Finally the day arrived and we drove to Brisbane for our appointment with a specialist obstetrician. Nerves welled in my tummy and as the appointment wasn't until the afternoon we got some lunch and then headed to the big hospital. An experience in itself to get there and find a park. After round and round the hospital car park we found a spot. We were really nervous and feeling so overwhelmed, as we were going to hear about what our future might hold for us and our little one. The day was sunny and warm and we sat in the sun for while in silence.
We headed up to the doctor's suite and it was a very quiet, low lit room and with pictures of pregnant women and babies around. This just made me feel so much more anxious. At last we got called in and we were first to have an ultrasound, I felt sick and a little tremblingly, I was weighed and the lady who was doing the scan was pregnant also and I wondered what her baby was like and if she was well and healthy.
The difference between this scan and the previous scan was that the the lady doing the ultrasound wasn't afraid of looking at my baby. She explained all the exciting aspects of the development, this looks good and listened to the baby's heart beat, what a moment, the reality of life inside me. I heard another life, a life growing within me. Wow!
After bringing a much needed confidence boost back into our pregnancy Dr FC came in and examined and explained about what spina bifida is and what causes it.
(please see conditions explained for more information)
He said that it wasn't my fault, I did all the right things, I ate well, I took lots of different vitamins. I think what hurts is when other people said did I take folate? Of course I did, it's like others were implying I was the one who caused this. I know deep down it isn't my fault but it still hurts when people say it.
Another important discussion was about what is Arnold Chiari Malformation and what does it mean for our little one. Of course it is hard to know until the baby is born but at that point there is no hydrocephalus and it is looking ok. At this point he could see no reason why our little one wouldn't run jump and play like any other child. Wow, this statement lifted our spirits and Dr FC was so honest and up front that we were given hope that the future was still there for our little one. It is what we needed to hear.
He said that I should have a c-section and meet with a neurosurgeon as the baby would need surgery soon after birth to seal the hole in the back. They would wrap the baby in a type of cling wrap to protect the exposed hole from infection. So we left Dr FC's room encouraged and hopeful. We got an appointment with the neurosurgeon a few days later so drove back home.