Big Sister

>> Thursday, December 17, 2015

As you may have gathered from my latest Instagram post, we told Ada she’s going to be a big sister!

I’m 12 weeks and 4 days today, and I had my NT scan yesterday. But first I’ll back up to my 12 week appointment with my midwife. I had some concerns about being on antibiotics and a few questions about the group B strep, so we moved my appointment a bit earlier. We got to hear the heartbeat on the Doppler, and it was beating away at 168 beats per minute.

One big bit of TMI news is that my retroverted uterus has finally flipped into the “correct” position. So, as I had mentioned a few times, my cervix is now up and way out of reach when it had been extremely low. I’m sharing this because having a retroverted uterus -- while not entirely rare or concerning -- can lead to some complications if it doesn’t right itself. It’s just another thing women worry about, but in the vast majority of situations, everything will be just fine.

So, my NT scan. I didn’t get this screening with Ada. I was only 27 when I was pregnant with her, we had no problem getting pregnant, we don’t have a strong family history of genetic disorders (that we know about), etc. Still, this time around, we still don’t 100% know why I was miscarrying. It does seem like it was a progesterone issue, but the question mark is still there. And after Ada’s brain surgery, we just thought getting some additional testing might help us prepare for anything we’re up against.

We won’t get the final results for some time, but the scan portion of the test went very well. Everything measured in normal ranges and there weren’t markers for anything off the bat. I did have to give blood in the lab and will have another round of blood work before I get my results (at least I think that’s how it works). Has anyone had this test? What is your experience? I suppose if anything comes back abnormal, I can go on to have further testing.

Anyway, the baby was kicking up a storm in there. I couldn’t believe how big he/she has gotten. The heart rate was again 168 beats per minute (very consistent!) and everything measured right on for my due date on June 26th. The tech showed us the developing brain, the faint outline of the chambers of the heart, the fingers and toes, and all sorts of physical features.

When I was pregnant with Ada, I wasn’t terribly concerned with the sex of the baby. This time around, I really want to know what we’re having -- but not for the reason you might suspect. We absolutely, positively don’t have a preference either way. And I couldn’t mean that with any more truth in my heart. I so badly want a healthy baby. But, on the flip side, I would love to know what we’re having because I’ve had tremendous trouble bonding with the baby. It’s taken me a long time to really feel confident that the pregnancy will continue, that everything will be OK, and that’s kept me from connecting.

For example, I’ve shared very publicly that we’re pregnant online. But in “real life” I get uncomfortable talking about it!

The tech did offer a preliminary guess based on that whole “nub theory” you might have read about on birth boards. Our baby’s nub is pointing straight out, parallel with the spine, which may mean girl. It’s an early guess, but even having that discussion helped me feel like this is all really happening.

I may do more pregnancy updates from this point forward. In a way, I feel like writing little notes will help me with the whole bonding thing. I’ve had trouble celebrating because I keep feeling like something bad is going to happen. And we’re not ever going to be in the clear. So much can happen during pregnancy, birth, after birth, and beyond. That’s life -- but I also think I need to try to let go of that fear and enjoy the ride.

For now, I’ve taken a few baby steps. I’m looking up some gear since much of what we had with Ada is worn or expired. We actually did buy a crib already, which I felt really conflicted about at the time . . . but it was a good deal. I’ve also asked Santa for a Doppler so I can listen to the heart beat from home. I know it can also create some anxiety, but I’m the type of person who will probably stress either way!

Also: The story with telling Ada really isn’t as exciting as you’d think.

I wrapped up a few baby things in a box and at the bottom had a shirt that said “THE BEST BIG SISTER!” I also bought a couple books, including Baby on the Way by Martha + William Sears -- I highly recommend this one because it mentions midwives and nursing, etc. We told her the news, and she didn’t have much of a reaction. Like, at all. I think she’s a little confused because baby has been in the vocabulary for so long with nothing to show for it.

But as the day went on, she got more and more excited. She asked lots of questions and even wanted to “watch a movie with the baby in mommy’s belly.”

I could write a load more, but I think I’ll stop here. Thank you for all your love and support as we’ve gone through all the highs and lows in this journey. We still have a long way to go, but we’re ready to fully embrace the positives.

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