Week 13 here and gone. That sure was fast. I think I might just be writing these to remind myself how quickly baby will get here, even if it seems like it’s taking forever. So what’s new in the womb this week?
Well most of what I have to report this week circulates around a visit to my new OB practice. I was recommended to Signature OB/GYN in Columbia via a seasoned OB/GYN contact of my mom’s. I was not disappointed. The practice has 8 Certified Nurse-Midwives on staff along with a number of doctors who I will hopefully never have cause to meet. The CNMs see all the low-risk pregnancy patients while the doctors care take the high-risk ladies.
My first appointment consisted of a 90 minute discussion about
- my pregnancy
- my concerns
- what I should expect
- how my medical history may affect my pregnancy
- what tests are available to me
- what tests are mandatory
- and what to expect in the coming months.
I was also given a big folder of compact information which is great considering I’m still chipping away at “what to expect when you’re expecting.” It gave info like medicines I can take, things that I should consider “emergency,” and what to do in those situations. I’m positive that was what a first OB appointment was supposed to look like. I feel much more relaxed about my pregnancy having found a good care provider. Still not so sure about that whole “labor and delivery” thing yet. . .
What a stock photo. Is that baby even real?
Said visit also enabled me to make an ultrasound appointment the following day at a nearby ultrasound practice. The things you can see in ultrasound are really wild these days. Really. Wild. I’m surprised they didn’t tell me the child’s eye color and give me it’s horoscope. My mom went through her pregnancies without getting a single ultrasound, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect other than a grainy picture of what resembled a baby. Kind of.
(Not my baby).
But ultrasounds in modern medicine have gotten super advanced and they can measure all kinds of things like baby’s size, fluid in its body, and how much blood is flowing in all different areas. They can also detect baby’s heartbeat and mother’s pulse to and from the placenta. What’d I say? Cool, right? It could only get better if it was all done via tricorder.
The ultrasound I went for was to check the amount of fluid behind the baby’s neck in order to determine if baby has an increased risk for Down’s syndrome, trisomy 18, and trisomy 13. Wikipedia could give you a thorough reading on what exactly is being looked at in this test and what all those chromosomal abnormalities mean, but the short P&P version is that they’re chromosomal abnormalities in the 13th, 18th, and 21st chromosomes which cause considerable mental retardation and in the cases of trisomy 13 and 18 it usually decreases the lifespan of baby to under a year. Some children mature through childhood, but it’s not common.
I initially didn’t want to get these tests run because the way my first OB spun it she sounded like if my child had these risks I’d be a bad person if I brought the child to term. She gave me the hairy eyeball. And I shot it right back. No one hairy eyeballs the hairy eyeballer.
But then I thought back to a year or two ago when someone asked my husband and I if we’d find out the gender of our baby before birth to which he responded, “yes, it’s always better to have more information than less.” He said this lightly with the air of needing warning if it’s a girl or something like that, but I find this really rings true in all situations. I could never terminate a pregnancy, probably not even if my own life was threatened, but if my child were to have special needs I would want to know before birth. It would allow me time to prepare and learn more about what extra care I would need to give.
So we decided to get the extra screenings done, which resulted in an ultrasound Wednesday morning. And boy, was that neat. I just kinda wanted to play with the ultrasound machine. I know that would be frowned upon, but it’s just so neat-o. I was tempted to be like “could you show me my spleen next? What about my heart? Does that thing pick up the brain?” I used a lot of self-control.
It did pick up all things baby. We saw baby’s face (which looks suspiciously like an alien or that thing from the Diablo games), baby’s brain, baby’s spine, hands, feet, and the attending doctor even took a close look at the heart.
See? Diablo, right?
It was determined that Baby shouldn’t have a heightened risk for the above discussed chromosomal disorders. This is all double/triple checked before they tell you anything ‘official’ but I’m contented that we’re low risk based on the fluid measurements. My husband came with me and I’m glad he did because all this crazy stuff is happening to me and I’m sure he feels rather hands-off and uninvolved at times. He said seeing the US made it all a bit more real, and then he said something which surprised me.
He said he was shocked that anyone could terminate a pregnancy.
This didn’t surprise me because of his stance, but because I’m usually the more active anti-abortion person. I think there are very few situations where abortion isn’t as sick and barbaric as murdering an infant in the bathtub or euthanizing a mentally disabled person.
It really got me thinking. I can terminate this pregnancy up to 24 weeks if I crossed a few state lines. (This baby is 23 weeks and survived.) Most women terminate their pregnancies up to week 14, when their babies already have hearts, brains, fingers, and toes. It’s really beyond my understanding who would be able to murder an infant, and worse still an unborn child, the epitome of helplessness. It’s even further beyond me that the most common reason to abort a baby is because a woman isn’t ready for a family yet. There are so many other options for women who don’t want to raise the baby themselves.
*sigh* I digress.
So that’s my abortion schpeil. It’s also why I refer to my unborn child as “baby” not “fetus.” This is my child which I intend to raise. There’s no need to use scientific terms to justify doing black market medicine things to my child.
With the ultrasound came our first pictures of baby, just shy of 14 weeks. Cue the relative and close friend swooning.
We also found out that (this might be tmi for some of you squeamish fellas) my placenta is hanging out between my abdomen and baby. So translation: I won’t feel too much movement til later in term. Of course they tell me this in the morning and later that night what do I feel but the ghost of a kick near my right ovary. I looked down at my belly I ask “oh really?” And three harder kicks respond. Yep. Definitely my kid. Tell ’em they can’t do something and they make it their goal to accomplish. Toddlerhood should be fun. . .