I am 30 weeks pregnant and just had a followup ultrasound to check the placement of my placenta as it was considered low lying at 20 weeks. At 20 weeks they also saw an echogenic focus (calcium deposit) in the heart which can be a soft marker for Downs Syndrome. My understanding was that given my age, 28, and the lack of other risk factors, markers, or abnormalities, that the chance of Downs was something under or around 1%.
So, at this last ultrasound, they did pretty much another full scan. The location of my placenta is fine now, which I was told was what was expected as the pregnancy progressed. But, they noticed a mildly enlarged left ventricle of the brain. Normal is 10 mm and we are talking about 10.8, I believe. The doctor said usually when they see a serious problem it is much larger than that, and he suspects nothing serious is going on. The concern, he explained to me, is hydrocephalus and perhaps the baby will need ultrasounds of her brain after she is born. The Internet says that most outcomes with these mild enlargements are good, BUT up to 20% have some type of developmental delay. And now I don't know what to think.
Given the echogenic focus and now this, I vacillate between being sure there is something wrong with this baby and being angry about these ultrasounds that have only raised questions and given me no answers. Two days ago I was imagining breastfeeding another little one and thinking about what little outfit she should wear coming home, and now I am thinking about how I had no business getting pregnant again (I take medication that is generally considered safe, but..., was it just luck that my first was healthy? my daughter will only be 23 months when I am full term, she isn't ready, it will be hard on her to have a sister with special needs... you know, the gamut of negative thoughts that I hadn't been entertaining until this point).
The doctor recommended another scan with a perinatologist. Nothing they see will change how the pregnancy is managed at this point, he said. The Internet did mention that there can be concern with head size and a vaginal delivery, but that doesn't seem to be an issue here. I believe the question is what kind of care and workup the baby might need after birth. I feel as if I know how that appointment is going to go, they will see the same things, have no further information, and then offer me an amniocentesis. I am not sure that I want that. I am not sure what I am expected to do with the information that procedure will provide. I suppose I would be more prepared if it showed a high likelihood of a genetic abnormality, but isn't it more than possible it will just raise more questions? When I started to raise these points with the doctor, that these detailed ultrasounds have only served to cause me heartache, he said he sometimes feels that way, too. But, maybe it is better to catch things that wouldn't otherwise be caught. It is just that, I wouldn't even have had a third trimester US if the placenta wasn't low, and everyone expected that would resolve anyway. And, if the baby does have hydrocephalus, wouldn't that be caught during a physical exam with her pediatrician?
I guess I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with a similar set of circumstances (even if the stories might be scary). BTW, I am with a midwife practice ( saw the doc yesterday due to scheduling concerns, he is their backup) and believe in less intervention. I really only did the first scan due to guilt and concern about the medication I am taking. But once I did that one scan, I set all of this into motion. I realize the best set of circumstances is me coming away from this with a healthy baby and an anecdote about the harm all these screenings can do. And even if the baby does have medical problems, if there was no difference in the way my pregnancy was managed, and nothing to be done before the baby is born, is what we are going through now the best thing for an already stressed mama with a full time job and toddler at home? I am also well aware that lives are saved by these kinds of technologies... It just really is a lot to think about.
Thanks for reading if you got all of the way through that. I don't post much, but I am an avid reader here, and couldn't imagine not sharing this with what I consider to be my community. I think a desire to express myself is the main reason I posted this. Thanks in advance for any info anyone has.