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The Results of Our 20 Week Anatomy Scan Didn’t Go Quite As Planned

anatomy scanLast week I had another anatomy scan — this time as a follow up to the one we had two weeks prior where the baby was too small to really complete the scan. At this point, I was just over 20 weeks pregnant and excited not only to hear the gender of the baby I was carrying, but to get some indication that baby is growing healthy and waiting to have some of my anxiety lessened.

The ultrasound went great. I had an amazing technician who was nothing like the last one. She talked to me the whole 1 hour appointment — let me hear and see the heart beating right away and checked in to make sure my anxiety wasn’t too high.

When she was finished getting the measurements she needed, she brought my husband in and gave us the most amazing tour of what’s going on inside. She took a lot of time to show us everything — from both sides of the brain, both hands and feet (and showed us how baby was sitting), the heart, the kidneys, and then shared with us the gender of our baby.

I was so thrilled with the whole experience — for myself and for my husband. We both felt a large chunk of anxiety leave as we watched our growing baby move and wiggle. That tour for my husband meant the world to him and we are so excited to welcome our 4th child and second boy into our family at the end of the year. We were happy to have a few pictures to finally show the kids — I had had three previous ultrasounds to this one and it was the first time we left with an image of him.

Yesterday, I went to my OB for a follow up to this ultrasound as well as a regular prenatal checkup and check in with my kidney. For the first time I only had a little anxiety going to the doctor since I can actively feel baby move, we saw him on ultrasound the week before and the kidney stone I passed a few weeks ago has eased a lot of my pain for now.

My weight is good — I lost another 2 pounds taking my total weight gain to minus 16, but I have been eating better, feeling better and my doctor is not concerned. My blood pressure and fundal height are both good and we heard a wonderfully loud heartbeat with the doppler.

The results of the anatomy scan the week before did reveal some possible complications though. I am trying not to get too focused on the negatives for what could happen, but given my history of loss — it can be hard not to see that. There is an issue with the umbilical cord making possible complications for IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) so I will need to be monitored closely as will baby to make sure he’s growing well. This issue is sometimes also a marker for chromosomal issues, though I had no other small markers in the ultrasound so the doctor is confident that’s not the issue here.

The ultrasound also showed a possible issue with one of his kidneys — it looks enlarged and swollen (funny it’s the same kidney that I am having similar issues with). I was told it could have been a fluke thing and will go away or may be a small issue when he’s born and could mean surgery. In some of the basic research I’ve done, it links the cord issue to renal issues as well, so there’s a chance they are related.

My belly popped about a a week ago. This is me yesterday at 21.5 weeks

My belly popped about a a week ago. This is me yesterday at 21.5 weeks pregnant with baby #4 – a BOY!

So, what’s up next? I will be heading to a larger hospital in the area to get a fetal echocardiogram — to check for any congenital heart defects in baby boy as well as another more detailed ultrasound of his kidneys. The cord issue will be monitored from here on and may necessitate later in the third trimester being more closely monitored with ultrasounds, biophysical profiles, non-stress tests, and/or an even earlier induction.

For now, I am more concerned than ever with putting healthy, nutrient-rich foods in my body, eating regularly, and encouraging baby boy to grow. While in past pregnancies, I was concerned with how big my midsection grew — I am going to be thankful for everyday I wake up larger because it means baby is growing and that’s important.

I am confident that things will all turn out to be fine with baby boy — we are in great hands and have a plan to check all things out and know what to watch for. I am, however, disappointed with the added anxiety when I was looking forward to finally letting go of that and my already high-risk, carefully monitored pregnancy now going to be being even more so.

:: Did your anatomy scan show any abnormalities? How did you cope? Share in the comments! ::

Photo credits: ©Devan McGuinness | Instagram

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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three kids and expecting baby #4 at the end of this year. Read more from  on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!

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