never give a slightly-anxious 1st timer her medical records!! - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-16-2010, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I had a prenatal today and informed my midwife I'll be flying in a couple weeks so I wanted some documentation for the airline, just in case. She offered to give me a copy of my file, as well (I assume for any medical emergencies while on the other side of the country). I didn't think anything of it at the time but on the way home I realized that the paperwork might indicate what the baby's sex is, which we declined to find out. But curious me still scoured the paperwork to see what my test results say so far.

Fortunately, no mention of sex. Phew!

Unfortunately, the results of my anatomy scan had the phrase "suspsected fetal abnormality." My heart started racing. She hadn't mentioned anything about this! I read the anatomy scan measurements and everything is average except 3 things, one being the cisterna magna. So for about an hour, I Googled everything I could find, sending myself into a bit of a freakout. Does anyone know anything about this?

The measurement is within the normal range but on the upper end. I didn't have an amnio done (I'm AMA) but all other screenings came out looking good. From what I've read, if there are no other indicators of chromosomal problems, then I shouldn't worry about a larger CM.

But, of course, that's easier said than done.

So, the overall picture is fine. I'm in good health so far and everything else on the kid looks normal. I know ultrasounds are not 100% and you also have to factor in the skills of the technician. And, again, the midwife didn't tell me there was anything to be worried about.

STILL. If I had never known about this "possibility", I would be in ignorant mommy-to-be bliss. Dammit.

Thanx for letting me whine.

Our Tiger Cub arrived 12/29/10
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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Keep in mind that medical records often state things in terms that are much more frank and black and white than how we would normally talk about things.

It happens a lot when moms lose babies (fetal demise, products of conception, threatened abortion, etc), but this is an example of how it can happen in normal pregnancies, too.

So, you have to think about it more concretely. "suspected fetal abnormality." When we think of an abnormality we think of something being WRONG, because that's when those things are usually presented to us. So, we hear that word and think trisomies and heart defects. But really, "abnormal" just means not within the normal range. So, technically, if this particular measurement is a bit outside the range of normal it *is* a "fetal abnormality." But that doesn't mean it's a *problem*. And it sounds like it wasn't even really outside of the normal range.

So I think I'd take heart that the fact that your midwife didn't mention it to mean that it's not something to worry over. That it might be abnormal, but that when they looked at the big picture there was nothing considered to be wrong.

This is just how I'm thinking of it, someone let me know if I'm off base here.

Hippie sympathizer and mom to L, 4.8.10.
Pet-mom to Squirt with FLUTD & Maya the deaf wonder dog .
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
So, you have to think about it more concretely. "suspected fetal abnormality." When we think of an abnormality we think of something being WRONG, because that's when those things are usually presented to us. So, we hear that word and think trisomies and heart defects. But really, "abnormal" just means not within the normal range. So, technically, if this particular measurement is a bit outside the range of normal it *is* a "fetal abnormality." But that doesn't mean it's a *problem*. And it sounds like it wasn't even really outside of the normal range.
Yup.

Get used to this, too. It will happen when you have a newborn and a child, depending on the approach of your pediatrician. We had a pediatrican (dumped her, thank goodness) that made sure to point out ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that was "abnormal." She was especially hyped-up about our kids having huge heads, long bodies, and being low-weight. Now, if you look at dh and me, this makes sense. We are abnormally gifted in the bowling-ball head category, and we're both tall. But to her, it was all about the charts and averages, and heaven help the person who didn't fit within normal ranges. (in fact, double-)

This might be your first, golden opportunity to practice deep breathing regarding babies/children & measurements, and the idea that your child is going to be quirky in all kinds of ways, the way we ALL are. I have a bowling ball for a head. My dear son was a skinny little baby that now, at age 8, looks completely "normal" (though goodness knows it would be helpful if he had at least SOME butt or hips to speak of). Kids vary.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Get used to this, too. It will happen when you have a newborn and a child, depending on the approach of your pediatrician.
This made me smile. My FIL is a pedi and he was saying to us that my son needed to see a sleep specialist because he was not sleeping through the night at 18 months. When DH asked when HE slept through the night, the answer was 2!!! What?

And my 18 month old "needed" to see someone about his "speech delay" (again FIL words). He did not count signing words which my regular pedi does. My pedi said he was fine. DS now will NOT be quite. Ever. At all. Seriously.

I can't wait to hear what specialist I need because my son refuses to pee in a potty at almost 3.

If your midwife did not mention it, then I am sure it is not a problem. But for your sanity, give her a call and ask. I am sure she is used to freaked out preggie women

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Old 08-17-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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Have you ever heard that quip about how doctors don't want to see their own scans because you can always find something "wrong?"

I made the mistake of looking at my medical records once and I've never done it again! Seriously, I had a full spine MRI and they found at least two "abnormalities" that were unrelated to the issue I was having the MRI for. No one ever said anything to me about them, because they're not a big deal and they will most likely never cause me any problems.

It's probably the same way with your babe. The technician was required to say something on the report about the number being a little high or whatever, but no one said anything to you because it is most likely not a problem at all!!
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Old 08-17-2010, 12:26 PM
 
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with my last baby we were with an ob for the first part and I had a great ultrasound tech. She found all sorts of "abnormalities". She was very blase about it though and noted that since ultrasounds are getting more and more advanced, and technicians are becoming better trained at seeing things, they are noticing things that may have been there before but reconcile themselves before birth or have no weight in the matter of the health of the baby.
The baby with "abnormalities" showed fluid on her brain which went away but was born with a completely different abnormality which cannot be diagnosed via ultrasound! (Ichthyosis, a genetic skin condition: specifically EHK)
This time I'm foregoing the ultrasound all together!
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ah, thanks for your reassurances!

I know if I had a full body scan, there'd be quite a few abnormalities to note in my file! And I guess if you look hard enough, you can always find something wrong. But I suppose when it's your own kid and they're still so fragile and completely reliant on you to keep them not only healthy but alive, then it's harder to ignore...and harder to not feel guilty if something gets put together wrong. I just want the little tiger to come out strong and healthy.

Our Tiger Cub arrived 12/29/10
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