Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Ingram!

Today my sweet baby is one year old. It has been one year since Ingram Isaiah was born. For one year he has held the title as the Most Beloved Baby Ever. Each morning he awakens to two parents and three siblings who do nothing but dote on him all day long.

After Maggie was born, I was longing to have just one more baby, and I wanted it to be a boy. Walker was ready to quit. I got my way. I was ectatic to learn that I was pregnant. I put off going to the doctor for a couple of weeks because, I knew the drill. No pills and booze. Take your prenatals. I had heard it thrice before.

My beloved OB, who had delivered the previous three babies, was downtown (at the hospital where I was born) and the drive from the burbs had gotten too difficult so I found a doctor who delivered at the hospital only five minutes away. This was one of the first signs of providence. Because little did I know, but this was to be a high risk pregnancy.

My second doctor's appointment was for my ultrasound. My insurance covered two ultrasounds, so I had always gotten one at about 12-15 weeks and another at about twenty weeks, when the gender could be determined. We had found out Eva Rose was a girl at only 15 weeks, so I scheduled my ultrasound for 14 weeks, hoping we could see what Ingram was. (By baby #4, you figure out how to work the system!)

The day of my ultrasound, the tech moved the measured Ingram's head and said, "Oh, there is no way you are only 14 weeks pregnant. This baby is way too big. You are at least 17, maybe 18 weeks along." And it was very evident that the baby was a boy (yippee!!)

Ok. I am no rookie at pregnancy, right? I knew exactly when I had gotten pregnant. I knew when I wasn't pregnant. I knew exactly when my symptoms had hit - over a plate of Vietnamese food, nine days past ovulation. I had ordered cheapo pregnancy tests off the internet and took them like candy. Plus, I had had a cycle, which had never happened after conception. No way was I that pregnant.

I explained all this to the tech. I told her I just have really big babies - all of them were born 2-3 weeks early and weighed 8.8, 10 and 7.12 respectively. She insisted that the ultrasound was correct.

I was stunned. I couldn't believe that I could have walked around pregnant for a whole month not knowing it. When I saw the doctor, I protested to her as well. Her response haunts me to this day: "The ultrasound doesn't lie."

Whatever, but they convinced me I was wrong. So I decided to just rejoice in the fact that I was already almost halfway through this pregnancy. My due date was moved back three and a half weeks, from May 17 to the end of April. I gave blood that day for my quad screen. And another ultrasound was scheduled for only three weeks later. My quad screen results came back with excellent numbers, reducing any risk for defects significantly lower than my age would indicate.

Walker attended the second ultrasound with me. Before we were finished, my doctor was called away for an emergency c-section. A nurse asked if we could stay until she finished, so that she could go over the results with us, but Walker had to go back to work. "Can't she just call me later?" "No, I know that she is going to want to talk to you personally," was her reply.

Ok, those are the words that strike fear in your heart. Walker could not stay. We prayed in the parking lot, and I ran an errand before returning.

I came back that afternoon, by myself, completely nervous. When the doctor entered she was smiling, so that comforted me. She explained to me that there was a problem with Ingram's umbilical cord. He had a two vessel cord. The umbilical cord is supposed to have two arteries and one vein, and his cord only had one of each.

Typically this means nothing, but sometimes it was an indicator of kidney and heart problems, so she wanted me to get a Level II ultrasound to look closer. But it probably meant nothing. She said she knew that the perinatologist would want her to induce me at 37 weeks, because there is a chance that once the baby gets bigger, the one artery would not be sufficient to support him. Another three weeks shaved off this pregnancy. So far I had gotten almost two free months.

I did come from the appointment feeling like everything was probably ok. As soon as I got home, who can guess what I did? Yup, googled like a fiend. Surprisingly, what I discovered comforted me instead of driving me into a panic.

Most babies was a 2VC are perfectly fine. It occurs most in white women (check) over the age of 35 (check) who have had three previous pregnancies (spooky - check). So I was textbook. More googling revealed that a 2VC is sometimes a soft marker for chromosomal defects, especially Trisomy 13, which my doctor had not brought up. This was a little troubling, because Walker's mom had miscarried four babies, probably due to Trisomy 13. But he had been tested as a child, and determined not to be a carrier. And my quad screen results had been so good.

What I didn't know is that when you are told you might have a problem with your baby, and you need a Level II ultrasound, you don't just pop over the next day. I had to wait three weeks. And let me tell you - three weeks was plenty of time for the everything-will-be-fine-pep talk I had given myself to wear off. Way off.

Ok - kids are up - more later!

Ingram's birth story part 2
Ingram's birth story part 3
Ingram's birth story part 4

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