Thursday, April 19, 2007

sucker!

What a truly undescribably beautiful day it was yesterday. Undescribable - but I'll try anyway, for memory's sake, though I don't actually think I'll ever forget a detail about it, for as long as I live.

Tia#R picked me up from home at 7:30AM to go to the hospital with me. I really felt like I needed someone there with me, just in case the result would turn out unacceptable, and Geo had no way of ditching work for a few hours. I was happy that my sister agreed to come along, because first and foremost I wanted her to see The Booger with her own eyes, thus making it more real for her, and secondly I wanted her opinion as a nurse about the hospital I chose.

Through the heavy morning traffic and the desperate search for a parking spot around the pavillion we barely made it there on time, but were received in a friendly manner anyway. A nurse took us into her office immediately, and took all my data into the computer system. She gave me a set of phone numbers to call in different emergencies, and explained all further proceedings to me. With my new paperwork she then sent me to the bathroom to pee in a cup, and then up to the second floor (- by elevator!!!) to a midwife, who proceeded to ask me a whole slew of questions about health issues in my family, sicknesses and surgeries I had in my life, allergies, and whether or not I am willing to donate Baby's placenta and umbilical chord to science and research. She made me sign several agreement papers, gave me several brochures to read, and a paper to fill out that states that I want Geo there when the time comes. She also gave me the phone number to call to sign up for the free first-care package that every woman and her newborn get: a nice backpack filled with onesies, bibs, bottles, diapers, a blanket, and a few other useful newborn stuff. The midwife took her time with me, and was really friendly and conversational. I didn't feel like a number, or a medical object. I felt adressed as a person, and taken great care of. And thus - I was officially registered for giving birth at this hospital.

My sister's comment to all of this so far: "They are all so FRIENDLY here!!!" I guess she's used to different kind of patient-treatment in the hospital she works at? At any rate, I liked her assessment so far.

We were sent back down to where I talked with the nurse and were told to wait a bit. We did for about 10 minutes, then I was called to the ultrasound room, and greeted by a very young female doctor. Nobody ever made a problem over my sister coming along with me, so she was able to see everything that was about to happen for herself. :)

I was explained the significance of the result of the test, and was offered to have my blood drawn for the so-called "combined test", where my hormones would be tested, and which would raise the accuracy of the nuchal-fold measuring to a whopping 90%. Of course this test I would have to pay for, since it was not part of the services paid by my health insurance. It was quite expensive, but I decided in favor of it anyway. Not that I feel that anything is wrong with my baby, but I like seeing test results written down on a sheet of paper in front of me, for my peace of mind.

So after that was clear, I had to lay down on the bed. There was an extra monitor above the bed, on which I could comfortable watch my baby all throughout the duration of the examination. I wasn't sure what to expect: I was told that for this specific type of examination a high-res scanner was needed, something my own doctor doesn't have. I also didn't know how long it would take, I have heard that it's usually taking around 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the baby.

Well, seems like my little one was not cooperative at all. As we got a first glimpse of it, I got scared immediately: it wasn't moving at all, just kind of hanging there. Last time I saw it it was going all kinds of crazy, so I was afraid that something might be wrong. Then I saw the strong heartbeat, and heard the doctor say that "Look! It's asleep!" Ok, phew, but I was a bit disappointed, since I had hoped for my sister to get to see the cute little fetal antics I fell in love with last time.

But nevermind that - the doc pushed into my tummy several times, shaking the ultrasound device against my abdomen, and suddenly my jumping bean woke up. It was the greatest thing, the movements didn't look like random twitches anymore, and they were really violent. Hard to believe that I am not able to feel them yet! And the growth! In a mere 2 1/2 weeks my baby went from 35 to 57 millimeters, and a large step closer to humanity in a visual sense. I could see that my sister was truly shaken by what she saw, she couldn't move her eyes from the doc's monitor anymore. We watched my baby flip and kick and box, and I saw what a difference that hi-res scanner made: I could see every vertebrae of its spine, I could see the bones in its hands, I could see the jaw, the eye sockets, the nose cartiladge. I looked at a perfect little human being - and one with an attitude, I can tell you! Probably interpreting too much into what I saw, but I thought it looked a little dismayed at having been woken up like that. It kept turning its back toward us, obviously trying to fall back asleep. In order to get to measure my baby properly (head diameter, head-butt length, nose cartiladge, stomach, etc.) the doc had to shake my tummy repeatedly, to get it back into action, trying to make it turn into a direction helpful to her purpose. She didn't have the slightest chance at seeing the nuchal fold yet, and already 15 minutes had passed. She kept on asking me if I was ok, if I was uncomfortable, and apologized for the lengthyness of the process. I just laughed and told her to take all the time in the world - when else do I get to see my baby for this long and this detailed! I had the time of my life, seriously. :)

Then it seemed like Baby had decided that the fun was definitely over now. It went still again, and no amount of pushing my tummy moved it to move anything anymore. And it had its back turned towards us, as if to say SCREW YOU, I'M GOING BACK TO SLEEP. Gave us the cold shoulder, it did. My cousin Bern later mused that this baby must be a boy, for only men can be this lazy. (To which Geo later said: if it has half of your (my) genes, it'll be a girl, for it's acting just like its mother does - BAH!)

Slightly exasperated, the doc asked me to cough really hard a few times - to no avail. Eventually she asked me to stand up and shake my belly around - so I stood there with my gelled tummy, my shirt all the way up and my undies too far down to be proper, performing some kind of weird belly dance in front of my sister and the doctor. Turned out, I made an idiot out of myself for nothing, for my performance did nothing but wake baby up to a grumpy brief wave before drifting back off again.

That's when the young but nice doctor gave up. She apologized, called it a difficult examination, and all a learning process. She asked me if it was okay with me if she consulted a colleague, which of course it was. I appreciated her honesty with her limitations, and I really appreciated her asking my consent before she did anything. Again, I felt like a human being, not like a medical object or a number. She left and came back with an older doctor, who was very nice also. She took over, and had a good shot at the nuchal fold within a few minutes. By that time I had already been on the table for a good half hour, if not more - much to my personal joy. The young one wanted to give it another shot herself, to learn, and asked me if I was okay with her trying again. Of course I was. Finally, with the help of the older doctor she was able to measure the fold - and it measures at a healthy 1.4 mm. :)

They wiped me off and sent us back out to wait for my blood to be drawn for the combined test, and my weight to be taken. Turned out, I still haven't gained anything since before my pregnancy, and I am already in the fourth month. The blood results will be mailed to me within a week, and I will be informed if anything out of the ordinary shows up.

OH, and at some point during the examination, while I was too busy taking in the whole picture and appreciating my baby to notice any details, I heard my sister ask the doctor: "Is it possible that it is sucking its thumb???"

Well... it was. :)



-image removed-


More pictures to see on my ringo!

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