We had our second ultrasound with Te2 at 19 weeks, on March 29th. I think most parents go into this ultrasound primarily concerned about what sex the baby is going to be. Thinking about the anatomy scan is secondary, or at least it was for us. Unfortunately, this time around, finding out that Te2 is a boy was secondary.
Our ultrasound tech left the room a couple of times during our scan. As health care providers ourselves, you would think this would have clued Charles and I in to the fact that something wasn't right. Needless to say, it didn't. When the radiologist walked back in to the room with the ultrasound tech, I was wondering why this guy was busting in on our appointment. The reason was that he was there to tell us that Te2 has a cleft lip. At this scan, they told us it looked like unilateral and left sided. They could not tell if there was any palate involvement. They assured us that everything else (kidneys, heart, spine, etc) looked great and this was the only thing they were seeing. We were then sent directly over to our OB's office to talk with her. There is a small chance of other genetic abnormalities, so we opted to go ahead and have a blood test done that would test for Trisomy 21, 18, 13 and the presence of Y chromosomal material. We figured if it came back positive this would help us be more prepared, and if it came back negative then this would be one less thing for me to obsess over. It took a week for the results to come back, and thankfully they were negative. Our OB also referred us to a perinatologist, who is essentially an OB that specializes in high risk pregnancies. The soonest they could get us in was a month out, June 26th. We decided that other than immediate family, our OB and our pediatrician, we would wait to share the news until after this appointment. That way we would have more information and know exactly what we were going to be dealing with.
There were lots of tears for a few days after finding out. I also went through a bit of a mourning process. I know that Te2 is the perfect baby for us and that God does not make mistakes, but I still had to mourn the idea of the perfect baby that I had been visualizing. It would hit me at the most random times too. Once during swim lessons, Charles was in the pool with Wills and I was thinking that next summer we would both be in the pool because we would have two boys. And then I started crying because I was thinking that people would be staring and judging our little one.
Over the next few weeks I did a lot of research. As an audiology graduate student, I was actually part of a cleft palate team with speech pathologist, ENTs, oral surgeons, dentists and social workers. I think this was good and bad. Good in the sense that I knew how successful these kids turned out to be, and bad because I also knew how hard it could be on them too. The surgeries and recovery periods can be extensive. By far the most helpful things I read during my research were actually the blogs of other moms of children with cleft lip/palate, particularly this one and this one. Getting to read about the process from the parent point of view was so comforting.
We finally had our perinatolgoy appointment yesterday. They confirmed the unilateral cleft lip and said that the palate also appears to be involved. Due to the negative blood test and all other anatomy looking good, they believe it is an isolated finding and there are no other concerns. I will follow up monthly with the perinatologist for ultrasounds to monitor Te2's growth. This will be in addition to my monthly OB appointments. We will also meet with the oral surgeon in a few weeks to map out the plan for Te2 in regards to appointments and surgery timeline.
It is going to be an interesting journey and I know we are going to learn a lot about ourselves. Please keep us in your prayers!