Friday, February 29, 2008

13w: NT Scan

Anxiety just about got the better of me. It started in a small dose Tuesday night. Wednesday I kept thinking bad thoughts, but trying to push them out with good ones.

Last night I couldn't sleep. I had trouble falling & staying asleep and was up more than an hour before I needed to be. All the more time to wring my hands. I was convinced it was over. I've had a bit of pinkish-orangy discharge the last 3 nights with NOTHING to blame it on (no internal exam, for example) and I really had honestly worked myself up to a state I haven't felt since about 4w. No amount of prayer or calming breaths seemed to touch it.

The appointment was at 1. I needed to stop to run an errand on the way, so I left early. My errand went quickly and there was no traffic (and the biggest miracle- I didn't get lost!), so I actually arrived about a half hour early.

I went in and said I was a bit early, but I was here. Well, I'm glad I was early. Holy crap, I had a book to fill out of our history.

Post paperwork, the first stop was the genetic counselor. It was long, at least 30 minutes, though it went quickly. She was a pleasant woman who has clearly given this speech about 8 billion times. She made a family tree for David and me keeping track of every disease & cause of death I could think of. The only thing that concerned her was the very pervasive heart attack & stroke history in my family. Interestingly she said that if the worst happened and I lost another baby, they should focus the testing on clotting disorders. She suspects there is a problem in my family.

We had a talk about which lab I wanted to do my work up. Apparently my insurance would cover only Quest, but they only have about an 80% detection rate. The other lab apparently has a patent on some of the technology so it's better, but also exclusive. If I opted to pay out of pocket, I could use that lab with a 95% detection rate. It was $95. I opted to pay.

On my way out of her office, I asked if I needed to have a full bladder. She told me that they preferred I be "a little uncomfortable" and asked how I felt. "A little uncomfortable. I'll live."

Out to the waiting room. My nerves almost got me. I started to get a sick stomach feeling and really wasn't sure I was going to be able to ignore it. Fortunately it's passed.

A short time later, the sonographer came to get me. Now for the scary part. She lead me to the room and had me lay down. I didn't have to get naked. (No dildo cam! I'm calling that a milestone.) I took a deep breath & she put the probe on my belly. Right away I saw what appeared to be movement. Before I could even ask if it was okay, she said "that's an active little baby in there." My blood pressure dropped 20 points.

From there, she stopped and just watched for a moment. The baby was kicking a bit & moving around. Not the jumping bean of last week, but definitely awake & active. She then started looking for and pointing out some anatomy. Everything looked good. We saw the heart, stomach, beginning kidneys, arms, legs, hands, face, skull, placenta, and umbilical cord. She took measurements, all of which correlated pretty darned close to 13w. She pulled up a list of the measurements to show, and they were all 12w6d, 13w or 13w1d. Right on track. Heart rate was 184.

She had some difficulty seeing where the cord attaches to the baby but with some maneuvering got there and it was good. Then she went for the nuchal fold. No luck. She changed to trying to see the the nose bones and had some trouble getting an angle there but finally managed. She complimented it greatly. Apparently particularly in babies with downs syndrome, the bone doesn't calcify as it should, so seeing a good bone is good.

Then back to the nuchal fold. Let it be said that my kid has a mind of its own. She pushed and turned the probe and jiggled my belly. I turned on my side and jiggled some more. I coughed. An hour later- she still couldn't get it. I was begging the kid to cooperate. I was starting to be embarrassed how long I'd been there. And frankly I REALLY had to pee.

Finally she said she wanted me to go to the bathroom. My bladder was getting so large ("What's the big, dark spot on the right?" "Your bladder." "Oh. No wonder it hurts.") that it was actually beginning to obscure her view. I peed and returned. On my side again. More jiggling. More scanning. Finally, she basically put it in slow motion and poked and poked.

After 90 minutes of scanning she finally got it! 1.9. She said it should be less than 2.5. More blood pressure points dropped.

She then took my blood (drops on a paper), I paid my fee and tried to head to work. Because the appointment was scheduled only a week ago, I couldn't get into "my" hospital. So I was at a hospital way on the other side of the city. This was complicated by the fact that the main highway through the city is closed for construction for a couple of years. I had 30 minutes to get to work. With no traffic, I could have made it. But it was 3:30 in the afternoon.

I ended up having to call and take the rest of the day off work. Not the end of the world but I've done so much shifting of my schedule this week that the woman who does our schedules asked if I was going to call her every day. ("Yes." We both laughed.)

I got home only shortly before my husband and gave him the nitty gritty. He's pleased. I'm pleased. There is still plenty to worry about, of course. This spotting is driving me crazy. I asked her today if she could see any reason for it and she said no, that she looked and can't see anything. She asked if it was brown blood or red (red) and she said that old blood will often not show up on the ultrasound, but she probably would see fresh blood. So I'm trying to interpret that to mean the blood isn't coming from my uterus. I'm going to blame my cervix, but nothing has been in there to irritate it so I wish it would get the fuck over itself already.

I do have pictures. They're not the greatest, but I'll try to get one or two up over the weekend.

All in all- a good day. I'm considering coming out at work. We'll see if I talk myself out of that, though. It still makes me nervous to say it out loud. But considering David has pretty much told the entire state of Missouri, I think I'm reaching the limits of small world syndrome not getting me. The only friend of mine who knows is my best friend, the only family member is my dad. If any of the others hear it from someone besides me, I think it would hurt them. So I probably should bite the bullet & go for it. Panic attack be damned.



Baby Steps to Baby Shoes said...

Very exciting news!!!! I am so glad for you and that you got a little reassurance. Well, for one day, at least. :)

Fertilize Me said...

Yah, this is good news!

Anonymous said...

Great appointment!

Amber said...

I've been keeping an eye on your blog lately and I am so happy that you've been getting good news. Can't wait for the good news to keep on keepin' on!

Take care,
(aka SomethingChangd from Stickies and theNest)

Amy said...

YAY for your active baby!! I love her. :) And I am excited for you telling people. 13 weeks sounds good to me! Or 14?

Katiedid1806 said...

Congratulations! What a wonderful appointment. Isn't watching your baby move around for 90 minutes totally worth the whole day?

FWIW, I had my NT today, with an equally uncooperative baby. Also a 90 minute appointment.

Welcome to the 2nd Trimester, and I cannot wait to see the pics.

ultimatejourney said...

I'm so glad to hear all the positive news!

silvashan said...

so exciting! cheers to all three of you!

Sunny said...

WONDERFUL news!!!!

Meghan said...

That is just fantastic news...and you definitely deserved some! So glad all is well with the little bug

Freyja said...

I love the levity of your tone in this post. You deserve some days with less anxiety.