July 28, 2009


I'm quite confident that "normal" is the most beautiful word to anyone who is pregnant or has children. It's the coveted award that we look for at every check up and appointment: "Everything looks normal." Sometimes we hear the word "healthy," "good," or "typical" but as long as there aren't any "abnormalities" it's all good.

I went in for my 33 week check-up today and saw a doctor I hadn't seen before. My usual doctor was on vacation. Let me preface this by saying I really liked him and I'd be perfectly happy if he were the one available when I was ready to deliver. I hold none of this against him.

He walked in, introduced himself and started to go over my pregnancy so far. I don't remember his exact words, but he eventually said, "So you had your 20 week ultrasound and they talked to you about the cardiac focus?"


"Um, no. I have no idea what you're talking about."

"With the baby's heart . . . the cardiac focus. On the ultrasound?"

At this point I was fighting tears. I had no idea what a cardiac focus was, but to go from being told weeks ago that your ultrasound was completely normal to hearing that there is an issue . . . any issue . . . was overwhelming. Especially since this was the one appointment Kyle couldn't come to with me.

He said, "Uh . . . let me just double check to make sure I wasn't looking at the wrong chart."

I felt a little relief at this point . . . surely he was talking about someone else, right? Not me. They told me my ultrasound was completely normal.

"Um, Sara Luke . . . birthdate 08/09/78?"


"They never told you anything about a cardiac focus?"


He went on to explain that it's a bright spot in the heart (whatever that means). I asked what that really meant. He said, "It is sometimes thought to be related to the trisomies, but . . . " I didn't hear what he said after that. I lost it.

He felt really bad.

He went on to explain that it's really only thought to be linked to abnormalities when there are other factors. My quad screen was normal, the other ultrasound checks were normal . . . therefore the cardiac focus was considered a "normal variant."

He explained that I probably wasn't told about it because it really isn't considered to be an issue unless there are other factors. And I think he reads my blog, because he went on to say, "I know you'll be home googling this tonight, but just remember that this is completely normal and isn't an indicator of any problem."

Part of me was furious that no one had mentioned this before. The other part was frustrated that he mentioned it now if it was nothing at all.

I had about 2 minutes of the most gripping fear that I think I've ever felt. It felt like 2 hours.

On the way home, I was still a little teary and I couldn't help but thank God for Jack's health and continue to pray for the health of this baby boy. I prayed for families for whom this kind of news lasts longer than 2 minutes.

While the doctor reassured me that it means nothing (as did my google research) and I'm not really too worried, this will probably still hang out in the back of my mind for the next 7 - 8 weeks.


Sarah said...

Oh Sara....I'm so sorry :( Yep, even if it's really "nothing", the fact that it was even mentioned is just going to be unnerving now. And I'm sorry you had to hear that and sorry that you're going to be stressing about it now until this baby is born. I will just be praying for you and for this little boy that everything really is NORMAL. And I'll also pray that you and Kyle are able to not worry too much about it...(yeah right!) Keep me posted....

Little Bird said...

I feel your pain! When I was pregnant with Ezra we had an ultra-sound where there was a spot on his brain. The doctor told us it could be trisomy 18 (you can reference your link to get an idea about that) and went on to explain the risks and consequences of it being that. We had to wait another 4 weeks and 4 ultrasounds before the spot went away and they ruled it out. Normal kids are a blessing!!! We'll continue to pray for your little one, and your peace of mind. :)

Jeni said...

I would be more on the frustrated he even brought it up end, sounds like he could have been a little more tactful. I am sure everything is okay, hopefully you can put this out of your mind.