The Worst Rollercoaster Ride

Not Mild

This is Not Mild By Anna As you read this story you might notice that the tone I’ve chosen is a little less conventional than most. This is the way I want to share my story: with a dash of humour, curse words, and sarcasm. Grab a glass of wine, unless you are fortunate enough to be pregnant, then (hiding my resentment and in all seriousness) I am happy for you—non-alcoholic wine sucks so enjoy your water, here is the story of my first pregnancy. Synopsis: I was told baby would survive, then not survive, then survive(!), then not survive…so my full story is long. […]

What is an Encephalocele?

Encephalocele is an uncommon neural tube defect (NTD) affecting brain. It is an opening in the skull where a sac containing brain matter and membranes protrudes. When the neural tube does not completely close during gestation, the result can be an opening in the upper portion of the skull, or between the forehead and nose, or at the back of the skull Encephalocele is associated with problems of the nervous system, and usually comes with other brain and facial deformities. It is estimated that 50% of fetuses with encephalocele survive to birth. This defect occurs more often in females. For more information about Encephalocele, visit: […]

What is Holoprosencephaly?

The forebrain normally develops around fifth or sixth week of pregnancy. In cases of Holoprosencephaly, the forebrain fails to divide into bilateral hemispheres. This results in defects of the brain, as well as facial malformations. Holoprosencephaly falls into three classes: 1. Alobar Holoproencephaly is when the brain does not divided at all. This is usually associated with severe facial deformities. 2. Semilobar Holoprosencephaly is when the brain’s hemispheres have somewhat divided, causes an intermediate form of the disorder. 3. Lobar Holoprosencephaly is when there is more separation between brain hemispheres. This is the least severe form, and the fetal brain may be nearly normal. According […]

What is Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum?

Agenesis of the corpus callosum is the failure of the mid-line portion of the brain to develop. This mid-line allows for the left and right hemispheres to communicate with one another. Agenesis can either be partial or full. The prognosis will depend on the severity and extent of the malformations. Typically, agenesis of the corpus callosum is looked for when other brain malformations are detected by ultrasound, and is done so by a fetal MRI. For further information, visit: University of Maine – What is Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum? NINDS – Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum Fetal Treatment Center – Agenesis of the Corpus […]

What is Ventriculomegaly?

Ventriculomegaly is a condition in which the lateral ventricles of the brain (the fluid-filled spaces) appear larger than normal. It can be detected at the second-trimester ultrasound, and occurs in about one in 1,000 births. There is not a singular cause of ventriculomegaly, but it is common in conjunction with hydrocephalus and several fetal abnormalities. Ventriculomegaly is considered “isolated” when there are no other anomalies present (other than those that are a result of the ventrical enlargement). When ventriculomegaly exceeds 15 mm, there are often other abnormalities present, such as neural tube defects, Chiari malformations, Dandy Walker syndrome, agenesis of the corpus callosum, hydrocephalus or […]

What is Anencephaly?

Anencephaly is a neural tube defect considered incompatible with life. It occurs when the head end of the neural tube fails to close around the third and fourth weeks of pregnancy. This results in the absence of major portions of the brain, usually the frontal lobe and cerebrum (the portions of the brain responsible for thinking and cognition.) The remaining brain tissue is often exposed, not covered by bone or skin. Most babies with this genetic disorder do not survive and those who do are usually blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain. For more information on anencephaly, visit: NINDS – Anencephaly National Institute […]