This week began with me feeling EXTREMELY nervous about my scan. I even vomited the morning before, even though I hadn't been that sick for over a week. That night I was feeling very giddy even lying flat in bed, and was wondering how on earth I was going to manage getting through the next day - in fact, how I was even going to be able to drive to the hospital!
In the early hours of the morning I had this AMAZING dream! I was looking out onto the water. It was a PERFECT day, the sky and water were a really deep blue (like a sapphire), and the water was very calm and clear. Then I saw six or seven dolphins jump out of the water side by side and in unison! It was such a beautiful sight that I grabbed my camera and took a shot the next time they did it. When I woke up I felt wonderfully calm and peaceful. I should probably explain that for me, water is immensely calming. I am someone who could happily sit and look out at waves rolling in for hours at a time! I love going away on holidays and lying in bed listening to the waves, smelling the air . . . Dolphins would have to be amongst my favourite of all God's creatures. I absolutely LOVE them. To have both the ocean and dolphins together in the one dream made me feel so great. It seemed like a very positive omen to me, and I was able to get up and get ready for the day with much reduced fear.
The scan I had was a nuchal translucency scan, which measures the thickness of fluid at the back of the baby's neck and provides an indication of risk for down syndrome and other chromosomal problems. I actually had two doctors check me out - apparently that is standard practice there now. A woman did everything first and then the guy I have had before came in and did it all again. They had a good look over little Munchkin and said everything looked really good. Dr. Frank's exact words were, "This baby looks really good!".
Being 34, the average risk for down syndrome at my age is somewhere around 1 in 300 to 1 in 350 I think. Anyway, the scan showed the measurement to be in the 5th percentile, which puts our baby at very low risk! The doctor told me I have the equivalent risk of a 25-year-old, which I looked up and is somewhere less than 1 in 1000. There can be false negatives with this screen, but given that I was so far below the cut-off for a positive (they cut off at the 95th percentile), things are looking VERY good.
Little Munchkin was moving around like nobody's business and Dr. F exclaimed at one point, "Whoa, ride 'em cowboy!" because he or she did a huge roll! I can't express in words how much it meant to me to be lying there and seeing my baby MOVE rather than seeing a lifeless little angel on the screen. We even heard the heartbeat, which was a regular and healthy 167 bpm. The woman flicked some switch that enabled us to see the blood moving through the cord - that was pretty cool! Thomas, Andrew and I really enjoyed seeing our little baby - I think I could have kept on watching all day! Little Munchkin even waved at one point and Thomas, the little cutie, waved right back.
The other good news is that even though the scan the ob did last time showed I was 2-3 days behind what I thought, this one showed I was pretty much right on for when I think I ovulated. Given that little Nicholas was only half the size he should have been at around 7 weeks, and they ended up trying to tell me I was six days out, this is very reassuring to me.
I had my next obstetrician check-up a few days later and we heard the heartbeat with the doppler for the first time. I got quite a scare though because it took some time for him to find it. I was TRYING not to panic, but given past experience that was pretty hard. I actually felt quite flat after my appointment. I thought it through and decided that it was probably a combination of the scare I had with the doppler, and the discussion we had about testing. He told me that he once had a patient who tested negative on the nuchal scan, but positive on the triple screen and actually did go on to have a baby with down syndrome. I really didn't want to hear that! I guess I had kind of been on my own personal cloud nine since the scan and didn't want my bubble burst. I am okay with it now I guess, although a bit more scared about the triple screen that I was before.
I have been feeling really good on the whole, both physically and emotionally. The morning sickness has eased to the point where I am feeling okay most of the time - hard to imagine given how rotten I felt a few weeks ago! I also feel reassured enough after the scan that I am not even as worried as I thought I would be as I approach the stage when Nicholas died. It is kind of an up and down thing though - one day I will be feeling super confident and the next I will be full of worries again and barely able to sleep.
My weight seems to be steadily increasing by about half a pound per week so I am now about 2 pounds more than I was when I had that first positive test. That is quite good actually, and I guess it puts me on track for a 25 to 30 pound weight gain total. I think I could cope with that.
Well, here I am at the end of the first trimester!! I made it! I've seen my little one move, heard the heartbeat, and got some very pleasing test results so far. I am starting to feel better physically, and am even starting to think that this little baby will be okay.