Tuesday, March 16, 2010

20 week scan - public hospital

So yesterday I went to the public hospital to have my scan. This public hospital is a teaching hospital so at first, a student doctor started the scan. It was pretty slow going because she seemed like she hadn't done many ultrasounds before. After a while, the nurse/doctor supervised her, and then after another while, the head doctor came and took over. All up, they scanned the baby for an hour and 20 minutes!! And the beds there are soooo uncomfortable!! But it was nice to see the baby for so long. She was moving a lot during the ultrasound and it's so cool to feel her and see her move at the same time. It gives her movements more meaning, to be able to see her moving as well as feeling it. 

I had a lot of questions and had them check a few things, things that in my research may be indicators of what type of SD the baby has. Here are some of our new findings from yesterday:

The baby does not appear to have a cleft lip or a cleft palate. A cleft palate is present in about a third of babies with Diastrophic Dysplasia - but it's present in just about all of the lethal form of DD called AO2 (Atelosteogenesis, type II). The feet also don't appear to be very clubbed, and the baby is able to make a fist with her hands (something that some DD babies can't do). The bones also appear to be straight rather than curved, another thing common in DD babies. Last time, I thought he said that the kidneys were small, but he actually said that they were swollen - I think maybe I just misunderstood him last time. That could indicate some kind of blockage, but I don't really know the relevance of swollen kidneys. The chest to abdomen ratio at the moment is 0.73. "Normal" is between 0.8-1, "lethal" is around 0.5. So between 0.5 to 0.8 can indicate impaired lung function, but maybe or maybe not lethal. At least 0.73 is closer to 0.8 than it is to 0.5 so hopefully the number stays that high, or even increases rather than decreasing.

I asked the doctor if he thought it could be DD, and he said "The hands certainly look similar to that but we can't be sure. It's quite rare and Achondroplasia is much more common."

I also asked the doctor whether he thought that this condition would be lethal or non-lethal, and he said that it was hard to say for sure at this stage, but it's a bad sign that it presented so early. Usually if skeletal dysplasias are detected before 20 weeks, it is lethal. Although there are exceptions to that, and DD is one of those exceptions.

So all in all, I have some questions answered from this appointment, but we still don't have an answer as to what exactly is wrong and whether the baby will be able to survive. I do however feel that the doctor there was more willing to answer my questions and discuss his thoughts more openly so I did feel like I got more out of that appointment compared to my appointment last Friday with the private doctor. On the down side though, out of all the doctors I've seen in Hong Kong for any kind of problem, he has to have the poorest English. It's harder to understand him and sometimes he misunderstands me too. But it's still nice to feel more listened to, and I appreciate that about him.

My next appointment in the public system is on April 9 - I think I'll be 24 weeks, and then with the private doctor on April 12. Until then, it's just wait and see. 

Keep on growing, little bub!!


  1. I'm glad you at least got some numbers to go by. If you are anything like me, the more information you have, the better you will feel.
    I'll keep praying your little one keeps growing and that she moves further towards 0.8 :)

  2. glad you feel better from this appointment compared to the last, you all are in our thoughts.

    work hard little peanut!!

  3. Answers are always nice. I hope that helps you to feel alittle more at peace with the situation. Stay strong and keep fighting!!!