Yesterday we had our nuchal translucency scan (NT scan) to screen for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Neural Tube Defects. The test is performed by having an ultrasound and getting the baby in a nice profile position. They then measure the fluid thickness at the back of the neck. We wanted it to be less than 2mm to be considered low risk.
We really weren't too concerned about the screening since we don't have any characteristics or family history that would increase our likelihood. We really just wanted to make sure everything was developing as it should be, that the heartbeat was nice and strong (since the nurse at our midwife appt. couldn't find it), and to see the little one since our first ultrasound was so early in the pregnancy.
I received a call earlier in the day from the perinatal center letting me know that one of the sonographers had called out sick so they were running behind and offered to switch my appointment. I said that we were willing to wait in the waiting room as long as it took. We were called back about an hour after our scheduled appointment time and led straight back to the ultrasound room.
She asked a couple quick questions (which were on the questionnaire I had already filled out and gave her, but apparently those forms are never read...)and she started the ultrasound. It was my first abdominal ultrasound (don't ask what the others were) and besides the pressing on my bladder, was much more enjoyable.
We immediately saw the baby jumping ALL over the place. It was like a dance party in my uterus. She left the baby and checked out my uterus and ovaries and all that good stuff, and by the time she got back to looking at the baby, it had calmed down significantly. The baby was facing straight out, so the tech was unable to get a good profile shot to measure the nuchal fold. Because of this we got to stare at the baby for a LONG time while she tried everything - having me roll from side to side, putting the probe on my abdomen and shaking it vigorously (which always caused the baby to throw its hands over its head and seemingly scream "EARTHQUAKE!"). She even had me walk and dance around the room to try to get him/her in a better position.
Finally she was able to freeze frame a nice profile shot during one of the many wiggles and measure the fluid behind the neck. It was 1.6mm. We later found out this was in the 64 percentile and Normal. Whew!
She did the Crown Rump Length (CRL) which was 6.65cm or 2.6" and consistent with 13 weeks (So he's still measuring ahead, but now by 3 days). They decided not to change my due date, but I'd encourage you to place your bets for late August instead of September. The heartbeat was 153 beats/min and sounded really good.
A few times he threw his hand up, and we were able to see each little bone in his hand and fingers. She showed us the arms, legs and the head (I swear we could see the brain which was creepy). She showed us the spine, ribs and the tiny little vertebrae. We didn't get a real good look at the lower half so the gender is any one's guess, although it really is still too early to tell.
I asked about the placenta placement and she said it was anterior, which basically means its along the front side of my tummy and not on the back side along my spine. The only negative about this is that the placenta will muffle the movements for a while, so I'll probably be further along before I really feel him or her moving about. Bummer. She didn't note whether it was high or low, but didn't seem concerned. She made us a CD with some still shots and a quick video clip since we couldn't record the u/s.
When the tech left the room to tell the doctor the readings, a resident came in and asked if she could practice measuring CRL's. We weren't going to turn doing getting to see him/her a little more, so she practiced for a while and finally was able to get accurate readings that matched the sonographer. While she was doing this the baby brought its hand up to its mouth and started making movements like it was sucking its thumb - so cute! She printed a picture of it for us.
The doctor came in an quickly told us that the numbers looked fine and to have fun getting all my blood drawn.
I had completely forgotten about the blood work.
And even when he mentioned it, I only remembered the single blood draw that accompanied the NT scan and not ALL the other prenatal testing they had ordered.
We went down to the lab and the intake nurse started reading off all the tests...
They took me back to the phlebotomist, where I took a seat in the chair o' pain. She opened her little drawer and started pulling out vials: Big ones, short ones, skinny ones, fat ones. I asked if I got juice and a cookie.
She just laughed at me.
Thankfully she was great at her job and it didn't hurt a bit. I credit all the acupuncture I've had over the past 6 months for my increased needle tolerance. After that we were all cleared to go home!