It's official: There is definitely something to the blip that the radiologist saw on my first ultrasound.
Rob and I spent an hour and a half getting scans of the Bun yesterday, and even to my (very) untrained eye, I could plainly see what the doctors were seeing. Of course, it helps that the ultrasound was so hi-def that I could practically see the baby's fingerprints. We were up close and personal, to say the least.
The Bun and I have something called SUA - Single Umbilical Artery. It is also referred to as "two vessel cord." You can follow the link, and check it out with Dr. Google (Rob's sworn enemy, at least where worriers like myself are concerned), but it's a pretty straightforward kind of defect. The umbilical cord is supposed to have two arteries and one vein, and Bun's cord only has one artery and one vein. The problem with SUA is that it seems to go hand in hand with other, more serious birth defects of the heart and spine. Plus, there is a greater risk that the baby might suffer from intrauterine growth restriction, due to the decreased amounts of good stuff coming through the cord. This also raises my risk for pre-term labor.
All that scary stuff aside, here is the really good news: The rest of Bun's scan was crystal clear. No other birth defects, no strange shadows casting doubt on Bun's health. We must have gotten twenty different shots of the heart, all of them normal and pumping away like a good heart should. I lost count of how many times the doctor and the tech said Beautiful! while they were doing the scans. Bun is measuring exactly as he/she should, and weighs in at a whopping one pound and four ounces (approximately). It sure made this mother's heart feel better.
Some more good news? An isolated case of SUA usually makes little difference in a pregnancy. The key word is isolated. If there are no other defects noted and the mother has a good health history, then the doctors are much more relaxed about all of the possible complications. I will be getting the usual standard of care in cases of SUA, which includes ultrasounds every month to make sure that Bun is growing properly and a fetal echocardiogram to make sure Bun's heart is thumping away as it should. However, my perinatologist was so happy with the pictures of Bun's heart that he isn't rushing us off to the specialists next week. We'll have one sometime before January. In the Big Book of Bad Pregnancy MoJo, isolated SUA does not rate very high on the panic scale.
But the brightest side to all of this, as far as I'm concerned, is that we got to stare at our baby for an hour and a half! We got to see Bun swallowing and making little breathing movements; we saw Bun snuggling up to the placenta for a cuddle and then, two seconds later, rolling over to kick back next to some other organs. We saw all of the tiny bones in Bun's fingers and feet, so small and birdlike and yet already performing the movements for which they were created. It's amazing and humbling to know that I have very little to do with Bun's development, other than providing a good support system by taking care of myself. Everything else is by the grace of God.
So that's the whole deal. So far Bun is healthy and I am healthy, but if you have an extra prayer floating around, please send one up for Bun. I think the real test may come later, as Bun gets bigger and needs more from the cord. Everything looks well now, and we are happy and grateful, but an extra prayer or two never hurt anyone. Thanks, my friends.