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High risk pregnancy club - single umbilical artery

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

So at our scan yesterday we learned that the umbilical cord only has one artery (it's supposed to have two).  This is linked to all kinds of scary awful things, but it looks like for us it is isolated because there are no anatomical problems and my genetic tests all came back with fantastically low numbers.  But I was not at all expecting to have a problem and I'm a little freaked out about some of the worst case scenarios. 


Fortunately, I am not risked out of the birth center and the only thing that will be different from here on out is that I will be having monthly ultrasounds to make sure the baby is growing appropriately and also to rule out any heart problems.  But it's still technically a high risk pregnancy now. 


Anyone else in our DDC a high risk pregnancy?  How are you coping? 

post #2 of 15

My son had a SUA.  The u/s tech specifically told me not to Google!!  But of course I did anyway.  I know how scary it is!


If it makes you feel better, we did a fetal echo and there were no heart defects detected.  I carried him to 40 w 6 d and he was 8 lbs 2 oz.  His umbilical cord was so skinny!


Best of luck to you.

post #3 of 15

I have a twin pregnancy which automatically qualifies me as high risk for some reason.. not sure why or what the implications are because I did not google it. dizzy.gif My anxiety would take over at that point and Id prefer to stay zen unless I need to panic redface.gif


How will they treat your pregnancy as a result of being high risk?

post #4 of 15

That is scary and sending you good thoughts.  I am also high risk. I have had frequent doctor visits, peri consults, weekly shots, a visit to labor and delivery already (but thankfully all was OK) and also inpatient surgery while pregnant.  I don't want to go into specifics or dwell on it since I count my blessings every day and know there are others going through much worse.


post #5 of 15


Originally Posted by ithappened View Post
 My anxiety would take over at that point and Id prefer to stay zen unless I need to panic redface.gif


This exactly! I try not to dwell too much on the endless "what if's" because they will be there regardless of if I stress about them, g oogle them like crazy, or not.  

post #6 of 15

I have to see a perinatalogist in addition to my OB because I have an autoimmune condition.  I like to think that I'm only potentially high-risk because it's more a question of xyz may happen or could happen and not xyz will happen or is happening.  Basically, there is a 4% chance that the baby will have a degree of heart block.  So I remind myself that that means that there is a 96% chance that the baby will be perfectly fine.  The first heart scan will be on Friday and, as far as I know, we'll need to do subsequent monitoring every 2 weeks.  Honestly, I'm choosing not to worry until there is something to worry about.

post #7 of 15


I like to think that I'm only potentially high-risk because it's more a question of xyz may happen or could happen and not xyz will happen or is happening.



yeap. this is me too.. nothing is wrong per se.. just a lot of potential to be wrong.

post #8 of 15

I guess I'm technically high risk. I'm an all the time diabetic, and I have gestationally induced hypertension (high blood pressure) that never went away after my last pregnancy (which sucks). I'm also 33 and, while under 35 isn't usually considered high risk, with the other risk factors, we have to play it safe. As a result, I go in every two weeks from the get-go and my OB looks over my blood sugar levels for the previous two weeks and makes adjustments, if needed, to my insulin. And, of course, my blood pressure is monitored reasonably heavily. Last time around, it was a massive blood pressure spike during labor that led to me not having a natural birth.


The biggest effect that my chronic conditions have on me is that they mean that I simply cannot have a home birth or a birth center birth. I have to be at the hospital. And given how high my blood pressure went last time around, that is for the best. It still sucks, though. I'm a crunchy mama who is forced to not be crunchy with childbirth. I have been told that I should just go unassisted, but that seems like really poor advice when my blood pressure got high enough last time that I could have had a stroke.

post #9 of 15


Best of luck to ALL of you ladies who have these special circumstances - it's great that you are getting the needed additional monitoring, good luck on your upcoming scans.  My best wishes are with you!!


Going into my pregnancy, I was "high risk" due to the fact that I'm 39 yrs old, have hypothyroidism, 2 growing fibroids, and had 2 early miscarriages in 1 year.... but these are no longer that big of a deal to me.  At first I was very worried and frustrated, as we had just moved to Canada (from the US) and had a hard time finding a doctor and prenatal care to "hold my hand" and give me the reassurances that I expected.  Through my 1st trimester I worried of major defects being discovered, but no news (and I missed out on 1/2 the screens that I thought I'd be getting).  Now, somehow, I've been able to let go and not worry so much about what I can't control (such as my placenta previa not moving out of the way).  I can only take good care of myself... and be vigilant about monitoring my fibroids and thyroid levels (something I have to remind my doctors, which is annoying).  I know that there are tons of undesirable things that can develop from this point on; I'm just enjoying each healthy day as it comes.....

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for sharing.  I hope each and everyone one of you has a totally safe and uneventful pregnancy. It's nice to know lots of people are going through this and seem to be able to just focus on other stuff. I'm getting there. 

post #11 of 15
post #12 of 15

hi 1stTimeMama! completely missed this thread before...I too just found out that we have an SUA. Also like you, everything else looked good (including heart and kidneys), no other markers, etc. I do have a fetal echo booked for next week so hoping that goes smoothly. did they recommend you have one in addition to extra ultrasounds? I have a call into my midwives so am also hoping that this doesn't risk me out of delivering with them at the birth center, it seems like it depends on your provider. as LittleBirdy and others have said, lots of babies are born healthy with SUA, so here's hoping we're included in that! 


also as others have said, i'm trying not to worry until someone gives me something to worry about. easier said than done, right?



post #13 of 15

My 20 week ultrasound also revealed our son has SUA. I just had a fetal echo cardiogram yesterday and everything looked great. The dr. said there are no concerns at this time, so there is a big breath of relief here. I go back for my regular ob appt. on 4-27 so hopefully that's the last we hear of any of this. I wasn't given any indication of needing additional ultrasounds, but I guess I will hear what my ob says on the 27th.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

My next ultrasound is in a week and a half.  I am less concerned about the SUA now, but it is still really troubling and I wonder if perhaps I should change my birth plan to the hospital instead of the birth center.  I know that there are some heart defects that cannot be seen in the ultrasound and I might feel more comfortable knowing that the pediatrician is in the room instead of across the street. 


Had a big scare this week when a stupid secretary told me that I also had CPC - which is a soft marker for a genetic problem. I thought that I had some problem with the pregnancy that the perinatologist did not tell me about.  I got to the bottom of it, and I do NOT have CPC, the secretary either misunderstood or the appointment was miscoded.  Caused a major meltdown either way and I am feeling very afraid that something is going to go wrong with this pregnancy.  I wish I was as zen as all of you ladies. 

post #15 of 15

Just wanted to say that I was an SUA baby - something my mom didn't find out until I was born because ultrasounds weren't routine then. I was robustly healthy at birth and have been ever since! Just another reminder that most of the time these things turn out A-OK.

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