Thursday, March 01, 2012

Choroid Plexus Cysts

This blog is to update about our family and to speak candidly, when appropriate, about our life journey.  I also want this to be a place where friends, family & passersby can find helpful information about the wonderful, up & down journey of being a parent.  We've had yet another one of those up & down moments.
At our ultrasound the morning before Valentine's Day, we heard the ultrasound technician say the phrase that makes you stop breathing.  "Well, there is something I am going to need to report to the doctor."  She went on to tell us that our baby had bilateral choroid plexus cysts on her brain.  (Scott and I wondered if something was wrong because she looked multiple times, for extended periods of time, at the baby's brain.)  After telling us about the cysts, the technician quickly said that most of the time these mean nothing, unless another abnormality is found on the ultrasound, which we did not have.  She said our doctor would give us more detail but not to worry.
I remember laying on the exam table and staring wide-eyed at Scott across the room wondering if his heart was pounding as hard as mine.  "Your baby has two cysts on her brain, but don't worry."  Yeah, right.  I felt in a fog the rest of the ultrasound.  We were supposed to meet with our doctor right after the ultrasound, but she was running late because of the morning snow fall.  So, Scott and I went down to the cafe to wait, and we both just didn't know what to say.  The card containing the news of whether we were having a boy or girl was laid to the side, and we just held hands across the table in the cafe.  I didn't cry.  I just didn't know what to think.  After awhile, I pulled out my iPhone and googled the diagnosis.  (I knew I shouldn't, but I just couldn't stop myself.)  Immediately, I read choroid plexus cysts are a 'soft marker' for Trisomy 18, which is a very serious chromosomal abnormality.  However, most babies with this condition also had other obvious developmental challenges seen on ultrasound.  We got a call on my cell phone that our doctor had been pulled into emergency surgery, so we couldn't see her until later that day.  So, we walked numbly to our cars and tried to piece together our emotions.  The excitement of the day was gone.  In its place was uneasiness.  Somehow I had a feeling this ultrasound was going to have a hiccup, but actually experiencing it was so different.  I sat down in my car and just started shaking.... not from the cold, mostly from the nerves and anxiety.  Somehow I drove to work and got through the afternoon before heading back to the doctor's office later that day.  When I finally got to meet with my doctor, she told me she was not concerned about the cysts, and they mean nothing in isolation.  They are just a normal part of development.  About 1% of babies are seen with these at the 18 - 20 week ultrasound.  I went home, feeling better, but still feeling unsettled.  My doctor graciously scheduled a level 2 ultrasound to reassure me and to get a second set of eyes on our baby girl.   Today was that ultrasound.
A lot of praying and soul searching happened in the 2+ weeks between those ultrasounds.  After the first day of initial anxiety and fear, I felt a current of peace in my soul amidst the unknown.  A sense that our baby girl was in fact 'normal', regardless of her physical condition.  She was just as God intended, and we would need to adjust to help her grow & develop... just like every parent does for their child.  A fellow blogger encouraged me that God equips all of us to deal with whatever our children bring to the table... no matter what the physical or emotional condition.  I truly believe this.  I've seen this happen in our own lives with Sienna.  Was she what I expected and how I anticipated?  Definitely not.  But did God get me through and is my life richer for the experience?  Definitely yes.  So yet again, God used our children as another way for us to trust Him.  And it felt good to rest in His arms.  The situation was still scary and unsettling, but it didn't feel so lonely & hopeless.
Fast forward to the level 2 ultrasound today; we got great news.  The cysts have fully resolved themselves, and our baby girl looks healthy and beautiful.  She is developing just as expected.  She was covering her face with her hands, and it was so cute to see her tiny little fingers.  I can't wait to have her tiny fingers curled around my finger.
What a blessing a child is.  What a blessing.  Baby girl, you are dearly loved and much anticipated.  I love how God has used the journey of your arrival in our lives.

Profile pictures of baby girl at 18 weeks and 6 days

4 comments: said...

Beautiful News!! Thank you for sharing!!

Jenny said...

I can't stop the tears, so beautifully put. I love her so much already!

Daysha said...

Krista, stink, suck and whatever else I feel about God teaching us and showing us so much through relying on Him, but gosh even more aren't we so blessed he is right there with us, wants us to draw near to him and comforts us. Thank you for sharing and wow God does have a plan for this little girl.

Becky said...

So excited to hear the news! Been praying His peace over you guys and I am encouraged to see it answered! Thank you Lord! Can't wait to meet her!