more prenatal test results: don’t worry

Umbillical CordThe remaining chromosomes have been counted and in spite of my extremely advanced maternal age (38 on Tuesday, Happy Birthday to me), everything is in pairs, like how they’re supposed to be.

Oh, and there’s no toxoplasmosis virus in the fluid either.

But the two-vessel umbilical cord thing is more of an issue than first reported.

While the purported tenuous link to Down’s and other birth defects was not borne out by the amnio test results, there are now other issues we have to not worry about.

What? Me? Worry? Never.

Apparently the two-not-three-vessel cord is also linked to a “very slight” risk of growth issues and stillbirth.

My OB wants us to have extra ultrasounds to monitor the baby’s growth, and then starting at 32 weeks, she wants me to come to the hospital weekly (or was it biweekly?) for “antepartum testing” which includes fetal heart monitoring, and I’m not sure what else. The main concern is that with only two tubes connected to it, the placenta may not be doing its job.

Oh, you know, they’d probably have me monitored like that anyway because I’m SO OLD, she said (but maybe in nicer words).

“You are old!” said my mother.

“I’m not THAT old!” I argued back. Anyway, 38 means a lot of different things in a lot of different bodies.

My friend R., the nurse practitioner, said “Doctors really don’t know everything.”

Several friends have asked me what would be done if the doctor decided the baby wasn’t growing properly. I’ll have to ask that question at my next OB appointment on Monday.

“Don’t worry,” my father said.

I’m trying not to. But so far, I’ve only had about one week of not worrying out of the last 18.

First there was the first-trimester-you-don’t-know-you-might-lose-the-baby so-don’t-tell-anyone-you’re-pregnant worry.

Next came the crazy toxoplasmosis scare and then the amnio. It was only the week between getting the good news from the FISH results, and the bad news about my defective cord (bad mama, can’t nourish your baby properly), that I actually got to get groovy with the growing baby, angst-free. Oh, except for the part where I had to get over it being a boy and not a girl.

This is why people who don’t even know me frequently suggest I have a drink, learn to golf, meditate.

The good news is that I actually already meditate twice a day. Imagine how much worse I would be without that!

Then again, I’m Jewish. It’s my heritage to worry.

I think the Kinsey Sicks express this sentiment better than I could in their song “Worry.” (I tried to find a track or video to link to on the Internet, but none exist, probably due to the fact that it’s a reworking of Bobby McFerrin’s famous 1980s feel-good hit. So you’ll just have to buy the CD, which you should do anyway, because you haven’t lived until you’ve heard their rendition of the “Macaroona.”)

62 comments for “more prenatal test results: don’t worry

  1. Lucia
    July 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I’m 18 weeks pregnant and had a ultrasound today and was diagnosed with SAU. The doctor said that the heart and kidneys look fine but that I will be having u/s every four weeks to assure that everything is going well. The baby’s weight and size are actually one week advanced but he explained that usually weight and growth are more affected towards the end of the pregnancy. He also reassured me that SUA has no connection with chromosomes and that it usually affects the heart, kidneys, and baby’s size. This is my first time hearing about SUA and I am so scared. I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories which give me some peace of mind. Next week I will have an amnio as recommended by my genetics counselor because of family history. I will keep everyone updated and I’m praying for good results.

  2. Lucia
    August 7, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I’m back with some great news; I had the amnio and a heart echo, all the results returned normal. Also I’ve had two ultrasounds since my last post and the baby is growing well. I hope everyone else has the same results!

  3. Kirsty
    August 29, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I had a 2 vessel cord which was discovered at 20 week scan. No one gave me any information about it and i found most information from the internet. I had a scan every 4 weeks until 30 weeks and then they stopped. I wasn’t sent for weekly scans like you have been told you will have. Which angers me alot as i feel as though i was neglected throughout my pregnancy. At 35 weeks my daughters heart had stopped, and i gave birth to her 3 days later. I have been told by a few people now that this could have been prevented if i was given the right care and had regular check ups after 30 weeks. I would hate for this to happen to any one else as it is the most heartbreaking experience. Please push and push for as many scans and check-ups you can, and if there are any concerns whatsoever, push for a pre-term labour as this could save the baby. I wish i had done this but i didn’t know enough about the condition. I have done alot of research since my daughter died and have read many times that there is more chance of still birth from 35 weeks onwards as the umbilical cord can slow down. Sorry to worry you but i want to help as many people as i can so the same thing doesn’t happen to them. Take care x

  4. monica
    August 31, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I’m back with an update!
    I guess I never came back to say that my blood work came back normal for possible chromosomal abnormalities…yay!
    at 33 weeks, we went in for our u/s to check for growth…baby measured at almost 34 weeks and was approx 4 lbs and 12 oz. Everything looked good and they started me on NSTs twice per week…according to my doctor, NST’s are just to be extra cautious. i am now 35 weeks (tomorrow), and yesterday at my tuesday morning NST, my Dr. came in to tell me that everything is fine but that she wants to induce me at 39 weeks. i was shocked and sad because i did not want to be induced…it confuses me because i do not understand why induce me if “everything is fine”. the doctor said that babies with SUA have a higher incidence of stillbirths past 39 weeks and she does not want to take a chance. she did not say it in a nice way and made me feel very sad cause i felt like i was trying to risk my baby’s life or something…anyway…i have been debating whether or not to allow for induction at 39 weeks and if there really is a risk. anyone heard of this? is this common? do most women with SUA get induced? How do babies react to the medications used for induction? I am really worried about all this. thanks for any info you guys can share.

  5. Victoria
    September 5, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Hi all. My baby had a two vessel cord which we found out at our 20 week scan, we were always told that everything would be fine & not to worry about it too much as it sometimes affect baby’s growth but everything was always fine at our scans. I also didn’t have any extra care just a few more scans than normal. I decided to put my trust in to them because after all they should know what they are doing & didn’t really want to research things because I would only worry through out my pregnancy. I had a very happy & healthy pregnancy right the way through until one day he stopped moving I was 38 wks plus 5 so thought nothing could go wrong now but went to the hospital where they confirmed he no longer had a heartbeat & induced me that day I went into labour & baby Oliver was born stillborn the next day. Everything was perfect with him just the fact that he had sua cord & was round his neck & stomach really tight. I would never wish this on any one just wanted u all to know to be more aware because these things do happen & it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Just make sure they take good care of u & possibly an induction to be safe. Thanks for listening to my long story x victoria

  6. monica
    September 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    So sorry to hear about your loss Victoria. I am 38 weeks today and getting really nervous and anxious. My doctor is monitoring the baby every Tuesday and Friday with Non-Stress-Tests and I’m getting induced next Thursday. I will be 39 weeks then. Did you have any warning signs? Was your doctor monitoring your baby closely? Did it happen from one minute to the next? That is what worries me the most. Anytime the baby goes without moving for more than an hour or so I freak out…it’s going to be a stressful week and I can’t help but imagine the worst. I am really sorry to hear about baby Oliver. Hope you have the strength and support to get through this rough time.

  7. Christina
    March 19, 2012 at 7:33 am

    I thought I should finally update my story. I had left a message on May 29, 2011 about being told I had a SUA. We had one extra ultrasound at 34 weeks as everything appeared to be progressing well. We did not have any further testing as our baby was estimated to be 6lbs at that point. Our healthy 7lb 14oz baby boy was born on October 6, 20ll with no disabilities or kidney problems and is thriving. It is good to be aware and take any extra precautions as advised, but please do not worry so much that it intereferes with enjoying your pregnancy. Babies with a SUA are usually healthy or have very minor difficulties, so please do not worry yourself sick. Thanks again to everyone whose stories helped to calm my fears.

  8. Amber
    June 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    So sorry to hear of your great losses, Kristy and victoria. I agree that its good to be aware of thr risks. Its a great help to everyone to have you both on here and raising awareness. But please remember that so much of these things are out of our hands. As moms, we want to be able to save our children from everything,but we just cant.

    My daughter also had a 2 vessle cord. I worried and worried and worried. Toward the end, i had slighlty high amniotic fluid. I also had gestational diabetes, and had had a previous csection. I was on a very strict gd diet and reported my numbers to my doc every day. I had to exercise after every meal to keeo the numbers down. She was measuring a week bigger than her early ultrasound. But her measurements were on track with when i thought i has conceived. I was worried to go past 39 weeks because of the diabetes. But i was worried to go to early because of lung development. In the end the stress tests revealed that her heart rate was high so the did a csection a little over a week early, or two weeks early, depending on how you count it.
    When she eas born, she didnt cry. She h ad trouble clearing the fluid out of her lungs and was in the nicu for two days. I was sooooo crazy stressed and worried. I dont know if all of these things were linked, but all in all i feel so lucky. She is completely fine now. In many ways she is advanced for her age,w which is 7 months old. Of all the things that could have gone wrong, a couple of days in the nicu is nothing.
    For all of the other moms, read as much as you can and stress just enough to keep your doctors on their toes. Beyond that, the rest of the stress is just not good for you or your baby. Or the rest of your family for that matter. Heartfelt love to all.

  9. Krista
    July 29, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I too found out my son had a sua at 22 weeks. We had monthly monitoring via a perinatologist. The baby was diagnosed as having an echogenic focus in his heart. (a small calcium deposit that he would outgrow and they said would disappear) He had an echocardiogram I believe it was called. Every check they did said he was fine, just growing on his own smaller curve and was not growth restricted. At the 22 week mark they scared us with all the fears of downs and trisomy 13 & 18. We had the maternit21 test done as we couldn’t risk the babys health by doing an amnio. Everything came back normal. I had an ultrasound on a thursday the 12th of july and was nearing 37 weeks. They told me he was extremely healthy and doing great. His heart stopped beating 4 days later in utero. He had been kicking and moving not but a few hours before. I stayed up really
    Late the night before and awoke to no movement, I had to give birth to a deceased baby. There was no signs of cord compression, thrombosis or entanglement. To date we have no answers on why a baby reported to be healthy but with a sua would suddenly die. I wish I had been able to convince my dr to induce early. I had begged him at my 36 week appt to no avail and now my baby is no longer here. I also wish I had read more posts like these so I would have known that after a certain point the cord may not provide enough

  10. August 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Dear Krista,

    I apologize for taking so long to respond to your comment. My life got away from me and I didn’t actually read it until just now.

    Your story is heartbreaking. I am sad for every mom who loses a baby, especially during pregnancy, and especially when it feels like it could have been preventable. Thank you for sharing your experience.


    Julie @ the calm before the stork

  11. Tara
    October 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I am the soon to be grandmother of a lil boy that we found out just 1 days ago might have downs, so we did the extra blood test to see and are waiting for the result it will take at least 2 weeks. We found out that the baby has a 2 vessel cord. We are scared to death that she will end up losing this baby before it is all over with. But you guys have gave me some hope and faith. And with the information that I have learned and read on here, I have a better understand on what to look for and what to do to help her though this. I had 3 pregnant myself that I had 2 vessel cord babies and 2 of them end in miscarriage after the 3 month and 1 ended in a health 8 pound 2 oucne baby boy but I did deliever 2 weeks early, cause his heart rate started to decline. I want to thank everyone for the information on this. And for the one who have lost a precious lil one my heart gos out to you. God bless all of you. And I wish all of you the bless of luck with your pregnancy. If you have any information to help me feel free to post. And I look forward to updates on here.

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