I'm going to tackle the story of our sweet Fritz in three installments: in utero, birth - six months and where we are now. Please know I am not a medical professional and while this was scary, sad and traumatic Adam, Fritz and I are blessed beyond belief with the medical care we were provided and the end result of this journey.
At our 27 week Ultra Sound appointment the tech left the room, "to make sure she got all the images the physician needed." I was calm ,at peace, I just saw my perfect baby boy wiggling around. When she came back in, Dr. Rose, was with her, but he was smiling. I was confused. "So...we noticed your baby has some extra space in his brain."
All I heard was "YOUR BABY HAS A BAD BRAIN AND EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE WRONG WITH HIM."
I held my composure until the doctor left the room. And then cried and cried and cried, while my husband held it together for the both of us. Dr. Rose returned with 32 pages printed out for me. Out of those pages, three sentences were highlighted on Mega Cisterna Magna.
Which is this: Mega cisterna magna refers to a normal variant characterized by a truly focal enlargement of the CSF-filled subarachnoid space in the inferior and posterior portions of the posterior cranial fossa. It is an incidental finding on neuroimaging, and no imaging follow up is necessary. [source]
Sounds simple enough right? Fritz had a large space at the back of his brain. Most findings are a variant of normal, but when you're 27 weeks pregnant, you assume the worst. Dr. Rose also used the term Dandy-Walker Malformation and said our biggest concerns would be developmental delays and hydrocephalus. Worst case scenario our baby would be developmentally delayed and would need a shunt put in to drain the fluid from his brain into his stomach. It was a lot to take in, but the worst part was not knowing. Knowing if something was wrong or if this was just an incidental finding.
Dandy-Walker Malformation is incredibly rare. I would encourage you to read more about it here. I think about those children every day and how special and loved they are. I also think about the parents right now sitting at home wondering if their baby is going to be okay, the mom looking down at her perfect belly, just wishing away her worries and asking "why me? why my baby?".
Sometimes there are no answers and if there are, those answers can be so hard to find. Most of the time you just have to wait. So we did. We waited until 38 weeks when Fritz would join us earthside.