Tag Archive | ultrasound

Anatomy Scan

Today was our anatomy scan and I’m almost afraid to say it, but everything went…well. No, as far as I know, it went perfectly.

The ultrasound tech isn’t supposed to say too much, but here’s what I know:

  • Cervix is long (and closed I assume).
  • Amniotic fluid level is fine.
  • Baby looks “beautiful” and has a “perfect” heart.
  • The heartrate was a fabulous 152.
  • The tech was able to see Skittle’s genitals and I was able to take our Top Secret Envelope to the cake baker afterwards.
  • Skittle is laying transverse across my belly right now, head on the left and tush on the right (with legs kicking every which way).
  • No placenta previa! (yay! yay! yay!) In fact, the placenta is about as far away from the cervix as it can get.
  • Skittle is still measuring ahead…by about 8 days. The tech says this is still within their normal range, but it makes me wonder if I’m going to have a gigantic baby or if I just might go into labor early. The good news is that the one body part that is measuring smaller than everything else (but still ahead by three days) is the head. I love the thought of a smallish head passing through my vagina. Cupcake had a small head, too, and I only had 15-20 minutes of pushing. Not bad!
  • Skittle was very active during the scan…probably thanks to all the OJ I drank beforehand.

So all of this is pretty wonderful stuff. The sonographer didn’t tell me that I have nothing to worry about at all, but I haven’t yet heard from my OB…so I’m assuming no news is good news??? Dear God, please let that be so.

It is almost impossible for me to imagine a world like this, one where everything goes so beautifully and there are no snafus, no bumps in the road, no catastrophes. I am waiting. Always waiting for the other side of the coin, for the bad news. But right now, there seems to be none. Skittle is okay and so am I. I can feel him/her moving right now. Soon I will know if it’s a him or her. And hopefully, in another twenty weeks or so, I will hold this sweet baby in my arms. I’ve made it halfway. I can do this. I. Can. Do. This.

And for those who are interested, a couple of Skittle pics from today have just been posted.

NT Scan & OB Visit

Last week, while my mom was here, I had my NT scan. Baby had a strong heart rate of 161 and was measuring a whole week ahead, which then started me worrying that a) I’m eating too much and have started down a slippery slope towards gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, and b) I’m going to give birth to a gigantic baby. Cupcake was on the smaller side (7lbs 2oz), but big babies are not unheard of in my family. I’ve had plenty of cousins who weighed 8 or 9 pounds (or more!) and I was 10lbs 1oz when I was born (my poor, poor mama, right?). And while I know I could do it if I had to, I’d prefer not to have push something¬† that size out of my vagina. Y’know?

As far as the results of the NT scan and bloodwork, I haven’t heard anything, so I assume I have passed this first part of the screening. They told me no news is good news, and I’m taking them for their word. Even though, I’ll admit that I’m slightly surprised by the silent telephone. Really, I had been expecting to get a positive on the screening. Not that I actually think something is wrong with this baby, but I had prepared myself for a false positive at least…because that’s just the kind of luck I have.

And today, I had another OB appointment. I have a great knack for getting myself worked up beforehand and somehow convincing myself that this baby could be dead, but I’m happy to say I once again worried for nothing. The baby is fine. I think. Dr. Smiles counted the heart rate at being in the 140s, which is much lower than is typical for Skittle. The whole drive home I felt uneasy about it, so I checked the heart rate with my doppler the minute I walked through our door. It was measuring in the high 150s for me (as usual), so either my doc or my doppler is wrong, but either way, it looks like the heart rate is holding steady and that’s what matters.

So for now, I’m just trying to believe all is well. All is well. All is well. All is well. An echo through my day, just as beautiful as that little heartbeat.

And for those of you who care, there’s a new pic of Skittle and my first bump photo over on the Skittle page.

Going Home: My 1st OB Appointment

I had some serious trepidation as I went to visit my OB for the first time today. This was in part because a few symptoms had started to wane over the weekend (and then returned mildly yesterday, somewhat alleviating this fear) and partly because I had no idea if Dr. Smiles would be listening to the heartbeat or not — and any potential for a doppler-check or ultrasound creates so much anxiety in me. You know, because what if there’s not a heartbeat?

But as I arrived at the office and was given my plastic cup so I could provide a urine sample and went off to the bathroom without anyone having to give me directions, I realized it felt like I was coming home. Everything felt so familiar, so safe. It was nice to be in a place where people recognized me and knew my story without my having to tell them. These people are the ones who saw me through most of my first pregnancy, the ones who were there when my second ended too soon, and the ones who will walk with me through my third, however and whenever it comes to an end (hopefully in about thirty weeks). These people feel like family and the office holds bad memories, but mostly good, just like home should. Which makes me know that, surely, it is the right place for me.

I needn’t have worried, though. As usual. The baby is perfectly fine. Dr. Smiles did a quick ultrasound and Skittle had a heart rate of 167, was measuring 10 weeks exactly (two days ahead), and was moving around with a cartoonish wiggle. Impossibly cute. It’s so amazing to get to see this. I never saw Cupcake by ultrasound until I was 21 weeks. But I have had the opportunity to watch this little one grow from a dot on the screen to something that actually resembles a baby. It’s been incredible.

I did have one concern other than a beating heart weighing on my mind as I went to see my doctor today: my risk of placenta previa. I had it while pregnant with my daughter, and though the placenta eventually moved enough to allow us to try for a vaginal delivery, I had a lot of restrictions (no sex) throughout most of my pregnancy and, at 39 weeks, I had a choice between an induction or a C-section because Dr. S didn’t want me going into labor at home thanks to the possibility of hemorrhaging (a 33% chance). Can we say, scary? It was indeed. Certainly, it was not the ideal I had hoped and planned for, but all’s well that end’s well and, in the end, I had a perfect delivery free of unnecessary bleeding and a beautiful baby in my arms. However, I would really like not to go through it again. But apparently, having placenta previa once does increase my chances of having it again. The doctor stressed the risk was only slightly increased though and we needn’t even worry about it until my anatomy scan. So I will try not to.

My next OB appointment is in four weeks and my NT scan will be in about two. I am constantly surprised to have nothing more to write here than generic pregnancy updates. Everything is going so well with Skittle, it sometimes feels surreal. And sometimes it feels like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop, you know? But for now, I am so thankful to have nothing more to report.

And for those of you still in the trenches, I want to say this: I know posts like these can be hard and tedious to read when you’re dying to get here. If you have made it to the end of this post to actually read this, I tip my hat to you because I know it’s not easy. Please know I have not forgotten about you. I have not stopped hoping and praying for you. I have always believed that we each have a story to tell, however long or hard our journey is, and however it ends, so I will not stop writing. But I want to be sensitive towards you, gentle and tender with you, so please call me out if I say the wrong thing, okay? I will *try* so hard not to take offense. And likewise, I will always make an effort to make it clear when I’m writing a pregnancy post…which is a lot these days, I know. I love you guys, each one of you, and just as you have walked with me on my journey, I will walk with you on yours.

P.S. Another pic is up on the Skittle page, if you are interested.

Another Sigh of Relief

I’m not a superstitious person at all (give me a mirror to break, and I will!), but as we approached our 10am ultrasound today, I started to get nervous. The last two Fridays with my successful ultrasounds, the day was sunny and mild. Cupcake stayed with a friend, I was having a good hair day, and I had my ultrasounds in the same room. Today? Rain and wind. An absolutely miserable day. Cupcake had to come along with me, too, and I could not get my hair to lay flat, and I learned that my ultrasound would be in a different room. To me, this spelled doom. All I wanted was to replicate the same set of circumstances that would *ensure* another successful u/s and I couldn’t. I felt panicky.

But alas, it was all for naught. I did end up in the same cozy u/s room with my favorite sonographer and Skittle’s heart was pounding away at a perfect rate of 170. The little one continues to measure ahead at 8w5d (I’m 8w1d today) and I couldn’t be more relieved or happy. All is well. And it’s a good thing, too, considering that’s it’s Honey’s and my 7th Dateversary — that is, the anniversary of our first date. What a sad celebration it would have been if things had gone the other way.

And I know things can still go south. Technically, once reaching 8 weeks, the miscarriage risk declines to 3% (according to the research I’ve read), but we all know people who have fallen on the sad side of this statistic. I still have worries, fears, and trepidations. But I am also feeling more optimistic and more hopeful than I have in so long. I am starting to plan for an October 3rd due date. There are still plenty of things I won’t be doing for a few more weeks, but I will be giving my sister the news this weekend. And I may start reading my week-by-week (or day-by-day or month-by-month) pregnancy books soon. And right now? I’m off to buy a doppler. So I have something new to obsess over, of course!

Wishing you all a happy weekend. And for those of you who are interested…the Skittle page is now up and running. XO

All is Well in the Dash Home

This morning, as I drove to the fertility clinic, I somehow convinced myself that Skittle was probably dead. I had not felt any pregnancy symptoms for the day yet and there was dread in the pit of my stomach. As I waited for my favorite sonographer (yay!) to come into the room, I felt sick. And no, I don’t think it was morning sickness. I’m fairly certain it was nerves. I was scared to death, perhaps more than I’d ever been so far. Which is saying something. I just knew they were going to tell me my baby was gone.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Completely. There was a heartbeat — a strong, beautiful heartbeat — with a heart rate of 153. Over 120 is normal at 7 weeks, but according to my sources on Google Scholar, 146+ is ideal. So I’m very pleased with 153. Today I am 7w1d and Skittle is now measuring 7w5d, which is a relief. We have officially passed the point where we lost Teddy Graham, which is one more small step forward. I am beginning to think maybe, just maybe, this baby will actually come to be. I know there is still so far yet to go, and anything can happen at any time, but for now we are planning on an early October due date.

Holy crap.

I return next Friday for one last ultrasound (my request, not their suggestion) before “graduation.” My RE has been urging me to make an appointment with my OB, so I finally bit the bullet and did that today after my successful u/s. I will be seeing him for the first time on March 5, when I will be almost 10 weeks.

If next week’s u/s is as successful as this one, I have three goals:

  • Start shopping for an at-home doppler in the hopes that it may help my sanity in between the monthly OB appointments.
  • Deliver the news to my sister. You all know there will be a post to come about that!
  • Make a “Skittle” page on this blog, where I will post the photos I’m collecting. And maybe start bumpdates. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

None of this feels quite real yet. Especially because Skittle seems to have come out of nowhere, when I least expected it. But every day, I fall in love with this baby, and the idea of this baby, a little more. And if next week’s u/s doesn’t go well? I do think that will be the end of the world.

Happy Tears

I have not cried over this pregnancy or baby yet, not from fear or joy, but today — when I saw the heartbeat — I did. Tears fell from my eyes before I even knew they were there.

So far, everything looks fantastic. I am much earlier in this pregnancy than I had thought, with baby only measuring at 6w1d today, but there was a strong heartbeat of 120bpm, which the nurse practitioner (who did my u/s) was very happy with. She says, at six weeks, they look for anything over 80 (online research says 100), so 120 is excellent by all accounts. The gestational sac is measuring at 6w6d, which I was assured is nothing to worry about. I didn’t ask about the size of the yolk sac because I didn’t want one more thing to obsess over, but both the NP and my doctor (who came in to talk with me after) said several times that everything looks perfect. They gave me a picture afterwards, one in which the baby really does look like a delicious white Skittle, and it is hard to believe they can see anything when the baby is that small, but I am trusting they know what they’re talking about.

Of course, being this early, it still means we have a long way to go. The next two weeks will be the highest risk of a miscarriage and then it improves from there. I still have a week before I reach the 7w1d mark when I started bleeding in my last pregnancy, but thankfully I do have my next ultrasound scheduled for exactly that day. Hopefully, it will bring nothing but more good news.

In the time since walking out of the clinic, though, I have had plenty of time to worry myself over lots of little things:

  • If I really am only 6w1d, that means my beta was tested when I was 4w6d. At that time, my level was over 10,000, which is extraordinarily high for being so early. What does this mean??? I questioned my doc about it and she said once the beta levels get to be over 1000, they fail to really provide accurate information for dating the pregnancy and everyone metabolizes the hormone differently, so it’s nothing to worry about. “Please don’t google it,” she told me because she knows me so well. But what if it means that something is chromosomally wrong with the baby? Or that I’m actually farther along than they think and the baby is measuring behind? That’s a scary thought.
  • Along the same lines of thinking…the gestational sac is measuring 6w6d while baby is only measuring 6w1d. What if Baby is, again, measuring too small?
  • If I ovulated on January 8, like they think I did based on the size of the little Skittle, that was CD32. But the last time Honey and I had sexy time was CD29. I know it’s possible for his little swimmers to hang around that long, but is it likely? In case you can’t tell, I’m just worried that we have the conception date wrong and Baby isn’t measuring on track.

I don’t know…what do you guys think? Do I need to worry? Or do I just need to take a deep breath and trust the professionals? I’m trying so hard to avoid Google because it brings so many doubts, questions, and worries into my life, but I don’t want to go to next Friday’s ultrasound thinking everything is fine if it’s not.

It’s hard because, with both of my last pregnancies, I never had blood work done and I never saw a heartbeat this early. I never saw one at all with Teddy Graham, but since he was measuring exactly seven weeks when I started bleeding, there probably had been one at some point. Maybe it was slow, maybe not. The problem is…I have nothing to compare this pregnancy to. Maybe that’s good. Maybe it will lead to less obsessing, but I sure would like some reassurance right about now.

But today, I am just trying to enjoy the sense of relief, joy, and hope that seeing that tiny flicker of a heartbeat has brought. I’m trying to focus on the fact that the heart is beating at a fantastic 120 that shows no indication of impending doom. I’m trying to believe that this is all only good news and I am worrying for nothing as I so often d0 and that this year is going to be more beautiful than I could ever have predicted. Please oh please, let that be true.

One More Sleep

Tomorrow is the day. I hope it’s just the beginning. Not the end.

This surprise pregnancy has had its benefits, I’ve come to realize. I skipped the agony of a two-week wait. I walked through the couple weeks that follow a BFP, worry-free. Somehow, I wish I could breeze through this too. Wake up one day feeling the rolls, kicks, and bumps of a life growing inside of me and instantly know Baby is fine. Wouldn’t that be nice?

It is hard for me to imagine what it might be like to see that tiny, little, itty bitty baby on the screen, with the flicker of a beautiful heartbeat. When I was pregnant with Cupcake, I was terribly naive. Since I wasn’t seeing an RE at the time, the standard was to wait until twelve weeks to hear the HB with a doppler and until twenty weeks to see one on an anatomy scan. I worried through all of those early weeks, convinced my pregnancy was ectopic due to severe back pain. I didn’t even know you could request an early ultrasound. So I have never seen a beating baby heart this early on. The only u/s I’ve ever had before the second trimester was after my baby was already dead. So it’s a wonder to me that heartbeats exist this early. That it is possible to go looking for one and actually find it. Because in my world, that has never happened.

I hope, tomorrow, all of this will change.

Please stick with me, little babe. Please keep growing.