We got to see our little girl again last Friday, after being referred to a specialist for inconclusive results on our first ultrasound pertaining to the baby's bowels. This time my hubby was able to watch his little girl for the first time in 11 weeks. She put on quite a show, kicking and punching, she even hit herself in the head! She had her mouth wide open for one picture and the Doctor said "yep- there is not doubt its a girl, she's talking already!".
Then came the serious part. The doctor took many pictures of the baby's bowels and noted that her heart, stomach, kidneys, liver, brain, and spine all looked good. She then turned to us and said that the baby has a "bright" or "echogenic" bowel in that the bowel appears to be as bright as a bone on the ultrasound. She then started listing the possible causes of an "echogenic" bowel.
She spent a fair amount of time talking mostly about Cystic Fibrosis. I didn't know we could carry the gene even if no one in our family has it. So we signed up to have blood work done to see if we carry the gene. If either my husband or I carry the gene, then there is a 75% chance that the baby has CF. So we will wait another 2 - 3 weeks for the results of the genetic testing to know what our "odds" are, but ultimately we will not know until she is born.
She then talked about the congenital malformations of the bowel, which may be narrowing, a kink, blocked or obstructed bowel. This will be diagnosed by future ultrasounds at 28, 32 and 36 weeks. If this is the case then our baby will likely be born at IWK in Halifax, and will have surgery soon after birth to correct the problem.
There are other possibilities including a virus that I may be carrying. So I have had blood work for that too. It could also be caused by Downs Syndrome, however the doctor did not think that this was likely as our previous genetic testing did not indicate a high probability of Downs Syndrome and the baby does not have any other "Downs" characteristics.
The positive side of all of this is, our little girl is measuring "big" for her age! The doctor did note that most CF and Downs Syndrome babies are small for their age. So we reflected on this, and immediately took a positive outlook on the situation. There is nothing we can do until the baby is born, but we can prepare ourselves, and enjoy the pregnancy. I have a feeling that everything will be alright.
I was at the hospital again this morning for the blood work, and saw a 6 month old baby with Cerebral Palsy. I then saw several healthy babies, and wondered if the parents of healthy babies and children realize how lucky they are. I know I will...