Nineteen weeks: flutters and fear

I’m particularly pregnant, all of a sudden. My new maternity pants and I got waved through the family line at airport security, and strangers suddenly want to know my due date. Somewhere in the mountains halfway between Vancouver and Peachland, I became convinced for the first time that the little taps in my belly were Puddin.   I was expecting the soda bubbles that the books talk about, but this was more like the baby was trying to get my attention.  Hello.  I’m in here.  Hello, little one.  Since then it’s evolved to more of a flopping goldfish sensation and I’m feeling it throughout the day (and the night…especially the night). Puddin especially gets feisty after I eat and seems to have a preference for salsa.

Aside from being absolutely unable to cope with Toronto’s recent heat wave (our new and improved AC is being installed on Tuesday), I’ve been just sort of sailing through this part of pregnancy.  I’m loving my rounding belly, I still feel mobile, I don’t have to work right now so I feel well rested and ready to nest.

Then we had our anatomy scan.  It was notable as being the first scan that I wasn’t nervous about. Our OB wanted it done by the radiologist, a nice thorough look to rule out the neural tube defects that I’m at higher risk for because of my history.  I was confident that between my good blood results, my other scans, and the truckload of folic acid I’ve taken in the last year, our bases were covered.  I was so prepared to talk about neural tube defects that I completely forgot that other things can go wrong.  Now, as a Jew, I fundamentally believe that my continued vigilance is what prevents bad things from happening.  If something negative occurs, I must have forgotten to worry about it. I realize that this is ridiculous, but I can’t help it.  It’s genetic. 

We started out with the regular tech, who took measurements and showed us lots of little details.  Fingers and a spine, a nose and mouth.  Lauren and I both exclaimed aloud at the perfect bent knees, in miniature.  It was a long scan, which didn’t alarm me, and when the radiologist came in she spent a lot of time looking at the head, which also didn’t concern me, given that they needed to rule out neurological problems.  The radiologist finally said, “Okay, I think we’re done,” handing me a towel to deal with the copious amounts of ultrasound goo.  I turned my head to smile at Lauren, still high on the baby knees.  But the doctor was still talking.  “We found a problem,” she said, much too brightly.  She launched into a speech about the coronal plane, the orbital space being undeveloped, how this can be a part of many syndromes that usually have other markers, but well, “we can’t see everything!”.  Wait a minute, what?  As we exchanged glances and started to try to formulate questions, we were told that our OB would talk to us, and the doctor was gone.

Having no idea what any of this meant, the hour and a half that we waited to see our OB was tense.  We spilled the whole story to the nurse, and when the doctor came in she apologized for the scare.  “I looked at the images, and I’m not convinced,” she said.  Patiently, she answered our questions.  It was a bad angle (Puddin’s face was apparently smushed against the wall of my uterus). It’s possible that one of the baby’s lenses isn’t developing properly.  There are rare problems that this can be associated with, but I have no other markers and all the other organs look great.  If the eye doesn’t develop, there are options (Lauren: We could get him a patch like a pirate!).  I will have another scan next week with a specialist and hopefully the baby will be in a better position.  She’s not especially concerned.  Don’t panic.

We left feeling very reassured, but there’s this undercurrent of fear that I can’t quite shake. I’m not so upset about the eye – I mean, I’d obviously rather have no health problems at all, but we can all live with that.  I’m thinking about the rare things, the things I didn’t know to worry about.  Who ever sees those coming?

But there are pokes and kicks in my belly, and the baby has perfect knees.  So we wait, and take deep breaths, and refrain from googling.

Oh, and Puddin is a boy.  A wonderful, tiny boy. 




About tamarainwriting

I'm a queer, married, child and youth counsellor, in Toronto, Ontario. My wife and I had a beautiful stillborn son and we have an amazing one-year-old daughter. It's a complex journey.
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3 Responses to Nineteen weeks: flutters and fear

  1. meridith says:

    How stressful! It sounds like you all handled it remarkably well. Here’s to it being just s you said – a scare.

  2. Lauren says:

    Like mother, like son. Lord knows I get particularly feisty after a meal involving salsa. Olé.

  3. gus&otto says:

    Congrats on the boy! Oh, and this sounds oh-so difficult to wait to hear about health status. Your tech person sounds like a bit of a dufus scaring you like that, and perhaps unnecessarily so. I thought they weren’t supposed to share scan results because of situations just like these!

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