Aug 10, 2009

Week 12: Dr's apt & 1st Trimester Screening

So, this past week I had both my second doctor's appointment and my 1st Trimester Screening. I have Care First (Blue Cross) which doesn't allow for procedures like the 1st Trimester Screening to be covered in my doctor's office, so I went to the Genetics & IVF Institute to get that screening done on Friday.

But, my regular doctor's appointment was on Wednesday and everything went pretty quickly. I had a mid-morning appointment which meant that I waited about a half hour to get in. Then, I did my urine sample, blood pressure (good) and waited in the room for my doctor. She came in and it was pretty quick where she just listen to the heartbeat - in the 160s/minute, good - and then just asked if I had questions. I really do think that they figure there is so much for people to read out there that they don't need to really tell us a lot of stuff... Or they figure we will ask. Which makes me think that really, in the end, not too many things will hurt you! At least in moderation.

Anyways, it took her a bit of searching to find the heartbeat, but that really didn't freak me out. I mean, I always get a bit nervous before these things, but I don't feel like anything is WRONG, so I guess that doesn't worry me. :) She may have thought it was a bit higher because my belly is kinda' sticking out, but really it's still pretty low.

So, I asked about my weight - ie, I have gain about 8 pounds already - and she said no problem - it's probably a lot of water weights and gas. :) I said I got a bit dizzy last weekend and she said to drink more water and it's probably because I'm starting to produce more blood. I also brought up how I trust her opinion and for the most part I'm healthy, so if I have questions and it's really normal - just tell me it's normal and not to worry about. She said that most things in pregnancy are kinda' like that! lol. And finally, I brought up how I have bad ankles, shoulders and knees (tendinitis and almost no cartilage in my knees) and how when I gain weight my knees usually hurt - can I take Alieve, Motrin, etc. Nope - I can only take Tylenol, which doesn't help. :( She said that a brace may be helpful, but also that sometimes pregnancy makes women get more lubrication in their joints, so I may be fine. Cool - I hope that's me (if you saw on twitter, my knees are hurting today, but I think that's because we have an atmospheric front coming in tomorrow - yes, I usually feel those... I have a bit of arthritis too)!

After that, I got 2 vials of blood taken out so that they can test for EVERYTHING (including HIV and blood type). I love the nurse - I barley felt the needle! :)

So, that appointment is all good and my next appointment is Sept 2nd. :) I really did think that they would do an ultrasound each time - they don't unless you ask - which is kinda' sad, but I understand. I don't think I'll request the ultrasound, but I hope I get one next time :)

So, my second appointment was Friday for the First Trimester Screening. This screening is an option in Virgina, however something that is recommended. They are testing for Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 and/or 13. English? Well, we know that Down Syndrome is not a fatal mutation, but *can* result in the child having any range of mental retardation. They can't tell how much the child may be affected (or in the end if the child WILL have it), but they give a range of probability. Likewise, Trisomy 18 and 13 are cases when a child has extra chromosomes (18 or 13) in their DNA which more often than not, results in them not surviving past the first few hours or days of birth. This screening does an initial test for these defects:
"The First Trimester Screen (FTS) begins with an ultrasound examination measuring the tiny fluid filled sack at the back of the fetal neck, called the nuchal translucency. An increased measurement may indicate a chromosomal disorder, a congenital heart defect or other birth defect, but can also be seen in normal fetuses. A maternal blood test that measures pregnancy hormones (B-hCG and PAPP-A) is combined with the ultrasound measurement and maternal age to calculate a specific risk for Down syndrome and for Trisomy 18 or 13." from Genetics & IVF Institute webpage

They also look in the ultra sound for the development of the nose... I never heard about that! :)
So, looking at the ultrasound, everything looks ok for now. Before the ultrasound, they took a little bit of blood - I was surprised because it wasn't a vital, she just withdrew some into the needle... I thought they would take more. Of course, because I took blood on Wed, she had to use my other arm and I knew it wasn't going to be good because she choose an outside vein... Nurses NEVER choose outside veins. You can see it better, but it never gives blood as well as those on the inside. She put in the needle and then is like, "Oh, that was a mistake" and started to move the needle around a bit. So, starting Saturday, I got a bruise. :) Actually - I was surprised - I'm a big wuss when it comes to needles (I don't cry, but I don't really like it), but I didn't really feel much for either shot. Does your pain level get higher while pregnant? I hope so :)

It was very cool to see the ultrasound (isn't it always?) and this was the first time that it looked more like a baby. The last ultrasound, we saw a blob and the heart beating (still VERY cool). This time, we got the close up and it really looks much more like a 'baby.' :) Also, he/she is moving!!!! Not as much as I thought, but kinda' these jumps every now and then. (seriously, it looked like it was being shocked with defribulatiors...) Then, it turned around and stuff - so neat!!! Our little guy/girl is jumping around! hehehehe!

So, when that all was done, we went into another room while the doctor (or whoever) looked at the ultrasound. Then, a councilor came in (I think her name was Mary) - SUPER nice women - and went over what everything is and how things look so far (good). It was very good because she really stressed how these are PROBABILITIES - there is always a chance for something to happen, but these test give us an idea of how at risk we are. If we are deemed to be high risk, we have the change to take further tests including the one where they take out the DNA. I *think* that test is pretty much 100% positive in those cases... My regular doctor said that if we find that the kid has Trisomy 18 and/or 13, she recommends terminating the pregnancy because the baby won't survive much after birth. They don't recommend terminating for Down Syndrome. I agree with that - everything I read says that you can't tell how bad Down Syndrome can be and it's not something life threatening. But, I understand that it would change your life COMPLETELY and so don't judge anyone who would. And my doctor didn't seem to either, which was very good...

So, now I am waiting for the genetics center to call with the probabilities for our baby. I'm positive with the ultrasound results and hope that everything will continue to go well! Wish us luck!!!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have a very thourough doctor and doctor's office. You're luck!