Ok, I promise to not get sickening with this baby picture thing, but this is just so unique for me and I just want to share. Moreover this blog will more likely than not be a record for Chaneeca so one day she/he will get to see their father's off habits. And no, the baby won't really be named Chaneeca, it's just the name I put on him/her until we know his/her sex, which we won't be able to do for another four weeks or so - if Chaneeca turns out to be a boy I'll be appropriately contrite for 10 or so weeks of mis-identifying his sex.
This ultrasound shows you the baby, with its body to the far right with the head laying against Feri, and its body extending to the left. You can also see a little arm floating up there. The baby's heart rate was recorded at 163 beats per minute, which as I understand it is pretty good.
This ultrasound was a precautionary one, specifically to help to determine if the baby may suffer from Down's syndrome or hydrocephalus. It turns out that they're able to do things with ultrasound that wasn't possible just a few years ago. First, using ultrasound isn't a definitive test, it merely helps to guide you in going for additional tests. Moreover this isn't an ultrasound by itself, Feri had to give blood this time and she'll have to do that again in about three weeks. With the ultrasound, though, you can roughly determine two things which give you some clue as to any potential problems the baby may have with the conditions I alluded to. Doing this procedure applies to a fetus somewhere between 11 and 13 1/2 weeks per the ultrasound tech. What you're looking for when you do this are:
1. An appropriately developed nose. Apparently fetuses with Down's syndrome are missing a part of their nose and this can be seen in the scan.
2. Fluid in the area of the brain develops with all fetuses, but for babies with a higher propensity for hydrocephalus there's a larger quantity of fluid build up and this extra fluid will cause an expansion near the brain that can be measured. If the expansion is past a certain point you fall into a category where the chances are far greater than you're dealing with a child with the condition and from there additional tests are recommended.
Ok, for all of that at this point we're doing well. The baby seems to be well within the right parameters and in three weeks Feri will give blood again and we'll be able to tie in the biochemical part of this with what the ultrasound seems to be telling us. At this point the baby has a very strong heartbeat and seems to be developing as anyone would hope for it to, and we get to watch the miracle of this unfold - well, actually Feri gets to put up with a lot more, I'm sorry to say, with nausea (though sans vomiting, thank God) being the most pressing issue.
This is definitely a very odd experience, and a wonderful one to go through - I wonder what Chaneeca will think of it when she/he's able to finally read this?