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Our terrifying 20 week anatomy scan

We had our 20 week anatomy scan on Tuesday. Meg was actually 21 weeks. We told the ultrasound technician that we didn’t want to know the sex. The baby wasn’t cooperating, but we watched as she took pictures of the brain, spine, heart, etc. Everything looked good...or so we thought.

After the ultrasound we went into a different room for our appointment. The nurse practitioner checked the baby’s heartbeat (165) and asked Meg how she was feeling. 

Megan told her that she’s still feeling nauseous and is still taking diclegis at night.

All of the sudden the nurse practitioner nonchalantly handed me a paper and said “the ultrasound technician found a nodule on the baby’s neck. The doctor wants you to call this number and schedule an appointment with a perinatal specialist.”

On the back of the paper it had information about maternal screening and Down syndrome. I asked the nurse practitioner if they thought the baby had Down syndrome and she said it was just a sheet of paper with hospital phone numbers.

We left the office feeling completely confused. On the way out, the door to the ultrasound room was open. Megan asked the technician what she saw. She said, “I don’t know what it is. It’s about 0.8cm. I didn’t see any blood flow to the area.” She then went on to say that she just wanted us to get another opinion.

We got in the car. Megan broke down into tears. I reassured her that everything was okay, but inside I was a mess. 

We started making phone calls to local hospitals to get the first available appointment. 

For 36 hours I googled masses on the neck. The information was terrifying. It was even more scary because we didn’t have much information to go on. We tried to access the report from the scan online, but the doctor never posted it to Megan’s account.

We went to the perinatal specialist yesterday. We went into the ultrasound room. The technician told us that she wasn’t going to repeat the whole scan. Meg told her we didn’t want to know the sex, but said that she could hover in the area and we could guess. 

Meg was really adamant about waiting until the baby was born. She wanted that last minute surprise, but I needed to know. I needed the baby to have an identity if we were up against something bad.

I literally can’t tell anything by the ultrasound. I didn’t even know it was the part where I was supposed to pay attention! I actually thought the blood flow was the baby peeing! Whoops!

Again, the baby wasn’t cooperating. She asked Megan to go to the bathroom to see if that would help her to get a better look. I asked the technician to confirm my prediction of the sex. I asked her to wink if it’s a girl and do nothing if it was a boy. She laughed but humored me. I felt so much better, but didn’t tell
Megan I knew until we got into the car.

Back to the appointment, the technician was able to get a good shot of the “mass.” It was big. It looked as if the baby had a huge knot on the back of his/her head. I asked if she had ever seen anything like it. She said no. She confirmed the size and the absence of blood flow. I asked her if that was a good thing. She said that blood flow would indicate vessels and would make whatever it is more complicated. 

She asked Meg to stay on the table and went to talk to the doctor (she wasn’t sure if he would want to see the live scan) Megan and I felt defeated. We felt like we were going to walk out of the office without answers.

But, the technician came in and said the doctor had everything he needed and we could follow her and go talk to him. He greeted us warmly and said congratulations. 

He said that he would be concerned if the skull was still open and the brain was pushing out (compared it to Spina Bifida) he said that it was not the case and that the skull is fully closed! He went on to say that he strongly believes that it is a “subcutaneous mass in the occipital region of the skull.” He said that because the skull is closed, it’s just a benign mass underneath the skin. He talked about how skin follicles and glands can get swollen (sebaceous cyst). He said that it will not affect the pregnancy or delivery. He said worst case scenario it would need to removed after the baby is born. He provided us with the number to Chop in case we wanted a second opinion. We will follow up with another ultrasound in three weeks.

Thank God!!! This baby is already a pain in the ass!

Pictures from the first scan (we do not have any pictures of the mass! You can see the nice solid white line indicating closed skull):

Pictures from the second scan:

In regards to the sex, Megan has agreed to let me share the news on Christmas morning!!!! We are in the process of finalizing a name!


  1. Oh my God, my heart was racing reading this! I'm so sorry that you all had to experience such a scare, but I'm also glad that it doesn't appear to be interfering with the health of the baby! I'm still feeling like there's a little boy in there. Wink if I'm right! ;)

    1. There are many people who agree with you. In fact, Avery told me this morning that she thinks it’s a boy “because she can see the penis in the picture” Harper, on the other hand, is team pink. Both girls claim that they don’t really care.


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