Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Anatomy Ultrasound

Monday we went in to Midland for our big 20 week (I was 21 weeks) anatomy ultrasound with Dr. Blanco. It's amazing to me the technology difference between my doctor in Big Spring and this doctor's offices. We had to wait for quite a while before our ultrasound, naturally, and I told Andrea (my mommy-in-law got to come!!!) that it was because I pissed off the receptionist since I didn't have my insurance card. Haha! The ultrasound tech was really friendly and did a great job. She found that Baby Boy was right on track, and only measured one day late. So, we're still expecting an end of March due date! After all of the measurements were taken, Dr. Blanco came in to talk to us and take another look. He got some great images of little boy giving us the "Gig 'Em" sign, and he made sure to get a good image that he was indeed still a boy. ;-) Aka, still a turtle!

One thing they did find that I was not expecting was that apparently I have a circumvallate placenta. This is where the placenta is not formed properly. Carylon described it to me as the placenta implanted extra deep so the sides folded up. The problem with this is that baby boy might not get all of the nutrients from my placenta that he needs. For example, he might only get 80% instead of 100%. The main risk is decreased growth, so I will be monitored more closely than most women would. Also, there is a chance that I could develop a placenta abruption, where the placenta detaches, thus cutting off oxygen and blood flow to the baby. In that case I would need an emergency delivery. However, this does not have to occur just because I have the circumvallate placenta, but it is a possibility. I have to make sure that if I ever have any bleeding that I get to a hospital right away so that they can check me out. The good news is that my doctor, Carylon, and Dr. Blanco are not very worried about it. They know that they will monitor me and baby to the best of their abilities. I will have the extra ultrasounds to monitor baby's growth.

At first I was totally freaked out. No one wants to ever hear that anything is wrong... especially not with you or your baby! But, after talking to Evan, Carylon, Dr. Byerly, and Dr. Blanco, I feel better. I know that I'll be in good hands, and God will take care of the rest! Google may be my enemy at times, but here are some things I found (note: these are from GOOGLE not from a doctor.... so I'm not even letting myself fully believe everything, just in case!):

I am 19 weeks pregnant and the doctor says that it looks like I have circumvallate placenta. She said it's important to continue to monitor the baby for proper growth and development via ultrasounds and should I start bleeding I need to go to the hospital immediately. As it was explained to me the placenta ends curve and curl inwards. The problem is if the placenta continues to develop in more and more curve and then separates from the uterus. That would mean the need for an emergency delivery of the baby so it becomes very critical the earlier this happens. I don't know the odds of the placenta separating, and nothing may happen at all, it's just important to make sure the baby is getting the nourishment it needs via the placenta and act immediately should any bleeding occur. The doctor said it's not common to see this and there is nothing I have done in the past or anything I can do to avoid problems with separation.
Circumvallate placenta is essentially a ring that can be viewed grossly forming around the placenta after it is delivered. It is caused when the chorionic plate or the fetal side of the placenta is smaller than the basal plate which is located on the maternal side. It is sometimes known to cause third trimester bleeding and may be associated with other things as well. Also as with any condition there are different degrees of severity. Therefore, it is best to follow closely with your individual physician and follow their advice closely. With the proper care you and your baby can be kept as healthy as possible.
A circumvallate placenta is a placenta that does not form properly. This placental abnormality occurs in less than two percent of pregnancies and it is not the fault of anything the mother does or does not do. It occurs because of variations in placental development that are beyond the control of the body that the fetus is gestating in. When a woman is diagnosed with a circumvallate placenta, it is important to receive adequate prenatal care because it increases the risks associated with the pregnancy. In pregnancies with a circumvallate placenta, the chorionic plate on the fetus' side of the placentastart to turn inward. This restricts the supply of nutrients to the growing fetus and can also increase the risk of a placental separation. Over time, a ring of raised tissue develops and the ends of the placenta start to turn inward. This restricts the supply of nutrients to the growing fetus and can also increase the risk of a placental separation. There are some serious risks associated with this complication of pregnancy. In the worst case scenario, circumvallate placenta can result in pregnancy loss. If the placenta separates and a woman is not given immediate medical treatment, the baby can die. In women who have not received adequate prenatal care where the condition goes undiagnosed, fetal deaths can also be caused by the nutrient restriction associated with this condition. More commonly, women with this condition will need to deliver by cesarean section and their babies may have a low birth weight. This condition can be diagnosed with a routine prenatal ultrasound. Physical abnormalities can be observed on the ultrasound examination in varying levels of detail, depending on the technology used for the exam. The doctor may note that the fetus is not growing as quickly as normal and this can also provide clues to the fact that there is an abnormality. For women with a circumvallate placenta, it is important to eat a healthy diet to ensure that as many nutrients as possible reach the baby, and to be alert to spotting, breakthrough bleeding, and uterine pains that might indicate complications with the placenta. Women can and do deliver healthy babies with a circumvallate placenta. The chances of a healthy birth increase with each week that the woman can successfully carry the pregnancy. An obstetrician may have specific advice for a patient including bed rest if it becomes necessary to help her carry the pregnancy to term. Women with this placental abnormality should also make sure that they discuss their birth plans carefully with their doctors.
All in all though, I trust my doctors, and I trust God, so I'm not going to dwell on the "what if's". That would make my life miserable! Instead, I will continue to pray for a healthy and happy baby, as I have done for the past 5 months, and will know that I'm in good hands! If you'd like, you can say some extra prayers for us, and know that they are appreciated, but would have been regardless of the findings! =)

Now for some pictures!!!

Yup, he's still a boy!

What a cutie!!!

Two little feet, and I think his legs were crossed!

Our gymnast.. all bunched up in there! Love the profile photo though!

"It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

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