She Says… My, How You’ve Grown

A few days ago Benjamin and I had the first part of a serial sequential test done for some common (and very scary) birth defects, like Down Syndrome. The serial sequential consists of two days of testing. At 12-13 weeks, you have a detailed ultrasound to measure the fold of the baby’s neck and some bloodwork is done. Then, in week 15, you have more bloodwork done. Somehow, between those three tests, the doctors can come up with a 95% accurate statistic for how likely your baby is to be born with any of  number of chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects. Pretty amazing what modern science can do, eh?

As I said before, I’m not terribly concerned about the outcome of these tests (since I am so young and neither Benjamin nor I have any of these defects in our families), but the tests gave us the opportunity to have an extra ultrasound done to get a peek inside. And they’re covered by my insurance, so we felt like it was a win-win. Also, just on the very off chance that the doctors find something to worry about, I’d like to know sooner rather than later so that I can prepare myself as much as possible for what will be.

The ultrasound was SO FUN. We were sent to a special ultrasound specialist, since the ultrasound equipment at my regular OB’s office isn’t detailed enough for this kind of examination. We arrived right on time, and I had spent the previous hour hydrating since I had to have a full bladder when they did the ultrasound. So, understandly, I was a bit peeved when the receptionist said that they were running 30 minutes behind schedule and I would have to wait. My face must have read, “PANIC!”, because she quickly said, “You can go to the bathroom if you’d like and immediately start drinking again.” Phew, crisis averted. That’s just what I did. And my bladder was good and full by the time the doctor saw us. Which was good for the ultrasound but bad for me during the exam!

Little Piccolini was swimming around like a fish. The doctor could barely catch him/her. He covered my whole stomach in gel (warmed! how nice!) and had to run the ultrasound thing from all the way down by my pelvis to all the way up the top of my ribs. I honestly don’t understand how the baby could have been all of those places, but it was pretty hilarious watching the doc try to follow the baby as he/she swam all around. Once the doc caught the little fish, we could see everything. Both sides of the brain, spinal cord, arms, legs, hands, feet, even a little bump of a nose on his/her profile. And the perfect little heart beating away. Totally, totally amazing.

There’s just no other way to describe it. We were in awe. Piccolini is, by far, the most incredible thing Benjamin and I have ever created.


18 responses to “She Says… My, How You’ve Grown

  1. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. I didn’t get to have my NTU because they scheduled it too far back and the baby was too big. I was so devastated. I’m glad yours went off without a hitch.

  2. I remember looking at those ultrasounds and thinking, “That baby looks like a girl.” And she totally was! It’s a fun one!!

  3. I love your ultrasound pictures! It’s amazing how much they change from week to week throughout pregnancy! Glad you’re doing well.

  4. He/she looks like a baby now! How precious! You’re bringing back lots of fond memories of my little boy:)

  5. I didn’t get those tests done (I had a different philosophy about avoiding worry and I knew of the high rate of false positives), but it would have been great to get the pics! Just wait until the 20 wk ultrasound, those are the best, plus you get to find out the gender (hopefully!)

  6. OMG!! Those pics are incredible… I can’t wait for the day that Baby Blakely looks less like a blob and more like a baby! 🙂

  7. Umm, AM-A-ZING! So cool you guys had this amazing peek inside. Definitely looks like a little human, how awesome is that?!

    PS It was so awesome to meet you last week my friend! 🙂

  8. How incredible! Look at his/her little nose!

  9. Time for more belly pics!!!!

  10. Kate, those pictures are beautiful! There is nothing more precious than a little baby. I’m so happy that everything is going beautifully for you so far, that brings a big smile to my face. 🙂

    These pics certainly bring the whole pregnancy to life since you can actually see it with your own eyes. So beautiful. Can’t wait for my pics soon. You have brought me to tears once again. All the best!

  11. That’s amazing! The pictures put it in perspective what is going on in our bellies!!

  12. awesome pictures!!!!! congrats 🙂

  13. Thanks for sharing! I have that same ultrasound this Friday and now I’m extra excited.

  14. thanks for sharing! It is crazy how science has development. Even with the ultrasounds. You can see so much more than you used to.

  15. WOW!!! I can’t believe all the detail you can see in those ultrasounds! Baby is getting so big. Very excited for you.

  16. Hi Kate,
    I just stumbled upon your blog while doing a google search (I see you can relate!) about ttc. I’ve been off the pill for over a year and yet no baby. I just had a HSG done this month and am on my 2nd round of 50 clomid. I can’t tell you how COMFORTING your blog has been for me. I’ve spent the last hour starting at the beginning and reading through your journey, laughing and crying as my husband and I’ve have gone through all these steps, too (“The Cup” cracked me up). We’ll see if this month is the month for us as we just finished our “week”, but your story has provided me with a sense of relief and that positive thinking will help make this happen. So much of what you are doing (from babying a dog to only buying organic) fits me to a tee. I am still blowing my nose after watching your video of when you found out, it’s how I imagine I’ll be. Thank you for doing a blog like this. Best of luck, I feel like I’ve found someone who can relate to being in their 20s and having trouble with making a baby. But you did it!! And it makes me feel like we will too, soon. Congrats and I look forward to reading your journey in its next stage:-)

  17. Thank you all so much! I am so lucky to have a resident photographer (aka Benjamin) to capture all of these moments.

    sunnyside up, Hi! I am so glad that you have been able to find some comfort in hearing my story — it’s a crazy ride, I know. And I’m so happy to be living proof that it can all work out, no matter your journey to get there. Good luck this time around! It WILL happen for you, one way or another, even though the timing is clearly not what you’d hoped for. I look back on last year and think of it as an object lesson in not being able to control everything (as I often wish I could). It’s a valuable lesson, for sure.

  18. Hey! Thanks for your response. You are so right about the timing thing- I’m a bit of a perfectionist as well and this may my lesson that I can’t get everything right when I want it. But I do think that had it happened earlier, my husband and I would have missed out on this closeness we developed (as well as the humor in planning ‘days’). I’m learning much from your blog, thanks again for voicing worries I think many of us have.
    p.s. I used to be a huge fan of Jon and Kate +8 and I also, like your husband, was so so sad when they divorced. But have you seen the show Guillana and Bill? I just got into it this year, but she is going through the same mishaps and I now feel glued to watch it b/c I want to see her get pregnant too. Just interesting to see so many people with this frustration. Give your belly a pat and know you have many people so happy for you!

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