….. An umbilical cord abnormality?
I purposely skipped the “If something goes wrong” chapter in the baby books. Who wants to read about the things that could go wrong? So, when the doctor told us she thought we had a two-vessel cord I was dumbfounded. I even told the Doctor to “dumb it down for me.”
An umbilical cord should have 3 vessels. 2 Arteries and 1 Vein. At the 20-week ultrasound they do a very detailed scan, including the cord. They felt pretty sure that we had a Single Umbilical Artery baby, aka an SUA baby. Not giving us any detail other than, ‘he’s growing fine now but we’ll monitor every 4 weeks because growth problems can occur’, we were on our own for research. Kevin is very analytical and will research things to death (a good trait). Before we even left the building, he was on the internet searching 2-vessel cords.
He found out it happens in 1% of pregnancies and they consider you high risk at that point. Also, that it can be a soft marker for other problems- Down’s syndrome, heart defects, endocrine problems, etc. Not to worry, 70-80% of SUA babies are born perfectly healthy. Well, try telling that to a hysterical first-time mom (or any-time mom for that matter). I was frozen at first, complete shocked. Didn’t get angry or say “why me?” As Kevin’s research continued and the shock started to wear off, I got upset. I had one huge cry session and then felt better, though I had watery eyes at work all afternoon.
The important thing for us to remember was that our baby was perfectly healthy, other than this possible diagnosis. His liver, heart, brain, kidneys, bones, size, weight, etc was right on target. So, we decided to lay our faith and trust in God and not worry anymore.
We have done this for the last 9 weeks and we have been completely blessed. We have ultrasounds every month (which is cool we get to see him monthly now), they sent us to a specialist, and they most recently did a BPP on him. They watched him breathe, use his reflexes (move an arm or leg), measured his bones, head and belly circumference, etc. He passed with flying colors. And, to top it off, he was exact with his gestational age of 28 weeks, 5 days. We couldn’t be any more pleased with our baby and we thank God every day for him.
Written: July 14, 2011