MRI Study of Fetuses with Down Syndrome* | Tufts Medical Center

Monday, June 16th, 2014

We had an appointment with our obstetrician and I got my gestational diabetes test results back: blood-glucose level of 113mg/dL - which is thankfully much lower than the 130-140mg/dL cutoff.

Turns out that I'm pretty iron deficient though, so now I'm on iron supplements. And here I thought I felt half-dead all the time just because pregnancy (and severe reluctance to packing up and moving)..

29 weeks & 2 days | 75 days to go!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

We went up to Boston so Clementine could participate in an MRI Study. Mark started our day with a 9:30 a.m. work meeting on Staten Island. It was a first for both of us to be in all 5 boroughs in one day, even before lunchtime! We started off at 6 a.m. in Nassau Country then made it to Queens --> Brooklyn --> Staten Island --> Brooklyn --> Manhattan --> Bronx.. and all the way up to Beantown!

We also went over 3 bridges - the Verrazano, Brooklyn and RFK/Triboro.

Naturally, we hit traffic the entire way up to Boston and were half an hour late for our appointment — but it was such a gorgeous day!


The MRI machine I was in was ungodly hot and confined. I made it almost an hour before I bugged out. Lies. I started panicking the instant I started moving in. However, I managed to last much, much, much longer than I would have. But I felt like I was being roasted alive. And of course, I love feeling my little Clem kicking around, however this time Mommy was willing her to stay still! Let's cooperate just this once, sweetie, so we can get out of here! Haha, like that happened:

Suboptimal evaluation secondary to inadequate patient/fetal positioning and premature termination of the exam.

Like mother, like daughter. We're full of the cooperations.

Mark said he was very proud of me and that I stuck it out much longer than he thought I would and much longer than he thought he could. "The Lord is my strength!"

Afterward, we went across the street to catch the Honduras/Ecuador game. 


The After Picture


Then we made our way to Mark's parents' house. It was so nice to sit up and visit with them. The last time we saw them was when Mark's daughters sang at Carnegie Hall and that was a quick afternoon.

The next day we had dinner out with his parents and his brother's family. It was wonderful getting to share that time with them!

Then we loaded up a moving truck with the guest bedroom furniture Mark's parents generously gave us - and made the long trip back to New York - Mark in the 10' Uhaul, and me following behind in the Prius.



6/22/14 Home from Boston | Mark's snoozing, Clementine's wiggling. The blessed life. <3


I got preliminary results back from the study: Clementine's "brain structure appears to be fine." That sounds promising!

However, they also found that I have bilateral hydronephrosis — which is the swelling of my kidneys (left more than right) due to a build-up of urine. The doctor thinks in my case it's due to more urine production in response to my increased blood volume (pregnancy); it's usually also due to inadequate drainage. Not exactly surprising given my golf-ball sized bladder. Here's hoping I don't burst before Clementine's ready to come out!

* About the Study:

The ultimate goal is to develop prenatal treatments for babies with Down Syndrome — focusing on brain development. Clementine's participation is as a "baseline" untreated fetus.

They're looking to identify which genes are turned on and off in fetuses with brain malformations - this will help them determine how genes are expressed (malformations / abnormal development) and the risk of neurological issues. It's their hope they'll be able to provide treatment in utero to babies with Down Syndrome to help preserve brain function and healthy development.

And on a happy note, here's a People Magazine article about a precious Miracle Baby who survived Hydrops Fetalis and other serious health issues and beat overwhelming odds to turn two last week. Happy Birthday, Cutie Renner! Clementine did a little wiggle dance to celebrate in your honor! Thanks to Jessica W. for sharing that with me! <3

29 weeks & 6 days | 71 days to go!