I clearly remember our 20 week ultrasound when I was pregnant with our son, Charlie. It was a Wednesday. During that appointment, we learned that we were having a boy, that he was active, that his spine, brain, kidneys and mostly everything else looked perfect, but that his heart didn’t look right. There was, what to the sonographer, looked like fluid in our baby’s chest cavity. We knew that the sonographer couldn’t say much, but we also could tell that whatever it was, or whatever he thought it might be, concerned him. We were told that he’d get in touch with my doctor right away the next day and that we’d likely be referred to see a specialist for a level two ultrasound.
The wait for our doctor to call the next day felt like an eternity. During that time, and against our better judgement, my husband and I Googled what might be wrong with our son, working ourselves up and them calming ourselves down, giving our family members a report (but not a full report) of how our appointment went and then eventually trying our best to get some sleep. Once we talked to my doctor the next morning, we didn’t feel any better. She hadn’t “seen anything like this” and instructed us to make our appointment with the perinatologists. It was late Thursday morning at this point, and I assumed that we probably wouldn’t be able to be seen that same day, but we could make it another night and wait until Friday. I nearly lost it when I was told that the soonest we could be seen was Tuesday. That weekend lasted forever. We did our best to keep busy, but a cloud of waiting and not knowing hung over our heads for the next three days. And fast forward to this past weekend, that cloud (albeit, a smaller one) settled right back over us when we found ourselves waiting some more.
We had decided early on, that in this pregnancy, what would be useful to us was to have as much information about the pregnancy as was available. One of these pieces of information included having a genetic blood test done at around 10 weeks. So after weeks of research and hours on hold with my insurance company, I was finally fairly confident about the amount of the cost we’d be responsible for. So two weeks ago, on a Friday, I had the lab draw done. And after expecting we’d have results a week later this past Friday, we found out we’d have another long weekend ahead of us since my sample was still being analyzed.
Now I’m not a particularly patient person. When I was growing up, my mom would tell me that “waiting is good for you.” But I don’t think when she said that, she would have ever imagined that this type of information is what we’d be waiting for. Waiting is hard. It’s hard whether or not you’ve experienced a loss. I remember before knowing anything was wrong with our son, I was so relieved to get our normal first trimester screening results back. But I wasn’t constantly checking my phone for a missed call or refreshing my patient portal page like I do now. But, like with everything else in this pregnancy, I’m trying to focus on the things I have control over — and this isn’t one of them. So, we wait.