Home Birth Womb to Birth to Home

Womb to Birth to Home

by Summerly Rowlands

I found out I was pregnant Halloween of 2020, surprising Sterling with a fake scratch-off lottery ticket to share the news. Watching him confused, trying to decipher how to read this lottery ticket, was priceless – he scratched it, stared at it puzzled, turned it over to see if there were rules on the back, and then just looked at me — “Is this real?” We were both excited but also had one of those “holy crap” moments – this was real, we were expanding our family!

Throughout the [miserably sick] first trimester and into the [much better] second, we had all of the normal appointments and ultrasounds. Although, because of Covid, Sterling was not able to attend any of them with me… major bummer not getting to experience everything with him. But there was ONE appointment he was allowed to come to… our 20 week anatomy scan! It was February 17th & I was so excited to be able to share this moment together. Leading up to this day we had gone back and forth about finding out the sex because I wanted to wait and be surprised at the birth, but he very much wanted to find out. Our compromise – keep it a secret from everyone else! While we thought keeping this information to ourselves would be difficult, it was actually an extremely fun & exciting secret to have, making it worth the wait! And although some of our family & friends tried as hard as they could to get the answer out of us, our lips were sealed – and it was well worth the wait for them, too!

So there we were in the ultrasound room and it was undeniable – we were having a…


With two boys at home, I was thrilled; Sterling on the other hand had to process for a day (or two) to get there, but let’s just say now she has him wrapped around her chubby, little finger. ❤

Unfortunately, at the 20 week scan, our baby girl – who made it very clear throughout the entire pregnancy that she wasn’t a huge fan of ultrasounds – didn’t quite cooperate and we were not able to see her heart in a way that they needed. So… another scan was scheduled 2 weeks later. Since it was not the actual anatomy scan (even though it was still basically the 20 week scan), Sterling could not attend with me. While I drove there expecting perfection, I was met with something else.

An echogenic focus.

What in the world is that?

Per policy, the tech couldn’t say anything, but I met with my OB afterwards. She calmly mentioned a bright spot that was seen on my scan in the chambers of the baby’s heart. When I asked what it meant, she told me it was a “pocket of calcium” & used the term “hypocalcemia”; it could either be nothing or it could be a sign of Down’s syndrome… As soon as I heard that, I’m pretty sure I blacked out. Although I do recall her telling me that it wasn’t anything I needed to worry about at that point, it could very well go away on its own or even remain but have no effects, that there was a lot of research done over the past 10 years on echogenic foci that proved the bright spot was *not* the end-all-be-all of a Down’s indicator, and not to lose any sleep. However, “just to be cautious”, they did want to keep an eye on it… so she wanted me back in a week & a half for another scan.

I left that appointment scared and sad, by myself. And so the processing & praying began.

I went back for that re-scan & the spot still shone bright so they referred me to the maternal fetal medicine specialist at the hospital the following week. Sterling was able to go to that appointment with me (thank God). And may I just say – for anyone who has to see MFM – that ultrasound is InTeNsE! Not only was it over an hour long, but the varying positions they had to get the baby into required my body to twist and turn (not so easy to do at that point in the pregnancy by the way) & also required the tech to *really* get in there – the pushing on my stomach was so rough that I became nauseous & had bruising. She apologized, saying it was going to hurt, but good God I didn’t realize to what extent. After what felt like a college science course hearing all the terms & names & functions of everything from the baby’s brain to the baby’s toes, we were ready to meet with the doctor and the genetic specialist.

After a pretty brief conversation, we were on cloud 9. They had told us that the bright spot was “not impressive” (which is a good thing) and they didn’t believe that there was anything to worry about. There was no concern for Down’s or any heart defects – heck, they even told us that the spot could have just been the way the light was shining during the scans! SHWOO! That was a great day. (We did have to go back one more time for a protocol follow-up 7 weeks later (and something else they saw on my ovary), but they once again ruled the bright spot on our baby’s heart “no concern”.)

Because my first delivery was an emergency C-section, this birth was going to be a scheduled repeat (though we did dabble in the thought of a VBAC, but I didn’t give myself the necessary time to research & prep enough to feel comfortable with that). We arrived to the hospital at 5 am (in a monsoon) on July 1st, signed in, answered questions, gowned up, got medicated, & baby girl was born at 7:25 – 6 lbs 15 oz & 18.25 inches long. Easy peasy.

According to the hospital, Izzy passed all tests with flying colors & we were able to take her home on the 4th of July. Two tired, recovering parents (one from a C-section, the other from a ruptured Achilles tendon – yes – boot, surgery, scooter – the whole shebang), both beyond in love with their little firecracker!

Welcome home, sweet honey bee!

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Teryle Ciaccia February 9, 2022 - 10:42 pm

Dear Summerly and Sterling. So much information I never knew about. Izzy is a beautiful baby girl who looks absolutely perfect. Prayers for her wellness will be coming from family and friends. I can’t imagine what your family is dealing with! Your adorable active boys must keep you both busy and grounded. Keeping all of you in my thoughts and prayers 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏


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