This will have to be short because I’m unbelievably exhausted. On top of my normal level of exhausted, I barely slept last night. Bed is sounding delicious right now.
But, I couldn’t go to bed without letting you guys know what happened today. As the title implies, it was good news :). First we met with the genetic counselor, which was surprisingly great. She sat and talked with us for over an hour, which seems extremely rare for a medical professional these days. She walked through our family histories of both infertility/miscarriage and other serious medical issues. The former list was quite long, particularly on G’s side, but the latter was almost non-existant. The best part of the appointment was that she approached it both from the perspective of potentially exploring our miscarriage problems, as well as our potential risk of problems with this pregnancy. I didn’t expect the first part at all. Ultimately, she suggested that our histories imply that there certainly could be a hereditary (i.e. genetic) cause for our fertility problems, but none of it implies an elevated risk for problems with this pregnancy. In fact, she even offered to do some research to find out if there are any new, more advanced, genetic tests that we could do to investigate the miscarriages. Granted, I’ve done lots of research on this myself and haven’t found much, so I don’t know that this will lead anywhere, but it was really cool to have someone actually taking an interest in figuring things out for us for a change!
After talking for a long time, she suggested that we might be good candidates for the MaterniT21 blood test, instead of just doing the NT scan. She doesn’t think we’re at elevated risk because of anything in my history or anything that’s happened with this pregnancy, but given the total package she thought we would feel better knowing for certain (the NT scan only gives you odds). So, we drew blood today and we’ll get the results back in 4-10 days. Given that, we didn’t need to do the NT scan after all, but we certainly weren’t about to give up doing an ultrasound at all, so we just had a regular one without all the measurements.
The tech called us back, and told me to pull down my pants below my hip bones for my very first abdominal ultrasound. I warned her that my uterus is retroverted, and as I predicted, we had to switch to transvaginal halfway through because she couldn’t see anything well enough to take measurements. When she first started the scan there was a terrifying moment were I couldn’t see anything moving or flickering, and I was pretty sure it was over. Not realizing how much we were freaking out, she didn’t say anything right away, which only made matters worse. Eventually she said something along the lines of, ‘I can’t tell what the heart rate is yet’. And I immediately said ‘so there is one??’. Yes, yes, there was one, I was just used to seeing it on a transvaginal scan where things are a lot clearer. Then, another terrifying moment when she was measuring the heart rate, and the blurring lines showed up at the bottom of the screen (the grey paintbrush stroke like lines that they use to measure the rate). Again, this looks totally different on a transvaginal ultrasound (according to G it has something to do with the wave amplitude….?) and I couldn’t see any lines. I was positive it was showing a super duper slow rate, and that’s why I couldn’t see the lines. But, she ran the measurement, and it came out as 161! After that, I took a few deep breaths, and started to enjoy it all.
The baby was moving around like crazy, and kept curling up in a tiny ball. G said it looked just like our cats curled up on the couch. He/she kept kicking and waving tiny arms every which way. At the right angle, we could see all the bones of the forearm and fingers forming. In profile there was a tiny perfect little face. In fact, looking at the profile, I could immediately see that there wasn’t an accumulation of fluid in the neck at all, like you see in ‘abnormal’ NT scans. The purpose of the NT scan is measuring the nuchal translucency, or the thickness of the fluid in the neck area. The thicker the layer of fluid, the greater the chance of a problem. I asked the tech if she agreed that it looked like the measurement would have been really small if we were doing it, and she agreed that it looked great. And finally, she managed to get a crown-rump length measurement when the baby finally uncurled itself a little, and it was exactly what I expected. It measured 11w5d, 2 days behind, so exactly the same amount behind as every other scan. Given how consistent the growth has been, no one is too worried about the size at this point. Maybe I just ovulated a little later than I thought I did.
After the scan, we went to lunch and called our parents. Both of our moms cried. Then we went to the mall to do a little celebratory shopping. We decided a few weeks ago that if we had good news today we would go buy something for our baby. Since we don’t know the sex yet (but we will in 4-10 days!!!!!), we picked out the cutest little unisex outfit. I’ve been waiting to buy baby clothes (for myself rather than a gift) for years and years and years. Long before we started trying. This is the very first time I’ve ever felt like I had the right to be in a baby store buying things for myself. It was both weird and great. We’re feeling really great right now, and I think the high will last a little while longer before any anxiety starts to kick back in. So, we’re just going to try to relax and appreciate this as much as we possibly can while we can.