Friday, April 18, 2008

Big Milestone! NT Scan

This day has been a big worry for weeks. Time for the NT scan. And I had to do it all alone. Chris is 700 miles away. We said goodbye last night and I cried like it was going to be a month apart instead of 2 days. I really depend on his support. Chris told me it was in God's hands and we'll be okay. He's been through pretty much every medical fertility related procedure that I've had in the past year. And trust me, that's a lot of sitting up by my head time.

Is the baby going to still be alive? Is the baby still growing? Is the baby going to be healthy? Are we going to be the typical family of my dreams? Will they tell me the NT measurement? Will the measurement be normal? Will I get ultrasound pictures? (Not high on my priority list, but it was high on Christopher's since he couldn't be there.)

My OB sent me to a perinatal specialist for my Integrated Screening. This means that I will get a blood draw and ultrasound between 11-13 weeks. A second blood draw is taken during during weeks 16-18. Then all three results are combined (integrated!) and we get a final result. This screening has a 92% accuracy in detecting down's syndrome. The other trisomy disorders are slightly lower. It has a 5% false positive rate. If the risks come back high, then we may consider an amnio. I worry about the risk of miscarriage so we're going through this screening first.

Everyone at the perinatal office was nice. And of course the waiting room was full of couples. They took my blood first and the nurse explained the testing that I was getting. It's the integrated so I won't get any results until after the second blood draw at 16 weeks. I asked if I would get the NT measurement and she said no, but I would get u/s pictures today. (Chris would get to see too!)
That left me kind of sad that it would be such a long wait for any of the results. I thought maybe I could catch a glimpse of the measurements on the ultrasound monitor or just ask/beg/plead with the tech.

The u/s tech was a very sweet lady. My first external ultrasound. YAY! No dildo cam. AND they didn't make me go with a full bladder. Nice people, I tell ya.

My hope of seeing the measurement on the screen quickly vanished. The monitor for the mother was far away on the wall. Nice flat screen TV but it sucked for my spying efforts. I even wore my glasses instead of my contacts just so I could have a better chance to see the numbers. At that distance I would have needed binoculors.

She changed the views a couple of times. I saw the baby but I didn't see any movement. I was getting ready to ask if the baby was alive. She probably would have thought I was crazy. Then she let me listen to the heartbeat! What a relief. I should have ate some breakfast. Maybe the baby needed some sugar to get moving.

I got to see all the body parts and she told me everything that we were looking at. Little arms and legs, the stomach, the spine. She showed me one of the hands as it was up in the air waving at us!

At the end she told me everything looked great for 12 weeks. She still had the measurement screen up and I asked her what the NT measurement was. She pointed it out and said 1.43 was great. They look for under 3. Whew! I didn't have to beg, cry, or get angry to get the results. I wanted to hug her!

I couldn't even wait until I was out of the office building before calling Chris. As soon as I hit the hallway, I hit speed dial. "Patches is doing great!"

The baby measured 12 weeks 2 days with a 157 HB. I should be 12 weeks 3 days so the baby is measuring pretty close. I have a face on skeltor pic and one decent side profile view. It's not as clear as what we saw on the screen though. But it's a baby!


Heart beat and profile of baby

Skeletor Patches ready for Halloween!

Monday, April 14, 2008

I love my OB but..

I think I really really love the CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) that works with my OB. Wow. She totally impressed me today with the amount of time she spent with me.
First the nurse just took my weight and blood pressure. The nurse didn't pre-interview me at all. You mean I don't have to tell my story twice? Nice.

Donna (CNM)came in and was very pleasant and asked how I was doing. She mentioned that it had been a long time since she'd seen me and acted very glad that I was back. She started paging through my chart, taking the time to completely read the letter of transfer of care from my RE. She asked if I was still on the progesterone suppositories. Donna paged back several years in my chart. She asked me how many ultrasounds that I'd had. With this pregnancy just 4 at that time. She's like no, how many over all? I told her too many of just my ovaries before I got pregnant!

She told me that I wouldn't need the GBS culture during this pregnancy because I'd tested positive for it at a urine screen last year. First I ever heard of it. Now I have a feeling that's something that would have been normally over looked and later I would have been swabbed in places that I'd rather not.

She found the heart beat on the doppler and let me listen to it for a minute. She said there's something wonderful about hearing that sound for the first time. I have to agree!

She answered all my questions and listened to my concerns. She explained my next several appointments with the perinatal specialists and told me what to make sure I got scheduled for. Donna told me it was time to stop my progesterone supplements. That's a big step! No more security blanket.

When she was finished, she made the copy of my prescription herself so I didn't have to wait in line at the front desk check out. She told me that she was very happy that this pregnancy was working out for me. I could tell that it was a very genuine sentiment. Love her!

So now the decision. OB or CNM?

I've always tried to go out of my way to schedule all my appointments with the OB. I have a lot of confidence in him and he's always taken time to answer my questions and be reassuring. He got me through two rounds of cervical displasia and ovarian cysts that hung around for 8 plus months. He's extremely well respected in the community. He's the OB that other doctors send their wives to.

The amount of time that Donna spent with me just blew me away though. I think she would be very supportive of an unmedicated birth which is what I would like to try. I think she would be willing to give me time to do my own thing and not be in a rush to medically interfere.

I think I'm going to switch my next regularly scheduled appointment to Donna. I'd like Chris to meet her too. Chris really liked my OB so we'll see how he feels about Donna. I'll probably go back and forth a little. But I think Donna maybe my main practioner. The office is connected to the hospital that I'll deliver at so both the OB and the CNM are close at hand. The only big difference is that the OB can do c-sections while the CNM can only do vaginal deliveries.

Wow. I'm actually thinking like this pregnancy is going to work out and we'll have a baby in October. Amazing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm already not a good mommy?

I had my follow up OB appointment after the heavy bleeding two weeks ago. Since then I passed a clot and had some faint spotting that same day. Nothing else to report since that time except for a lot of anxious nervous nelly feelings.

The intake nurse asked me if I had anything new since my last appointment. I told her about passing the clot and spotting. She immediately asked if I went to the emergency room or had an ultrasound. That really threw me and made me feel like I wasn't being a good mommy already! That's just silly, but still, that's what I thought.

I know there's nothing they can do if God forbids something happened to the baby. And there's really no sense in going to the ER for some spotting. I've had a natural miscarriage at 9 weeks. I know the drill.

I told the intake nurse that I had called Lynn, my OB's nurse on the Monday after the spotting. She wasn't too concerned since the bleeding stopped immediately and told me that she would pass on the info to the doctor. I never heard anything more of it so I decided we would just have to wait until this week's appointment.

My OB came in and asked how I was doing. I told him that I was nervous and about the spotting. He immediately said, "Let's do an ultrasound!" Relief. I was concerned about him trying the doppler first. I was afraid that we wouldn't be able to find the heartbeat via the doppler because of my weight and tilted uterus. Plus at 10 weeks 6 days, it's still early yet.

The ultrasound tech was off today so my OB did the scan himself. The baby looks good! The doctor said he wasn't familar with the new machine so he didn't try to take any measurements. But we did get to hear the heartbeat and the baby looks like a baby instead of a shrimp!

My doctor reassured me about work. He asked if I was still traveling and for now I'm going to continue doing it until sometime in May. I'm really ready to transfer to a different position that doesn't involve me working 12 hours a day and being gone 5 days a week.

I have my NT scan April 18. It looks like Chris will be out of state for the NT scan. So that will probably be a stressful appointment to do alone.