After what felt like an eternity of waiting, our first official ultrasound finally arrived! This was Matt’s first time seeing the baby in person since he wasn’t able to go with me to my emergency one a month prior. I was excited to see how the baby had grown, but also very excited to see his reaction.
This ultrasound was both vaginal and stomach-ical. The technician had me undress and started with the probe. Inside we found a tiny little baby! One by one, she went through the body parts – stomach, bladder, ribs, spine, hands, feet, heart, brain. They were all there in full!
Matt and I couldn’t believe how much the baby was moving. We both expected it to move, but I thought it would be more like tiny little jerks or hand movements. But no, the baby was moving like you’d expect a full-term baby to move. Arms up and down, legs kicking and crossing, flips, turns. During my first ultrasound when all you could see was a kidney bean with a flickering heart, I thought “That’s cool.” But this time it was like “THAT IS MY CHILD!” I still can’t believe it grew from a sperm and egg without some scientist telling the cells what to do.
For the down syndrome test, which we elected to have to get all the knowledge we could, the baby had to be in a specific position: lying on its back in a profile. However, our baby decided to entertain us for a while and went into every position but the desired one! The technician tried all methods of jiggling and shaking me to try to get the baby to settle down on the bottom of my uterus. It was actually quite violent! My grandmother is always telling me “Don’t exercise too much – you’ll jiggle the baby.” She would have been horrified at all the jiggling going on during this appointment : ) But I guess with all the fluid in there, they don’t feel too as much as we do on the outside. Finally, after about 30 minutes of jiggling, the baby spent about 30 seconds in the right position and she quickly snapped the photos she needed, although they were less than ideal.
Check out this crazy photo from above!
Next came a blood test. Oh how I loathe needles!! I have heightened senses of taste and smell, so maybe my sense of touch is also extra sensitive. Because man that hurt! Matt knows how much I hate needles and reached for my hand to hold. Can I take him to all of my doctor’s appointments from now on?
The last bit of our appointment was meeting with the doctor. He said everything in the ultrasound photos looked great and that I looked great (thanks doc!). My blood pressure was 108/70, which is about 10 points higher on the top and bottom than normal! However, he said it was perfectly low. I asked him about weight gain too – was I on track? He said yes, that he recommends 2 pounds a month on average (which if you multiply that by 10 months, is about 20 pounds : ) ) I’m at about 5 pounds gained, so I’m right on track.
I felt a little silly bringing this up, but they say women should discuss their birth plans with their doctors early in case there is incompatibility. You definitely want to know sooner rather than later your doctor’s views on childbirth.
So I told him I hoped to have a natural birth and asked “….was he… cool with that?” "[How else are you supposed to ask this question?!]
He told me that about 45% of women in their practice go without epidurals referenced against other hospitals having rates of epidurals closer to 95%. And he said about 20% labor without any meds what-so-ever. (I’m guessing the other 20% have some kind of IV or oral drug?) He also explained that he job was to act on an emergency and deliver a healthy baby rather than dictate how I labor. I felt really good about his responses. He’s very laid back and cool for a doctor, and I like that a lot!
We ended the appointment with a listen to the heartbeat, loud and clear!
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