It isn’t standard operating procedure necessarily to have an ultrasound at this point (usually the 18-20 week anatomy scan is the last) but this was a follow-up to the fetal echo and anatomy scan we had done at 21 weeks and it’s always exciting to see Maya on the screen! (Isn’t she cute?!)
She’s been wiggling and moving and hiccuping and kicking/punching me lots (keeping me up at night … good prep for mommy-hood, no?) and it was cool to see how she’s positioned — head down, lying comfortably on her side with her spine on my left side, which explains why most of the movement I’ve been feeling is on my right side. She kept her face down throughout most of the scan (boo!), where the tech checked her measurements and organs and everything and it all looked normal and good and healthy — whew!
But she’s measuring on the small side. As in, 17th percentile small.
Anything less than 10th percentile can be a cause for concern, and my doctor wasn’t horribly concerned but did tell us she is on the “small side of normal” for her estimated gestational age. (She’s estimated at being 3 lbs 2 oz now but those estimates can be wildly off the mark–as they’re just that, estimates.)
So he asked how big my husband and I were at birth/how my mom carried, as that usually is a good predictor as to how a mother will carry/size of her babies. Well, I was two weeks late and only 6 lbs 10 oz and as I’ve noted before, my mom carried low and small. My husband was 7 lbs. So neither of us were huge which means we probably wouldn’t make a huge baby. And we’re having a girl, and girls tend to be smaller than boys.
(Now I should note, since the very beginning I’ve been a bit leery about my estimated due date (EDD), which has been determined as December 19 based on my last monthly period (LMP) on March 13. My cycles were horribly erratic (which is how I honestly didn’t even know I was pregnant until I was 7 weeks along) … so part of me wonders if I am really a week or so behind that date…I’ve always thought I’d go into labor on/around New Year’s Eve!)
Anyway, in spite of knowing how genetics can come into play … you can imagine how much of a failure I felt like upon hearing this, as I am her sole source of nutrition and I’ve already been concerned I’m not “big enough” to be as far along as I am.
So I asked if there’s anything I could do (or should have done) to make her bigger …like eat more, etc. He said absolutely not; that it’s nothing I did or can do. Some babies are just smaller, and that’s a fact. She will take what she needs and genetically, she’s probably just on the smaller side — nothing I can do to change that, though obviously we want her to continue to get bigger.
The plan is for us to go back in four weeks for another ultrasound to check on her growth and see if she’s getting bigger. He said he’d be more concerned if, say, her head circumference was measuring much bigger than, say, her abdomen … but she’s proportionally small … and otherwise healthy.
Then came the kicker. Turns out the cord is wrapped around her neck. 😦
This happens in 20-40% of babies (statistics vary) and my doctor says this should NOT be a cause of concern to us especially since they know it now … but it was still scary to hear.
Again, it’s nothing we could have prevented … babies in the womb swim and play and get tangled in it and she’s too big now to untangle herself. So what this means is in delivery, it just might take a minute longer to untangle it before my husband can cut it, and because they are aware of this condition, will be especially cautious with delivery. The risk of this cord situation is it can cause stillborn deliveries, but hopefully since my doctor knows the situation ahead of time, he’ll be prepared and that won’t be the case! (Please keep the prayers coming for a healthy delivery and baby!)
He also recommended once a week (or twice a week, depending on what my OB says) non stress tests just to be sure everything is OK with her heartbeat and if things look bad, they’ll induce me early but hopefully that won’t be the case. I posted on BabyCenter.com about this cord situation and got tons of reassuring comments by moms who had this happen — I guess it’s fairly common but most people don’t know before delivery that it’s a problem; this ultrasound showed us what was going on, or we wouldn’t have known, either, until delivery. So if there’s a silver lining, it’s that we know a little more of what to expect.
To be honest, all the extra testing we’ve gone through has been a double-edged sword. Sometimes I wonder if ignorance would be bliss … all this information sometimes just feels overwhelming and scary and riddles me with anxiety (hubby however remains cool, calm and collected–telling me he heard the exact same things as I did but isn’t concerned and has faith she’s just fine!) … but then I love the extra testing we’ve gotten because it’s given us an eagle’s eye perspective into the ins and outs of her development … and when we look back at the first ultrasound at 10 weeks, where she literally looked like two connected blobs … to an actual baby with a face that isn’t reminiscent of Skeletor 😉 … it’s mind-blowing.
I really feel like this entire pregnancy has been a test of my faith. A test of patience. Sometimes I feel like I’m passing … and other days, like today, it’s hard to feel so optimistic … yet I know that there’s no other way to look at this situation except glass half-full.
She’s going to be OK … and I just need to start believing it. Truly believing it. After all … hope floats!