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.