Our family was on the way home from a fun evening with friends at the ‘big wooden slide’ at Mount Tabor Park in Rocky Ridge, MD, when Jeff and I casually wondered aloud if the kids would like to skip school the next morning and go along instead to an ultrasound to see their new sibling. Several of the children had been wondering for weeks when we might have another baby, and to say they were ecstatic at this news would be an understatement. The screams in the car gave way to endless questions and happy chatter for the remainder of the trip home.
The next morning, August 17, Jeff was able to take a few hours off work to go along to the ultrasound. There was much excitement as we saw our baby’s heartbeat and watched our little one kicking and squirming in black-and-white on the screen.
The ultrasound tech was very quiet; one of the least communicative we’ve ever had, so I quietly explained to the kids some of what we were seeing as she scanned. There was a large dark spot in the baby’s abdomen, and I almost said, “There’s the baby’s stomach!” but I knew that I really wasn’t sure about that part, so I kept quiet.
Here’s a picture from that scan, without the ‘large dark spot:’
Ultrasound over, Jeff took the kids to the waiting room, and the tech said she would get the perinatologist to come in and review the results with me. We were at maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) for this scan, because I was 14 weeks; just slightly past the first trimester. A former neighbor’s unexpected funeral had pushed our original ultrasound date from 12 weeks to 14, and the practice had told us that it was simply a matter of common procedure for all ultrasounds past 13 weeks to be scheduled at MFM. The tech had asked me twice during the scan if I had had a previous scan and/or why they had sent me to MFM. I reiterated that, no, we had not had any other scan, and that we were simply there because we were already in the second trimester. When she told me the doctor would review my scan, I asked if this was routine procedure at MFM. She then told me she had seen a few areas of concern and wanted him to take a look. Red flags were now waving, and my mind was racing. What were the concerns? The possibilities were endless. More red flags started flying when the tech brought Jeff back to the room, saying that the doctor wanted him to be there too. It seemed like an eternity until the Dr. finished reviewing the U/S in his office and stepped through the door to talk to us.