Monday, July 10, 2006

Not sure

So. I just had my first prenatal appointment. And, well, I'm not quite sure how to feel about it.

For the most part, it went well. My OB seems to be the right balance of laid-back (to balance out my extreme neuroticism) and yet not dimissive of my concerns--she answered all of my questions seriously and carefully. I can eat pretty much whatever I want--she said she normally gives patients a big lecture about carbs and gaining too much weight, but because I'm already underweight, she's not worried about it. I don't need to be paranoid about listeria ("Just don't go to a bodega and order the ham that's been sitting there for two months") and can even feel free to eat sushi. She prefers not to perform episiotomies and is totally fine with my hiring a doula if I want.

Of course, my biggest concern is the whole UU thing. She said that while I do have a higher chance of preterm labor, it's also entirely possible that I'll have a completely normal pregnancy. In fact, if I make it to 37 weeks with no major problems, I can even deliver at the hospital's birthing center. At this point she is going to treat me like a normal patient (that means my next appointment isn't for FOUR MORE WEEKS! Aagh!) and then when I reach 24 weeks she will start watching more closely for UU-related problems. If needed, I'll be referred to a high-risk specialist, but not right now. Which...I guess I'm okay with. I suppose it's not a bad thing to be "normal," though I'm disappointed not to get the million billion extra ultrasounds I was hoping for (shut up, Robbie, I can hear you laughing). I will be going for a nuchal translucency scan in a few weeks--actually, she gave me a choice between the nuchal translucency scan at 11-13 weeks or AFP3/AFP4 screening at 15-16 weeks. Which took me about two seconds to decide--gee, would I prefer an earlier test that includes an ultrasound, or a later test that's bloodwork only? Huh, let me think.

Speaking of ultrasounds...this is the part I'm not sure about. According to today's scan, at 8w1d, the fetus measured 7w4d. It measured 7w6d just four days ago. I told my OB about the earlier scan, and asked if I should be worried, but she was not the slightest bit concerned. "There's a heartbeat, everything looks fine, don't worry," she said.

Now, the ultrasound machine at the OB's office did have considerably lower resolution than the one used for my last scan at the clinic. The image was quite blurry, so that could have affected the measurements. I did actually see the heartbeat this time. And the measurements are generally plus or minus a few days anyway, so it's possible that the growth is perfectly on track and the measurements are just wonky.

...Or maybe my baby is shrinking.

I really have no choice at this point but to trust that the person with the actual medical degree, who has delivered hundreds of babies, knows better than I do about this. But truthfully, I would almost rather have not had the scan today at all if it meant that I was going to get confusing information like this. I guess this is what I get for jumping the gun on scheduling my OB appointment--if I'd waited until after I was officially discharged from the clinic, I probably would have had this appointment next week or the week after, and the scans wouldn't have been so close together as to be confusing.

Sigh. Anyone have any charms against DBTs (dead baby thoughts)?


Blogger Alli said...

I am sure it was just a miscalculation at one of the scans! I am sure everything is fine!

Glad you liked your new doctor!

4:04 PM  
Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

Charms? Not really, but a heartbeat is the best it gets... I know you were kidding, but just in case you still have any doubts - babies don't shrink :-)

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Ultrasounds are notorious for being off by several days. If the one a couple of days ago was off by several days too much and today's was off by several days too few, that would explain it all. And it a completely reasonable explanation.

With that said, just keep reminding yourself that NBHHY!

7:54 PM  
Blogger MoMo said...

I am sure everything this is okay and there is nothing to worry about. Thinking of you!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Robber Barren said...


(Oh, I'm sorry.)

Don't freak about the measurement. I had a similar experience. First ultrasound, RE's office, the embryos measured 6w2d and 6w3d. Second ultrasound, six days later, OB's office, lower res machine: 7w1d and 6w5d. (Two days' growth in six days' time.) I flip out and insisted that the doctor re-measure that embryo, he caught an image at a different angle, and the embryo measured at 7w2d. But keep in mind that even the higher res RE u/s machines have a margin of error of +/- three days...and I'm pretty sure the lower res machines have an even wider margin. There are so many factors...resolution, angle, embryo position (yours may be curling up a bit more or something). DO NOT FREAK OUT (well, try not to).

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scans vary according to who does them and the position the fetbryo is in. No worries.

~Brooklyn Girl

9:44 AM  
Blogger Thalia said...

Don't think it's possible to ward off the DBTs, but I do think in this instance that blurriness explains a lot.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Watson said...

I don't have any charms to help ward off the DBTs, but there are a lot us out here in the blogosphere sending you good thoughts -- maybe that can help in some small way.

I wish you continued GOOD news!!

7:37 PM  
Blogger jadordik76 said...

I wanted to congratulate you! I know all of your feelings, since i am in a very similar boat, just a little further along. The first 14 wks are very nervewracking. I know that there are risks in the second /third trimester with UU, but once i passed the 14 wk mark, i was able to relax (A Little)... I will keep reading your site, and share any information i think will be useful for you.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Ornery said...

Isn't it so strange to go from constant monitoring to being told that you're NORMAL (for once in your reproductive life) and that you have to wait a freaking month for your next appointment?

Unfortunately, there is no effective talisman to ward off the DBTs. Once you're around 12 weeks, you might want to try renting a fetal heart monitor so that it can provide some reassurance during those month-long gaps between appointments. Also, please try not to worry about the measurement difference. The standard deviation on those machines are usually around 3-6 days, the angle of the ultrasound image makes a big difference in terms of how it affects measurement, and as the fetus gets older and starts fidgeting around, you'll find that sometimes they tend to curl up a bit while other times they like to stretch out. All these factors means that a few days difference has absolutely no clinical significance.

Congrats on a successful first prenatal appointment!

12:31 PM  

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