Last night we were surprised with a call from my doctor - she had gotten the first part of our results back much earlier than we were anticipating. So the Rapid FISH testing (fluorescent in-situ hybridisation) only examines chromosomes 13, 18, 21 and the sex chromosomes (X and Y), but these are the most common abnormal chromosomes, so getting these results is a big step in finding out if something is wrong genetically.
We are so thrilled to share that these results came back normal and great! She does not have any of those most common chromosomal anomalies. We were able to breathe a little easier last night and feel like this is the first big hurdle we've crossed. To say we are elated is an understatement.
We have another 10-14 days to wait before we have the full results from the amnio as it takes time for the lab to culture the cells and examine the chromosomes. This final result will examine all of Bridget's chromosomes and let us know if anything is abnormal. It is of course a possibility that something will show up in those results but we are continuing to pray for normal results.
Regardless of the genetic tests, we still have a long way to go to get Bridget here. She has the kidney issue that is unlikely to go away. We are hopeful that all we are dealing with is her bad kidney and after imagining so many awful scenarios, we feel like a bad kidney is a walk in the park. Of course it's not necessarily going to be an easy walk. More like a hike through rocky terrain. But we know we can do it.
I am scheduled for appointments every 3 weeks with my maternal fetal specialist to monitor her kidneys and her other organs. Her belly is already very distended so this is a concern since I am only 21 weeks. To put it into perspective, she is measuring in the 94% for weight right now and is estimated to weigh 1 pound. All of my pregnancy books say babies at 21 weeks only average 10.5 ounces. So her big belly is clearly throwing off the measurements. I believe that the concern is that there is pressure being put on the other organs and the enlarged kidney can interfere with their development. And if her belly is too big she won't be able to fit down the birth canal so I'll have to have a scheduled c-section. This is far from the unmedicated, doula and midwife-assisted birth I had envisioned, but bring on the knife if it means this girl gets in my arms.
The doctor is also referring us to a pediatric cardiologist to double check that Bridget's heart is developing normally and doesn't have any problems. We'll likely see him between 24 -26 weeks. I will also go to my regular OB every 1-2 weeks for ultrasounds to monitor the amniotic fluid level. Bridget is making all the fluid at this point and with only one working kidney it is possible the fluid level will drop. I don't know enough yet about the odds of that or what happens if it gets too low, but these are all questions I plan to ask at my next appointment. I know there's a concern she'll have to spend time in the NICU as my doctor said they'd also schedule us to visit them. So as you can see, prayers are still needed!
I am now allowing myself to dig into this kidney issue a little more and really want to wrap my head around it. I know we are not out of the woods with the genetic issues, but I'm really hopeful that our only issue is her kidney. I'm even thinking about big ass hair bows, smocked dresses and pink sequence shoes, but I'm still refraining from buying anything until we get the full amnio results.
It is sinking in that we're having a girl. The boys are having a sister (though we still haven't told them yet). Our family is growing and I just pray we'll be a family of 5 in 2016.
I never would wish this waiting on anyone and don't think you can know what it is like unless you have walked in these shoes. The thoughts that have crossed my mind since Monday have been hard and I was surprised by some of my gut reactions to the news that there may be something seriously wrong with my baby. Another time I'll go into that because I think it's important to share my experience so others don't feel so alone if they are faced with this situation. But while we're still waiting to make sure everything is as OK as it can be I'll refrain from talking about women's choices and the reality of having to ask yourself "what would I do", as I realize those hard decisions could still be on the table.
To my friends who have done this, the emotional trauma (as my one sweet friend called this wait) is real and I pray for healing for those of you who have dealt with the outcome that no one wants. And thank you especially to those friends who have reached out and shared their awful experiences - my heart hurts for you. To anyone currently awaiting amnio results, have faith and lean on those around you. Don't hesitate to ask for prayers and love because sometimes that is the only thing that can get you through a day.
And to all those who have sent us light, love and prayers this week: We have felt your love. We have felt your prayers. I am so humbled by the love and warmth we have received this week. God is good and you all are amazing.