Thursday, January 29, 2009

Still Pregnant: Reporting on my 12 week Scan

I'm 12 weeks and two days pregnant. Unbelievable. Yesterday, I had my regular 12 week OB check-up, along with the nuchal translucency test, and all was well. The baby was measuring right on track, had a healthy heartbeat, and passed the NT test with flying colors.

I wish I had a better sonogram picture to share. The ultrasound machine at my OB's office is old school. It gets the job done, but that's about it. The machine at the MFM's office is so advanced, it not only takes clear, gorgeous pictures, it might have a setting to read the baby's mind. Instead of having a beautiful picture to share of a sweet baby face, I have instead a grainy picture of an alien trying to consume me from the inside out. What a special memory. Oh well. It could certainly be worse.

Back to the sonogram: it took a while to get a good read on the NT test, which concerned me. I'd come in concerned since my last scan was at the hospital -- I was concerned we'd come in and see no heartbeat. After all, I was 12 weeks along, and I just don't get that far. Instead, we saw a heartbeat right away, and a baby who was as vigorous and active as before. So vigorous, in fact, that it kept turning spine up, thus preventing the sonographer from getting a good read on the nuchal fold. The sonographer tried and tried to get a good image, then she left the room to have me get up and move around. She tried different probes, had me roll onto my hips, even suggested a hand stand. Finally, at the very end of a very long appointment, the baby turned and the sonographer was able to get three good measurements.

For those who don't know, the nuchal translucency test is a fairly standard test for women at 12 weeks gestation that helps to determine the odds of having a baby with Down's Syndrome. The sonographer measures a little pocket of fluid in the baby's cervical spine, as well as the length of the nasal bone. Babies with Down's Syndrome generally have a shorter (or missing) nasal bone and that pocket of fluid at the nuchal fold is wide and easy to spot. Along with the sonogram, a panel of blood work is run.

These tests don't guarantee anything either way. Everything could look normal when there is a chromosomal abnormality, or the results could look daunting when everything is really fine. This test just helps to determine the odds of a problem, and since (based on age) I was already at a low risk of having a baby with Down's Syndrome, the positive outcome of this test just makes my chances that much more favorable. For that, I am grateful. It's nice -- really, really nice -- to have these instances of great news.

During yesterday's scan, the sonographer even took the time to determine the sex of the baby. The sex organs, while tiny, are generally visible by 12 weeks. Many sonographers won't bother looking this early because mistakes are easily made, but our sonographer was probably more agreeable because she had to have me do so much to take care of her end of the appointment! She showed us two little lines parallel to one another and said, in general, when they're in this formation, it indicates a girl. (A little boy has lines perpendicular to each other.) It's far too soon to buy anything in pink, but it's exciting to have an idea! I have repeat sonograms scheduled at 14 weeks, 18 weeks, and 20 weeks, so hopefully after a little more looking around, we'll feel good to make the call official.

In the meantime, I'm in this very surreal state. The doctor made the comment yesterday about the first trimester being over (though I don't think it officially is until week 13-14), and I'm just astounded to be at this stage. Because of my history, and particularly because of the scares early on in this pregnancy, I honestly did not anticipate making it this far. Could it be that my chances of bringing home a living, breathing baby have increased exponentially? I really do know to much for my own good and know that there's never a time in pregnancy (or in life, really) to take anything for granted, but I also know that statistically, my chances look really good now. Again, unbelievable.

At this point, my prenatal care becomes more routine -- well, routine for me anyway. I'll rotate biweekly between my OB/GYN and my MFM for check-ups and sonograms. Even with the transabdominal cerclage in place, my cervix will still be visually monitored and measured. (However, with that cerclage in place, the pressure of the pregnancy should be dispersed in the uterus among the tendons and above my cervix. As a result, my cervix should hold up just fine.) I'll likely begin the 17P hydroxyprogesterone injections at 16 weeks to stave off any pre-term labor. Other than that, no bedrest is anticipated, and there's a really good chance this could be a normal-ish pregnancy. God has been truly gracious towards me.

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show you compassion."

Isaiah 30:18

"The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness..."

Genesis 34:6b

"The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion."

Psalm 116:5

"...You are a gracious and merciful God."

Nehemiah 9:31b

Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children.
"Who are these with you?" he asked.
Jacob answered, "They are the children
God has graciously given your servant."

Genesis 33:5

Cross-posted on About the Baby


  • In His Grip

    Oh Amanda, what great news. I am so happy you found out and all looks great. You are still in our prayers and so is your daughter.

  • taralynn819

    It is SO good to hear that everything is going so well! I anticipate equally positive updates in the future! One thing is for sure, this is going to be one spoiled little thing!

  • Holly & Ben

    What WONDERFUL news, Amanda!!! We'll continue to lift you up in our prayers!!! I can see our little ones being very good friends one day... =)

  • Amy

    I am so happy for you. And I think that your little alien-baby is precious! She looks kind of like Jacob. ;)

  • Al's World

    I am so glad to hear that everything is going well, I have been praying for you, esp. since you went to the hospital with bleeding. I remember your struggles with Gracie, it is amazing what God can do!! Love you!

  • Sandi

    Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

  • Julie

    I have been praying for you and that precious little baby.
    Hmmmm, maybe soon you can start buying cute little hair bows and other frilly things!

    I think that sono is wonderful. She looks like a little baby to me.

  • Karen

    God is so gracious - so glad to hear your appointment went so well.

  • Molly

    Yippee! I love good news!

    And a girl! How fun! I know it's not for sure, but EVERYONE is popping out boys right now, so I am glad to see someone is producing a female!

    Thanks for sharing! We'll be praying!

  • Kathy Hitchcock

    Well Amanda--Almost a year ago you left the sweetest message from a 'stranger' to me in response to my post about our miscarriage.

    God is amazing. I did not see the post until I just recently decided to start blogging again. I didn't respond to you then not because I didn't want to but just because I had other things on my mind and was a little blown away by the goodness of our LORD.

    I am still trying to figure out how I am suppose to use our miscarriage to minister to others. I have heard one message loud and clear lately and that is 'Finish what God has started in you'. Your comment came at a time when I needed to be reminded to continue to seek His plan.

    I am happy to say we have a precious 3 month old baby girl and I'm thrilled to read you are pregnant. I remember the first 4 or maybe 5 months I was pregnant with Miss Rylee I struggled terribly with thoughts of loss and despire just thinking if something happened again I was not sure I could take it. I told my OBGYN if I wasn't pregnant I would tell her I was depressed and needed to be put on medication. There were days I could not get out of my pj's I was so consumed with those thoughts. I have a tendency to play opossum when life gets rough. (If I lay still enough and play dead long enough maybe what ever I am facing will go away.)
    God was extremely patient with me and continued to show himself faithful as he always does.

    I am praying that God will be so real and so ever present during the next 28 weeks as your baby is knit in your womb by the Creator of Life.

    Looking forward to following this exciting time and 'meet' your new little one. The sonogram picture is precious!

  • chariti

    amazing, what a sweet and precious gift.

  • Heidi @ GGIP


    They can tell by week 13 with a ~98% accuracy if it is a boy or a girl if they have a good enough ultrasound machine.

  • MooBee Mama

    What fun to read all the lovely details of your journey! Thank you for sharing them.

  • Fether

    Sounds like you are doing well this go thankful that we have the blogs and fb to reconnect. We need to plan a get-together!! Miss ya...we'll keep praying!

  • Happy Mommy

    Oh Amanda! I have really been hit or miss with the whole blog thing for a few months now and today I was thinking about you and I went back and read I had no idea you were pregnant and I must have missed it on facebook! I am so happy for you! God is so good! I will be praying for you and your precious baby!
    Wow I am just so happy for you!

  • Renae

    Thank you for sharing this great news! God is the giver of life. May he continue to keep his watchful eye on your little one for his glory.

    I'm still praying.

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