Well, I had Barry today as my ultrasound tech, and he’s not the most sociable guy. He wasn’t quick to point anything out, and at first, I was sure something was wrong. He seemed to be pressing really hard and not saying anything. It wasn’t until he took the measurement of the fetal heart rate that he finally turned the screen and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Here’s the heart beat.Ã¢â‚¬Å“ The heart was beating at 171 beats per minute, and the baby measured 11 weeks, 3 days – a day ahead of schedule.
When Barry was finished, Dr. Bolognese came in and went over the findings. Of course, despite Barry’s demeanor, absolutely everything was fine. He said he was very pleased that the heart rate was so high, as that is a good indicator of a positive outcome. He said that until week 16, there is still a risk of miscarriage at about 10%, but by week 16, it drops to less than 3%. I thought I would be out of the woods by week 12, but Dr. Bolognese just smiled and said everyone thinks that’s the magic number. He asked me about genetic issues and amnio, and I asked him about the value of a quad screen (a blood test that screens for things like Down’s Syndrome and neural tube defects, like in spina bifida). He said that the test is Ã¢â‚¬Å“gradedÃ¢â‚¬Å“ on a bell curve, and if they find where I am on that curve, there is no reason to completely discount the findings of the test. In other words, there is not a predetermined reason for me to fail that test. He also said at about 16 – 18 weeks, we can do a Level II ultrasound, which will check for certain markers they look for in babies with Downs syndrome, such as calcium deposits in the heart, a thicker nuchal fold, difference in long bone length. He said that due to my diabetes, they would do this more intense ultrasound anyway. I have actually begun to feel very small movements from time to time. There is nothing consistent yet, and the doctor was suprised I was feeling them, but he verified with the ultrasound that what I was feeling was the baby. I told him when I felt the baby move, and he verified that the baby was moving when I indicated. It’s a wonderful feeling, but you kind of grow to expect it, and it’s disappointing when you don’t feel it. I won’t feel regular movements for at least 8 more weeks.
They did give me an ultrasound picture today, but it’s an awful one. Barry is just not into the real adorable pictures. He just likes to finish the scan and get out of the office.
I thought I would be done today, but I go back the first week in November. I scheduled the appointment on a Friday again with Dr. Bolognese, because he and Eilis made a deal about some Halloween candy.