Big Sigh of RELIEF!!

Although I instinctively knew that everything was ok, it was nice to hear from the folks about my Ultrascreen results today.

From the Genecare website:

UltraScreen is a test performed at 11 to 13 week 6 days which identifies fetuses (unborn babies) at increased risk of having certain birth defects. A blood test is combined with an ultrasound measurement to estimate your specific risk for Down syndrome and trisomy 18. The blood drawn by fingerstick or venipuncture is analyzed for two proteins called freeBeta-hCG and PAPP-A which are normally found in the blood of all pregnant women. The ultrasound examines the baby’s neck, measuring the amount of fluid accumulation behind the neck of the baby, called the nuchal translucency (NT). This test is safe for you and your baby. UltraScreen is the most accurate and earliest prenatal screening test available. The blood test alone (performed between 9-14 weeks) detects for 68% of Down syndrome and 90% of trisomy 18 fetuses. Combining the blood test with the NT increases detection to 91% for Down syndrome, 97% for trisomy 18, 40% of heart defects, and some other birth defects

My risk of down's syndrome is 1 in 3,061 and my risk of Trisomy 18 is 1 in 5,721 - the same risk as for a 20 year old mother.

This is awesome news and convinces me that I will not be going for an early amniocentesis to scan for these things. It doesn't mean that the baby doesn't have downs or another chromosomal problem, but definitely makes it a much more remote possibility. At this point, the risk of losing the baby because of complications of amnio is greater than the risk of a problem.

I'm over a lot of the morning sickness now. Instead of being close to hurling just any minute, I'm back to being able to control it with a snack. I was feeling urpy on Saturday for a few minutes, but settled it quickly with a lemon Preggie Pop.

I LOVE Preggie Pops. They are awesome. I can't deal with the Peppermint or the Spearmint flavors - I still have trouble with minty stuff - but the sour stuff (raspberry, orange, lemon) settle me down immediately. Of course, my gag reflex is on overload right now, so I can't really suck any hard candy at all without gagging. But the lollipops are a good size to lick.

Despite a head cold, Moo and I worked on getting things in the house ready for the baby. We have a 3 bedroom house. The master bedroom is HUGE, as big as our living room. The other bedrooms are tiny in comparison. Moo's office is in the smaller of the two bedrooms and mine is in the other. I'm moving out of the bigger bedroom and setting up my desk in a corner of the dining room. Moo is moving his office from the smaller bedroom into the bigger bedroom and we'll be creating a combo office/guest room out of his room. The smaller bedroom will be the baby's room.

My former office is 80% clear. Moo wants it 99% clear before he paints, so we'll be working on it a bit this week so that he can paint this weekend.

Belly bands and Gas

Went back to the doctor today. I've been experiencing some strange stomach pains over the last day. It only happens when I straighten up from a bent over or slouched position. This produces a quick stabbing pain right around my navel.

April, the midwife I saw this morning, briefly examined me, mashing around on my belly and asked me questions. After discussion, she said that because the pain has stopped and because it's so high that she believes that it's either the muscles and ligaments beginning to be displaced by the baby or gas. She swept me into the ultrasound lab for a quick check on the baby's heartbeat (154 BPM) and a quick look at everything (I got a couple of new pix but nothing as good as the last pic). After this confirmation, she seemed to feel that we needn't worry about this, but advised me to take it easy ("slow and easy movements") and let me know that my uterus is beginning to pop out of the pubic bone. She also suggested I look into getting a belly support band.

Other than feeling a bit sore this morning, I feel pretty good. I'm still having some nausea, but I haven't vomited for a while. I'm getting used to drinking 2 quarts of water every day as advised by the last midwife. I don't feel like I'm sloshing when I walk like it did in the beginning.

I am QUITE gassy so the thought that the pain I was feeling is gas is pretty funny. At least once a day, during my 5,000 daily visits to the bathroom, I get the walking farts. You know, where you take a step and fart, take a step and fart, etc. I feel like I'm jet propelled on these visits.

New Pix and testing in the clear!

Pregnancy Countdown: 13 weeks, 2 days

So we went for another ultrasound and here's a new picture! This one is really clear and you can see the profile complete with a little nose!!

The baby did a complete turnover while we were watching and is waving it's little arms around like crazy. As a lefty, I'm proud to see my little sea monkey waving it's left arm like mad!!

The nuchal translucency test was perfect and we did a blood test called an Ultrascreen. Between these two screening tests, we'll be 96% sure that our little one is free of chromosomal problems. My next appointment at the perinatologists office is in March. Then we'll do a full scan and they'll look at all of the major organs to look for any issues.

The Sea Monkey is REAL!

So Moo and I went today to see the folks at Maternal Fetal Medicine of Atlanta and my OB/GYN's office today.

It's still too early for the nuchal translucency test. They tried to get a good pic of the little monster's neck, but the baby is just too little. So I'll go back in two weeks for another try.

Moo and I can just make out the head and an arm. For those of you interested in this kind of thing: the placenta is up above and the yolk sac is over to the right.

The docs could make out both arms and legs and said they could see a profile with a little nose.

They confirmed our due date. Based on different measurements, we're either 11 weeks 0 days, 11 weeks 1 day, 11 weeks 2 days, or 11 weeks 3 days. Because it's so close they'll stick the with original due date of July 27, 2008.

I really liked the doctor at Maternal Fetal Medicine. He's kind of an old cooter, but he was joking around with us. First thing he said was "You're kind of an old broad aren't you?" I laughed and told him I was!


While my pregnancy isn't a secret to most folks we know, I can't help but be afraid sometimes that I should have waited a little longer before I shared the news. I have to admit that I'm afraid that it will all go to hell. I am scared to death that we're going to walk into that ultrasound next week and they are going to say "sorry, it was all a mistake. The baby is completely deformed and won't make it another month."

"You've been sick and nauseous and excited for no reason".

All the books and all the mothers I know verify that this fear is real and they all had it. But that doesn't help much.

We tried for so many months and I was beginning to think that we just weren't going to ever have our own child. Now, I'm frightened for this one.

I can't feel you yet little one. And to some degree you still don't seem real. But believe that you are so wanted. Your momma has wanted you for so long and can't wait to see you.

Happy New Year

At some point on Thursday, my back went out. It was pretty bad and I was quite lopsided (I get muscle spasms and my left hip goes all funny so that I'm crooked when you look at me from the back). I left work early on Friday and went by my chiropractor's office for an adjustment. He talked at some length about natural childbirth.

In an ideal world, I'd say that I was excited for the day when I would experience the joy and pain of childbirth and the wonder of it all. But the truth is that we live in a modern society and while I believe that pregnancy isn't a disease, that childbirth isn't sickness, that our bodies are well equipped to deal with the pressures - I also believe that we have many years of science that has taught us how to eliminate the pain of childbirth. In other words, I want drugs. I want all the drugs that the medical establishment will allow.

Spent the weekend of New Year's with Moo's parents. They live about 200 miles away on a fairly easy drive. We took our critters with us. We've got a mini Macaw named Cosmo and a Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Indy. Cosmo has been a real butt lately. He's been cantakerous and has been screaming a lot.

I wish I knew what his issue was. It mostly started when I was working a flex schedule of 4 10 hour days and one day off. He didn't like that schedule at all - of course, I didn't like the schedule either. I thought he'd settle down a bit once I moved to a more normal schedule, but he's still screaming a lot.

Anyway, we travelled 200 miles with a parrot and a corgi. Both did quite well on the journey. Once there, we were united with Moo's sister and brother-in-law and niece and we all really had a good weekend. My inlaws are truly delightful people. I don't say they are great people because they might be reading this (hi Mom and Dad!!) but because they truly are. After my folks passed away, they adopted me as their own and they have been just great and I couldn't ask for better in-laws.

As the weekend progressed, my back got progressively better. It's sore today after the long drive, but still much better. I did have one day where the nausea was really bad. I threw up a couple of times and then took some of the anti-nausea medicine the OB/GYN's office called in for me. It worked quite well and it seemed to last into the next day as well.