Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Ultrasound

I opted out of the early ultrasound this pregnancy. So, at nearly 12 weeks, I had my first ultrasound today! My midwife scheduled me with a group at Swedish Hospital, where I'll deliver this fall. It was an amazing experience!

I was far along enough for a topical ultrasound (is that the right word for it?). They just got new equipment in, and the ultrasound tech helping me hadn't used it before. She didn't know how to set it to a "first trimester" setting, so she messed around with the equipment while I got to watch my little bean for about fifteen minutes! Then, she went to get another tech to help out. Well, this tech took another 10 or fifteen minutes showing her all the features, and the whole time, I got to enjoy watching my future babe tumbling about. At one point, she even put on the 3D ultrasound! It was so amazing.

This appointment is to screen for some basic genetic defects. Specifically, they look for Trisomy 18, Down's Syndrome, and neural tube defects like spina bifida. It's a very nerve-wracking appointment! Anyway, the tech told me that the measurements appeared normal, but that I could expect a call in a week with the final results.

She also told me fetuses show little variation this early, and that ours is measuring at 12 weeks and 3 days instead of 11 weeks and 5 days. She said that when the variance is five days or less, they usually don't bother to tell the doctor/midwife to change the due date, but she told me a more accurate due date for our little one is November 8. I know our baby will come late anyway, so the due date doesn't really matter to me, but it was comforting knowing that it's less likely that I'll be in the hospital over Thanksgiving. She asked me if I was certain about the first date of my last period. I told her I couldn't remember it anymore, but I was certain of it at the time because I was keeping track since we would be trying to have a baby. She didn't seem to totally grasp what I said, and I tried to explain it a different way. I told her, "Whatever I told my midwife was correct, but I can't remember it any more." I don't think she really understood that I'd forgotten, but whatever!

The tech also asked me if I was interested in knowing the sex of the fetus. I was surprised. I answered with, "Can you tell? Really? I'd love to know!" She told me to "save my receipt" on this one because it's hard to be definitive this early in the pregnancy. Then, she told me. Exactly like when I was told Oliver was a boy, I teared up instantly. It's such an emotional moment to hear what you're having! I tried so hard not to cry because I didn't want her to regret having told me when she can't be certain. I asked how often she's right on these early ultrasounds, and she said about 80%. That's way better than 50/50! She reminded me again that I won't know for certain until the 20 week ultrasound, and I told her I understood.

As soon as I left, I called Andrew with the news. He was excited, of course, but asked me not to tell anyone until we know for sure. I agreed, and so know we have a little secret for two months!

After my ultrasound appointment, I headed to my midwife appointment. She went over my labs with me. I kind of liked seeing all the cool tests she'd ordered. For example, she ordered a test that showed I am, in fact, immune to rubella (hurray, MMR!). We listened to the fetus's heart beat (160), and she took my blood pressure. My systolic is now at 100 even, so I've crossed the 100 barrier! When I was pregnant with Oliver, my systolic blood pressure climbed from about 90 to close to 140. Thankfully, it leveled off there. I hope my blood pressure doesn't climb that high this time!

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