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2 Vessel Cord – Our Experience with our Baby Boy

fourth trimester

I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog for the last couple of weeks with anything baby related. Yes I’ve been crazy busy, tired, the usual but we also had a bit of news at the 20 week scan, two weeks ago, that has been quite worrisome. And actually wrongly so. Our baby boy was found to have a 2 vessel cord or a Single Umbilical Artery (SUA), at the twenty week scan. It is meant to have three; 2 arteries and 1 vein but for us, one was missing. This happens in 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 births apparently. I had never heard of it to be honest and neither had a lot of my family.

Having a 2 Vessel Cord

I initially wasn’t worried during my scan, as everything else was normal and nothing cropped up. Then the sonographer quite casually told me, a 2 vessel cord would mean I was high risk and would not be able to have my baby at the midwifery-led unit. Quite frankly, I was gutted and very upset in the scan. Even my positive side could not get me to stop crying. I know in the grand scheme of problems, not being able to give birth in the place you want, is not as big as a serious health issue but to me it was huge. I have had two very non-medicalised births with the girls, in the water and they have been such positive experiences. I knew I still may be able to have something similar but I didn’t want to go to my local bigger hospital at all.

our baby has a 2 vessel cord

I was then sent home with not much more information. Not good. I’m lucky one of my oldest friends is a obstetrician and she called me immediately. She reassured me being high risk was unlikely but I may need to see a consultant to see what their plans and protocols are for my Trust. She mentioned growth being a possible issues and possibly the need for extra scans.

She also told me categorically NOT TO GOOGLE IT.

So what did I do?

Googled it. Forums are always a no go for me usually but there was some reassuring stuff on there. Mums saying there were no problems, nothing happened and not to worry. However, some of the medical sites were a bit scary: linking 2 cord vessels to heart and kidney issues, chromosomal issues, growth issues…the list went on!! Yep, I shouldn’t have looked.

I was still feeling a bit left out on a limb and decided to call my community midwife to see what she thought she happen next, if anything! She was great and called back the next day. She was very laid back and said she’d known no issues with it but would book me to see the consultant for a chat.

I felt better but still wanted to know for sure. I guess this is why I’ve kept quiet on the blog. I hate speculating and I really didn’t know the full facts for me and this baby. Ultimately you have to be assessed and you only and I wanted to wait.

So I did and last Friday hubby and I patiently waited to see the consultant and find out if I would need more medical support throughout the rest of this pregnancy. I was open to it by then and had come around a little. I guess you have to. It just felt strange, having nothing really happen with the girls and they were so straight forward.

The consultant was so laid back. She went over my previous births and barely even looked at the scan results. No concerns at all with the 2 vessel cord! I questioned the need for extra scans and she decided to double check her plans with a colleague who agreed. No intervention. In fact she told me some sonographers don’t even report it!

It was a massive relief. I was assured from her point of view I was not high risk but of course, the midwives would have their criteria when I hit 36 weeks, which was the same as both the girls. I felt great and so did the other half but I wasn’t happy with what I was told and how I was dealt with after the scan.

I don’t normally complain but I knew I didn’t want anyone to be told the wrong information, so I did speak with the matron about what had happened and said we weren’t happy about what I was told and not being given the opportunity to speak to anyone after I was told. The matron was great and took this very seriously and also reassured me that it was the midwives and matron who had the final say to whether I was safe for a midwife-led birth.

So, where I am now?

Feeling lots better. Feeling reassured. Hoping the pregnancy progresses the same way as the girls and be prepared for anything that could crop up along the way.

If you are told you have a 2 vessel cord, my advice would be don’t panic. Speak to someone immediately after the scan and get your facts straight. DON’T GOOGLE either, as they paint every possible scenario and it isn’t the case at all. Hospital trusts do vary, so what is said at mine, may slightly vary to yours but it sounds very positive.

I’ll keep you updated on our progress and fingers crossed!!

As you can see from the featured image our little guy was born at 8lb 4oz, in the midwifery-led unit again. I had a very positive water birth. So happy and all was fine. Here is his 3 month update too.

2 vessel cord - our experience



  1. October 29, 2018 / 9:38 am

    I’m so glad everything worked out for you lovely. That must have been such a shock and worry. Hope everything else is going ok xxx

  2. October 29, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    Such an interesting post. Hopefully those that do google it will land on your blog for reassurance.

  3. Andrea D
    July 19, 2019 / 2:55 pm

    Thank you so much for this post. I am 21 weeks pregnant, a first time mom, and was recently diagnosed with an SUA. We had an additional scan with a specialist yesterday and he found no problems with the baby. We are relieved but still a bit nervous. Your post gave me some piece of mind. We are also having a boy ❤️

    • RunJumpScrap
      July 20, 2019 / 4:35 pm

      Ah I’m so glad it helped. Congrats! We were so worried but all was fine and our medical team not bothered at all. My little man was fine and I had the birth I wanted. Good luck xx