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Monday, May 27, 2013

Our Story: The Ultrasound and the rest of pregnancy

Since I had no idea how far along I was, they scheduled an ultrasound for my first appointment. I was already into my second trimester, so not only did I find out I was pregnant that week, but that I was having a girl! It was so surreal- we had been hoping for a girl, but even that news was a little muted by the overall shock of me being pregnant and having an important job interview two days later. I had essentially skipped the whole first trimester, at least in terms of the waiting game. Mid-August didn't seem all that far away.

During the ultrasound, the technician made a comment about Belalu's legs being short. No one took it any further than that. And when I mentioned this detail to Dr. Pauli last fall, he told me that it would have been too soon to detect hypo based on leg length. But the fact remains, her legs were shorter than average from the beginning. Incidentally, we didn't do any testing. It was too late for many of them, but I wouldn't have done them anyway, just as I hadn't with Essie. I was very upset that I hadn't been taking prenatal vitamins and had been taking birth control, but the nurses and midwife assured me that the baby was healthy. Luckily, I don't drink much alcohol anyway, so while I had had some while unknowingly being pregnant, it would have been a drink here and there. Nevertheless, all these factors raced around and around in my head when we got Belalu's diagnosis and the nagging question is still there: did I do something to cause this condition?- Even though I've been assured by many Dr.'s that isn't the case, I still wonder, how much do they really know about hypo and the factors that cause it?

My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I had had gestational diabetes with my first pregnancy, but strangely enough did not have it with the second. I did travel to Argentina when I was 7 months pregnant. It was a grueling trip for work and especially hard while bringing a nursing toddler along. Later that summer J went to Spain to visit his family while I went to Maine to visit mine. He didn't want me home alone with E for a month, so I flew back home with Essie by myself three weeks before my due date. Again, more "what-if" factors for us to mull over while in the NICU.


  1. Well, I think they know enough to know that the mutation happens at the point of conception so it's not because of the lack of prenatal vitamins or a glass of wine or two or three. I don't think they know enough to suspect the whole paternal age thing... I have felt very uneasy about that part all along. I feel it is terribly unfair when it is being mentioned without sufficient research evidence. I was very glad when Dr Pauli didn't mention that in front of my husband.

  2. Try not to play the what if game...though we are all guilty of doing it. I remember watching the Little Couple a few times while pregnant, and being so inspired by their story. That didn't cause LH to have hypo any more than not taking the vitamins or traveling.

    And I agree about the paternal age theory. I have read enough accounts of fathers being in their 20s that I don't give it much thought. My husband was 40 when we conceived LH, and I have never spoken about the advanced paternal age to him.