Monday, July 21, 2008

We've got a wriggler (week 11-12)

I can't possibly concentrate on work today. The obstetrician appointment this morning was just too exciting. I persuaded Toby to come with me, even though I was expecting a fairly routine appointment. It's still early days and although I have felt my uterus grow (and yes, it is palpable) I was still a little bit nervous about how things may have progressed. I wanted him there for moral support.

Well, was he pleased he came! Unbeknown to us I was booked in for a nuchal fold scan. So there, I didn't even have to make the decision in the end. Personally, I wonder whether the doctor just wanted the opportunity to play with his new ultrasound machine but I wasn't complaining, even though it was another internal scan.

As soon as the picture came on the screen we could see the baby moving around. It was so lovely to see because without having to stare at the screen trying to make things out and looking for a heart beat, we could see that the Clucklette was alive and apparently well. Not only that but it's a very healthy size, about 5cm, spot on for my dates. It's tucked in there very tightly now whereas last time it was just this little bean at the bottom of my uterus. It has an umbilical cord and the fancy new machine showed us areas of blood flow so we could see that a healthy blood supply was channelling through there.

My second thought on seeing Clucklette, after "excellent, it's moving, it must be alive" was that I had been right when I'd wondered about an alien implantation. My little bean is no longer a bean but a little alien with a large head ("Heed! Shift!"), what appears to be a pointy chin, and elongated oval-shaped eyes. So attractive. However, the obstetrician reliably informed us that all human babies start out this way and in fact, this is what the movie companies base their aliens on, rather than the other way around. This apparently suggests that aliens, as we know them, aren't real, but more importantly it means that Clucklette will grow out of its alienism before it is born, which is very reassuring.

The detail we could see on screen was quite amazing. The doctor pointed out an ear, fingers, a thumb, the spine. The legs were a bit trickier to make out but I suppose they are still quite small in relation to the body and the head. So insignificant are they that they aren't even included in the measurement which goes from head to rump. Clucklette measures just under 5cm, a very healthy size for its age and spot on for the dates.

At one point Clucklette seemed to get a little shock. I wondered whether it could somehow sense the ultrasound. Or perhaps it had been sleeping and then suddenly jolted awake. It kind of jumped, all of its limbs spasmed out and then it wriggled around for a while. It was my first real "ah!" moment and was very cute.

The doctor then played around with the machine for a while. He produced some 3-D images, which were amazing although to be honest, Clucklette looked even more freaky in 3-D. Its skinny little arms seemed to extend straight out in front of the body which looked really funny. The doctor then showed us areas of increased blood pressure, which mainly occurred around the umbilical cord, the heart, brain and various other little spots in the body. I'm guessing they were the internal organs. We saw a graph of the blood pressure, and then of the heart beat and heard the heart beat again, still going strong.

We got some print outs of static images which aren't quite as good as the moving ones. We also got given a DVD but I haven't had the chance to look at that yet as I had to come to work. I imagine it contains digital copies of the images we've been given so far. Once I've had the chance to check it out I'll post some photos.

The doctor seemed pleased that everything was going well and Toby and I left as very happy expectant parents.

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