i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

you are an alien. I’m sure of it. And the obstetrician was right when he told us what you’d do when next we saw you: you performed on cue and waved at us. Double-handed! December 10, 2008

Hello Speccie,

good news – you are all in the normal and good range of the NT-scan results and the chances of you having one of those chromosomal abnormalities is pretty low. Your dad and I are pleased. Good for you. Still have questions and its all a bit weird to even think of, but reassuring I guess.

Otherwise – you seemed not to want to co-operate with us in getting the scan. I asked the ultrasound lady about the risks of ultrasound, well, actually I told her that we wanted to keep it to a minimum and she was very helpful & understanding with that & also reassuring. So she was efficient as she did it and just pointed out things quickly to us as she went about her measuring and checking. You were lying there and looking at the camera most of the time, scrunched up in a little ball though – curled up a bit like the way I sleep. We could see your head and your jawbone really clearly, and your legs were both there too. You have little arms, and we could see your finger bones, which are still hooked together in a web (I think we could make that out too). Weirdest of all, we could see your entire backbone with lots of little vertebrae really clearly. And through the top of your head we could see the two halves of your brain.

I also have a big placenta that has good blood flow in it to give you the nutrients you need, and a spot where you are connected through your umbilical cord. So all is good there.

After measuring your length & looking at your hands & arms & legs to make sure they were all there & looked ok, we tried to get the neck thickness reading. But you were asleep & in the wrong spot. So to get you to move around I had to lift my bum in the air & wiggle around. We tried that a few times, but you just didn’t want to move. Checked that you do have a heartbeat, and you do, 160 bpm at the moment, which is good. After wiggling my bum around a bunch of times you only seemed to shrug but stay in the same spot, so next we tried getting up and walking around the room while wiggling my bum. That seemed to work a bit – you kinda turned towards the camera & waved your arms in the air on either side – and looked so much like an alien with hollow eyes and a big brow but narrow chin coming at us with your arms waving around crazily up beside your head that your dad started doing impressions and dancing around with glee.  Sorry, no offence again, but you really do look just like an alien or the figure in Edward Munch’s ‘The Scream’.   I think the ultrasound lady was a bit surprised by my shouts of “oh my god, it looks like an alien freak – no offence speck”. After the single double-handed wave which sent both your dad & I into peals of laughter you immediately just then scrunched back up again and steadfastly refused to move.

Are you planning on a circus career?  You could go for a position in the freak show at the moment though I think that with the dexterity you displayed you have the capability to do a bunch of different things, and given your willingness to perform (but only at your choosing and only once dramatic bit) perhaps you are suited for something like that?  Or maybe you’ll just be a nude exhibitionist?? Up to you, but you showed promise in all these departments.

Next the ultrasound lady suggested that I needed to go and eat a bunch of sugar and come back in 10 minutes – apparently the effect of sugar on you down there is that immediate. She was hoping that it would wake you up and make you move around a lot so she could get a picture in the right spot of the thickness of your neck. So I went and scoffed a hot chocolate & then a caramel slice (urg, too sweet), and came back up. And, surprise, surprise, you were seemingly awake / much more active. You were moving around – doing flips and extending and contracting your legs and arms, and generally having a good swim. For about 5 minutes, after which time you tried to sleep again. The second ultrasound lady wasn’t as nice, and kept trying to poke you with the ultrasound machine, and I got fed up with her and told her to hurry up and finish. Your dad looked like he wanted to punch her. Anyway, she had managed to get one reading of your neck, which seemed fine, so we were done. After that my bloodtest results came back & the counsellor talked us through the results, and went on our way.

Your dad and I caught the bus home together and recounted to each other what it felt like to see you. He congratulated me on growing an a-ok baby until this point – but really, as I told him, its all you now I think. You should have most of your own organs and what not, so apart from nourishment etc, you’re on your own steam.

Anyway, it was good to see you, you looked relaxed and pretty comfortable down there. There seemed to be lots of room for you to grow bigger, and you seemed to be getting a bit of exercise. BTW perhaps the reason you were sleeping today is ’cause you had a pretty big work-out at frisbee last night (my back certainly knows about it today)?

so, like before, keep at the growing, you’ve got bigger but have a long way to go~

love you


nervous December 10, 2008

Hi Speck,

its your 12 week scan today (11 w 6d is where you are – so pretty on the mark)- the NT-plus test where they work out some probabilities of you having downs sydrome etc.  Its all done by blood test and ultrasound, so I’m excited to see you again, but I think understandably, also a little nervous.  I have read the material about what will happen, and your dad and I have talked about what the outcomes might be and our possible choices based on those outcomes, but it is hard to conceptualise until its really happening – a little more room for emotion and other things to creep in.

I’m also slightly concerned about ultrasounds in general after having a chat to a friend earlier in the week who was worried about them.  I’ve done some reading and there are some studies that make some tentative links between ultrasounds and reduced foetal development (in summary there are some of the opinion that parts of your brain/nerves might not develop as well if you are ultrasounded a lot compared to not at all/just a little).  So I’m also a bit tentative about the whole ultrasounding thing – I might have a chat to the doctor today about this and ask that they just keep it to a minimum – ie what they need to do but minimum time ultrasounding if possible.  Then next time I go to the obs I can have a chat to him about it and get another opinion too.   Trying to keep open-minded about it but also a little cautious – overall I think I believe in minimum intervention where possible, so really, not ultrasounding you unless medically advisable for solid reasons does make good sense.   Hopefully we’ll see you soon enough anyway – and in the flesh!

Otherwise, my exams are weighing on my mind too – but I just want them over and done with.  Sick of trying to study.  Need to do a bunch more but time is running out.  And its really a secondary concern at this point – its just adding to my overall level of stress / nervousness.

So today your dad and I go into the clinic, I give some blood and then half an hour later they come and do the ultrasound and do some measurements, and then I think all of this data gets fed into a central Australian database of other ‘noids results (tests and baby health etc) and then they come up with some kind of probability that you do/don’t have the chromosomal abnormality that causes downs syndrome.  I’m going to Sydney Ultrasound for Women, who have some info on their website about it. I’ve been there before – thats where your first two scans were from. Then I guess we get options for more testing and a counsellor talks to us about the results. Its a pity you can’t talk too and let us know how you’re doing. I’d like to have your opinion.

Love you, will definitely see you later today. Be well!