Thanks again for all the prayers, especially those of you who didn't quite know what the prayer need was. I'm at the point now where I can try to shed a little light on the situation.
We learned at Thanksgiving that we are/will be grandparents. As requested by our daughter, we have been keeping this news private within the family. She really did not want to disseminate the news widely until she was past the first trimester. I have no problems with that, none at all.
She went for the 'routine' second trimester ultrasound screening. She really wanted to know if she was having a boy or a girl, and hoping for a girl. She called me at work (something that she rarely does) in tears. On the ultrasound, they saw a birth defect called gastroschisis. oh, and the baby is definitley a girl. I told her that I have seen a few babies diagnosed with this prenatally, that they need surgery right away but that they usually do quite well. She told me that she had decided to let them draw blood for maternal serum screening, although she had originally declined this test. I reminded her that the AFP would come back abnormally high, as that is characteristic of gastroschisis. She told me that she would be seeing a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine the next day for a more detailed ultrasound. I told her that they would probably advise her to get an amniocentesis. She told me that she didn't want to take the risk of one, and that if she did, she would want me to be there for it.
I went and told my medical director (a wonderful Christian OB/Gyn) what was going on and started asking for prayers.
The next day, I got a text message from my daughter that they also found enlarged ventricles in the baby's brain, and also that the baby has shorter than average femurs. These could be signs of a chromosomal problem , especially one of the trisomies. I called her cell phone right away. My daughter was so distraught that she could barely speak. She told me that she thought that she should get an amniocentesis but that she wanted to wait till I could be there. I told my boss (the medical director) and she told me to get on the road, not to worry about the office or the practice, that they would cover things so that I could go. "Family comes first".
I called my husband, and he arranged with his boss to be gone. We got on the road at 7 PM and arrived at our destination at 6 AM, having fought an ice storm the last 20 miles. The last 5 miles of the journey took almost 30 minutes, due to weather. We pulled into a motel and napped for a couple of hours, and then picked up our daughter, took her to breakfast, and took her to get the amnio done. I also had the chance to talk to the MFM doc and look at our granddaughter on ultrasound. Good signs - she had open hands, perfect feet, a 4 chamber heart, and was very mobile. The amnio was done quickly and with no problems, and we stayed in town with our daughter until the critical 48 hours were over.
The results came back - normal chromosomes. 46XX. A deep sigh of relief, and thanks for many prayers answered. The baby will have her fetal echocardiogram monday (a closer look to see if there are subtle heart defects. She will be monitored closely throughout gestation, to determine the optimum time and route of delivery. She will need at least one surgery right after birth, and will not be able to eat until that heals. She may need other surgeries as well, depending on how the brain condition develops pre and post natally.
We are not out of the woods by any stretch, but we are cautiously optimistic. Prayers are still appropriate.
My daughter's specific prayer requests from the moment this first happened:
1) The best possible outcome
2) That the baby will continue to be a fighter
My prayer - that we can "be not afraid".
My granddaughter's name is Emma Collette. This name is very special. It was my mother-in-law's Christian name. At their grandmother's funeral, my children made a pact that the first girl born to any of them would be named after their grandmother. I am so glad, because I know that Emma in Heaven is looking down on her great-granddaughter and namesake.