Friday, July 4, 2008

"High Risk" Exam

Well, this post is a week after the fact, but better late than never…

Last Friday (June 27) we went for another doc’s visit. Since Karla will be over 35 at the time of delivery she’s considered “high risk,” which makes my eyes roll, but I guess it’s an insurance thing. Regardless, I don’t mind the extra tests ‘cos if there is anything wrong, I’d rather know sooner than later. So…we were up early as this was an 8:30 appointment near Baptist, and listened to the Cars’ self-titled debut on the way (it was just what I needed). After parking in the wrong garage, walking around lost for a bit and consulting some directions on Karla’s iPhone, we finally called the place, which had an automated service giving pretty specific instructions. Good to know…after the fact.

We had the choice of two tests. I’m not even going to attempt the medical terms, but basically one was “invasive” with a “risk” of miscarriage but was more accurate, and the other was simply a blood test and an ultrasound. Invasive??? No thanks!

After the customary paperwork and a bit of a wait, we’re in the exam room with a technician and a nurse practitioner. For purposes of this blog entry I meant to remember both their names but forgot them before we even left. My bad. But both were very nice, very chatty and the ultrasound went very well. I was amazed at how developed the baby looks (I’m not sure I can call it a funny little frog any more -- yes I can). My initial thought was that this was just some generic textbook footage of a baby in profile…and then it moved, a small little hand coming up as if to scratch its head and then going back down and pausing about halfway. I could make out fingers and everything. I kept my cool but was doing somersaults in my stomach. It looked very much like a little girl, quite cute if I do say so, though I know without checking out the equipment it’s impossible to say at this point. The truly amazing thing is that the little rascal is somewhere between two and three inches long. Fully developed and I can stick it in my pocket with my cell phone. Or would that be bad for it? We also got to hear the heartbeat, which reminded me of something like a Brian Eno percussive loop. Too much? Ok, ok...

Anyway, we were told that they were basically checking for two things: the skin fold on the back of the neck “that all babies have at this stage” and the nose. I definitely saw the nose right off and was at first upset about this thinking it had acquired my state-sized nasus, and that it shouldn’t be so freakishly developed at this point. I was wrong. Thankfully this was all “perfectly normal” and one of the ways they confirm that the baby doesn’t have down syndrome (or trisomy 21 for you doctors out there, or three of chromosome 21 for you slightly less educated but not totally ignorant commoners out there). The skin flap was also “perfectly normal” at 1.9, er, feet or millimeters or cubic tons or something.

Afterwards we had a nice talk with the nurse practitioner who, from my perspective, scared the begeezus out of us with all the talk of trisomy 21 and trisomy 18 and what to expect if one or the other should occur, etc, etc. I’ve been pretty laid back with this entire deal so far, but after that pleasant little exchange I needed a serious drink. Unfortunately all they had was water and soda. Again, no thanks.

The blood test was in another area and I waited in the hallway next to this little girl (who just stared at me when I said “Whatcha know, kid?”) whose mother was getting blood taken as well. The technician here was also chatty and Karla said afterwards that it really hurt when she took her blood. Nice one. We won’t know the results until Monday (as in July 7).

So, as we round of the end of the first trimester, all systems are go, all conditions normal, everything is as it should be. Karla has been less nauseous lately but seems to have picked up a cold which is slow in going away, but she’s getting there. She nearly passed out at work earlier this week we believe due to low blood sugar and is trying to be more mindful of eating her snacks exactly every two hours regardless of if she feels hungry or not (thank you Goldleaf Financial for keeping her so busy that she forgets to eat…jerks).

Unfortunately the latest ultrasound pix us are extremely dark and did not transfer well when we scanned them. However, I took some other pictures of the excursion which I’ve posted for your viewing pleasure.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

P.S. I was wearing my new Chucks too, which I'd purchased on a business trip to Frankfort, KY earlier in the week. Awesome, I know!


Amber said...

Rawk! Keep the info coming.

Josh said...


you are too cute for your own good...

really, stop it.

love, joshua