When the ultrasound was over and I was FINALLY able to empty my bladder, my head was clear enough for me to ask the tech before we left the room. I know that they’re not supposed to tell you anything and that they for sure aren’t going to if you don’t ask. When I asked her if Baby C was healthy, she turned to us and said, “Well – what I’m going to tell you is going to scare you.” Honestly – I just felt like I KNEW this was coming.
Basically – here’s the break down. Baby C has two cysts in his brain. These aren’t cysts in the sense that they are extra growths, they’re cysts as in they are little pockets of fluid where his brain hasn’t really grown yet. This can be (emphasis on the CAN – not definite) one of the soft markers for Down’s Syndrome. Those “weird” things that she was looking at during the ultrasound were the other soft markers. There are 4. One is the cysts. The second is that Down’s babies will only have two bones in their pinkie finger instead of the normal 3. Our little guy has 3. Good news. The third is that Down’s babies will have no cartilage/bone in their nose. Our little guy does. Good news. The fourth is that Down’s babies will have a thick pad at the back of their necks. Our little guy does not. Good news. So basically – out of 4 soft markers – he only has three.
The tech said that she was fairly confident that this would turn out to be nothing. And that most of the time, these cysts are gone by 32 weeks. She said that she doesn’t seem them weekly, or even monthly, but that they’re not crazy uncommon. After talking with her, she took us to see Vickie for the rest of our appointment. Usually I ONLY see Marie, but she left sick that day, so Vickie was taking her appointments. I’ve never met Vickie before. And under a normal visit, I might like her. But I was NOT impressed at this visit. Basically, she told us NOTHING. We learned more from the ultrasound tech than we did from her. She barely said anything to us at all and was not informative or comforting. They do want to refer us to Macon to see a specialist for a level 2 ultrasound. This will give us just a better idea of what’s going on in there with Baby C. That appointment has been scheduled and we will be going to Macon on February 20th at 1:30. PLEASE keep this appointment and Baby C in your prayers. This is also the appointment where they offer you the Spinabifida/Down Syndrome testing. Usually, we would decline. But since the ultrasound came back like this, we decided to go ahead and do the testing. Vickie did tell us that the results from this blood work WILL help the specialist and provide them with more information. The way that Southern OB works is that they will only call you if something comes back BAD. Vickie told me that the blood work would take about a week and that they would only call if it showed something. As I’m typing this (on Wednesday), I still haven’t heard back from them – which is a GOOD thing! I’m continuing to pray that they just won’t call this week at all! Basically, if they don’t call, it means that my blood work has come back fine and that my blood work shows no higher risk of Down Syndrome than any other person. That would be really good news.
As soon as we left the doctor’s office, I called my friend Ashley. She has a young son (under a year) and went through this exact same thing when she was pregnant with him. I couldn’t remember exactly the details of her pregnancy, and I wanted to verify that this is what happened to her and get her opinion/advice. She confirmed that this is the exact same thing that happened with her and her son. She also said that she did lots of research and that she didn’t want me to spend my time worrying like she did. At her 32 week ultrasound, the tech told her that the cysts were gone on her son’s brain. He is now a happy, healthy, and crazy cute little guy who is doing just fine!
I initially told Matt that I wouldn’t google anything about this. You guys know how google is. You type in that you have a headache and you can convince yourself that you’re dying. I promised this to Matt, but then I spent all day Friday running errands with my mom to get stuff for LL’s birthday party and I had NO ONE to talk to about this. I couldn’t talk to my mom because she didn’t even know we had had an ultrasound! My sister and brother-in-law knew everything that was going on (we wanted someone to know so that they could video tape our “announcement” for us!), but I couldn’t talk to them on the phone with my mom around! And Matt was out of town for work and couldn’t talk on the phone at all. NOT COOL. So when we took a 15 minute break in the afternoon from party stuff, I couldn’t help it. I broke down and googled. But honestly, it really made me feel SO much better.
Here are some more details for you:
The cysts on his brain are called Choroid Plexus Cysts. Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia about what really is going on:
“Choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) are cysts that occur within the choroid plexus of the brain. The brain contains pockets or spaces called ventricles with a spongy layer of cells and blood vessels called the choroid plexus. This is in the middle of the fetal brain. CPCs can form within this structure and come from fluid trapped within the spongy layer of cells, much like a soap bubble or a blister. CPCs are often called “soft signs” or fetal ultrasound “markers” because some studies have found a weak association between CPCs and fetal chromosome abnormalities. It is believed that many adults have one or more tiny CPCs. CPCs have no impact on an individual’s health or development or learning. The fetal brain may create these cysts as a normal part of development. They are temporary and usually are gone by the 32nd week of pregnancy.”
This article on Wikipedia alone made me feel TONS better. After reading this, I then went through and read through lots of “mommy boards” where women posted that their ultrasound showed the same thing. Honestly, I read through between 200-250 women who said they were given this diagnosis, but that it either cleared up by 32 weeks, or their babies were born with it and are absolutely fine. That made me feel a ton better, too.
So basically, this is something that we need to be concerned about. But it’s not something that we need to be completely freaking out about. The rest of Baby C all looked great. Organs looked great. Great size. Everything.
My appointment in Macon is on February 20th at 1:30. We would REALLY appreciate if you would just pray for us and Baby C!