Yesterday (Thursday) was a LONG day. We were up by 5:30 and out the door by 6:15. Our first appointment in Seattle was scheduled for 9:15. We were there early, which was good – we didn’t have to stress the traffic (which wasn’t that bad) or the parking situation (which was easy) and we could just settle in and wait.
I underwent an ultrasound, a doctor’s appointment with a perinatologist, a non-stress test and a blood draw – all at Swedish Medical Center. It was a long day. By the time we got home, we were exhausted and not very encouraged. But God encouraged us in small ways throughout the day with very kind and caring nurses, phlebotomists, strangers in the elevator… we were prepared to be a "number" and a "faceless patient" since we were in Seattle. Thankfully, we did not feel we were treated that way.
In brief, Monday’s ultrasound here in Bellingham revealed 4 small things of concern:
pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)
high end of normal amniotic fluid
enlarged umbilical vein entering the liver but not seen IN the liver
Based on the ultrasound in Seattle, the good things are that the plural effusion and cervix are slightly better than they were on Monday. (of note: I was dilated to 1 cm and the doctor could feel Daisy’s head). The situation with the umbilical vein is pretty serious. The vein appears not to have formed inside the liver. Normally the baby would not have survived in that situation because blood would not be delivered from the placenta to the rest of the body, but our baby is growing normally (she’s estimated to weigh 3 pounds, 4 ounces right now). The doctors think that other, smaller veins in the liver must be compensating for the “missing” umbilical vein. The concern is that this vascular abnormality could cause complications later in the pregnancy, during delivery (requiring a c-section), and/or after birth.
There’s not much we can do now but monitor the situation so I have appointments in Bellingham twice a week and we are going back to Seattle in 3 weeks for an echo cardiogram (the doctors want to make sure Daisy’s heart is strong and functioning). I am still on limited activity/modified bed rest, and will likely stay that way for the duration of this pregnancy.
That’s the state of things. The vascular issue is very serious. And it’s important to note that the doctors (both in Bellingham and the specialists in Seattle) have never seen or heard of a case like this before. To us, that means Baby Daisy is already a miracle. Please pray that she will continue to grow normally and that I do not go into labor.