Monday, June 27, 2011

12 weeks - Fetal Matter

Today I went in for a "combination screen" test. They did some monster finger jab (YEOWTCH! WTF was that? A stapler?) and shmeared blood onto a paper. Then an ultrasound where he measured the tissue at the back of the neck to check for stuff like Downs Syndrome. But not just any ultrasound. Oh, no. I went to the same doctor I saw last time around, who works in a high-risk OB clinic. You need a referral just to get in! But they have 3D imaging, and give you a DVD movie of the session, plus a CD of images. And he treats you like a princess! Seriously. Warm belly goo, extra pillows. Heated lap blankets. I shit you not. And he's so thrilled and makes you feel like a million bucks for having a "healthy" baby (since he sees so many sad cases, working at the high risk place.)
Oh man. Last time, I had a 7w (looks like a snot clump) and 9ish w (looks like a gummy bear) ultrasound, and then nothing until 20 weeks, where baby actually looks humanoid. What a treat, to see my tiny, plum-sized little human! That little curled-up profile just took my breath away. And s/he was moving! Arms and legs everywhere. Twisting and turning. Just a magical sight!
Neck tissue was 1.5ish, and he says they're looking for anything under 3, so that was good. Crown-to-rump length (CRL?) shows a due date of 3 days earlier, so that just means baby is growing a little bigger than average for this gestational age, which is another notch in the "non-Downs" category (Downs babies tend to be smaller.) Something about good blood flow in the cord, and good heartbeat (170-something BPM.)

He also found a "twin fragment" which made me sad. He was surprised they hadn't mentioned it at the 7w U/S. I don't remember seeing anything else though, and my husband and I both had our eyes peeled for that extra baby. He showed me the tiny little placenta that had started forming, and the little fetal tissue clump. It's funny. I never really got all misty-eyed over the 2 embryos that didn't take the first time, and only had a little wistful regret at finding only one embryo this time. But seeing my little dead baby that tried to make it, was just a little punch in the psyche. I mean, I obviously wouldn't really want a child who was so genetically challenged that the fetus couldn't survive. But still. I've never had a miscarriage before, and now I kind of have an inkling of what that feels like. Kind of. Obviously, not really, TRULY what it feels like. What a nightmare. At least there's some happiness in this story! I saw my midwife for my 12w appointment after, and asked her what happens to this extra placenta and fetal matter. Does it get delivered with the live birth? Or will I need a D&C after?
Apparently it usually gets reabsorbed. Ewww. But they'll watch for it after the birth and they apparently sift through and test the placenta and stuff to make sure it's all good (double eww.)

In other neutral-to-bad news, he also thinks there's a velamentous insertion of the umbilical cord. Which can theoretically lead to inhibited growth in the fetus (so hizzer slightly larger size is again a good sign,) and also complications during labor. Like, baby can die. And that's just from reading that one link. I'm scared to look at anything else. Plus my sister told me not to look it up at all. I'm not terribly worried (yet,) since he isn't having my OB run extra tests or monitor for anything special, and he'll know more at the 20-week U/S. So apparently nothing too terrible can happen in the next 8 weeks... or maybe just nothing preventable. :(

We brought Little Z to the U/S, since she likes seeing the baby. Many people are surprised that we've already told her, but she's smart, and this can help teach her a little about patience, and having to wait for things to grow (or cook!) Plus she takes her a while to warm up to change, so this makes her feel like she's more a part of the process, rather than suddenly having a baby sibling foisted on her. (When we got her new sheets, she cried and fussed and demanded we put her old sheets back on for at least half an hour, then again whenever she'd remember, despite whatever distractions we were trying.) When I first told her, she spent every night for a week crying and telling me that she wanted the baby out (and not so she could meet the baby sooner, no. Just get it gone!) Now she'll ask roughly once a week if I have a baby in my tummy. So it took 6 weeks (I told her 1 week after we got the BFP) for her to accept this as a not-bad thing.
She did amazingly well. I knew from past experience that this doctor brooks no kiddie interruptions, so I reminded her all day that she wasn't allowed to talk, even with her quiet voice, or else Daddy or Nana would have to take her out of the room. I told her to save all her questions until the end. She did such a great job: when the nurse showed us all into the room (my mom, his mom and sister, my husband and Z all came too,) she started shushing ME when I tried to remind her of the rules! She shushed Nana and Grammelena when they'd quietly ooh and aah too. It was hilarious! And she didn't do anything to warrant getting removed. And after the doctor left, she asked me her saved-up question: "What was that yucky goo he put on your tummy?"

Oops. Still here. Honest.

Sooo.... it's been a while since I posted, yeah? And I left you with a question of how many buns do I have in the oven. [Begin A Chorus Line music here...] One. Singular sensation. Every little breath [he?] takes...
One baby. Apparently the right size, and a 'within normal ranges' heartbeat. That was determined at the ultrasound, what... 5 weeks ago? Sheesh. What a slacker!
Actually, I've been pretty depressed lately. Last time around, all my ailments went away. My clinical depression, allergy to citrus, lactose intolerance, migraines, acid reflux (although it came back the 3rd trimester,) and carpal tunnel all went away during pregnancy; they didn't start coming back until she was around 16-months old. Heaven. My husband called it a "Mary Poppins" pregnancy. No morning sickness, no varicose veins, no stretch marks. My flab did sag a bit, and apparently muscle mass turned into more flab, because while I lost my "baby weight" fairly quickly, my body LOOKS much saggier and flabbier than it did before. But I didn't balloon up like my mom, which was totally what I was expecting. Apparently I got my dad's more "skinny genes." Got my mom's chin and nipple hairs though, so ya' win some, ya' lose some.

This time around: no morning sickness, although I was getting a little nauseous at night. Carpal tunnel still around, although once it started up again, I immediately started wearing the brace, so it never got really bad. Acid reflux still here. V*E*R*Y gassy, same as last time, and boy does it STINK! (Also same as last time.) Still getting migraines, which kind of blows, since I can't really take much for them. More sinus pressure and pain this time around too (which is what causes my migraines.) Maybe that's due to the seasons. Last time I got preggers in September until June, so maybe since the Spring crud didn't all come out until my magical healing-baby powers were well underway, I got off easy. This time I got pregnant during the Spring crud season. Possibly still lactose intolerant, but I take a daily pill for that, and I'm still so gassy and crampy I'm afraid to stop. While I haven't been guzzling the lemonade and OJ (yet,) I'm not getting the sores on my tongue when I have spaghetti or pizza, or the occasional lemonade, so probably my citrus acid issue went away again. Yay! Man. Last time, my sister told me I needed to cut down on the juice, and ratted me out to my midwife, who scolded me too. But man. I looooove OJ and lemonade, and after years of having to endure excruciating pain in my tongue for weeks just to enjoy a glass, you can bet your bottom dollar that I chug-a-lugged it down! And will again! Suck it, bishes!
One weird thing this time is my lack of hungry. I had a cold early on, and had no appetite. One meal a day and I was stuffed. I wasn't hungry at breakfast, then ate a moderate lunch, and was still full by dinner time. And wasn't even feeling hungry in the middle of the night. A few weeks ago I started feeling hunger occasionally, so that's good. Since I kind of forget to eat if I'm not hungry. Lunch is the one meal I do regularly, since I have to feed her. She often eats breakfast while I'm in the shower, so I'm not eating then either. And Unka Seesee makes dinner most nights, so I sometimes forget to serve myself, if we're not all eating together.
Other than the depression, which makes it hard to do anything that I don't HAVE to do (like feed the Oompa-Loompa,) I'm soooooo freaking tired all the time! After a 12-hour night's sleep, I wake up and am ready for a nap. Seriously. And the Princess is starting to phase out her naps, darn her. She now only naps if we're in the car in the afternoon. So unless I want to risk waking the snarling beast, that means if *I* want a nap, I need to sleep in the car too. And I don't like to leave it running, since I could be sucking all the exhaust back in of it's not real windy out. So I leave a door open, to give us a breeze so it's not too hot. And I usually have a leg or two sticking out, to make myself more comfy. I'm sure we look pretty freaky. That's another reason I don't leave the car running. One time we were out napping in the driveway with the car running, and Unka Seesee came out and freaked. He thought I had passed out from the exhaust!