NT Scan

This week, we went to the hospital for our 1st trimester screening, including an apparently more or less endless ultra-high-resolution ultrasound (note: no complaining).  First a resident came and spent an hour (!) looking at our little one from every conceivable angle (except the crotch shot – we asked him not to tell us the gender, though he accidentally almost told us his guess twice anyway).  He apologized for taking so long, but said the ‘real’ doc was held up and he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.  We said “No problem!” and enjoyed the show.  Then the real doctor came and spent another 45 minutes poking and prodding the little one and checking out all of its organs.  Mr. Nishkanu was very nervous about whether they would find something wrong but as soon as I saw that the little one was moving around, I was totally relaxed – the baby was alive, how bad could the results be?

Actually, the results were pretty awesome, all organs apparently working great as far as they can tell, no funny extra limbs or anything, and a truly miniscule risk for Down’s syndrome or trisomy 13.  We can confirm that our baby has kidneys, a brain, arms and legs, hands and feet attached correctly, a 4-chambered heart with the blood flowing the right way, etc. etc.  The resident pointed out a little black triangle in our little one’s torso, that was the stomach full of amniotic fluid that it has been swallowing. The docs also reported that we had an unusually tall baby, but when we got home and looked over the report we figured out that they had gotten the gestational age wrong (the resident had put down the day of transfer as the day of conception, making all the measurements 5 days off).  We got a new report at the OB today with the correct age and our baby is just average.  Which is A-OK by us.  Average is great!

The baby spent the full 1 3/4 hours squirming around, to the frustration of the docs but the proud delight of the parents.  At one point s/he was facing the wrong way, and the doc told me to cough to get him/her to turn over.  I did, and it worked – wow! if that’s what it does when I cough, I wonder what it does when I barf!  But to the chagrin of the doc it flipped right back over again afterwards – ha, our baby knows what it likes.   I also got prodded and jiggled in the stomach a lot to get the baby to move – its amazing how it responds.  Note: this was also my first non-vaginal fertility-related ultrasound, I was really surprised when the doctor did not tell me to take my pants off before lying down.

I have to say that before the ultrasound, I was a little nervous, but not really super nervous – my belly keeps getting bigger and my pants keep fitting me less, so it seemed like probably the little one was still around.  I have really made a changeover in the things I worry about, these days I spend more time worrying about how to find a practicioner in my tiny town to deliver the baby who will not railroad me into a C-section, or how Mr. Nishkanu and I are going to manage work + family life without getting overstressed and overscheduled as seems so popular in the US these days.  So I guess the pregnancy is getting to be more real.  At the same time there was something really surreal about the ultrasound – oh my god, there really is a real live human being living in my belly, and it doesn’t just look like an elephant seal or a gummi bear any more, it really looks like a human!!  Mr. Nishkanu started making comments about renting the movie “Alien” so we could prepare for the birth.

After the ultrasound I went downtown and bought a pair of maternity pants.  Although I desperately needed them (I only have one pair of pants which is actually comfortable these days) Mr. Nishkanu had nixed the idea of buying any maternity clothes until after the ultrasound – that would just be bad luck.  And can I tell you how totally comfortable the maternity pants are?  They are great.

In other news, I have been having a bunch of barfy days, but the barfy days now are still 1,000 times better than the hyperemesis barfy days in which all I could do was lie on the sofa and hug the barfbucket.  I wonder if this new, reduced level of barfiness is going to be the new normal for the next 7 months, but my OB swears up and down it will go away, too.  I really hope so because I still have a lot of food aversions and it is pretty much impossible for me to eat a healthy, balanced diet, unless it is possible to eat a healthy diet which balances hamburgers, french fries, and milk shakes.  Yep, sad but true, if I make a healthy, delicious yogurt smoothie at home I barf it right up again but the super artificial milkshake at McDonald’s goes down like a champ every time.  I would never have understood this before I got pregnant, but my diet has definitely gotten 100 x worse than normal since the hormones got control of my appetite system and get to pick and choose what gets flung back out again undigested.  On the positive side, my delightful OB rather than repeating that “what to expect” kind of pitter-patter about “before every bite, think: am I giving my baby optimal nutrition, or am I only satisfying my carnal desires?” says “Your baby is so small and needs so few nutrients, it doesn’t really matter what you eat right now, you’ve got plenty of time to get your diet in order when the nausea goes away.”

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1 Comment »

  1. Lisa said

    Oh, you are getting me so excited for my first tri screening in two weeks!! I cannot wait!!

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