Dear Internet, I am sorry. I didn’t tell you the whole story regarding our anatomy scan, but I really was trying to protect you. (Ok no, that’s another lie, I was trying to protect myself…) I basically avoided all discussion regarding our anatomy scan because I couldn’t say anything without talking about it and I didn’t want to talk about it until our follow up, which occurred today. You see where I am going with this, yeah?
So back up to two weeks ago, our anatomy scan: Luffy and I had a fantastic time, watching the tech zoom her wand around my abdomen as our son (our son!) filled the screen. We saw his little heart and his stomach and his kidneys. She measured parts of his brain, his femur, and skull. We saw his spine (in a fantastically creepy shot that had him looking like that, er, alien from Alien) and little ribs. Hands and feet too! Wonderful.
We followed the scan up with a check in with my doctor. He briefly celebrated the news with us, before his tone turned more formal. Apparently, the tech had seen something during the scan. A bright spot on the heart. An echogenic intracardiac focus, to be specific. Basically, a calcium deposit on the heart, which results in the “bright spot” on the ultrasound. Normally, he told us, these spots are nothing to worry about. However, they are considered to be a soft sign for chromosomal disorders including Down Syndrome.
My doctor, probably gauging the deer-in-headlights looks from us, quickly reassured us that he was absolutely not concerned. My blood test results came back with good numbers. The baby has no other soft signs (like kidney, brain, or facial malformations). In other words, my doctor really does think this is just a blip. After some additional research, it looks like, while not common (occurring in only 3-5% of pregnancies), EIFs are typically harmless and often go away on their own or cause no issues after birth.
However, my doctor also said that he couldn’t, in good conscience, dismiss it and he wanted to send me to a high risk specialist for a Level II scan. He said there would be three potential outcomes of this scan: (1) the specialist doesn’t find anything abnormal about the heart and we can breathe a sigh of relief, (2) the specialist sees what the tech saw, declares it harmless, and we can breathe a sigh of relief, or (3) the specialist sees what the tech saw, declares it questionable, and we proceed under the care of the specialist (likely with an amniocentesis being the first order of business).
Of course, I made the appointment right away, but couldn’t get in to see the specialist until today. I went in this morning for my scan and was once again delighted by my little boy. The Level II scan ended up being another anatomy scan essentially, with extra focus on the heart. Then doctor came into the ultrasound room and took control of the wand. He showed me that they did indeed find the bright spot my previous tech had seen. However, he was absolutely not concerned. He recommended no follow up; we do not have to go back to see him and we certainly didn’t need the amnio. He said, if I wanted a little extra peace of mind, that there was a newer blood test available that has more accuracy than the one I already had. I opted to go ahead and do that one, just to be cautious (plus, you can poke me all day long, but I am reeeeaaaallly gonna hesitate over you poking my fetus).
So we’ll know the blood test results in a couple of weeks or so, but for now, the news is positive. Little Dumpling looks perfectly healthy in there. Which is such a relief, given Jas’ condition. I’m not really sure our family could have taken more negative news right now.