Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Here are some of the pictures from the ultrasound. I didn't put all of them up because the tech gave us too many! Sorry about the quality- I have to take a picture of them with our digital camera to get them onto the computer. Maybe this weekend I can scan them on my parents' scanner so that they aren't blurry. Also, I didn't post the picture of "the goods" because I figure if my son were here and could talk to me, he'd tell me to please not post pictures of him in all his glory on the internet!

Here's my favorite pic. His hand is right near his face.

This is my second favorite pic. He was twirling his hands around one another, and waving them all over the place. It was really amazing to see him moving like this. (These are his two hands- sorry so blurry!)

Here is another profile. He was such a booger and kept hiding his face and rolling over when she wanted to look at his heart and profile! We finally got him to co-operate though!
I'm not sure how I feel about this picture. It's kind of creepy, but also adorable. This is his face. I think it kind of looks like the face on Mars.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

Last week we received an alarming call that some of my bloodwork turned up some things that the doctor was concerned about. They scheduled me to see a genetic counselor which sounds scary, but really it turned out to be not such a big deal.

The bloodwork that was giving concerns was a screening test called the quad scan. Basically it detects the levels of hormones caused by pregnancy. Some hormones are found in either lesser or greater quantities in pregnancies of infants with certain genetic disorders, and the doctors can use this information to give a probability of these disorders occurring in this pregnancy. Basically, they look at all my information and spit out a ratio based on a simple bell curve. The scan was showing a 1 in 140 chance of the baby having downs syndrome. This sounds more alarming than it actually is, and the risk of harming the baby with additional testing is actually almost equal to the risk of the baby having downs. We chose to keep the probability in mind and stay closely monitored by our OB rather than do any further invasive testing.

That was our scare of the week. But with it came a silver lining. There are several "red flags" for downs that can be seen via ultrasound: enlarged kidneys, enlarged heart, etc. So we had a level two high def. ultrasound. None of the red flags were spotted, which just strengthened my stance on not having further invasive testing. The ultrasound tech turned out to a parent of one of the toddlers I care for at the preschool! It was nice having someone I know, because it didn't seem as mechanical, and I think I relaxed a little better. The baby was very active, and moved all over the place! Not at all shy, the first thing we saw without even trying was......

HIS boy parts! Yes, the "curse" of Pappy Bill is still going strong. This will be the seventh baby born in the family since he yearned so hard for a grandson, and it will be the seventh boy! So much for Mommy intuition! I am very happy about having a son, but not as happy about having to re-design my nursery (it was painted the perfect shade of purple when Daryl bought the house...) I guess that is what happens when you pick out nursery decorations before truly knowing the gender- next time I will NOT just go by my hunch! (I had picked out a lavender butterfly and dragonfly motif.... just in case anyone was wondering) I already have a lot of boys things though, and now the nursery will be decorated with the John Lennon line from Carter's (it's discontinued, but worth the effort to hunt down the items) I also thought of doing Charlie Brown and the Peanuts, but I already have half the John Lennon stuff, and Charlie Brown items are so expensive!

Back to the ultrasound, it was really neat because we got to see every little baby part in detail- all the limbs and organs working. He was playing with his hands (very coordinated... he's a genius already!) and we got an adorable picture of that. Our camera battery is dead, and since we don't have a scanner that is the only way for me to get pics on the computer. I will probably add them tomorrow. She printed tons for us!

So while we are a little concerned, we are not hysterical like I was a week ago right after receiving the call. I think it was a good thing to have this testing (and not just because we got an ultrasound two weeks earlier) but I think they need to explain it MUCH better when they offer it, and when they call to tell someone that there are concerns. Part of what made me so upset was that I didn't even know what a "positive" meant. It's scary to be told that something could be wrong with your child and then have no further explanation for a week. I'm glad to know the odds of having a child with downs syndrome, I just wish things had been discussed with me differently.

Oh, and other news from in utero: The movements have gone from light and feathery to kickboxing world championships in my tummy! Last night I couldn't even read my book because he was kicking it so hard I would lose my place on the page! I've also had to stop my evening meditation the last couple of nights because he was just going to wild. I thought I was crazy, but the tech said that with a baby that active it isn't surprising for me to feel movement that strong this early! I'm hoping he has "happy feet" when he comes out, and Daryl thinks he'll be a piano prodigy since he was so involved in his hands. We'll both be wrong and he'll be an ultimate fighting champ or something! Either way, we can say "we knew before you were even born!!"

Sunday, March 09, 2008

When Life Gives you Lemons...

you make lemonade; when it's too cold for lemonade you.....

build a snowman!
some people never grow up!!!!!!! Here is Paddington "enjoying" the snow! 
(He hated it!)


Saturday, March 08, 2008

This week's doctor appointment

I went to the doctor this past monday, and all was well! I am just now back to my pre-pregnancy weight (I lost a lot of weight due to morning sickness, which is almost completely gone now) and the doctor wants me to gain about two pounds a week until I see her again in April.... I am SO on that doctor's order! I could eat half of new york I've been so hungry lately!

The heartbeat was still in the 150's, which is a good sign that it's a girl! An old wives' tale, sure, but good enough for me. We'll be having another ultrasound at our next visit, April 1st, and will be finding the gender then. I know, April Fools' day! I tried to get it on the 31st of March instead, but they wouldn't do it. I'll just have to put all superstitions aside.

I also had blood tests to see if there is a possibility of any heart disorders or downs syndrome. If the tests come back with a high possibility, the doctor will recommend further testing like amniocentesis, but I will refuse. I just want to know the possibility so that I can prepare myself for what is needed to raise a special needs child.

I am now 17 weeks, and starting to feel the baby move, but really it just feels like someone is tickling me with a feather from the inside. It's still beyond me that there's a *person* in there, moving around, the size of a potato, and I can't feel it.... crazy. Everyone tells me that I'm too tiny to be 17 weeks already, but I've heard that once the belly "pops" it gets kind of miserable, so I'm enjoying my waddle-free pregnancy days while I can. Everything shows that the baby is healthy and growing, so I'm not worried.

We were snowed in for Daryl's birthday, which was kind of a bummer. I'm not sure that we could get our cars out of the driveway! Hopefully some of it can be cleared by tomorrow. We got well over a foot! Looking out the window now, everything seems very dark and a little eerie. I don't even see any headlights on Rt. 8, which is usually busy even at night. We're hoping this is the last winter blast.