ACC & Moms-To-Be Story #12
I am incredibly thankful to all of the Moms who want to tell
their story about being pregnant and having a baby with
Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum.
Each story is as unique as each child who has ACC.
Michelle, the mom of a 5 1/2 week old baby girl,
contacted me and she expressed a desire to share
her own story.
I got in touch with Michelle through e-mail last week on
a Monday and that same day, within hours, I received her story.
I am so grateful to be able to include Michelle's ACC
Pregnancy Story here.
Thank you very much, Michelle. It is truly a privilege to
be able to post your story here on the blog for others to
read. I want to thank you from my heart for your willingness
to express your story in words and pictures , and for your desire to reach out to help other people and offer hope.
Written by Michelle:
When I sat down to write this, it took me a while to pinpoint where I wanted to start because I think the events in my life leading up to this journey are the reasons why we were able to get through what we have with our heads held high.
I met my husband Craig in high school and we married in 2004. In 2007 we had our first child, (a son), who we named Keegan. Keegan is the sunshine of our lives. He was really a perfect baby!! He was always happy, slept well, ate well and just fit into our lives as if he was always there. We call Keegan our “little old soul”. He has such a huge heart and is always sensitive to what is going on around him. When Keegan was around 1 ½, we had a little “whoopsie” and I found out I was pregnant in October of 2008….this is where this crazy journey begins!!!
Although the pregnancy wasn’t planned, we were all very excited. I always wanted to have my children close together because my brother and I are only 13 months apart and I wanted my children to have a close relationship like we have. 4 weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I started showing signs of miscarriage. We went to the hospital and this is when we had learned that the baby we had already grown to love was no longer with us. It was an awful thing to go through, but it was the first time I had miscarried and I knew how common it was. Since the pregnancy wasn’t planned in the first place, we decided to wait a little longer before trying again.
In 2009 I ended up having 2 more miscarriages so my Dr referred me to a fertility clinic for some in depth testing.
By the time I made it to the fertility clinic I was pregnant for a 4th time and they couldn’t do the tests, so we had to wait and see, but unfortunately we lost this baby too.
I always miscarried around 7-8 weeks.
After 4 miscarriages, I ended up getting pregnant again and the Dr at the fertility clinic had learned that there was an antibody in my blood, specifically called Lupus Anticoagulant. Basically, what this means is that my blood is a little thick and there were tiny clots which was not allowing blood flow to the baby and therefore things weren’t developing and no oxygen was getting through and the baby would die.
I was already about 6 weeks pregnant when the Dr found out about the antibody and a week away from the time I would usually miscarry, so I had to see a thrombosis Dr right away so they could decide what they wanted to do about thinning my blood. I was immediately put on Fragmin Injections (a needle to the tummy every day). I had made it to 8 weeks and then started to miscarry again!!! I was devastated BUT- I now knew what the problem was and would fully be prepared the next time I got pregnant. Unfortunately the Fragmin Injections weren’t started in time. The fertility Dr said to me, “do you know how lucky you are to have a reason why you are miscarrying? Some women never know why.” I knew I was lucky!!
So after 5 miscarriages, in December 2010, I found out I was pregnant again and immediately started Fragmin Injections as well as a daily dose of baby aspirin, progesterone suppositories and a super duper prenatal vitamin. 7 weeks passed, then 8 weeks, then 9 weeks…(that was a huge celebration), 10 weeks etc….
We were finally on our way to having a second baby!!!!!!!! I was referred to a high risk OB and had regular ultra sounds to track the baby’s growth.
At about 20 weeks we learned that we would be having a baby girl!! We were so excited. We had a son and now a daughter….people kept saying we would have a Millionaires Family!!!
Aside from feeling a little sick, the pregnancy was going well. In June I started having spells of vertigo, which apparently was unrelated to the pregnancy, but ended up having me leave work 3 months early.
I went in for a routine ultrasound at 33 weeks which was always followed up by a visit with my Dr. My husband didn’t come as he had been to a 3D ultrasound a few weeks before. This was just a typical visit.
When I was having the ultrasound the technician said she had to discuss one of the images with the Dr and would be right back. 15 minutes passed and I honestly didn’t think anything of it!! She came back and said they needed to do a scan on another machine because the machine she was using couldn’t get the right picture, still didn’t think anything of it…
When I went up to see my Dr, I waited in the exam room for about 30 minutes before he came in. When the door opened and I saw his face, I was very nervous.
He said that some things had shown up on the ultrasound and we needed to do further testing to understand exactly what was going on. He explained that both ventricles were enlarged in the baby’s brain and he thought it was likely something called Hydrocephalus which basically meant that there could be pressure on the brain and that there was a blockage and the fluid wasn’t draining properly and that at birth a shunt might have to be put in. BUT- he could not be sure so I had to have a fetal MRI right away.
2 days later I had a fetal MRI and we were meeting with a neurosurgeon right after to discuss their findings. It was at that moment that our world flipped upside down. They thought it was Hydrocephalus, but it was Complete Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. The neurosurgeon said that he wasn’t the one to discuss this with and that we should speak with the neurologist so he could tell us what types of obstacles we would be facing and how this would affect our baby but basically said that our child would likely be disabled, have delays and challenges, anywhere from being almost normal to completely disabled, but he couldn’t say either way and that the neurologist would be able to give a better idea of what was ahead.
Then, as if things couldn’t get worse, my OB, by law, had to tell us that if after meeting with the neurologist and we were distraught by the news, we also had an option to terminate our pregnancy. WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How bad was this? I could tell it was excruciating for him to tell us about this option, but from a legal standpoint, he had to. Some people only want perfect babies!!
My husband and I went home, we were broken. I was so disturbed that I was even thinking about terminating my pregnancy. After what it took to get here and how far along I was. We couldn’t talk to anyone about it because what if the neurologist said we were having a baby that would be a vegetable and have major health complications…do I really want her to live this way, can we live this way!! My mind was RACING!!! It was terrible. We didn’t even do the IPS screening to check for Down Syndrome and Spin bifida. We always said we could handle that.
Every time I felt my little girl kick, I felt like she was kicking me and saying, you better not get rid of me!!! It’s awful, but it’s true, she was living inside me and I had her life in my hands!!!
The Dr’s said not to Google, but I did anyway. I wasn’t looking for medical reports or Dr’s reports; I was looking for real people who had been through the same thing. This is when I came across this exact website. My husband and I read every single entry and cried the whole way through because we knew there was no way we would be terminating this pregnancy. These children are beautiful and full of hope.
I think it was all so overwhelming. Getting the news about what was wrong with our baby and then topping it off with an option to terminate!!! INSANE!!!
We had made the decision NOT to terminate before we had even met with our neurologist. We ended up meeting with him 2 days later. We were in a much better frame of mind and excited about our daughter again. Our visit with him went amazing. We had a list of questions, were in a better frame of mind to take in information and he was very thorough.
Of course as we all know, this diagnoses is not a cookie cutter diagnoses. You can have two children with two exact same MRIs and two completely different outcomes. The Dr said that based on his experience he would put our daughter on the mild end of spectrum with respect to delays, disabilities etc, with the disclaimer that he can’t be sure. This did relieve us a little and gave us a lot of hope. He said the reason her ventricles were enlarged is because the corpus callosum was missing and that they were basically filling up space.
The best way to explain this diagnosis is like this...
When you travel to the cottage, you take the main highway to get there, but, you can also get there by taking the back roads. So yes, the corpus callosum is the main highway, but the back roads work just fine also.
We finally were able to put this behind us and focus again on the arrival of our daughter. I mean we had already been through so much to get to this point!!
Time passed very slowly, my due date was September 1st. Then September 1st came and I was still waiting. My Dr agreed to induce me when I was a week over (THANK GOD)!!
I was induced the morning of September 8th and at 8:36pm, our beautiful daughter Kaycee Lynne was born. I will never forget the moment they held her up and I saw her face and heard her cry. This will sound superficial, and I don’t mean it to be, but she looked normal and sounded normal!!
The paediatricians were in the room and examined her and weighed her (9lbs 5oz) and I finally got to hold my precious girl. My son Keegan was in the waiting room. We wanted him close by because we knew Kaycee would be spending her first 48 hours in the NICU and Keegan wasn’t allowed in there, so the only way he could see her was if it was in Labour and Delivery.
When Keegan came in to meet his new sister, the first thing he wanted to do was look at her toes!! He couldn’t believe how tiny they were!! We were all in love with her and my husband and I were so in love with our family….we were finally complete.
After 45 min with Kaycee they had to take her to the NICU. I got checked into my new room and Craig wheeled me to the NICU so I could see my baby girl. It was hard to be away from her, but I knew she was where she needed to be.
After 48 hours, I was being discharged and knew that I might have to leave the hospital without Kaycee. This was awful. I couldn’t imagine going home without her. I went to the NICU and the Paediatrician was there and he told me that Kaycee was thriving. Her heart was functioning normal, her breathing and oxygen levels were perfect, she was showing no signs of seizures and she was eating like a champ!! (they actually didn’t have diapers that fit her, they only had newborn diapers and we needed size 1…most babies are premies in the NICU). We were allowed to take our baby home!!!
As we are walking out of the NICU with Kaycee in her car seat, I put my hand on Craig’s arm and stopped him, and I said “This journey is finally over”. After 5 miscarriages, and a crazy ride through my pregnancy, we finally have everything we wanted and more.
As I type this, Kaycee is about 5 ½ weeks old. She is as normal and healthy as a newborn could be. I sort of told her she had big shoes to fill because Keegan was such an awesome baby so I think she has really been trying!! She has been following light and sound since about 2 weeks, started smiling at 3 weeks and cooing at 4 weeks. Her head and neck are very strong. I know this is early, but when I look into her eyes, she is connecting with me, she is so engaged. I feel like Kaycee is going to surprise us all!! We are going to push her to be the best she can be. We had to fight to get her here and we will continue to fight for her for the rest of our lives. She is my little miracle.
My son, my husband, our family and friends were the reason we made it through this! We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing people. We always tried to look at the glass half full and I truly believe in the power of positive thinking!!!
I hope our story helps someone out there the way the other story’s on this website helped me. If it does, take the time to post your story, because it is worth it.
Side note: I also want to mention that in the same ultrasound that showed the enlarged ventricles, the ureter in one of Kaycee’s kidneys was enlarged and we are having some tests done to see if urine is going from the kidney to the bladder then back to the kidney. She is on a prophylactic dose of antibiotics to prevent infection, but the Dr is pretty sure this will correct itself by the time she is 2, and if not, it can be corrected with a very un-invasive surgery. So it wasn’t a huge concern, but worth mentioning.
There are many different stories and outcomes of ACC and Moms-To-Be.
I welcome every story.
Have encouragement to give?
Do you want to share your own ACC story here?
If you do, please leave a comment below or you can E-mail me:
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I hope to continue sharing more of these ACC and Moms-to-Be
stories out in the open in an effort to inform, encourage,
support and help other moms (and dads) out there who are being
told that their baby in utero has agenesis of the corpus
This ACC and Moms-To-Be section will always remain open
and available to anyone who would like to tell their story.