Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hello again, LO!

Well, we went to see LO again this morning, and I'm so pleased to report that all is still looking good.
Measurements were spot on. Just for the record:

Head Circumference: 117mm (15w4d)
Biparietal Diameter: 30.6mm (15w3d)
Femur Length: 17.7mm (15w1d)

LO has grown so much in the past three weeks - we could see his/her profile, arms and hands waving around, long skinny legs stretching out and lots of wriggling going on! We managed to get a lovely profile shot so we could see LO's little nose, lips and chin.
Mr Beattie sat in on the scan and confirmed that the kidneys, bladder and brain are still looking totally normal. To that end, he confirmed that LO does NOT have Meckel-Gruber Syndrome!
I can't begin to express what a relief that is for us - it means we can continue to hope for LO's future. And it also means that Charlie's chances of cuddling his living, breathing sibling have increased greatly.
Heart-wise, everything is still looking wonderfully normal so far.
We had another good look at the four chambers, and were also able to visualise the pulmonary artery and aorta.
So everything still appears very normal for this stage of pregnancy.
However, it's still only early days in terms of cardiac scanning, so the doctors are unable to completely rule anything in or out as yet.
However, each time they scan me, they are looking very hard for any abnormalities, and the fact that they have yet to spot any can only be interpreted as very good news.
So we are happy and greatly relieved with LO's progress so far.
The sonographer did try to find out whether LO is a he or a she, but those long skinny legs were firmly jammed together, so we'll have to be patient for a while longer!
We go back on May 10 - a couple of days after we get back from Crete - for the major anomaly scan, at which point I'll be 19w2d and almost half way through my pregnancy.
We should be able to get an even clearer picture of what's what by then, and should be able to rule out a lot of potential problems, as well as have a better look at the heart.
A few weeks after that, we'll be seeing Orhan Uzun, the fetal cardiologist, for an in-depth cardiac scan, at which we should be given some concrete answers.
I will be glad to finally know what's happening - I am not really allowing myself to get excited or start daydreaming, because it's just too hard to have it snatched away if a problem shows up.
For me, pessimism and realism are the order of the day until I have absolute confirmation that I can stand on the rooftops, singing!
The only other interesting thing from today, is that Mr Beattie has asked me to speak at another symposium, again about antenatal diagnosis, on May 11. I can use an amended version of the talk I gave last time, so it won't be too much work.
And it will be the day after the anomaly scan, so maybe, just maybe, I can edit in a happy ending!

You are doing so well, LO. Keep up the good work!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hospital again tomorrow...

So. We're off to the hospital again in the morning for another scan.
I'll be 15wks2days.
I'm hoping they might be able to tell us for sure about whether we have escaped Meckel-Gruber syndrome this time. If they can give us any more information about the baby's heart, then that will be a bonus.
And who knows, maybe we'll be able to find out if LO is a boy or a girl.
I want to find out what's going on, but I'm so scared that our hopes and dreams might be snatched away again.
Please be alright, LO.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Ok, so I'm over 14wks now - well into my second trimester.
Do you hear me, morning sickness?
You are supposed to be gone, leaving me revitalised, full of energy and blooming.

Blooming awful, more like.


Sent from my iPhone

Friday, April 01, 2011

LO's latest portrait...

Here's LO at my last scan.

According to the dates they gave me last time, he/she is 12w2d, but according to his/her size on this scan, it might be 12w5d. Either way, LO is growing very well and is a bit bigger than average.

We were able to find out far more than we expected at the scan.

First and foremost, the nuchal fold measured 1.3mm - teeny tiny! They want it to be less than 3mm so that was a great start.

We explained our previous history to the sonographer (who recognised me from the speech I did last November!!) and asked her to look first at the kidneys - if they were massive, the nuchal fold measurement was really pretty redundant.

She had a look and (with a bit of hunting) spotted two small, very unremarkable looking kidneys, and a bladder. Hurrah! At this point in my pregnancy with Will, his kidneys were the size of those of a 27-week foetus and he had no bladder, so this was a GREAT start.

She also had a look at the brain - it was already well divided into the two hemispheres and appeared normal for this stage of pregnancy.

Then, much to our delight, she told us she was something of a cardiac specialist, and proceeded to have a good look at LO's heart.

She instantly spotted two AV valves and zoomed in to a FOUR-chamber view of the heart.

Yes - FOUR chambers. I make no apologies for my excessive use of capitals... this is amazing. She pointed out the right ventricle (the one Charlie has) and the much larger left ventricle. (which Charlie doesn't.)

She could see them.

I could see them.

Pete could see them.

I even collared Mr Beattie as he popped his head around the door, and HE could see them too.

FOUR chambers. TWO ventricles. I have to admit, I was stunned. Will had HLHS and so does Charlie. Pete and I have never conceived a child with all four chambers of its heart.

Until now, it seems.

Having said that, we aren't out of the woods yet by any means. We go back on April 12, when I'll be 15+wks.

We're hopeful that, by then, we might be able to rule some stuff out for certain. We might even be able to find out of LO is a he or a she. I was 16wks with Charlie when they definitively ruled out Meckel-Gruber syndrome, and definitively confirmed HLHS.

But we never had the nuchal fold scan with Chas - nor a pretty positive four-chamber view of the heart. It is amazing how much the technology has advanced in the last seven years.

We asked Mr Beattie if he felt confident enough for us to tell Charlie about the baby, and he replied 'Well, we've seen the kidneys, bladder and four-chamber view... I would!'

So we did.

I wrapped up an 'I'm the big brother' T-shirt for him and he opened it as soon as he got in from school. His reaction was totally priceless, and he is over the moon. I've uploaded the video below, so blow it up to full screen and crank your speakers right up!

He talks to the baby every day, hugs my tummy, and loves to plan all the things they'll do together if all is well. I hope this little one is ok.

After the next scan, we'll have another at about 20wks - the standard anomaly scan. Although, so far, things are looking promising, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong. And by 20wks, they should be able to tell us everything.

But whatever happens, I'll always treasure three little words on the scan report... "Heart Appears Normal".

PS Apologies for the very spacy layout on this post - Blogger isn't playing ball.

Charlie finds out about LO...