Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cookies, Scans and Prayers

Geez, I really need to start posting more often. Now, my infrequent posts are not only way too long to be enjoyable, they simply aren't funny at all. That's just disappointing. I vow to work harder at posting more and cranking up the entertainment factor (or at least attempting to!).

In the meantime, here's what new with us:

1) COOKIES!

I am in the throes of preparing for the DC Metro bloggers Cookie Exchange! It's at my house tomorrow afternoon and I'm just giddy with excitement. Usually I'd be over the moon about the prospect of dozens of different cookies showing up at my house -- solely for my eating pleasure -- but I'm actually more jazzed up about getting to see my fellow local IFers. Woot!

2) NT Scan

The bloodwork from our NT scan finally came back. They said it would take 7 - 10 days. True to my (obsessive? annoying?) inquisitive nature, I started calling daily at the 7 day mark. There was a reason for my over-interest in getting the results, see item #4 below. Anyway, they finally came back on day 14 and the news was good. Here are the stats:

Downs:
Before the test, based on my age alone it was 1:111
After the test, it was 1:2,201

Trisomy 18 & 13:
Before the test, based on my age alone it was 1:201
After the test, it was 1:3,534

While we know that these numbers are just estimates, we are still encouraged by them. The genetic counselor felt the need to remind us that someone has to be the 1 on the left side of the odds. So we've vowed to beg and pray each day that we fall on the right side. This isn't quite the amazing 1 in 10,000 odds that Erin got for the WonderTwins, but we're happy with my dusty old ovaries nonetheless.

3) Latest sonogram

I had a regular OB appointment on Thursday. The fact that I'm still down 2 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight isn't really all that impressive since it's still a good 20 lbs more than I should weigh regardless. But I'm still considering it a small victory.

This visit was with my favorite OB/GYN. I just love him. He knows I'm an ultrasound junkie (or, as one of my favorite blog buddies likes to call me, a ScanWhore) so he automatically put me right into the exam room with the sonogram machine. After putting the goop on my belly . . . wait, let me digress here for a second. I think I might write an ode to the abdominal ultrasound. Not that I didn't grow fond of my thrice-weekly (or more) transvaginal probes, don't get me wrong. It's just that after years of getting the dildocam shoved up my girlie bits on an alarmingly regular basis, I forgot how nice it was to score a picture of my uterus or ovaries without feeling supremely violated. The impact that I feel this delightful little perk of IF treatments has had on my sex life is definitely the topic of another post. Suffice it to say that I don't consider this impact to be a positive one. Kevin would, no doubt agree, but he's too busy servicing himself in the shower at the moment...

So, back to the scan. He put the goop on and started searching around for the baby. I swear to you that I almost pass out waiting for something to be discernable. I hold my breath, time starts to slow, and seriously I start to get tunnel vision. I can actually hear my pulse in my ears, it's a very strange feeling. But I can't help myself, I'm always scared completely shitless that they'll find something horrible has happened. I can't function until we see a heartbeat.

The baby wasn't very cooperative, we couldn't get a good look at it's heart and all we could really see was a leg. And the leg was still. Not moving. I could feel myself starting to pant, on my way to hyperventilation. Suddenly, it moved! And not a little bit. It sort of freaked out. Like a bug was crawling up it's leg or it had the jimmies or something or a hornet flew into it's underwear. All 3 of us (me, Kevin and the Dr) laughed and said, "Whoa." Then, the baby turned a bit and WOW. The Dr and I both sort of gasped and said, "Oh!" There, clear as day, was a penis. No doubt about it. I can't believe that at just shy of 15 weeks it was so obvious. But it was.
The Dr moved the probe right away because he didn't know if we wanted to know the sex or not. So I said, "Dang, are we having a boy or what?!" And he said, "Do you want to know?" I said, "Duh, YEAH!" And he said, "Yes, you are. That was an incredibly clear picture, huh?" Meanwhile, Kevin hadn't seen what we saw and he was frantically scanning the screen for some visual confirmation that he'll hopefully get relief from all the estrogen in our house. He started practically squealing, "Wha? Wha? I didn't see it!! Lemme see it!!!!" I couldn't help but laugh, he was acting like a lunatic. So the Dr moved around a bit more and, although we never got the crystal-clear picture that we did the first time, we got plenty more views of what was clearly boy parts.

Eventually the Doctor kept moving the probe around and finally found the heart. And the brain. And whatever else it was that he was looking for. I was so stunned by the clear picture of my kid's package that I had difficulty concentrating on the rest of the scan. But it was pretty quick anyway.

I know that a lot of people say they don't care if they have a boy or a girl, they just want a healthy baby. We truly, truly, truly mean it. It's exciting that it's a boy (or at least appears to be), but we would have been equally as thrilled for a girl. It is a true, genuine miracle when any baby is conceived, and let alone actually forms into a healthy fetus. I don't take that for granted one single bit. So hopefully our upcoming scan on Christmas Eve will reassure us that all of the necessary organs and items are there. After that, I plan to start telling people at work.

#4 Prayers for my friend C

A good friend of mine is pregnant with her 2nd child. Despite the fact she got pregnant with her son the 2nd month of trying, and got pregnant with this baby on THE FIRST TRY, I still love her dearly. She is a week behind me, so it's been fun to experience it together.

Her NT scan didn't go that well. She had it done at 11 weeks (11w2d to be precise) and the baby wasn't very cooperative. It took them over 1.5 hours to get something resembling a decent picture of the nuchal fold, and when they did it was larger than they were hoping. At 11 weeks, they like to see a measurement below 2.0 and hers was 2.4. They told her to come back 2 days later in the hopes they would get a better picture.

Two days later she went back again and this time they got a good picture. Despite the fact that the measurement was better -- 2.1 this time -- they were still concerned. They told her to wait and see what the bloodwork revealed. Luckily she had this test done at the hospital where we work, and is friends with the Perinatologist, so they expedited her results.

A week later, she had her results. They weren't great. The Down's risk was good, but the Trisomy 18/13 risk was elevated. With someone her age, they like to see numbers around the 1:8,000 range. Hers was 1:197. Although a true "positive" result is actually 1:150 or less, they were concerned enough that they recommended she get a CVS. She agreed and scheduled the CVS for a week later (she had to wait for the Dr to come back from Thanksgiving vacation).

In the meantime, she went to her regular OB for her 12 week appt the day before Thanksgiving and was hit with another whammy. Her initial bloodwork revealed that she's positive for Kell. I thought I knew most of what there was to know about things-to-worry-about-in-pregnancy, but I'd never heard of this. It's similar to Rh in that there are antibodies and antigens and the wrong combination is bad for the baby. But, unlike Rh, there is no Rho.gam shot. The treatment is essentially tons of monitoring, possibly multiple amnios, and multiple in-utero blood transfusions. Astoundingly, this isn't related at all to the Trisomy 18/13 results. It's just 2 bad luck things at once.

To make it even more cruel, they drew her blood again at the OB's office and ran the test one more time. She had to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to get them, but this time, the results came back negative for Kell. Whew. Her OB said, "Don't worry about it, sorry for the false alarm!" So off she went the following Monday to get her CVS with the Perinatologist.

Once he heard she had tested positive for Kell, he refused to do the CVS. He explained that it's extremely rare to get a false positive and that he strongly suspected she was, in fact, Kell-positive. And if she is Kell-positive, then doing the CVS will cause her blood and the baby's blood to mix which is a bad thing. They drew more blood (she's giving the stuff up like an IFer at this point) and ran the test right away. Since she had the bloodwork done in the Lab within our hospital, we were able to look up the results in the system within a couple of hours. VERY much positive for Kell. The Perinatologist was right. The OB was wrong. And, apparently, the OB's lab simply performed the test wrong. Wrong. Holy shit is that scary.

Now she can't have the CVS and she instead has to wait to have an amnio. Fortunately, they are going to let her do it at 15 weeks so it is scheduled for a week from Monday (Dec 10th). Unfortunately, the results take 8 - 10 days to come back which is sheer torture. But at least she'll have a definitive answer on both the Kell situation and the Trisomy 18/13 situation.

There is so much more to the Kell puzzle than I can write here. If you are interested in knowing what we've learned, let me know in the comments and I'll contact you. Likewise, if you have experience with it and can share additional information, please let me know.

In the meantime, please pray for my friend C and her little baby. I hope that her NT scan scary numbers turn out to be just fine like my buddy CE, and that the baby turns out to be Kell-negative (which is still a possibility).

Thank you for making through this long post. I will post again on Monday with an update and pictures from the Cookie Exchange tomorrow. Yeah for cookies!!

15 comments:

The Town Criers said...

Your test results are fantastic. Congratulations :-) And a boy! I know you'd be happy with anything, but it's still nice to be able to experience both sides. And balance out the house :-)

I don't think I'm going to be able to make it tomorrow. I'm really bummed.

Meghan said...

So glad the test results on your little boy (!) came back great. So excited for some cookies later!

I'll keep your friend in my thoughts...how horrible

Tanner said...

What a great post! I especially like the ultrasound part! Funny, funny!

My prayers go out to you and your friend for a successful journey!

Fertilize Me said...

long time no see. Glad we have an update that his positively good for you. Congrats on boy parts! How exciting. Have fun at the cookie exchange ..i truly need to move closer to yall.

and praying for you friend - such horrible news!

Waiting Amy said...

Good to see you back! Wow, a boy! So exciting. I like boys (but obviously I'll take anything!). Glad your results were good.

I'm sorry to here about your friend. I worked in transfusion medicine in animals, but didn't learn much about the Kell issue in humans. I'm so glad the Peri double checked! Blood group interactions can be so involved and its not always a widely known topic. Hope she gets good news.

Anonymous said...

I will be praying for your friend. What a terrible thing to go through!

E said...

A boy!!! So exciting. And great news on your NT scan. And to be clear, my Down Syndrome results were 1:2032, so actually you got me there. I just noticed that I didn't post those actual numbers.

I am so jelly of your Day O' Cookies. Have a great time!

Jendeis said...

Congrats on your new exhibitionist! :) Wishing I could make it to the legen - wait for it - dary cookie exchange, but I'm babysitting my husband today.

Becks said...

Oh I so pleased the scan went well...and a boy...fantastic. I hope all goes well for your friend, one of my close friends went through the same thing and it was just awful, my thoughts are with her.

Changing Expectations said...

Glad to hear about your test results and how exciting - it's a Boy!! Congratulations.

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I know that the stress is unbelievably tough waiting for results from those types of tests. I will hope and pray that everything is okay. I am not sure what Kell is.

I am sorry that I missed the Cookie Exchange. We'll have to get together soon - times have been tough with J and the counseling, but I am hoping that everything works itself out.

Thanks for checking in with me. I really appreciate it.

Gabby said...

First, congrats on your great test results and on your little boy! :] How exciting!

Also, I will keep you friend in my thoughts and prayers. How horrible...

TeamWinks said...

Hope the exchange was a blast! Congrats on the little boy! Yiiipppeee!

My thoughts are with your friend. That's a tough hand to be dealt. I hope things work out for her and her family.

JJ said...

Oooo BOY=)

OrchidLover said...

So glas all is well for you! And I'm so jealous you know the sex. I can't even get an ultrasound for another week, and I think I'm a week or so ahead of you! Jealous, jealous, jealous!

As for your friend C, I really hope all works out well for her. I had a NT measurement of 2.2mm, which isn't ideal by any means, and worse than C's, but I've been told by every doctor that it's really the combination of that and the bloodwork that matter. I so hope everything works out in her favor.

cooler*doula said...

Can't comment on the Kell - but for your friend...

It is in fact possible to get an amnio earlier.

I am 38, and had one at 13 weeks and some days after my NT scan put as at a 1 in 2 risk for a trisomy. Luckily for me, I was the one who comes out wih a kid with 46 chromosomes. My, what a cheery genetecist you had there.

Anyway - she can also request FISH results, which give a preliminary result on all trisomies in 3 days.

All the best to you, and her.