Life of a Prem Baby Blog

A bit about me and my pregnancy

Posted on: 07/11/2010

Im a normal healthy 28 year old, who is relatively fit and trys to eat healthily (although I tend to eat maybe a bit too much chocolate, I try to convince myself it counts towards one of my five a day!).

Me, I was born 5 weeks early and so was my sister, so when I fell pregnant the thought did cross my mind that my baby might make an early appearance, although neither me or my husband expected our son to arrive 8 weeks early!

My pregnancy started off fairly normally, and I was thankful that I did not really suffer with morning sickness. Me and my husband were looking forward to our 3 month scan to take our first look at our unborn baby, we never expected to come away from that first scan shocked at what we had been told.

As all you mums know when you have your ultrasound scan they offer you the nuchual test at the same time, a test which is carried out to check the risk of Downs Syndrome and other major ailments. Us being first time parents we were probably a little bit naive and agreed that we would have this done, thinking it wouldnt do any harm. For me personally I honestly thought nothing would come up, as according to the statistics I should have been low risk.  

However whilst the scan was being performed we were informed that the nuchual measurement was higher than it should be! A measurement of 3.5 which apparantly was borderline, the sonographer informed us that it wasnt anything to worry about and that just as a precaution they wanted to get a second opinion on the measurements taken. What should have been a happy and wonderful experience of seeing your baby for the first time turned into an event that shocked and worried us.

Me, I couldnt take it in at first, from the minute the sonographer said something wasnt quite as it seemed I blocked everything else out she said. I found myself asking the same questions again and again, not being able to take the answer in the first time. Thankfully my husband was more clearheaded, and later filled me in on what the sonographer had said.

Even though the medical staff kept insisting that there was probably nothing wrong, you cant help thinking to yourself, what if you are one of the ones where your baby has something wrong? Im sure every other mum doesnt think of what could be wrong with their baby when trying to concieve, it just isnt something you thing about. 

In order for the test to be carried out properly I had to have some blood taken, which was carried out on the same day. I was informed that my risk would then be assessed from  both the scan and my bloods that had been taken. Walking out of the hospital after the scan I felt at a loss, and just felt like a good cry! I had this perfect picture of my unborn baby in my hands but yet I knew that there was a chance that my baby could be ill. It was on the drive home from the hospital, and a telephone conversation with my sister in law, that I knew in my heart that even if this baby had a major illness that I could never terminate the pregnancy.

Every parent that reads this will understand me when I say that the moment you see your baby on that monitor for the first time you just know you would do anything to protect your child, that feeling of love for your unborn baby that appears on the screen is immense. I knew that after seeing my baby on that screen I could never terminate the pregnancy, if our child turned out to have Downs then so be it, I knew I would love this child no matter what the circumstance. With this decision made, I told my husband and in answer to me, he said “Im so glad you made that decision”.

So with the news that something wasnt quite right we were quickly referred to a specialist at another hospital in the county the following Monday, who could undertake a more detailed scan to double check the measurements.

Needless to say the day did not start well, it was the first day I got morning sickness! (I put it down to nerves or the fact that baby didnt like the Cheerios I had eaten that morning!) and when we arrived at the hospital we struggled for parking! I was quickly becoming stressed with the whole thing (which if I hadnt of been pregnant and worrying about my unborn baby im sure I would have been fine), we eventually found a space and walked to the hospital, we arrived at the hospital and god forbide we had no idea where to go, no signs to where the department was and asking someone for help was just useless!! I was just about ready to snap someones head off lol. We eventually found where we were meant to go and sat down to wait in the patient waiting area….and we were still waiting 2 hours later!!!!

I couldnt believe that we were made to wait 2 hours after our appointment time, with me sitting in the most uncomfortable chair, and having drunk loads of water beforehand in readiness for the scan! I was not a happy bunny!

We were eventually called into the consultants room and the second scan was performed, the consultant confirmed to us that the measurements were correct. From the information that had been taken (and not taking into account my bloods that hadnt come back) the consultant informed us that my risk was 1:45 – High Risk. Again, I was shocked, but me and my husband by this point had already made our decision to keep the baby so in my head I told myself it doesnt matter. The consultant offered to perform a CVS on me which would give a more accurate result of the baby having Downs. After thinking about this option I decided not to go ahead with the procedure, as it carries a 1% chance of miscarriage, which I know some will say isnt high, but in my mind it was 1% too much.

The consultant proceeded to tell us about the High Risk of our baby and in a roundabout way tried to convince us to terminate, I was disgusted. Yes, we were a young couple, but that was no reason for us to want to terminate! I came out of that consultants room angry, and adamant that I would never set foot in that hospital again.

A week later, just before the Easter Bank HolidayI finally got the call from the hospital, where I was given the news that I had very good blood and that the results from my scan and my bloods meant I was in fact low risk, a score of 1:2708. I was so, so happy and immensely relieved. I was told that the fact my blood was so good had meant it pushed my risk factor the right way. I had Super Blood!!

You might read this and think, yes but there is still a 1:2708 risk of my baby having Downs. My husband put it into perspective for me, if you had 2708 boxes in front of you and you had to pick one, what is the chances of you picking that one box that was bad? It was highly unlikely, and the same could be said if a persons risk came back as 1:2, you still have a 50/50 chance that your baby will be okay.

The nurse on the other end of the line, said that although I had come back as Low Risk I would still need another scan performed on my baby’s heart, as a heart defect could also mean the reason the nuchual was high. So an appointment was made for when my baby would be 18 weeks gestation at a specialist hospital in London.

So a few weeks later me and the husband took the trip down to London, even treating ourselves to staying down there the night! We arrived at the childrens hospital and once again our little baby was being prodded with the scanner! The scan was pretty amazing, how they manage to look at a heart that tiny is unbelieveably, it was at this scan that we also had our first indication that our baby might be a boy.

You see, we had a consultant from another country in the room with us observing, and he apparantly didnt speak alot of English! Although he seemed to know the words for masculine and boy! So while he was busy saying what the sex of our baby was the sonographer was trying to tell him that she hadnt looked at that yet! lol

The good news was that during this scan we were told our baby’s heart was developing normally and that no problems could be seen. This was good news for me and my husband and we were equally pleased to discover that we were probably having a boy!

So as you can see we didnt have the best of starts to my pregnancy, this little boy was a worry from the start!

Check out my next blog to read what happened the night I went into labour!


2 Responses to "A bit about me and my pregnancy"

Ultrasounds are the best and worst. When we found out that my wife was pregnant with triplets, we were immediately referred to specialists as well. I cannot even imagine how many ultrasound appointments we had, but the heart scans are the worst. If I never see another heart scan again, I will be a happy man.

The specialists talked to us about reducing the number of fetuses, but there was no discussion to be had, it is quite an awkward thing to talk about termination, isn’t it?

I totally agree with you. Although it was great that we got to see our little boy more because we had more ultrasound scans, it was still scary. The fact that you just lay there for a good 10 to 15 minutes while the songrapher or specialist is scanning and you are basically holding your breath because you just dont know what the result of the scan is going to be.

The heart scan that Jenson had at 18 weeks was at St Thomas’s in London, and although we made a day of it, i.e. staying over night the night before and seeing the sights, that morning when I woke up all the excitement that I had felt about being in London disappeared, to be replaced by nerves and worry.

I think probably the worst thing that I did before the heart scan was to have a read up on the internet about problems that might occur, and about some that just can not be fixed even with surgery. Then the sonographer telling you before the scan what they are checking. The ultrasound scans are fascinating to watch and it was great when the sonographer asked if we wanted to hear our baby’s heartbeat.

As for the second check we had done following the 12 week scan I was just gobsmacked at how anyone could even suggest about termination, espeacially seeing as our little boy was not an accident and we had planned to have him. It just made me so angry! How on earth could you live with yourself if you had made the decision to terminate?

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