Wake me from this horrible nightmare. Earlier this week, I got news from my OB that my AFP levels were "slightly elevated." AFP is the test that screens for open neural tube defects. But, my OB wasn't at all concerned and I was scheduled for a level 2 ultrasound at maternal fetal medicine next week (high risk doctor).

Yesterday, I had a follow up scan with my OB's office on high-tech ultrasound equipment and the tech that scanned me worked at maternal fetal medicine for 20 years. She confirmed that our sweet baby boy has spina bifida, and most likely the most severe type (myelomeningocele, which includes an opening on his spine where nerves and spinal tissue are completely exposed, as well as hydrocephalus). We are desperately trying to get into MFM today for more answers and hopefully a more clear prognosis. But so far, his outcome looks very grim. There are some kids with myelomeningocele who can end up living somewhat normal lives, but there are others who's prognoses are virtually incompatible with life. Even if the prognosis is "good" he still will have multiple surgeries at a few days old (or in utero, which poses a big risk to mom), a brain shunt, catheter for urine and bowel incontenince, limited or no sexual function, possible paralysis from the waist down, and varying degrees of brain damage and learning disabilities. The medical care that he would need doesn't exist in Maine, were we live.

I'm almost 18 weeks pregnant and almost 36. I can't fathom how this is even possible. I took my folic acid. We planned for this baby. He is wanted and loved. All of our dreams and hopes have been utterly shattered.

But now. all of our options are on the table, including terminating this pregnancy, which is very much wanted. We struggled a lot to get here (many losses) and this just doesn't even seem possible. We have two perfectly healthy boys at home and they are our biggest factor to consider. I know everyone has differing views on abortion, even those for medical reasons, but please no comments that we are bad people and please don't judge us. We don't know where we will land and have a lot of research to do. We are completely devastated.