Today was our Nuchal Translucency screening. Severe nerves all day long. It's so hard to concentrate on your job when all you can think about is the health of your unborn child. Knowing that later on in the day I could be getting news that was really, really good, or potentially really, really bad, made time pass oh so slowly.
First, the ultrasound tech did my scan. I was surprised that I didn't have to change into any embarassing little gown, or even remove any clothing. I had to push my skirt down to expose my bloated belly, but that was all. I got to experience the infamous cold ultrasound jelly on the belly. Wasn't so bad; I'd take that any day over a transvaginal. The most significant part about the u/s experience was that this was the first time I've had an ultrasound EVER that didn't involve a dildo cam. Hooray for belly cams!
It took a while to get all the measurements. Blobby (who looks nothing like the bean-shaped blob it was a few weeks ago) wasn't in the optimum position to do the necessary measurment of the nuchal fold. So the tech jiggled my belly a bit, and suddenly Blobby was all over the place. It was rolling over on its side, moving its arms and legs- it was absolutely incredible to watch. Then there was the time that it faced us and it looked a lot like the Alien from the Sigorney Weaver movie, but I won't talk about that. So yes, we saw hands (and definitely counted five fingers on one of the tiny hands, but the other hand was too obscured to see clearly), feet with clearly defined lines to mark where the toes were, a nose, a spinal cord, and it just completely blew my mind. I can't believe how quickly these things develop. A mere 5 weeks ago, we were looking at a little round blob, and today it was human.
Yes, I have sono pictures, but I don't have a scanner at home so it will have to wait until I can sneak off and scan them at work (and hope that nobody busts me, since our secret is not out yet). Blobby is measuring 5.14cm, which corresponds to 11 weeks, 6 days (I am 11 weeks, 4 days according to my LMP and date of ER and fertilization). Right on schedule!
So last week I had to prick my finger and mail droplets of my blood off to a lab. Even though I had mailed them off with more than enough time to process the results, they were not ready. Luckily the u/s tech was able to call the lab and make sure that the results were available, which they were. All they needed to complete the report were the numbers from today's scan, and within minutes we had the results in our hands. At this point, Iwas still thinking that even though Blobby looks like a human, there could still be serious issues to deal with.
And the results? The results were great. Today's NT scan screened for the risk of having a child with Down's Syndrome (Trisomy 21) or Trisomy 18/13. Before the screening, my risk of having a Down's Syndrome baby was 1 in 162. After today's screening, my risk decreased to 1 in 3,221. Before the screening, my risk of having a Trisomy 18/13 baby was 1 in 279. After today's screening, my risk decreased to 1 in 5, 561. What a relief. That's when I started to breathe again.
The Maternal-Fetal specialist and I spoke briefly about amnio, which i would be doing at around 16 weeks, so in about 4 more weeks. We would need to meet with this hospital's genetic counselor before we decide one way or another. Hopefully i'll get all the Tay-Sachs testing back before then so we can make a more informed decision. CVS (which would be done much sooner, like next week) was not recommended for me, because it has a higher miscarriage rate. If the results from today had been bad, I might have considered it, but now I'm breathing a little easier and don't think there's a need to do the CVS, considering the risks.
So WHEW! I am just in awe that I was able to see our baby moving. With little fingers and toes, and a nose, and IT'S REAL. I have a baby that is developing inside my body and depending on me for nourishment and protection. Holy crap. With so many ups and downs over the course of our rollercoaster-like IVF cycle, I have been expecting each appointment to reveal the part of the ride where you plummet and scream. Knock on wood, cross your fingers, poo poo hand to God, we are still going up. It's almost too much for my puny mind to process right now.
In 6 days I have a follow-up appointment with my OB-GYN. I have lots of newbie questions to ask her, so I hope she's ready. God, I hope I'm ready.