With baby number 5, I went to my first prenatal appointment around 13 weeks, after waiting for my referral and then another month for the next available appointment.
I was thrilled to get that first peak at baby on the dating ultrasound, and it was equally exciting to see a much more developed ultrasound image than the typical first ones that look like an abstract bean- a lovely bean, don't get me wrong...
Nearing the end, the tech was taking some notes and making some marks. then, I went to see the midwife and do the rest of the appointment.
The midwife mentioned the placenta was circumvallate, which was an "irregularity." I left, feeling great, though still nauseous, and went about my day.
Later, I remembered that strange word the midwife mentioned and decided to google it to learn more. That was a bad idea...
When searching for "circumvallate placenta" across the internet, you'll learn that it's a rare condition where the placenta curls away from the baby, which can lead to poor nutrient transfer, preterm birth, excessive bleeding/hemorrhaging, placental abruption and potential death to mom and baby.
I was paralyzed with fear! Was my doctor doing enough? What could actually be done? If something went wrong before 20 weeks, then there was nothing to do to save the baby, but should I be preparing for a preterm baby? Birth defects due to lack of nutrients?
I just wanted to scream:
SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT TO DO!
I decided to not announce my pregnancy until 20 weeks, in case something happened, I didn't want to be bombarded with questions, and I waited in pins and needles for my next appointment.
I finally had another ultrasound at 23 weeks, and guess what? Placenta looks great. The tech didn't think it was circumvallate anymore, but the ultrasound needed to be reviewed by a doctor. Baby is doing well, though on the smaller 35th percentile (uncommon for me).
The reason for this post is essentially this: if you've been diagnosed with a circumvallate placenta, take a deep breath and let those worries go.
I wish I didn't worry so much about something I had no control over. I spent so much time fretting about potential complications that haven't happened, and reading through forums of other moms, it seems most people are diagnosed, read WebMD, totally panic, then eventually realize their worry isn't needed.
The midwife's term of "irregularity" sums it up the best. The placenta is different, or appears different in shape. For me, it seems to have adjusted- though medical personnel will say it doesn't do that and was falsely diagnosed. I'm not sure what the actual deal was, I just know that I was totally panicked for months about every little ache or pain, kick, or lack of kick, and it was simply fruitless and ducked the joy out of the beginning of this pregnancy- so my advice is to not do the same but embrace the irregularity, and your precious bundle of joy growing within you!
Have you been diagnosed with a circumvallate placenta? I'd love to hear your story in the comment section!
When I was pregnant with my first baby back in 2011, our insurance wouldn't cover a 20 week ultrasound because they deemed it not medically necessary. The OB practice said this was pretty unheard of, and despite everything progressing normally, we desperately wanted to find out the gender of our first baby to start planning for the nursery and baby showers.
We opted to go to a local 3d ultrasound business and find out what we were having!
I was thrilled, starting listing baby names, and buying a plethora of pink baby clothes [because that's what you do with your first!!]. My sister and a friend planned beautiful baby showers where I was gifted every beautiful pink thing I needed and I patiently awaited our little ones birth! I share my first birth story here.
During this pregnancy, I was having some minor health issues, my heart rate was running high, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, so I was sent to a cardiologist and pulmonologist and had an echocardiogram done to make sure all was well.
During my echocardiogram, I had the sweetest technician who performed the heart ultrasound, and then said, "let's take a quick look at baby!"
She moved the ultrasound wand to my belly and asked what we were having. I gleamed, "a girl!" And she got really quiet for a moment...
In hindsight, she was trying to think of the best way to break it to me...
She showed me the screen, which revealed with certainty that the baby was not actually a girl! I was so surprised, and thinking about alllllllllll the returning I would have to do.... but I was also releaved to have that news broken to us outside of the delivery room so I could prepare with some boy items instead of bringing home a newborn boy in a pink layette set...
We contacted the first ultrasound place, and they offered us a free ultrasound package to confirm the gender... which was in fact a boy!
Ultrasounds are such a wonderful thing, but they're operated by humans and there's always a margin of error! Since then, we've take every gender announcement as a prediction and I appreciate the techs guess!
Have you had an ultrasound tell the wrong gender??
is an author, blogger, and homeschooling mom of five.