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Monday, July 8, 2013

Baby Squish : Scary News (That will be okay?)

Last Friday, I had my 16-week appointment (where, by the way, Squish did NOT cooperate to allow the sonographer to confirm the sex guess from the 12-week appointment!).  I always love seeing Squish and how he or she has grown since the last appointment, and I got wonderful confirmation that my trans-abdominal cerclage is holding the cervix nice and closed.

However, as she was scanning the baby and hit the lateral (I think?) view of the brain, I immediately noticed the large, dark spot.  It looked much like this (except only on one hemisphere of the brain):

(not my picture)

She spent a lot of time measuring it, and I spent the entire time debating on whether I should ask about it. I sometimes thought I saw a similar spot on the other side (I didn't; it's only on one side), which made me think maybe it was normal and I just didn't remember it from Carys, and didn't want to ask a stupid question about a normal part of the brain.  

After the ultrasound ended, the doctor came in to do the debriefing. He first assured me that the baby looked wonderful and that everything looked perfect, then commiserated that they couldn't confirm his sex guess, and finally told me not to freak out, but that they saw something on the ultrasound of which they wanted me to be aware. 

A cyst. A cyst on our baby's brain.

The second those words left his lips, I disconnected.  Inside, I was panicking and wanted to scream, but outside, I just kept smiling and nodding. He explained that it was a choroid plexus cyst, and that they occur in 1-3% of pregnancies.  He said that they can be markers of something worse - like Trisomy 13 or 18, which are often fatal.  However, he quickly reassured me that with a completely normal NT scan and completely normal blood test results, as well as zero other markers seen on the ultrasound, he has no reason to believe that there are any issues with the baby, and that the cyst should completely disappear by the time Squish is 24 weeks old.  He further explained that he sees these in about one in forty pregnancies, but probably only sees trisomy in one in a thousand pregnancies, so that the odds were highly in my favor, particularly because of the lack of any other conerns. 

So I'm trying to be confident and really have no reason not to be....

....but a cyst.

On my baby's brain. 

That is some scary shit! I just see that big black hole on the ultrasound and wonder whether the brain can possibly develop normally around it for the eight or so weeks it takes to develop and then go away - Dr. Google and Dr. Real Doctor said yes, it's absolutely possible and there aren't any long-term effects, but still. A CYST ON THE BRAIN. No matter how harmless the doctor hopes it is, that's still a terrifying thing to hear.

I keep thinking that this pregnancy has been SO easy that of course something had to be wrong, and then I keep thinking that this pregnancy has been so easy that a most-likely-to-disappear-cyst surely can't be the last of it. 

I'm just hoping the next seven weeks - until our 24 week appointment - absolutely FLY by so that I can go back and get the great news that the cyst is gone (fingers crossed/knock on wood/consult witch doctor). I asked if they'd be able to tell us anything at the 20 week ultrasound, and he said probably not - they cyst will (hopefully) appear smaller because the baby's head is bigger, but it usually takes until 24 weeks for it to resolve.

I know we have absolutely zero reason to worry and that chances are fantastic it will be totally fine and go away just like the doctor predicts, but there's always that little bit of doubt and worry in the back of your head - and I'm sure it will be there until they give us the all clear.  Fingers crossed so hard that we get an all clear.  I know people that have gotten much worse news and have had much worse diagnoses, so I completely recognize how lucky I am that the issue with our baby is comparatively small and likely self-resolving, but.....it's still something wrong with my baby. And no mother ever likes to hear anything other than "perfect."


  1. When I was pregnant with Agatha, they found cysts on the left side of her brain at the 20 week ultrasound. The doctor did not tell me about it until my 28 week appointment and told me at that time the cysts usually disappeared by the third trimester. I think her brain has developed normally. I hope that makes you feel better, I will keep my fingers crossed for you and baby Squish.

  2. It's always upsetting to hear that things aren't ABSOLUTELY PERFECT, and while I completely understand your fear, I think you have many, many reasons to be hopeful that this is just a small blip that in the end won't mean anything.

    My sister-in-law and brother-in-law got this same news of a choroid plexus cyst on one of their early ultrasounds when she was pregnant with my nephew. She was upset and worried like you, but now he's 17 months old and totally normal. I hope you get the exact same result!

  3. My sister-in-law's little girl had a BUNCH of cysts in utero. Her pregnancy was horrible too, as is this one (the one you just learned about this weekend). But Ava was born healthy and normal and gorgeous, and Squish will be, too!

  4. That was really scary, but I admire your strong willed personality to handle it. Even if the sonographer said not to worry, there's no way a mother could feel okay. I just hope that your baby will get through this, and your family too.

  5. The one thing I could say "don`t worry". I think everythink will be good. A lot of my friends had the same problem, so just follow ultrasound technician program and everything will be fine, trust me.

  6. world leader should be made to watch it in their first month in office. It's that moving, and that important. Bless you Mick Jackson, thank you Barry Hines... and rest in peace, Victoria. Hangover Anxiety