Saturday, July 27, 2013

Roller coaster

We got our 20 week scan last week but it was not what we expected.  First, the report was delivered a day late.  Not a huge deal, but now that the updates are monthly, they are long-awaited and expected on the day they are performed.  We don't know if that's too much to ask, but it's a disappointment when you check your email every 5 minutes the day you've been told the scan would be done.  By mid-day you give up checking, since it is midnight in India, and you start to worry something is wrong.  And then you have to explain (apologize) to your family that there is no update and this is just part of the process.

We had also been anxiously looking forward to this scan as we expected it to be the 3D scan, and had asked several times when we could expect it.  Up to now, all the scans had been of bone and cavity measurements.  The 3D scans we saw of other IP's babies were so amazing and gave you a sense of what the baby would look like.  Both our families were eager to "see" the baby for the first time.

Unfortunately, we just got a normal scan.  And due to the size, the email was slow to load the report and scan, so we could read the email header first and noticed that Gourav was CC'd.  Gourav is from the account billing department of SCI, so it's never good to see his name on an email, routine or not.  This was not a routine email, as we had paid our stage 2 payment for weeks 16-24 already. 

So we knew there was a problem with the pregnancy. 


That would require more money. 


When we finally got the scan and report downloaded, the report showed there was a complication.  I have waited to post an update until we knew more information.  In the past I've freaked out whenever we got an update that wasn't "normal."  While this case was not much different, I did not go into a full-blown panic.  I've learned that there is nothing I can do about the situation except manage my emotions. 

Greetings from SCI Healthcare !!

We hope you are doing fine.

We would like to inform you that we did Meera's scan yesterday as per our schedule.

Kindly find attached herewith the reports for the same.

We would like to inform you that our Obstetrician & Urologist- Dr. Vishal have reviewed the reports and noted that it shows "Maternal right kidney is hydronephrotic".

In view of the same, we arranged her meeting with our Specialist Physician- Dr. Sinha.

We are also doing further investigations to check for any issue related to this.

Please note that Meera is doing fine and not complaining of any thing.

We will keep you updated with further progress.

With Best Regards,
SCI Healthcare

The USG scan showed that everything with the baby was fine.  However, the USG report showed that Meera's right kidney was hydronephrotic.  She would need to be seen by a specialist, thus the need for us to transfer 20,000 INR to Gourav.  I'm sure it would have cost much more in the U.S. to see a specialist, but in the U.S. at least it could have been covered by insurance.

Not being medical people, we reached out to our medical friends to find out more about this diagnosis.  As I think most IP do, we fear what the worst case could be, whether or not this is probable or remotely possible.  Luckily, Meera was not in any pain or complaining of anything.  We learned that asymptomatic hydronephrosis can be common in pregnant women, since the fetus can compress the mother's ureter.  Treatment for hydronephrosis, depending on the severity, could be conservative with analgesics and antibiotics, up to catheterization and ultimately surgery. 

A few days later, we received this email response to our queries:

We thank you for your e-mail.

We would like to inform you that Meera has already met the Specialist Physician for checkup & follow up.

We are happy to inform you that all her investigations have come back normal and we don't need to do any further treatment at this stage.

Kindly note that we will request Dr. Jolly to capture 3D images during Meera's next scan.

We will keep you posted.

With Regards,
SCI Healthcare

While we breathed a short sigh of relief, the words "at this stage" rang in the back of our minds, like that eerie echo you hear in scary movies "at this this this stage...."

Part of the process we knew about but did not adequately prepare ourselves for was managing our expectations.  We heard IPs who went through this in the past describe it as a roller coaster and we thought "yeah, yeah, we got this."  But truly, it is a test of your emotional mettle.  From the waiting, to the disappointment and dejection, to the fear and desperation, to the hope and elation, it is a very dynamic and stressful process.  We worry over every little thing that it's almost impossible to enjoy the pregnancy and anticipation of having a baby now.  I think we have lowered our expectations so much that we just pray that nothing else goes wrong.

I hate to write that above paragraph, and have struggled with whether or not to publish it, but I think it bears repeating for any other IPs that may be considering this path.  I don't wish to sound ungrateful, because we are thrilled that we are finally pregnant and halfway to hopefully becoming parents, while there are so many childless folks and gays/singles who have missed the cut-off in India and have to seek other avenues.  But on the flip side are the people who get pregnant on the first try (or inadvertently) and have blissful, trouble-free pregnancies.  It just feels like we are due a few breaks, after all.

But this is our reality, and until we have that bundle of joy in our arms, we brace for the next turn on the roller coaster and hang on.

P.S. If anyone out there has had this diagnosis, we would appreciate hearing your experience.
P.P.S. Congrats to one of our local SCI IPs who had a healthy baby boy this week!