Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The intersection of Faith and Science....part II

Part I

You may recall our worries of genetic abnormalities with our son after our 20 week sonogram. I also wrote about taking a fairly new blood test that checks maternal blood for fetal DNA & claims a 99% accuracy rate for detection of chromosomes 13,18, and 21 trisomies. Our Harmony test results came back 1/10,000 risk for down syndrome and even lower for the other two trisomies.

Did we feel a weight lifted? Sure...but not enough to completely rest easy. I wrote a bit more about my anxieties in a non-promoted post (though not private), feel free to read it, here.

Moving forward, I let some tensions go, but some remained muddled in the back of my mind. My mother so kindly passed on the worry gene to me. I really try not to, as my favorite bible quote contains: "Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil." (Matthew 6)

The worrying just creeps up on me, and when it's validated, I can't help but let it run away from me some.
still a tiny or absent nasal bone, but a cute little button nose

We had a sonogram scheduled for today to check on baby boy's growth, position, and our hope was to also see how his nose bone had progressed. I was not apprehensive at all, and in fact had been internally counting down the days and hours until we got to see our precious baby. I woke up for the second time last night, to use the rest room, of course, around 5:30 am and thought to myself--only 5 more hours until I get to see him!! I had no doubt things would look good, and just wanted to see how chubby his cheeks were. The answer to that is VERY!!!

His measurements were great--just really large. He's on average in the 88% for fetal growth, and his head is >98%. I sure hope he's a smart cookie.

After the sonogram we had to wait to see my midwife for more results and to have my group B step test done (lame-o).

Upon meeting with the midwife we learned that the amniotic fluid is higher than it should be. Of course we know that having too much is a better problem than not having enough...but it's still not typical.

Nothing with this pregnancy has ever appeared to be typical. It really takes a toll on my mental strength and emotional durability. (not to mention the other joyous news in our life right now that relates to our new house and expected costs to fix some major issues)....

I haven't questioned God at all, but I've certainly questioned why me, why our baby, why now.... what human wouldn't?

So perhaps you're asking; "Too much amniotic fluid? So what?"

Good question.

In general, about half of the pregnancies with too much amniotic fluid really don't have a medical reason. 

That baby simply just made more than normal fetuses.

In the other half of pregnancies, the reasons are:

  • gestational diabetes, which I tested negative for about 10 weeks ago -- though it can develop later on, so perhaps that's an explanation (Especially since there was high sugar in my urine at the doctor today)
  • genetic abnormalities.....there it is again :-(
  • fetal infection
  • birth defect, like a problem with the baby's swallowing
  • problems with the baby's heart (which we haven't seen on any ultrasounds)
  • blood mismatches & twin to twin transfusion syndrome (both shouldn't be possibilities for this pregnancy)

Potential complications from too much amniotic fluid:

The only one my midwife discussed with me today was the possibility for the baby's umbilical cord to prolapse (that means it could come out before him, and cut off blood flow to him...which ultimately leads to brain problems or death). She said it's not very likely to happen, especially since he is in a head down position, but if it does occur I should put my head on the floor and booty in the air to attempt to take pressure off of the cord. Oh, and I'm supposed to call 911, because I'll need an emergency C-Section.

I also did my own research, of course, and found that other complications are;

  • premature birth
  • premature water breaking
  • still birth
  • placental abruption
  • postpartum hemorrhage
So, I mean....those are just awesome outcomes and problems.

On the other hand, it's unlikely anything is wrong and it's unlikely that anything bad will happen.

But there's still a bigger chance than typical pregnancies have. Ironically, some pregnancies appear typical and they have non-typical outcomes. So there's always that reassuring fact, except it's really not reassuring.

Apparently 1% of pregnancies are diagnosed as having too much amniotic fluid, .8% of births are still births, and wikipedia states that .14%-.62% of births have a prolapse cord and 11-17% of those babies died.

Barer of bright news, today, eh?

How does this relate to faith?

I've got to find a way to spin all of the crap from this pregnancy into a positive vibe. Why? Because that's just me, and it's better for the baby. Perhaps you are agnostic or even an atheist. I am not. I am an intelligent woman, who believes in science and God. And I believe he has given us all of this information through this pregnancy so that we can stand strong in our faith. Am I sad about the lack of 'normal' news we've gotten this pregnancy...sure, but it certainly doesn't make me trust God any less.

I believe he has a purpose for my life, my son's life, and my family's life. Whatever will be, will be, and it's my job to accept that. I am only human, though, and I really, really, don't want to lose my son or see his health suffer in any way.

It is my prayer that this labor and delivery goes quickly and smoothly, and that my son is born healthy and happy.
If that doesn't happen, God help us handle it, for we are weak and he is strong.

St Gerard, St Gianna, St Joseph, pray for us. <3


  1. What a sweet picture of your little boy! You can already see Gianna in him. :-) Sounds like quite the roller coaster, but I love how you are using it as an opportunity to grow closer to the Lord. Praying for you and your family!

  2. Oh, Kaylene, you are such a beautiful woman of faith! What a cool picture of baby boy! We weren't able to see that great of a picture of Lucia and I'm so amazed that those kind of images are even possible.

  3. I think everything will work out for the best. Just try to relax and enjoy your last few weeks as a pregnant mommy-to-be!
    It could all be worry for nothing. I have noticed that internet research, which is good, can also be harmful if you dwell too much on it. You start to look too much into things. Fingers crossed for you and your family though. Take a deep breath. We're all praying for you!

    Side note: I was intrigued when I read what you posted about too much amniotic fluid and how it can have a genetic defect like a problem swallowing---that's what I had when I was born!

    Love you and I'm so proud of you! You're such a strong woman!


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