Tag Archives: renal agenisis

anatomy scan

2 Jun

Well, this is the post I have been waiting to write for 4 years.  We had our anatomy scan yesterday, and Frijole is looking healthy 🙂  But, first let me back up and tell you a few other things that have happened since I last wrote.

The last time I posted about the pregnancy, I was 17 weeks and had just had an appointment.  Everything was great then and we were just anxiously waiting for our anatomy scan to be scheduled.  We had to wait for the specialist’s office to call to schedule it.  My ob said he would like us to have it between 21 and 26 weeks, and I was really hoping for it to be sooner rather than later.  So, when they called to schedule it and said the soonest they could get us in was June 1st, which would put me at 23 weeks, I had no idea how I would be able to wait that long.

When Arturo came home from work that day and I told him the news, he said we should schedule an elective ultrasound.  I had been wanting to go for one but up to that point, had not been able to convince him it was worth it to spend the money.  I was so overjoyed that he was willing to now!

So, the next week, when I was 18 weeks, we went for the ultrasound.  I was feeling a little anxious in the days before the scan. It was at 18 weeks when we were told our son did not have any kidneys and would not be able to survive outside of the womb.  The main focus of the elective ultrasound is for them to be able to tell you the gender of your baby, but I knew that if Frijole didn’t have any kidneys, I would know what that looks like immediately.  There would not be any amniotic fluid and everything would look grey.  That was what I would be looking for.

When we arrived, she asked us if we were hoping for a boy or a girl.  We both said we were hoping for a healthy baby, but we were pretty sure that this baby was a girl.  The tech said, “Come on.  What are you really hoping for?”  I told her that I know a lot of people say that they just want a healthy baby, but that we REALLY meant that.  I told her about Angel and she then understood.

The ultrasound was amazing.  As soon as it began, I could see Frijole surrounded by fluid and I felt so calm and relaxed.  I knew Baby’s kidneys were working and was convinced FINALLY that this was a different pregnancy, a different baby.  The best part of the ultrasound was watching Arturo’s face light up.  It was a 3d/4d scan so the images were so clear and we saw so much more than what you can see on a scan at the Doctor’s office in 2d.  Frijole had both hands going and it really looked like Baby was waving at us with both hands.  It was unreal.  And, we found out we have a daughter on the way!


I have felt desperate to know if Frijole was a boy or a girl and not for the reason most moms want to know.  We didn’t know Angel’s gender until his autopsy was complete and so to know this baby’s gender is another indication that she is healthy!

I have been so much more calm and relaxed since going for that ultrasound and we have both said numerous times how glad we are that we spent the money to do it.

I have been feeling pretty good, just normal pregnancy stuff that I have managed to find ways to cope with.  My back has been pretty sore and so I have been going to the Chiropractor for adjustments every 2-3 weeks and using the heating pad off and on at home.  My hips have also been sore, but sleeping with a pillow between my knees has been helping that some.  I am still pretty constipated, but taking Metamucil every morning and stool softeners every evening is making a difference.  My cravings have included every single commercial I see including food and every single Facebook post including food.  So far, I have been able to fulfill them all until this week when a recipe for lefse came up in my news feed.  I can’t get lefse here in Colorado.  I am hoping to find some when I travel back north at the end of the month.  Weirdly, my morning sickness resurfaced last week. I hadn’t had any for weeks and now all of a sudden, I am puking again.  So, that is weird.  I am 6 pounds lighter than I was pre-pregnancy, but I had plenty of extra weight, so no biggie.

Arturo and I took a “babymoon” to Vegas when I was 20 weeks.  We own a timeshare with points, so our out of pocket expense was basically nothing except for meals while we were there.  It was a stretch to take the trip since we have been struggling financially but we knew that we should make it a priority since money will be even tighter after our daughter is born and we probably won’t take a vacation just us two for years.  We had a really great, relaxing trip.  We took in a couple of shows, ate some good food, but spent most of our time relaxing by the pool at our resort.  We even took advantage of the grocery store nearby and the grills at the resort.  The best meal we had in Vegas were steaks that Arturo grilled.



We had 2 nieces born in May which is really exciting!  Arturo’s sister had a baby on May 5th and my brother and his wife had a baby on May 26th.  I can’t wait to meet both of them!  I love being an aunt and how fun it will be for our daughter to have cousins so close to her age!

So, now, on to our day yesterday.

I had always pictured a healthy anatomy scan to go much differently than how it went yesterday.  I am even more grateful that we had done the elective ultrasound so that I knew my worst fears were not true this time.

After checking in at the hospital and waiting for a few minutes, a nurse took us back to an exam room where she weighed me and took my vitals.  She asked us a few questions and told us that we would be first meeting with a genetic counselor and then having the ultrasound.  This seemed backwards to me.  Why would we need to speak with a genetic counselor BEFORE the ultrasound?  My stress was evident in my blood pressure reading of 150/90.  This is pretty high and caused the nurse to be concerned.  I had high blood pressure while pregnant with Angel that caused me to be hospitalized for a few days.  It was even higher then, though.  I don’t remember the numbers, they just kept telling me it was “stroke level.”  So, I am hoping this isn’t the start of that.

The nurse took us into the counselor’s office which turned into one of the most stressful encounters I have had with any medical professional.  She wanted to discuss all of our family’s medical histories, which is empty on Arturo’s side, so she focused on my family history instead.  How fun!  She wanted to know about cancer, diabetes, pregnancy problems, mental illness, etc.  She told us all the chances of me getting these same illnesses and our daughter getting them as well.  She even went as far as to tell me that since my paternal grandmother had breast cancer, my chances double to getting it myself.  So, why are we talking about that right now?!?  I finally quit telling her about the medical history in my family.  When she asked questions, I just kept saying no.  It wasn’t worth the discussion.

Then, she wanted to tell us about all the additional risk factors our baby faces since we conceived through IVF and ICSI (the method in which they fertilized my eggs by injecting them with Arturo’s sperm instead of just putting them together).  IVF gives our daughter increased risk of having Down’s Syndrome and ICSI gives her increased risk of having a sex chromosome issue.  Neat.  Thanks for the info.

Then, of course, we had to discuss my age and weight, which are additional risk factors.

She also wanted to discuss Angel’s conditions and give her opinions about what could have caused his problems.  She said that in a lot of cases like his, it is caused because the mother had gestational diabetes.  Well, guess  what?  I didn’t, so try again.

What was most annoying about our consultation with her is that it’s not like she was telling us anything we didn’t know.  I know how old I am.  I know that I am overweight.  I know the risks of doing IVF.  I know about all my family’s health history and that myself and my child will possibly face some of those same illnesses and diseases.  I know about Angel’s conditions and I already know there is a small chance these could reoccur in our future children.  So, why are we talking about this now?  We aren’t trying to breed Superman.  We just want a child to raise on this earth.

She offered us amniocentesis if the scan noted any issues.  I told her again, that we only wanted to know if our baby had any fatal conditions.  We didn’t need to know about anything that might be life altering.  We would deal with that if we had to.

So, after that fun discussion, she sent back to the waiting room until the ultrasound.  We waited about 20 minutes to be called back this time.

Now, I understand that an ultrasound is a medical procedure and whoever is doing the scan is looking for very specific things, taking measurements, and getting the necessary pictures.  But, what I have always wondered is why do the techs always seem so sterile?  She hardly spoke at all.  She didn’t tell us what she was looking at and if things looked good or not.  Baby girl wasn’t moving much so that made the scan a little bit more difficult.  She wouldn’t get in the position the tech wanted her in to fully see her heart.  She had me go empty my bladder after about 20 minutes hoping that would give baby girl some more room to move around.  She started moving a little bit more, but she still couldn’t get all the necessary pictures of her heart.  She finally did tell us that everything else looked great.  She definitely has two functioning kidneys, her legs are separate, and her umbilical cord has 3 vessels.  Those were the 3 things that I was concerned about because of Angel’s conditions.  Angel had no kidneys, his legs were connected, and he only had a 2 vessel cord.  Oh, and of couse, the genetalia were present again on this ultrasound and she is definitely a girl!  She also said her brain looks good, she has no signs of cleft palate, and all of her organs looked good.  She has plenty of amniotic fluid as well.  So, things look good.  She said the structure of her heart appears to all be there, but she can’t see if there is a hole in her heart or not.  She said that there is no reason to think she does, but she just can’t tell.

The Dr. came in a few minutes later to go over what the tech had just told us and give us some more annoying information.  She said that there is an increased risk of heart defects with IVF and that she wanted us to come back in 4-6 weeks for a closer look at her heart when she is bigger and it will be easier to see.  So, obviously that could be a little concerning, but I am going to do my best to not let it stress me out.  At least it is an opportunity to see her again.  She was also concerned about me possibly having gestational diabetes, again because of my weight, and wants to make sure my ob checks me for that ASAP.

When the Dr. left the room, the tech said she had forgot to look at my ovaries and was going to do that quickly.  By this point, baby girl was moving like crazy and so after confirming that my ovaries are OK, she took another quick peak at her heart and she said, “I wouldn’t be concerned.  Everything looks good to me.”  So, that is what I am going to keep at the front of my mind.

Before we left, the nurse came in and took by blood pressure again and it was 114/80, so much better!

We see our ob here in town on Monday and we are scheduled for a repeat scan with the specialist’s office on July 7th.

Every night I pray that God will keep our daughter healthy and that she will outlive me.  And, my new mantra is that I am too blessed to be stressed!


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