Ultra-scary-sounds

“There will be very few kids taller, or heavier, than Li’l Fatty.”
This was the answer to Learner Dad’s query – “what does the 97th percentile mean?” – at Li’l Fatty’s recent community health check.
As he looked at his son with fresh admiration – and dreams of a replacement ruckman for Nic Naitanui – I asked the nurse if she had any concerns.
“Not at all. He’s well equipped to fight any kind of sickness and he’s beautifully in proportion.”
This was all welcome news but it wasn’t the first time we’d been told our son was exceptionally large.
And that first time it scared us silly.
A 32-week scan (to check a potential kidney problem that turned out to be nothing) kicked off a nightmare week during what should have been an exciting time.
Halfway through, the sonographer excused herself to go and get a second opinion – on what we didn’t know. She returned with another professional and they proceeded to frown at the ultrasound.
We had heard the heart, we could see the fetus. What was wrong?
“Parts of your baby are measuring six weeks ahead,” we were eventually told.
“What do you mean ‘parts’?” I asked.
“Well, its head and abdomen are abnormally large,” they replied.
They couldn’t tell us what it might mean, they said, because they weren’t doctors.
After a teary conversation at a nearby cafe, and advice from our parents, Learner Dad rang and insisted on seeing a doctor.
We couldn’t get in until the next day.
That night I stupidly hopped straight onto Google and promptly diagnosed our baby with a string of genetic disorders.
The doctor’s appointment wasn’t any more reassuring. The first thing he asked was whether we’d been tested for Downs Syndrome. We hadn’t so he went off to ‘consult’ for 20 excruciating minutes.
Learner Dad tried to comfort me as I cried and prepared for the news.
But it was ruled out and gestational diabetes brought into play.
I’d passed my earlier diabetes tests but the doctor wanted me tested again.
Now gestational diabetes I could deal with. I felt better…
…until he started banging on about the possibility of some other rare genetic condition. The word ‘gigantism’ sprang out from the screen he was showing us. I looked away and vowed to never Google it.
Despite an eventual, and welcome, diagnosis of GD, I wish we’d never had that scan.
Or the subsequent scans, where sonographers either gasped, frowned or laughed at our apparent monstrosity.
Technology today means we can be given so much information during pregnancy.
I’m sure there are many, many instances where this is a good thing but for us, looking at Li’l Fatty now, I honestly wish we’d been spared the worry.
My advice on scary scans? What will be, will be.
In fact, it already is.
If your baby has a beating heart, focus on that.
Marvel at that miracle alone.

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4 thoughts on “Ultra-scary-sounds

  1. Oh Ali! I remember your fear. I am sure you are not alone. I know a friend’s child was diagnosed as 1 in 3 for Down’s and was born without. It’s case of ‘a little bit of knowledge is dangerous’. Also a reminder that doctors too are only humans who have studied all they can about us complex creatures, but at the end of the day do not always have answers. I seem to remember Master 7 being on the larger side, but also on the ‘upper end’ when it came to other aspects of his development, particularly speech, so there’s something you can boast about when Mum’s of tiny bub’s look strangely at your precious Li’l Fatty!

  2. I can totally appreciate how beside yourself you were when those damn helath professionals scare you silly about the well being of your unborn bubba (s). We chose to have the screening test for downs as we are both getting older and we were prgnant with twins and we were floored when told us that they both had a high chance of having down syndrome, we made the agonising decision to have amnicentises with both of them and after a terrifying wait were told they did not have any chromosonal abnormalities at all but it was hell to go through that and my hat goes off to every parent that has to make these types of decisions because it hurts the darkest deepest parts of your being to think there could be anything wrong with your precious bubbas.

    • Wow I thought we had a tough time, what a nightmare! One mum I know had bleeding after an amnio so you can imagine her stress! All was ok in the end thank god. So glad your babies are ok

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