Thursday, July 24, 2008

You know what they say about the best laid plans...

(actually, I don't- what is the saying? Every time I think that, I end up thinking about a different expression, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." Which is a terrible saying. ANYWAY.)

We had our twenty week ultrasound today. My insurance would've covered a level 2 ultrasound right off the bat (some insurance companies won't until you have a reason to need one). However, it turns out there's no actual standard definition of what it means to have a level 2 ultrasound. My doctor said the majority of her patients go with a level 1, and then have a level 2 if there's any reason to do it. That didn't really hold much weight with me, honestly, but ultimately, I decided I didn't want to go on a fishing expedition. I know myself, I thought, and a level 2 ultrasound will find something stupid that will cause me massive stress and I'll end up wishing I hadn't done it. So I opted for the level 1. A nice, well-considered decision made to minimize stress and prevent any dramatic antics on my part. This is where the best-laid plans come into play.

The baby was supremely uncooperative and they couldn't get good shots of the heart or the LOWER SPINE (which so figures...this kid HAS to be a girl, we're the only ones who are ever that vindictive to our mothers. I swear the kid was laughing and giving me the finger, too). I said s/he takes after Stephen because s/he was purposely being difficult, and Stephen said the kid takes after me because s/he's not a morning person (it was 8:30...he's right, the baby is always sleeping at that time of day, heh). Bottom line, the tech tried and tried to no avail.

Oh, but don't worry, because she WAS totally able to see the "very small" choroid plexus cyst the kid decided to grow.

Some brief medical explanation: choroid plexus is like seaweed that lives in the ventricles (fluid spaces) of your brain and makes spinal fluid. It loooooves to plug up shunts and cause them to malfunction, so it causes me no end of grief at work. Haunting me like a shadow, it has chosen to wreak havoc in my regular life, too. It's quite common for babies to have these "cysts". They were originally thought to be abnormal, in and of themselves, but we know now that they're usually a developmental variant. Spinal fluid gets trapped and forms cysts, which are entirely benign and go away before the baby is even born. So what's the problem? Well, silly, just like, oh, EVERYTHING ELSE you can see on a 20 week ultrasound, they can be a marker for genetic anomalies. Most typically trisomy 18, so far as I can tell, but occasionall trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) as well. She got great shots of the nasal bone, the arms, and I *think* the legs, though I'm not sure she was able to measure the femur, and everything else was normal. When everything else is normal, we ignore these cysts (well, I bet I'll have ninety more ultrasounds to make sure it resolves), but we have to be sure everything else is normal. And part of ensuring that involves thoroughly checking the heart. Which we couldn't adequately see today.

I go for a level 2 ultrasound next week, which is what I should've done in the first place. I like that the doctor does it, and therefore you get lots of explanations while it's going on (ultrasound techs aren't supposed to tell you what they see), you get better images, and I maybe could've avoided all of this.

I was freaking out at first, but I've since been reassured by multiple good sources that I really shouldn't worry. My friend in Texas from undergrad did research at a naval hospital in Texas and said the whole time she was there, she literally never saw a single bad outcome associated with a CPC. Obviously I'm still worried, but really, more than that, I'm just FRUSTRATED, because I wanted today to be fun and it definitely was not.

(seriously, though, if you know the full expression, let me know.)

1 comment:

Rae said...

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley."
It's a a verse from a Scottish poem, To a Mouse. Thank you, Mrs. Clarke and English III accelerated. You're totally having a girl. A healthy happy girl
Take care, Rae