Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Ultrasound - 8 weeks, 5 days

Holy cow!  Waiting for that first ultrasound will fill anyone up with anxiety.  Waiting for it after having a previous miscarriage, one that came with no symptoms, seemed impossible!  But today finally came and here's how it went.

I went with Trevor to Mankato this morning and while he was in class I got to hang out with Angie and her girls.  I was pretty nervous and ended up spilling the beans.  Trevor and I had lunch at Noodles when he was done with class.  The first appointment for our last pregnancy was exactly one year ago and I ate at Noodles then, too.  I was hoping it would bring us some good "come full circle" luck.  We still had 2 hours to kill after lunch, so we went to the mall for a little bit.  After one hour we decided to just go to the clinic early and wait there, maybe we could even get seen early.  

I knew the drill at the clinic, and that the ultrasound part comes at the very end of this ridiculously long appointment.  First, the Medical Assistant called me in for some basic vitals.  My blood pressure was 122/64 and my pulse was 78, both of those are actually fairly high for me.  I wonder why...

The Medical Assistant sent me back to the waiting room for what felt like an eternity.  I'm sure it wasn't.  The next step was both of us meeting with the OB Nurse Educator.  She went over prenatal health and took a thorough medical history for Trevor, me and our families.  She answered a few questions about pregnancy "rules" then we were sent back to the waiting room.  Funny side note: I had to go to the bathroom pretty badly at this point, so she showed me the bathroom on the way back to the waiting room.  After I went to the bathroom, my doctor's nurse stopped me on the way out.  Typically the lab is the last stop, but I think they were filling time and wanted to send me down there now, before seeing the doctor.  We went down to the lab for blood work and, you guessed it, a urine sample.  Luckily, a pregnancy symptom is frequent urination so there was no problem.

We came back up to the waiting room...again...and we both were getting really anxious.  Trevor was focusing all of his energy on random cell phone games.  I couldn't focus on anything.  I was freezing when we arrived and was wearing a sweatshirt, but quickly started sweating and took it off.  

Finally...we were called in to see the doctor.  But, of course, doctors' time is more valuable than ours so once in the exam room, we still had to sit and wait.  Between big gaps of silence, we both expressed how we were anxious and nervous, but excited to finally be at this part of the exam.  Our OB came in and immediately said congratulations-something we've both been hesitant to accept thus far.  She asked how we were doing and I may have jumped down her throat with my, "NERVOUS."  She had read the medical history from the previous pregnancy and was very understanding.  She said she'd try to do the first part (talking part) as quickly as possible so we could get to the next part.  And she did just that.  Honestly, I don't even remember what we discussed, some brief medical history stuff, the last pregnancy, probably something else.  Then she brought in the ultrasound machine and it was time to change into my "paper towel" as Trevor called it.

First she did all the basics of a regular pelvic exam.  Then, first exciting thing, she confirmed my uterus has expanded (this is good!).  And finally, time for the big show!  The doctor got the ultrasound machine all set up, had Trevor stand by my side where he could see the screen and it was go-time.  She had to move around quite a bit at first (probably checking for quantity since I expressed that as one of my questions) then there we saw it, heartbeat and all.  I knew I saw the heartbeat before she said anything, but I kept it to myself.  I was afraid she'd correct me or something so I just waited.  At last, she said "I saw the heartbeat," and I said "me too" and the tears started flowing.  I still needed to know what the heart rate was and how baby was measuring, but this was huge hurdle number one.  Moving right along, she pointed out baby's head and arm while taking measurements.  Then she turned on the audio so we could hear the precious 172 beats per minute for ourselves.  Enter more tears.  She printed a few photos for us, honestly don't look like much to me on the photos (was much clearer on her moving screen), but I can pick out the head and arm.  But we know what we saw and we couldn't be more relieved.  A few noteworthy phrases from Dr. Carlson today were that baby looked "awesome," we "couldn't have had a more reassuring scan," and I don't remember the exact wording but we both know she said the word "perfect" a few times.  One of the photos says baby is measuring 8 weeks 4 days (one day off, no biggie at all), and the other says 8 weeks 5 days (right on schedule).  I can't express the excitement and relief, so instead I just want to keep typing about it, but I think you all get the point (reading this a few weeks after the fact).  Just for funzies-here's a close up of on of the photos we got:

The two plus signs indicate where the doctor is measuring, head to rump.  Left side is the head, and you can see an arm sticking up on top in the middle.  

Now we're both exhausted after such a long, emotionally draining (exciting!) day, so it's bedtime!

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