20 Weeks of Pregnancy: Meeting our Cleft Team, Fetal Echo and a General Update (and a Brief Maggie 20 Month Update)

If you follow me on Instagram, I provided a brief story update of our two appointments this week for baby boy (I am not sure I even announced that here!? But yes, it’s a boy!). I also felt like it had been awhile since I spoke pregnancy symptoms.. so here is my 20 week update! Half baked.

How I’m Feeling

Physically – sore. I’ll be honest, the aches and pains of pregnancy are starting to hit me a lot earlier than my first pregnancy. I’ve had some round ligament pain for a few weeks and now it’s just aches in the pelvis, definitely muscular related though. I had my first pelvic physio appointment this pregnancy and did find out I have some mild pelvic congestion so I’m going to start wearing compression socks now that it’s getting cooler out to hopefully avoid some of that.

Beyond the soreness that does occur, I don’t have any obvious swelling or discomfort anywhere else. I feel relatively good and still have energy! My back has actually been OK so far (don’t want to jinx it). I mostly notice the aches with sit-to-stand transitions and at the end of the day. I also do get the occasional lightning crotch – if you know, you know.

I’ve been trying to move more during the day – the problem with working from home is it’s easy to get comfy and not want to get up. I also drink lots of water (as usual) so I have to go pee more – since that gets me up too! I’m really happy it’s finally cooler during the day though so walking with the dog is more bearable.

Emotionally – I feel a lot better than the last 2 weeks but I’m still on edge. We are waiting on only one lab result to come through and then I hope that I’ll feel a bit more myself. A bit more relaxed. But who knows – once it is back though I’m definitely making an effort to enjoy the next 20 weeks (or so) of the pregnancy to the full extent and continuing to take good care of myself.

Meeting the Cleft Team

Yesterday we met the Cleft Lip/Palate Team at Sick Kids in Toronto virtually – it was an amazing experience. I didn’t expect anything less of Sick Kids which is truly an amazing organization. The appointment was about 75 minutes and we got to meet our main surgeon, a nurse and our social worker but there will be others on our team we will meet after little guy arrives too!

At this time we still don’t even have a confirmation of the type of cleft lip baby boy has, just that there is a suspected/probable cleft lip. Palate there was no comment on, but as multiple providers have told me it can be extremely difficult to visualize the palate on ultrasound. So we’re stuck waiting till birth to know what our full treatment plan will be like. The team gave us a good overview of both “pathways” (just lip, or lip/palate combination). If I am honest, both my husband and I would love if it was just this lip – it seems like a bit of a lighter load. But we will obviously be on the journey we get and we will cope! I like that we know what both involve and have a plan no matter what.

I am hoping we can get a clearer view of baby boy’s lips at our next ultrasound in 2.5 weeks. Fingers crossed! Mommy likes information.

Fetal Echo

I also had my fetal echo appointment yesterday. Generally, all baby’s with cleft lip or palate will have an echo recommended to check for any heart defects. In many syndromes, heart and cleft often go together since they’re both occurring in the midline of the body.

Again – another amazing experience. The doctor was excellent, informative and clearly very knowledgeable. I was definitely nervous going alone, but again that excellent bedside manner made my experience a lot better and we got good news – baby’s heart looks great, no concerns. The doctor told me that the echo is about 96% accurate (when compared to an anatomy scan which is about 60% accurate when it comes to heart details).

We will have a follow up with the cardiologist after baby is born in the first few weeks, just to double check. Their hearts are so small after all, these things can be hard to see! I am relieved for now that there is nothing clearly wrong with his heart and we will be happy to see this doctor again for the follow up.

In the coming weeks..

I have a pediatric appointment with the team at our local hospital, over the phone, in 2 weeks. Then the following week we have our follow up ultrasound (to look at lip, brain – double check, and growth just because), and the following week is a regular midwife appointment.

It’s so weird and different to me to have so many appointments for this guy! Maggie I just did the regularly scheduled midwife visits, the two ultrasounds, and that was it. This is definitely a different experience entirely – but so far I’m glad we have had great support from all the teams/providers we’re worked with.

I am feeling a lot of emotions and concerns, and have joined a few Facebook support groups that have honestly been great. I also have received so much support and love from family/friends, and online friends! So thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in the past couple weeks – it’s really appreciated.

Also – I haven’t forgotten about Maggie being 20 months old! We just don’t have much of an update again. She is talking more, sleeping and eating well. We got her a book called Jack’s New Smile (FYI-this is an Amazon associate link, so I may earn from you purchasing this item) that is about a girl having a baby brother with a cleft lip/palate! She likes reading it – I figure even if she doesn’t “get” it, hopefully it gets her used to the words and discussions we will have when he comes. I know she will be an amazing big sister.

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