We’re (still) having a girl. Still because, in the last five weeks, her genital tubercle remained flat. And she didn’t grow testicles. And, last week, when we had our surprise fetal survey (see below), she bore the Mark of the Hamburger. (Aside: The term “hamburger marker” was lost on me, too. And then it wasn’t. It’s a graphic reference for the vajay… tipped on its side.) Our progeny is unquestionably female.
Also, she has a less than a one in 50,000 chance of being born with Down’s Syndrome. Read: Probably, she doesn’t have an extra twenty-first chromosome.
Or Trisomy 18.
Far less certain: What caused my serum screen for AFP to come back slightly outside the normal range at 2.25.
And so I got the call that no expectant parent wants to receive. Ever. “We need to run more tests.” Because, oh, by the way, your kid might have spina bifida. Or anencephaly. Maybe she’ll grow up to be healthy, functioning and as, ahem, “normal,” as the rest of us. Or maybe she won’t live to her first birthday.
But the surprise fetal survey our doc ordered revealed that probably she will. She doesn’t have spinal lesions and her brain and skull appear perfectly in tact.
My placenta on the other hand…
The doc didn’t say so exactly, but I read between the lines, and this is what he meant: It looks like shit. Maybe it isn’t actually, and time will tell, but it looks like it.
That is to say, where normal placentas are homogenous in texture, mine isn’t. Bespeckled. Holey. Heterogeneous. And heterogeneous placentas – especially low-lying ones like this – warrant ongoing, careful scrutiny on account of the heightened risk for placental abruption and pre-term birth. PS) No sex for you. And maybe bed rest. And a C-section. Maybe.
So we do that thing we’ve gotten so damn good at doing thanks to our daughter’s circuitous route to my uterus: We wait. We wait to see that she keeps thriving. We revel in the fact that we’re knocked up at all. We enjoy being pregnant. We admit that we are powerless. And then we turn it over to super-smart docs. And deities. Mine, yours. Whichever is listening.
Watch over this holey placenta!