I had my son a little more than a year after we got married. Having a baby changed our lives in a lot of ways. We learned how to care for that sweet little boy, and he quickly had our hearts.
When we found out we were expecting our second, I assumed pregnancy and birth would be similar to my first. I was sorely mistaken. People are right when they say that every pregnancy is different. Still, I had no idea just how different this pregnancy would be.
I had an inkling that this baby might be a girl because things were different. I hadn’t had acne in years, but I was breaking out on my face with this pregnancy. I gained close to 40 pounds with my son, but this pregnancy, I lost 10 pounds in the first few months. With my son, I felt flutters very early. With this pregnancy, I had an anterior placenta. So, I didn’t feel her moving around for much longer. I was amazed at just how different things were going with this pregnancy.
One thing that stayed the same was my anxiety. When I was pregnant with my son, I worried that something would go wrong or that he would have some sort of illness. I was wrong. Our son is one of the healthiest kids I’ve ever known. He’s only been sick two times in his more than two years of life, and those were just little colds. With my second pregnancy, I had worries too, and I tried to tell myself that I was just overly-anxious. Everything would be fine. Our baby was going to be healthy and perfect.
When we moved to be closer to family, I got a new OBGYN. My first appointment with him was our 20-week ultrasound. We went into the dimmed room and watched our sweet baby float and kick around on the screen as the ultrasound tech got the pictures and measurements she needed. Her face never gave us the feeling she saw something out of the ordinary. She didn’t seem to linger over the baby’s heart, brain, intestines, or anything else. My husband and I were so happy to see our sweet baby, but we had no idea that things were not as we thought.
We sat in the exam room for what felt like forever waiting to meet our doctor for the first time and hear that our baby was perfect. After more than 20 minutes in that exam room, the doctor came in. He told us that the baby looked good except. . . My mind was racing. I almost didn’t hear what he said next. The doctor told us that the ultrasound tech saw an echogenic bowel on our baby’s ultrasound. I had no idea what that was. He explained that there was a bright spot on our baby’s bowels that could indicate a couple of things: down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or it could be nothing and go away on its own.
The doctor told us not to worry. He said it is probably nothing and will go away on its own. He sent us to the phlebotomist to get blood drawn for genetic testing. I do not do well with needles, and they had to take nine vials of blood from me. Somehow, I managed to stay upright during that process. The phlebotomist told us we would have the results within two weeks and not to worry in the meantime. ( what person in their right mind would think that a pregnant woman, who has been told that there may be something wrong with their baby, is going to just go about their business and not worry?)
So, we went home and waited. I did as much research as I could about echogenic bowels and the conditions that they could indicate. I was a complete mess for the next 2 weeks. I needed to know if my baby was ok. I needed answers. I knew in my gut that this was not just going to resolve itself, but all we could do at that point was wait.