We wanted to post this as many of you have been praying for us and may have received your info through the grapevine…
Last Monday Beth had her 20 week ultrasound. The tech recorded some anomalies with the scan and gave the results to our midwife. The results were a bit cryptic and she wasn’t fully sure how to interpret them, so she wanted to consult with the obstetrician. We were obviously concerned, especially since we did not have any information as to what the problem could be.
On Tuesday our midwife called and said that there was a potential problem with the baby’s brain and that the doctor had reviewed the ultrasound and was concerned. Apparently our brains have 2 ventricles in them, and our baby’s ventricles were measuring larger than the normal range, indicating a number of potential problems. There was also an area of the brain that could not be picked up on the scan, which could have been due to the baby’s position at the time of the scan, but they were not sure. The doctor recommended that we see a specialist in Iowa City at the first available appointment. The earliest we could get in was on Wednesday at 10 am. We were scheduled to fly out of Midway in Chicago with Beth’s parents to go to Ontario on Tuesday night, so we canceled our flight and Beth’s parents rented a car and drove themselves to the airport.
Once we arrived at the hospital in Iowa City , we met with a nurse who explained in detail the results of our ultrasound and what would happen next. Enlarged ventricles in the brain can be due to a blockage, which causes fluid to build up. This can cause developmental problems (mild to severe mental retardation) or can be indicative of other problems such as Down’s syndrome, spina bifida or other neural tube problems, or other congenital disorders. The nurse said that the doctor would probably recommend an amniocentesis after the ultrasound to check for any other birth defects. We had originally declined this test weeks before for several reasons, the main one being that we would never consider terminating the pregnancy, so the associated risks of the procedure were not worth it to us.
We were then moved to the ultrasound room, and received a full scan including a detailed scan of the baby’s brain. Once the tech finished she got her results together and left to consult with the perinatologist (high risk pregnancy specialist).
Dr. Rijhsinghani entered the room, took control of the ultrasound machine and focused on the baby’s brain. “I cannot find anything wrong with this baby. It is a gorgeous baby and has a gorgeous brain.” (Use your best Apu from the Simpsons accent to get the full effect). “Your doctor was very concerned, but whatever she saw that caused concern I cannot find. The ventricles do not look swollen at all and they are measuring within the normal range.” She was also able to pinpoint the “missing” part of the brain from the first ultrasound, and said everything looked normal. As you can imagine, we were greatly relieved and thankful. I asked her what we should do now (in regards to further tests, etc.). Her answer was “Now you go to a restaurant and have a safe trip home. We do not need to see you back here again.”
So, we jumped in the car and drove to Canada (and spent the midnight moment about 20 minutes from the border). We had a great time with our friends and family.
It would seem to most that the easiest way to explain this situation is that the first ultrasound tech made an error and the second merely did not. Or you can believe as we do that God’s people prayed and the Lord saw fit to answer in this way.
We will have another ultrasound in February as a matter of routine to make sure that things are still progressing as normal. As we have been reminded through this whole situation, God is in control whatever the results of that ultrasound are as well. We are thankful for the health of our baby and for the large dose of perspective we gained (which car seat to buy and which brand of diapers to use aren’t on the problem scale anymore). To all who prayed for us, we cannot thank you enough.
Psalm 139:1-18; 23, 24
O Lord, you have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in - behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me; Your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with You. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.