Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ultrasound update :)

TLDR version: Everything is excellent.

Long chronological version:

We arrived for my 9:15 appointment at about 9:11. When I signed in, there was nobody ahead of me on the sheet whose name hadn't been marked out, so I figured the wait wouldn't be long.

After what was indeed a relatively short time, I was called back but told I needn't bring my husband, which was confusing. After I'd already come back, the medical assistant explained that I was just going to get weighed and such and then I'd go back out. Okay, I didn't need my husband's help for that.

I weighed 193, so 6 pounds up from last time (which was 4.5 weeks ago) and 10 pounds up overall (which is perfectly normal for 21 weeks). It's a little weird, because I always figured I'd be one of those "Yay, I get to gain 30 pounds without any lectures!" pregnant women, but instead I catch myself thinking about getting back on track to get into shape after the baby's born and not wanting to gain too much. I'm probably still going to gain 30 pounds, because I love to eat and the baby needs nutrients, but I'm taking it much more seriously than I thought I would.

Then my blood pressure was 130/80, which the medical assistant didn't like. She asked if I had anything causing me stress and I said I was probably just nervous about the ultrasound and she could feel free to take my blood pressure again afterwards if she was worried. She declined, so apparently it wasn't that high by whatever standard they use. (Wikipedia says hypertension doesn't start until 140/90, for what it's worth.)

After all the usual beginning-of-appointment stuff, I was sent back to the lobby. Another couple had come in while I was gone and the male half of the couple was sitting in the chair I had vacated. I just stood next to Scott's chair (at the end of the row), but the man got up and moved so I could sit down, which was quite gentlemanly of him.

It was another relatively short wait before we were called back for the ultrasound. "Can I bring my husband this time?" I asked, and the medical assistant laughed and said, "Sure."

So we went back to the ultrasound room and the tech (a middle-aged woman) came in and introduced herself and I hopped obligingly on the table, assisted in rearranging my clothing, and complained loudly about the gel. I don't complain about cold gel, because I'm expecting it, but when you put your ultrasound gel in a warming tray until it gets HOT, I'm going to be a little surprised when you squirt huge gobs of it onto my skin.

But I didn't have long to complain about that, because the tech asked us our opinions on "finding out" ("Sure, if the baby cooperates.") and then we got to the part with the BABY. I think my hypothesis that Baby Zumba starts at 10:00 was right, because it was about 9:30 (perhaps a little later) at this point, and the baby was just kind of chilling. I didn't have time to worry about lack of movement, though, because I could see the little heart going glub-glub as it should. (I said later on that the heart looked like a fish, and the tech said a lot of people say that.)

We managed to get a good look at the baby's profile (Tech: "There's a hand under the chin...a little thinker." Scott: "That's not surprising."), though the still picture the tech took wasn't as good because partway through the baby apparently started to wake up from naptime and was waving and squirming.

Then we got a few shots of the face, which the baby didn't like at all. Seriously, he started punching at the ultrasound wand with his tiny little fists. I found it hilarious.

Then the tech moved down (relative to the baby's body; up relative to mine) and said, "That looks like a boy." (As you might have guessed from my use of pronouns in the last paragraph.) She didn't give us a percentage or anything, but she also didn't phrase it like she was hazarding a guess, so. Grain of salt, etc. (I think people are less likely to go crazy buying gendered stuff for little boys anyway. It's not as frilly and pink and cute.) She labeled the picture she took "Boy parts", which I thought was funny. It seems like an ultrasound tech would be a little more...medical...in her terminology, but I guess not.

After that, the tech moved on to the "boring" measuring-things part. First she measured the the baby's skull, which was difficult because he had squeezed in right on top of my bladder. (Probably trying to hide from the paparazzi.) Still, she managed it, and pronounced his brain perfectly normal.

(Side note: At my own anatomy scan, 24 years ago last week, it took two techs and a doctor to get a good shot of my brain. Tad comes from uncooperative stock, apparently.)

(Is he going to be upset we didn't get a video? Probably not. He gets six pictures and a blog post, at any rate, and there certainly weren't blog posts around 24 years ago.)

(I thought about asking if we could video and then decided it would interfere with our ability to enjoy the moment. Not to mention, "cheap digital camera taking video of a TV screen" is not exactly going to produce a keepsake.)

The tech moved on from his brain to his spine (also perfectly normal) and then to his heart. I thought I had been able to count four chambers myself, but I waited until she wrote "4 CH" on the screen to say, "Good, baby knows how to count" to Scott. "The heart is supposed to have four chambers and he has four," I further explained. The tech just ignored me until she was done looking, at which point she pronounced his heart also perfect. Then she looked at his kidneys and didn't say anything, which worried me, but those turned out to be perfect too. Apparently she thought we wouldn't care about kidneys.

(I was mildly disappointed that we didn't get a copy of the "4 CH" picture. I know, most people are fascinated by faces and tiny "boy parts", but his little beating heart was the first recognizable part of him I ever saw, 15 weeks ago, and I'm a little fond of it.)

Then she zoomed out a bit and counted his arms and legs (and probably his fingers and toes too, but not aloud) and measured his femur bones, and then zoomed in on his feet. At that point, she had the wand up above my belly button (and to the right; don't most people have righty uteri?), which was amazing because I didn't know the baby was up that high yet. He was kneading his little feet against the top of my uterus, which I thought was the most adorable thing I'd ever seen in my life. (I still think so.) We could see his little toes very distinctly, but of course they got blurry when the tech tried to take a picture.

There were also a few times when she turned on the mode that allows you to see blood flow. (It looks like a radar map.) The only thing Scott and I found out from that is that he has a three-vessel cord, as he should, but I think she might have also checked blood flow to the kidneys and stuff.

After she turned the ultrasound machine off, the tech looked at her little printout of measurements and said that Tad was measuring 9 days ahead (1 lb. 1 oz. and about 10.5 inches; I remember the weight exactly but am fuzzier on the length) and asked if I normally had 28 day cycles. I laughed at her (yes, I'm mean) and explained that I have PCOS, I don't have a "normally." Then I further mentioned that I knew from charting that I had ovulated a few days early during the cycle I conceived, which would allow for Tad to be up to 3 days ahead of the LMP due date, and I didn't think another 6 days ahead of that was a big deal.

(In general I use my ovulation due date, but at the OB's office I use LMP, because who doesn't want an extra 3 days on their lease before they get evicted?)

The tech was not impressed by my math and asked skeptically if I'd had any other ultrasounds. I had. With this pregnancy? Yes, with this pregnancy I'd had three. She asked if they were done at the OB's office. Two were, and one was at a local hospital. I further added that the first one had been done when I would have expected to be 6 weeks and 5 days based on ovulation and sure enough the baby measured exactly 6 weeks and 5 days.

Apparently she gave up arguing with me after that, because she gave us our long string of pictures and sent us back to the waiting room again. 

We got called back for the third time around 10:05 (so the ultrasound didn't take very long at all) and sat around making fun of articles in baby magazines until 10:30, when the nurse practitioner finally came for my regular appointment. We discussed the ultrasound (normal normal normal normal). The placenta is apparently Grade 1, which she said was good. (I've since Googled it, and yes, it's good for this stage of pregnancy.) I've found that comforting, given my progesterone issues. She also told me that the placenta was anterior, which is within the range of normal, of course, but can account for not feeling as much fetal movement as the lucky ladies who have posterior placentas. It actually makes a lot of sense, because when I feel movement it's always really low. I assumed that's just where the baby was, but no, he's got feet up by my bellybutton that I can't feel because he's just kicking away at the placenta. The movements I do feel must be his head and fists bumping around below the bottom edge of the placenta.

(Side note, because I just remembered it: The tech seemed to think it was a big deal that Tad was head down. Personally, I'm not taking any bets based on his position at 21 weeks. My sister was a big baby and managed to flip from breech at 37 or 38 weeks [much to Mom's relief], so he's got plenty of room to flip a few times before birth.)

We discussed a few questions I had about vitamins and childbirth classes and what have you, and then I circled back around to the due date conversation. The tech didn't think Tad's size was a big deal, certainly not worth moving my due date. I said that I wasn't worried about having a big baby, although I was conscious of the risk of gestational diabetes because it can lead to kidney problems and such. (This is why I care about kidneys, silent ultrasound tech.)

The nurse practitioner agreed that yeah, skipping the glucose tolerance test would not be a good idea, but she doesn't think I have to worry about the baby getting kidney damage or anything since she's sure if I did get diagnosed with gestational diabetes I'd be "right on top of it." I agreed.

(I've since looked up the official GD diet and think it's ridiculous, but that's a rant for another day.)

Then we were done and I used the restroom again and made an appointment for the end of August and we went on our merry way. I drove Scott down to his office, since it was too late for him to catch the commuter bus (we left the doctor's office around 11:00). This gave us a nice opportunity to debrief, which mostly involved semi-officially naming the baby. (It's not official-official until it's on the birth certificate.) No, we're not telling. We want something to be a surprise when he's born.

(Translation: We don't want to hear your opinions on the name until it's too late for us to pick something different.)

I don't have a good way to wrap this up, so: We're very happy. The end.

P.S. My mother-in-law was actually the first in-law to reply. She says Tad looks like me in profile. I'll take it. :)
(I'll probably post pictures, but not today, because I'd have to edit them for identifying information and all that and I need to get to bed, but I wanted to update the 2 of you who aren't my Facebook friends.)


Becky D. said...

I thought Tad's profile looked like you too. It's funny the other grandma thought this too.

The ultrasound sounded bossy to rude with her dating questions.

Sheila said...

Hooray! Boys are the best. :D Not that I have any comparison.

The Sojourner said...