Happy New Year 2014!
What a busy few months these past few months have been. With so many doctor’s appointments to keep, and so many optional things to do to keep as comfortable as possible during this pregnancy, I’ve been busy.
Our first ultrasound for Baby Bee was on November 20th. What a surreal and amazing experience to see your baby for the first time. And in so much detail! You can see those tiny little facial features, and all of the tiny little structures. And you can watch the baby move! You can see your baby’s heart beating. Completely remarkable. Husband and I took the day off together to enjoy the experience.
Here is the picture we came home with of our beautiful baby:
The following Monday, my doctor called me. Not her receptionist, but my doctor herself. When your doctor calls you, we all know that isn’t great news. She explained to me that they found an “anomaly” on my ultrasound, “a 2-vessel cord” she called it. She gave me a brief explanation of what this means, the complications that could arise, and some statistics. She said I would be scheduled very soon to see a specialist for a more detailed ultrasound. My doctor assured me that everything else in the ultrasound looked perfectly fine and normal and that this usually indicated that nothing at all would be wrong and that I shouldn’t worry.
Sure. I shouldn’t worry. Let the worrying begin.
I did some of my own research to find out exactly what this “2-vessel cord” diagnosis really meant. Technically a 2-vessel umbilical cord is called a Single Umbilical Artery, or SUA. Normally, when the umbilical cord develops, it forms three vessels: two arteries and one vein. However, in some cases, just one artery develops. The umbilical vein supplies the fetus with oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood from the placenta. Conversely, the fetal heart pumps deoxygenated, nutrient-depleted blood through the umbilical arteries back to the placenta. My umbilical cord has the vein and only one artery.
Unfortunately, I read that an SUA can lead to all kinds of fetal complications. I also read that an SUA can be completely inconsequential, and is often considered a normal deviation.
Pending nothing alarming showing up on the second, more detailed ultrasound, I would be considered to have what is referred to as an isolated SUA (isolated meaning that this is the only single issue that can be identified). My pregnancy would proceed as normal until I near the end of the pregnancy, when the baby would be monitored a bit more closely to ensure that intrauterine growth was on track. Specifically, the specialist would be looking for any anomalies in the kidneys, the heart, and the spine of the baby, as the umbilical cord develops at the same time as these other structures.
Long story short, we had a wonderful appointment with the specialist less than 2 weeks later (the longest 2 weeks of my life). The detailed ultrasound showed that all of the baby’s structures had developed as they should have and that things were progressing right on schedule. In fact, I was 2 days ahead of schedule in terms of development.
The bonus from that visit was a couple more pictures of our little Baby Bee. First a couple of tiny little feet:
And then a tiny little right hand:
What a relief. A huge HUGE relief. I see the same specialist again in February for a follow-up.
Other things that have happened in the past couple of months…
- I’ve developed pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome. My hands tingle pretty much all the time. I have some generic braces, which have helped, but I’ll also be getting fitted with personalized braces soon.
- I’ve started to feel the baby kick! This has only really started happening the past couple of weeks. Now I feel it all the time! Husband still can’t feel it, but I know it won’t be long until he does.
- I got a wicked bad stomach bug and had to head up to the emergency room for a bag of saline to rehydrate me and a stress test for Baby Bee to make sure everything was fine. After my IV, I felt much better and Baby Bee could hardly tell anything had happened. Lucky Baby.
Other than that, things have been pretty quiet. We enjoyed a lovely Christmas with family, with lots of great food and belly laughs. I’ve been on vacation since December 21st and will continue to keep my feet up until I’m back to work on January 6th. Bliss.
Today I am 25 weeks plus a day pregnant. Baby Bee is about the size of a cauliflower, just over a foot long and weighing in at about a pound and a half. Baby’s hands are now fully developed, including nails and fingerprints. Baby’s skin is now nice and pink too.
In the coming weeks, expect more frequent updates, as things are starting to happen a bit more quickly now. Three more weeks and I’ll be in my third trimester!
Welcome 2014 – it will be a year to remember for our little family for sure!