Hope floats

“When you look into the eyes of a baby you see all the love and hope this world has to offer”

A wise women once said, that pregnancy is a hope not a promise.  When you strip away all the baby supplies, the birth plan, the discussion about baby names and nursery colors, you are left with the hope for a healthy baby.  Yes, I’m expecting my third baby, due this fall!  But before I go into how I’m feeling and what we are having, let me back up and fill you in on this roller-coaster pregnancy.

John and I had always talked about having three children and this winter when I found out I was expecting my third I was excited but overwhelmed!  I couldn’t believe that this would be my last time pregnant and wanted to soak up every moment of being a pregnant mama.  Early on I opted for the maternity 21 test to rule out Trisomy 13,18 and 21.  This fairly new blood test can distinguish the baby’s skin DNA and test for common genetic disorders.  My results came back normal and I was elated!  I confidently walked into the follow up neucal scan with easy.  After an hour in the ultra sound room and a visit from the head ultra sound technician, I knew something wasn’t right.  And sure enough, they found that the fluid in the back of the baby’s neck was at the upper end of normal prompting them to perform an entire anatomy scan at 13 week, which yielded some trace fluid elsewhere.  I was shocked and speechless as the technician explained the results.  My doctor was even more concerned when I sat with her later and within minutes she arranged appointments with a geneticist and the high risk maternal fetal medicine group at the Brigham.  Something could be seriously wrong especially when fluid is seen in the first trimester elsewhere in the body. I drove home alone with my windows down on a cold March day hoping that the wind would blow away my tears.  When I got home, my mom and two beautiful daughters were watching a movie while resting in my bed and as I curled up next to them I could feel my emotions unraveling.  After a half hour of a good cry on my mom’s shoulder, she did what any mom would do, she gave me hope.  I knew she couldn’t for certain tell me everything would be fine with our baby, but with her words of wisdom she gave me strength to face the month of testing and countless meetings with genetic counselors that would follow.


I won’t bore you with all the details of our tests, but let’s just say that I became very familiar with the maternal fetal medicine team!   Thankfully, every test we had yielded a normal result.  I know more about this baby’s genetic make up than I do about any of my other two girls. The heart is perfect, the baby is normal for over 150 genetic disorders that were tested and during all the ultra sounds for all our appointments baby is growing and appears healthy.

And through it all, my husband and I held onto the hope for a healthy baby.

When I first met with our genetic counselor, Diane, she told me that even with all the extensive testing we would have, I still might be worried even if everything came back normal because I still won’t be able to explain the initial variation found at 13 weeks.  And she was right, I am so relieved that every test came back normal, but I still don’t have a scientific answer for the initial variation.  So now all I can do is hope that baby girl (yes we are having another girl!!!!) is healthy.  I have the same hope that every mother has regardless of how many or how few test they go through while pregnant.

After almost an entire trimester of worrying about test results, I can now start to enjoy the remaining trimester of my last time being pregnant!  I am taking the girls to the beach, sitting by the shore with my big belly and soaking up the summer sun : ) I’m feeling tired and well pregnant.  I’m cherishing the nights when I sit in bed in my air conditioned room and catch up on my favorite shows! And you can be sure that I will post more about this last trimester and the joys of being pregnant through the summer!

2 Responses to Hope floats

  1. Claire says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Alison. Enjoy this last trimester! <3 Love, Claire

  2. Tamara says:

    So happy for you and John and the girls, Al. You are such a strong, brave mama. Can’t wait to hear the good news that your third little girl has arrived. Love to the five of you.

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