in certain directions. I told B that I want Wilson formally named before the scan on Friday. I want him to be a “whole person” before we get the verdict. He agrees, but rubbed my shoulder and said, “he already is a whole person.” That was the perfect thing to say at that very moment. I needed to hear that.
We’ve also decided that his birth, no matter how this thing turns out, will be our event only. There will be no one waiting in the waiting room as we deliver, as both sets of our parents did last time. We will need to discuss birth plans with our doctors and sort out when we can nurse him, if and when he’ll go for a scan to check the “thing,” and if and how they’ll treat the “thing” if it’s still there when he’s born. Even if this thing disappears before he’s born, I still want an ultrasound almost immediately after he’s born just to be sure we’re in the clear. The only people who will be meeting Wilson right away are his mom, dad, and big brother.
So – there it is. My 20 week scan was far from perfect. It started well with a cooperative baby and quickly became a bit concerning. It went from being a bit concerning to being altogether terrifying.
We won’t know anything for over a week.
And so it goes…