Our 2nd Pregnancy – The Ups, The Downs and The Uncertainties
I know, I know, what a title for a pregnancy announcement blogpost! But after reading, you will understand why this is exactly what this post is about.
Most of my friends on IG and Facebook would have already known about our 2nd pregnancy as I shared about it a couple of weeks back.
They say every pregnancy is different but I wasn’t expecting this round to be THAT different from my pregnancy journey with Laurent! I’ll share more details on my blog at a later stage but for now, we’re thankful for all the love showered upon this little one 💕 Especially from the big brother who never fails to lavish hugs and kisses (together with tickles and loud noises) upon his little sibling ☺️
We’re truly thankful to have so many of you share our joy and excitement 🙂
As I mentioned in my caption, this pregnancy journey has been SO different from that of Laurent’s.
When I was pregnant with Laurent, I was feeling nausea and extremely lethargic for a good part of my 1st trimester, but I quickly regained my appetite and energy in my 2nd trimester. We even went for our babymoon in my 2nd trimester.
We looked forward to every prenatal check-up because Laurent was developing well and we were always thrilled to see him via the ultrasound scan. Dr Tan was extremely assuring and the pregnancy was as ‘normal’ as it can be.
I took leave from work to prepare for my delivery 3 days before my EDD as Laurent decided to stay in my comfy tummy all the way till the 40th week and I even had the time and energy for one last bake just a day before I went into labor.
Overall, my pregnancy journey with Laurent was almost all rainbows and butterflies. I was extremely thankful that even his birth process was such a quick and smooth one.
This 2nd pregnancy, on the contrary, has been quite a rollercoaster ride for us.
We found out about the pregnancy in end April and are pretty thrilled about it as we have been noticing that Laurent seems to be getting more interested in babies and we have been thinking that it will be a good time to try for our 2nd child.
We went for our 1st pre-natal check-up about a month later and the pregnancy updates have been pretty rosy for our next few check-ups.
I did the OSCAR in June and the results came back good as well and we happily went for our next check-up in July, hoping to find out about the gender of our 2nd baby.
And that was the first time we were told that this pregnancy is not as straight forward as it seems.
Dr Chang did a detailed scan for the baby and all was well except a high NF (Nuchal Fold) reading of 6.9mm (upper limit is 6mm). It indicates that the baby has a thick neck/ swelling at the back of the neck and is regarded as a soft maker for chromosomal/ genetic/ structural abnormalities in the foetus. The most common of which are Down’s, Edward’s, Patau’s and Turner’s Syndrome.
Dr Chang told us that there are several options to consider in terms of the test that we want to proceed with to find out what may be in stall for our baby but if we want to have more conclusive results, Amniocentesis is the best way to go. Unlike blood test, Amnio requires drawing of my amniotic fluid as test samples. This means that the lab will be able to conduct tests on baby’s own DNA. It will give us a more definitive answer of whether there are chromosomal or genetic disorders compared to a probability if my blood sample was used instead.
It was a scary thought because Amnio carries a 0.5% probability of miscarriage. But we went ahead with it because we think that information will be useful in helping us make plans for this pregnancy and how to care for the baby should he/ she be diagnosed with certain abnormalities.
I’ll probably share more about the Amnio process in another post because I think the information may be useful for some of you who may need to go through Amnio in future, so I want to go into that in more details separately.
I was so nervous the entire time I was literally having migraines on and off for the whole week we were waiting for the results. But we are so thankful to have all our family and friends praying alongside with us for a clear results 🙂
To cut the long story short for now, the report came back fine and there was no chromosomal abnormalities detected – i.e. no Down’s, Edward’s, Patau’s or Turner’s Syndrome. Praise the Lord!
However, the baby’s NF is still slightly thicker than normal range and at our 18-week detailed scan, Dr Chang also mentioned that baby’s femur and humerus (long bones) are measured about a week behind the other stats.
We just went to see another gynae at NUH on Wednesday for a 2nd opinion, as recommended by my gynae, and we are told that we may be looking at some form of skeletal dysplasia. Skeletal Dysplasia comes in various forms. Some are more serious and may have long term impact on baby’s life or even lethal, others are less so. If the condition is very serious, we may even have to consider terminating the pregnancy in a few weeks’ time. There could also be a chance that the baby is fine, and just small in size (maybe like Laurent when he was born!).
Another Amnio was suggested to draw sample for another test – this time a genetic one instead of a chromosomal one. I just went for the procedure yesterday and will be waiting for the results to be back in about 3 weeks’ time.
With all the uncertainties of the pregnancy, we are still adamant on sharing the news of this pregnancy with everyone because, to us, having a life growing in me is already such a beautiful blessing in itself. We want to share this joy with the people around us and surround ourselves with positivity and prayers for our little one.
Even if the pregnancy does take a turn for the worse, we know that we will have the love and support of the people around us to see us through the tough times.
But more importantly, I know that whatever the outcome of this pregnancy, I want to share about it publicly so that someone who is going through uncertainties in their own pregnancy can seek solace and hope in reading about my experience. Many of us don’t share about the dark and difficult times we go through during this amazing pregnancy journey, maybe because it is so so difficult to put this whole experience down in words, recounting all the emotional turmoils we go through, the physical pain we endure and the tears we shed both in times of relief and in times of trial. But if you are reading this and you are experiencing some uncertainties in your pregnancy, please know that you are not alone.
I have been able to stay positive and joyful about this pregnancy, despite all the ups and downs we have been going through, because I know I am not alone. Not for a single moment.
Wayne has been such a pillar of strength for me to depend on – emotionally, physically and spiritually. Sometimes he didn’t even need to say much. Just a hug and a pat on my head and I feel so comforted, knowing that whatever happens, I have him to share my heart with.
Our family has been extremely supportive in words and in actions. My mum and MIL have been making soups for me and buying fruits and fresh ingredients for us to make sure we are eating well. My brother and SIL have been taking Laurent out for a couple of hours during the weekends to give us some free time to ourselves. And when I had to take leave for a few days in a row after my Amnio, my in-laws have been really understanding as well.
I have also been updating some of my close friends and church mates about the situation and we are so thankful for all the prayer warriors God has placed in our lives. We’re so thankful for all the tender words of love and encouragement that we have been getting and people just checking in with us and letting us know that they are keeping us in their prayers.
While I don’t think I have ever taken my wonderfully smooth pregnancy journey with Laurent for granted, going through this little adventure definitely makes me even more thankful for the beautiful memories from my first pregnancy. And whenever I look at Laurent, this healthy and chatty little boy in front of us, I am even more grateful for him. I find myself holding him a little tighter and kissing him a little longer every night.
As we wait for the genetics testing results to come back, we will be meeting our pastor to talk about this, in case we need to make the difficult decision of whether we want to terminate the pregnancy.
In the meantime, life goes on as per normal for us and we’ll just keep praying. Compared to the first round of waiting for the Amnio results, I have been feeling surprisingly unfazed this round, and filled with a great sense of peace rather than anxiety.
I’m taking some time to rest up after the Amnio procedure, but I’ll try to update either the blog or my Dayre about the pregnancy if I can. If any of you have experienced what I’m going through, I would love to hear from you. Or if you are going through something similar and would like to have prayers and support, I will be more than happy to connect with you as well 🙂
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139: 13-14