Thursday, March 22, 2012

My pregnancy in ultrasound

I'm obviously not pregnant anymore, but I'm already missing being pregnant so I thought I might breeze through the highlights of my pregnancy with Luca using our ultrasound photos. I mentioned that my first pregnancy symptoms were subtle, and seriously I wasn't kidding. If I hadn't slept an extra hour or so a day I probably wouldn't have known I was pregnant until I started to show. Many women get morning (or all day) sickness, but none for me. Heartburn? nope. Acne? maybe a little, but nothing out of the ordinary flare-ups. Cravings? not really. Bloating? maybe, but couldn't that just be gas? Constipation? ok, yeah but that's always an issue for me anyway:)

Our first ultrasound was exciting and nerve-wracking as it is for most women. I had some spotting for a few days and started to get worried. It wasn't much, and it wasn't bright red, but my Dr. thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to check anyway. So baby D made his first appearance at around 7 weeks, and to my relief there was a strong heartbeat and a teeny little baby in there.

Even though everything looked good, I started to obsess a little bit because of the bleeding. I probably took a pregnancy test every other day to compare the colors of the lines. My initial positive was so so faint I swore I was faking the whole thing anyway. Looking back now, I'm not sure how the hubs dealt with my insanity, but I'm glad he never said anything about it. It's also a good thing we lived close to the dollar store- I ripped through those tests so fast!

We had another ultrasound around 9 weeks because of the bleeding. Again, all was good and baby looked a little more than just white dot in a black hole:)

12 week ultrasound: This was my favorite group of pictures because Luca really started to look like a baby and not just a blob. He waved and kicked, and we got some great laughs watching him move around. I was in awe of how much I loved this little baby already.

A wave for mommy:

Little kicks for my MIL, who is "Ra ra" to her grand kids. Our ultrasound tech put the captions on the pictures. She was so bubbly and positive, and I loved every ultrasound with her.

During the first exam, they measured my cervix with the ultrasound because I have a history of short cervix. Basically during your pregnancy, your cervix should stay the same length- about 2.5cm. As labor initiates and progresses, the cervix begins to shorten (also called efface) and soften. There's actually an interesting (and somewhat graphic, if you're squeamish) website called The Beautiful Cervix Project that has images of the cervix in different stages of labor and throughout a woman's normal cycle. It's interesting to see the how the cervix changes, but I was hoping mine wouldn't change until the end of my pregnancy. My Dr. wasn't necessarily worried about pre-term labor, but she wasn't going to take any chances either. Everything looked good, and I figured I would be a low risk, normal pregnancy. But a few months later it looked like my cervix had shortened just a bit. Still, the Dr. seemed pretty nonchalant about it all and I went on my way with prenatal exercises, brisk walks with my dog Max, and no restrictions at work (I'm on my feet pretty much all day). I did, however, have an ultrasound about every week so I could tell they were keeping a close eye on my pregnancy. At 16 weeks, they referred me to a high-risk specialist for an ultrasound.

The 16 week ultrasound with the high risk doctor was incorrectly scheduled as an anatomy scan. Typically anatomy scans are done more around 18 weeks, so the ultrasound tech wasn't sure she would be able to #1 tell us if all was on-track with baby's development, and #2 tell us the sex. I wasn't expecting to find out the sex at that appointment, but I was pretty pumped she was going to try. Our other ultrasound techs told us they wouldn't tell us unless they were 1000% sure.
Hubs swears during the 12 week ultrasound he could see "something down there", and he was certain we were having a boy. I hate to admit that I didn't think he was entirely crazy because I, too, think I saw a little weewee. I certainly felt like I was having a boy from the very beginning, so it didn't surprise me when Luca was spread eagle and we saw his twig and berries.
16 week hand:

16 week little feet! I want to kiss them.

16 week little boy parts:

We also had an 18 week appointment where the technician was able to get a pretty good 3D photo of baby Luca. Everyone who saw this picture commented on how much he looked like me (especially his button nose)! When he was born, it was sort of a surprise to us all that he looked literally like a 50-50 mix of hubs and I. It's sort of amazing how making a baby can truly blend two people's traits:)

Around 30 weeks, I had an appointment to again measure my cervix and it was down to 1cm in length. Not good, and the Dr. was worried about an incompetent cervix causing pre-term labor. I was sent directly from my appointment to the hospital for monitoring and a steroid injection. Steroids are routinely given to women who may go into pre-term labor to speed up the development of the baby's lungs. Betamethasone and dexamethasone are the two most commonly used steroids, and I was given Betamethasone. The injection has to be given 24-48 hours prior to the birth to have a maximum effect, and there are two injections given 24 hours apart. Some providers actually choose to continually repeat the dosages every week until the birth, but most only give two doses. Luckily Luca performed like a champ on the monitor and I left the hospital that night with a sore bum, instructions for pre-term labor symptoms, and a worried and anxious husband. After that appointment I was put on partial bed rest, and I wasn't even given an ultrasound pic to share:( Actually, when I went back thru my ultrasound pictures to document all of this, there were a lot of "what the bleep is that" photos. And some of the 3d photos are just creepy, so I don't really have a good, clear ultrasound picture from my third trimester. It's ok though, I got a baby instead:)

Around 34 weeks, I was given the go ahead to move around a little more because it would be "ok if I delivered". Obviously not ideal, but ok. I decided not to increase my hours at work because I was getting pretty swollen at the end of my half days, and I figured that would only get worse. At my 34 week appointment I "threw some protein" in not so medical terms. Basically I had protein in my urine, and my blood pressure was a little high. They decided to watch it closely and the next week it was unchanged.

But around 35 weeks, things changed... stay tuned for Luca's arrival!

Just last week with mama. I couldn't love him any more.

1 comment:

  1. He is so precious! Can't wait to read your birth story!