Yesterday morning, we had our 3D ultrasound at BabyVision Ultrasound.
|Right ear. Baby looks so much like Doug here.|
Now, we went into this intending to pay for it. We don't make a habit of asking for things for free. But when Erik explained the situation, they offered to do it gratis. Given that, I expected a fairly cursory scan and a few pictures. What we were actually given, though, was a 15-minute scan, seven printed pictures, a CD with 31 photos, and a DVD of the whole scan. This doesn't neatly fit into any of their packages, but the closest one is $200. We also wanted to buy a Heartbeat Bear, which is a teddy bear that has a recording of the baby's heartbeat inside, but they gave that to us without charge as well.
|This is the heartbeat bear.|
So there was that aspect of it; it was amazingly generous. But the more important aspect of it is one that I can't quantify. The woman who did our ultrasound was incredibly friendly, and enthusiastic about Psalm-Angel. She treated the ultrasound like a normal ultrasound and Psalm-Angel like a normal baby. She showed us his/her ear and arm and leg. We saw the heartbeat up on the screen. It was all really amazing.
|You can see the baby's heart pretty clearly here.|
We had another midwife appointment that afternoon. It was pretty run-of-the-mill except for needing to take my glucose tolerance test; this required drinking what I called the Devil's Kool-Aid. I didn't have any trouble with it last pregnancy, but I barely got it down this time around, and got pretty woozy after my blood draw.
That draw also included three vials for the MaterniT21 test. This is generally used to check for chromosomal defects, but in my case it is more to determine the baby's sex, since there's no other way to do it. So we'll eventually be doing a reveal for that, which isn't something I ever expected to find myself doing. It's OK though.
When I was there, I asked Kim whether we could get a printout strip of the baby's heartbeat. She was willing, and had one of the nurses walk me down to the NST room--the same one where I had my non-stress test for Doug--and I was hooked up for about half an hour and got a nice long strip. It was good to see, and amusing to hear the baby smacking against the heartrate monitor.
|Printout of the baby's heart rate, from the office.|
With all this, I very nearly feel a sense of closure. Of readiness. I told the baby yesterday, Just a few more days until your sisters get home. Give me one more week and then you can go home whenever you need to.
Obviously, I don't want it to end this soon. But I am feeling more ready to face it.
|You can see the omphalocele clearly in this picture.|
Today I am feeling a bit fragile. I think this is my new normal for now. The baby's positioning has me worried. S/he seems to have an arm up above his/her head and a leg up in front of his/her face. I am not sure what that means for a vaginal delivery. I'm going to the midwives weekly from now on, and plan to take a print-out to discuss it next week.
|If you look just above the baby's head, you can see both the arm and the leg going up.|
The other thing that has me a bit worried is the baby's heart rate. Until yesterday, it was holding steadily in the 140s, as all my babies' have. Yesterday it was 123 or so at the ultrasound, 130-something in-office, and varied from the 120s to the 140s most of the time I was hooked up to the monitor, with a couple of worrisome drops into the 90s. Anywhere from 120 to 160 is normal. A change from mid-range to the low end makes me nervous, though. In researching the normal range yesterday evening, I ran across a couple of mentions of the heart rate slowing down closer to birth, but even that said the norm was in the 130s.
|This is the heart rate displayed on screen. Very neat.|
So I think we may be nearing the end, and even though I am as ready as I'll ever be, I'll never really be ready.