Just as I was feeling a bit more comfortable with how easy things seemed to be going with this pregnancy the universe decided it was a good time to remind me that I have no control and anything can happen.
I went in for what was going to be a completely routine appointment. Pee in a cup, weight check, blood pressure check, quick check on the ultrasound* to make sure everything's ok, and then out the door. The appointment started off well enough. I only had to wait about 10 minutes in the waiting room. I peed in the cup, hopped on the scale, got my blood pressure checked, and then only waited about 2 minutes for the doctor to come in for the ultrasound. She asked how I was feeling, started the scan, and said the fluid looked good. Then she looked a bit more, and more, and then said that she wanted to send me over to the hospital where the same group of doctors run a high risk testing center.** She told me that in one view she thought she might have seen evidence of a cleft lip, but she couldn't really tell because the baby's hand was in front of his mouth. She looked a bit more and then said that now she wasn't seeing it, but she wanted to be sure. I managed to remain calm while she called the testing center and arranged for them to see me.
Fortunately the hospital is only about a 5 to 10 minute drive away, so I made it there quickly. Unfortunately, since I was not an expected appointment I had to wait over an hour before they fit me in. The ultrasound tech was nice and kept commenting on how cute it was that the baby was sucking his thumb and yawning. I had to bite my lip not to scream "WHO CARES! JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU SEE!" Of course the little stinker still had his hand in front of his face, so it took her quite awhile to get what she needed. Finally she seemed to get what she needed and, without a word about the baby's palate, asked me to go back to the waiting room until the doctor could see me. I went back to the waiting room assuming the worst and willing myself not to cry.
About 15 minutes later they finally called me back and the doctor asked why the doctor from the office had sent me over. UGH, I tried to calmly tell him while thinking to myself what did they think they were looking for on the scan if they didn't know why I was there! Anyway, he pulled up the pictures on his computer and showed me the shots of the nose, lip, chin, and palate and then told me that everything looked fine to him. As he filled out the paperwork for checkout he even told me that he was circling "suspected anomaly" because that's why I was there, not because there IS one. I thanked him, handed my paper to the office staff, walked out of the testing center, turned the corner, walked into the phone booth and burst into tears. Then I called my husband to fill him in on the morning's drama. Of course just then my cell phone battery started going. I caught my breath and got to the car where I could plug in my phone. Finished filling my husband in and we both heaved huge sighs of relief. I called my mom to fill her in because I knew she was waiting to hear about the appointment. Then I called one of my closest friends who just recently had a Downs scare after her NT scan (turns out everything is fine) and we commiserated on stressful pregnancies. Only then did I finally feel like my blood pressure was back down and I could breath normally again. And then I treated myself to lunch!
Now I know that there are a lot worse things that we could have to deal with than a baby with a cleft palate. And I know that we are incredibly fortunate to have a healthy daughter and to be 24 weeks along in this pregnancy with the worst thing to happen being this morning's scare. But still, I'd like to be done with the drama. I think that a placental abruption, pre-term birth, and 4-week NICU stay, multiple miscarriages, 3 1/2 years of infertility with associated surgeries and treatments, and now nightly injections of lovenox is drama enough. I would really, really like to be bored for the next 14 weeks.
*One benefit of being a patient with a high risk practice is getting an ultrasound at every appointment.
**In fact, about 1/2 of my appointments are at the testing center at the hospital. They seem to only have a skeleton crew staff their "regular" office.