Friday, July 23, 2010

Abigail's Journey: Part 1

This series of posts is meant to keep family and friends updated on Abigail's medical journey.  We want to make sure that the information that is given out is accurate and keeps everyone in the loop.  Everything that we feel is important to share with you will be blogged.  If you see any posts titled, "Abigail's Journey," you'll know they relate to her medical care--both in utero and after birth.

So....deep goes...

We had our official OB sonogram on Monday and I left feeling a bit uneasy.  Our wonderful sonographer took a ton of pictures of Abby's head, and I felt like there was something wrong.  Matt assured me that it was just because Abby was in a weird position and it was hard to get the picture she needed.  Still, I felt that something wasn't quite right.

Turns out, my mother's intuition was right.  Tuesday evening, we got the call from my OB's office that Abby's jaw was measuring a bit small.  At this point, we had no idea what that meant and kind of felt like it was no big deal.  After all, I have a "small" jaw too--we'll get her braces!  They told us that they would make us an appointment for a level 2 sonogram at University of Maryland--Baltimore.  That evening, I researched the small jaw a bit on the internet (much to Matt's shagrine!) and found that a small jaw can actually be a bit of a problem.  The main concern at birth is respiratory problems, but eating can also be a problem for infants, which can cause more issues.  There some other things down the road that are sometimes in store, but we'll cross those bridges when we come to them!

We prayed very hard that night that we would get an appointment for this week because Matt will be leaving for another trip and then we will be going on vacation.  If we weren't able to be seen this week, I would have to go without him.  God answered that prayer and we were able to get an appointment for Thursday.  I'm not sure I would have made it through the grueling day without Matt.

The level 2 sonogram was absolutely amazing.  The sonographer took a picture of Abby when her arm was in the way, so she just deleted the arm!  Her head shot needed to be rotated a bit, so she just manuevered it!  Technology these days is really remarkable.  Plus, they had flat screen HD TVs on the wall so that you could see the sonogram on the big screen.  It's much easier than craining your neck to see the monitor!

The good news is that this extensive sonogram showed absolutely no chromosomal deformities and Abby's heart and brain look perfect.  There is no reason for them to believe that this is a genetic disorder or that she has any additional birth defects.

The sonogram did show that Abby has a significantly smaller-than-normal jaw/chin.  There are a lot of questions that will be answered as Abby continues to develop.  We will continue to go to UMD-B for monthly sonograms, where they will be watching Abby's neck mobility and amniotic fluid levels.  These are both indicators of more serious respiratory problems outside of the womb and will result in a C-section.  Depending on the severity of her breathing issues, Abby may be intubated and in the NICU.  Like I said, these are things that we will know more about as she develops.  We have been told that at this point in development, Abby is looking pretty good. We just want her to continue to develop properly over the next 4 months and be able to move that neck!!

Thankfully, my doctor will try very hard to avoid any surprises.  The sonograms should tell us how we need to proceed and what kind of delivery I can expect.  If Abby doesn't give us any reason to believe she will have respiratory problems, I can be induced and deliver naturally at UMD-B.  That is certainly what we will be hoping and praying for!!!  (Because of the concern for respiratory problems, the possibility of other problems not showing up on sonograms, and the necessity of having a NICU in the hospital, delivering at my local hospital is no longer an option.  I will stay with my OB for now until it gets closer to delivery, but I will deliver at UMD-B.)

Because of Abby's jaw deformity, she may look a bit different than you might expect.  Like everything else, we'll know more about her features over the next 4 months.  This is a tough piece of information for us as parents to swallow, but we are certain that our daughter will be beautiful and have an amazing spirit.  We just want everyone else to love her as much as we do and be able to see past the exterior.  This has probably been one of the toughest things for us to deal with because we know how cruel kids can be and are not looking forward to the the curious stares from people. 

So how can you pray for our family?  I'm so glad you asked!!  :)  Please pray that...
*  As Abby continues to develop, that her neck mobility continues to be good and that she will be able to move her head freely up, down, and side to side.  (This is super important!!)
*  Abby's breathing issues outside of the womb will be eliminated and that there will be no reason to intubate.
*  The doctors will have all of the information they need from the sonograms to make a knowledgeable decision about our delivery.
*  Matt and I will continue to digest this information and learn how to love our daughter in even deeper ways.
*  God will give us wisdom on how to handle the questions and comments that will come along with Abby's jaw deformity.

Naturally, this is not what we would want for our daughter.  Who would?  However, we know that there is a wonderful plan already set for her life and it's our job to support Abby and help her to fulfill that plan.  This girl was pretty special right from the beginning, so I know she won't lead an ordinary life! 


concerned citizen said...
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Bryan and Elise said...

We are praying for Abigail and that the Lord would miraculously heal her in the womb. And if that is not His plan, praying that the doctors would have wisdom and you and Matt would have strength in this situation. Praying also for peace for you Julie!