Hi Everybody! Today was another looooong 3-hour doctor visit. (I wish they would feel a *bit more* sense of urgency instead of taking their own sweet time! Hurry up and wait!)
First we met with a genetic counselor, who mapped out our family medical history, my pregnancy history, etc. There really aren't any birth defects or genetic problems on either side that we know of. The only similarities are between my pregnancy history and that of my cousin Jen (on my dad's side)--we've both suffered multiple miscarriages and a stillbirth, many times within months of each other. Which makes me think that if there is something hereditary going on, it's starting with my generation. In the back of my mind, I also wonder if there's something going on that only impacts boys, since this growth disorder has been a factor with Nicholas and James (the miscarriages were too early to determine the sex, but it could have been a factor there too...perhaps Maddie was our miracle girl!).
I'd talked with my OB this morning about the risks of doing an amniocentesis and he felt they were low, especially since I'm late in my 2nd trimester, and he's never had a patient have problems due to an amnio in all his years of practice, so that made me feel better. We told the genetic counselor that we wanted to do the amnio, so they did it after my ultrasound today. Felt very crampy with a needle poking into my uterus, but I guess that's what you'd expect when you pierce a huge muscle with a sharp instrument! :-) I have to take it easy for the next 24 hours and can't lift Maddie, but luckily she's quite independent these days (thus the "Nooooo, I'll do it all by myself!" mantra). We'll have to wait 1 week to find out if I've had some kind of infection that impacted the baby & up to 2 weeks for the test results to find out if the baby has a chromosomal abnormality or other birth defect that could be causing his growth problems. My next OB appointment and ultrasound will also be in 2 weeks. Sheesh, I feel like my whole life is now in 2 week incriments!
As far as the ultrasound, we had a different tech and a different perinatologist (thank goodness, since that last guy was pretty harsh!) and they did give us some good news!
Here are the answers to prayer so far...
1. my amniotic fluid is now at a normal level (from 9 up to 13)
2. she did NOT see any problems with the heart on the ultrasound and did not consider it to be at an odd angle
3. she couldn't be 100% certain, but for now she does NOT think James has an echogenic bowel
These are each direct answers to prayer, so praise be to God and to all of you who are faithfully sending up your prayers on James' behalf!
James is still measuring 2 weeks behind (I'm at 24 weeks and he's at 22 week size), but his growth is holding steady over time so far and he's growing evenly, so it's not like one part of the body is lagging behind another. Keith was watching the ultrasound tech do all the measurements and as the guy was dragging his cursor across the body parts, you could see the growth measurements changing on the bottom of the screen. The guy measured things really fast (which I assumed was because he does this all the time), but Keith noted that a shift of even one or two cursor spaces to either side changed the dates by half a week or more...so even though James is small overall, there is bound to be some give-and-take on the measurements just due to human error. Keith's taking a very optimistic view and bet me that the amnio results will come back normal and that our guy is healthy, just a "little peanut". I'd sure LOVE for that to be the case!
We sooo appreciate all of you who are praying for James and our family and hopefully we'll continue to have news to share in the coming weeks of how God is faithfully answering our prayers! Keep it up! :-)