Yesterday we had our 20 week anatomy scan ultrasound and doctor’s visit. I had been waiting, waiting, waiting all week for this appointment. I was so excited to see Beau up close. Neither Chad nor I really slept Thursday night; I fell asleep an hour and a half after he did and when I woke up at 5:30, he had been up for an hour and a half. Then he fell asleep until until we had to leave around 8 and I was up the whole time. We basically tagged in and had one night’s sleep between the two of us.
I had to have a full bladder for the ultrasound. I had to drink 16 ounces of water starting at 7:30 and ending at 7:45–I think this is part of the reason I couldn’t sleep, I was so worried about making sure I got up to start my water on time. I drank the first 8 ounce glass in the first three minutes and then barely finished the second 8 ounces in the last minute. I was very concerned about what I was supposed to do with a very full (as it started to feel immediately after I finished the water) bladder for my whole appointment, but to my relief (pun intended) I was allowed to use the restroom after the first 10 minutes of the scan.
We got to the doctor’s office late (two almost wrong turns from very busy on the phone Chad) and I was pretty flustered when we arrived. Once we were in though, our ultrasound tech was amazing. She brought us back to the room, got us situated and explained the scan. She told us we could find out the sex if we wanted and we told her we already knew, she explained what all we would be seeing, she told me that I could use the restroom after we got started (whew), and then explained that she would tell me if everything was normal. If anything wasn’t normal, she wouldn’t be able to tell us that, but she would get lots of photos and talk to the doctor who would tell us in our appointment that followed (another sigh of relief).
So the plan was to basically go head to toe and look at all parts of Bean; however, as soon as we were set up, it became very clear that he wasn’t going to cooperate. Beau did a full 180* flip in the first minute of the scan. The typical game plan was out the window because every time Allison (our tech) had a good angle, Beau moved. He wiggled and kicked and twisted the whole scan. He was also very responsive to the ultrasound wand. He would pull away and move when he felt the wand on him. We were able to see all the parts at some point during the scan, but instead of head-to-toe, it was: a kidney, a leg, his head, another leg, another kidney, a hand, his head, a foot… We just looked at the parts of Beau as he showed them to us. In the end, we were able to see (almost) everything we needed to.
We saw that Beau has all 4 chambers of his heart, and we saw the left and right ventricle arteries. We saw his diaphragm which was below his heart and above his tummy–exactly where it should be. We saw his fluid-filled stomach and bladder; these are good signs that his digestive system is working properly.
We saw his spine, which looked great. We saw his legs and his feet and ankles. His legs were straight and he didn’t have any indication of club foot on either side. He appeared to have 10 toes (actually in one shot it looked like 11, which, great, if he does have another–which I doubt–he’s extra stable). Allison measured his femur. The machine recorded each of the size measurements and at the end spit out an estimate of Beau’s development. We saw his arms and hands, and everything looked great there. We measured around his waist.
We then looked at his head. Allison measured around his head. Everything looked great with the head and upper spine. The size of the flap on the back of Beau’s neck indicated low risk of Downs which confirmed his genetics tests.
We ended with just a few last shots that we needed. We still needed to see a muscle on the heart, but Beau was so twisty and folded up (we checked with Allison, he’s just flexible, he doesn’t appear to have any deformities), that we weren’t able to get that shot. This means we’ll get to see Beau again next month 🙂 There’s nothing to worry about, we just need to try again next time and hopefully he’ll be a little chiller. Allison also wanted to get us the “sitting on a glass table” “it’s a boy!” shot. Beau had his umbilical cord between his legs, right above his penis. Allison tried to jiggle him to get him to move, but he wouldn’t untwist, so we have a different angle shot, but we did confirm that his boy parts are there! The final shot that we tried to get was the profile shot–the typical shot for keepsakes. We must have tried 15 times for this shot over the course of the scan. Beau did not want to cooperate. Every time Allison got the ultrasound in the right spot he would either turn right at us (horrifying–like something out of an actual horror movie) or would turn away. Finally, at the very end she got him in the right spot, but he was moving his arms around and wiggling so they are a little blurry.
One of my most favorite moments was when was saw him yawn, it was a huge yawn and after it he shook out his head and whole body. It was VERY cute.
Beau measured 4 days ahead of his due date and is estimated to weigh 12 ounces. We are very happy that he is doing well.
After the scan we saw the doctor. This wasn’t nearly as great of an experience. The doctor we met on Friday was our least favorite. We were weighed (gained a few pounds!). We then met the doctor. I told him I had some questions and while I was finding them he told me that he had some questions for me. He asked me the typical (scary) questions about bleeding and pain. None of either. And then I got to my questions.
A little bit of background. Mom had to remind me after my last appointment that I should talk to the doctor about a genetic disorder that I have a tentative diagnosis for from childhood. So to take it back, I have a spinal deformity called kyphosis. Like scoliosis, kyphosis is a curvature to the spine. In kyphosis, the disks of the spine are wedge-shaped which causes me to have a curve in my upper back between my shoulder blades (like a hunchback). The spine compensates for the curve in my upper back with a curve inward in my lower back. My kyphosis developed when I was in 7th or 8th grade. At the time, I grew several (6) inches in a year. The spinal curvature is due in part to this rapid growth. While there are surgical interventions for kyphosis, my case wasn’t severe enough that the risks and challenges of surgery (it’s a horrifying surgery) would outweigh the benefits. Instead, my treatment involved physical therapy and bracing. I wore a back brace for 3 years.
Ok, so that’s my back. Now to the genetic disorder. I had a birthmark removed from my arm my freshman year of high school. The birthmark wasn’t huge, but the doctor wanted it biopsied. The biopsy was negative and all was fine, but I had to have the stitches redone because my skin wouldn’t hold the initial set and I developed a big keloid scar in the place that the birthmark was removed. It turns out that fragile skin, keloid scarring and kyphosis are symptoms of a genetic disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Ehlers-Danlos is a group of associated, inherited disorders that involve issues with connective tissues. There are two major concerns with Ehlers-Danlos that relate to pregnancy (not all EDS patients have both, there are several types of EDS): the first is heart valve issues and the second is in blood clotting (or, really, an inability to clot that leads to excessive bleeding).
The dermatologist who made the diagnosis of EDS initially referred me to a cardiologist. I had an echocardiogram that indicated no issues with my heart. Because my heart seemed normal, the cardiologist determined that there was no need for additional testing. Because in 2002, insurance companies could deny insurance to those with pre-existing conditions, and because my heart seemed healthy and normal, the dermatologist and cardiologist decided that we shouldn’t pursue a definitive diagnosis of EDS and I was left with my tentative diagnosis.
Ok, so fast-forward to my wisdom teeth surgery (2004??). I had an issue with healing and bleeding, which MAY indicate that I am prone to the the other EDS complication of excessive bleeding. It’s also worth noting that I did not have an issue with bleeding in my tonsillectomy.
Now back to Friday. I wanted to talk to the doctor about EDS, and my tentative diagnosis to see if there is anything that we can do to test for my blood’s ability to clot or just to make the physician group aware that this might be a concern. I mentioned this and the entire appointment felt derailed. According to the doctor “EDS is not a minor concern” and I was referred to a high risk pregnancy specialist who I will be seeing in the next two weeks. I am now very stressed about what to expect with this appointment. Hopefully all will be fine and we will know more soon, but I was not expecting that this would be such a problem (he almost made me feel like it was irresponsible to even be pregnant). We didn’t get any confirmation from the doctor that things were alright with Beau, but I suppose that no news is good news when it comes to our ultrasound, and that the doctor would have told us if he felt there was something we needed to talk about on Friday. The doctor also told me that there shouldn’t be any issue with my kyphosis. He dismissed my concern about not gaining weight–I only need to worry if after 24 weeks I am not putting on a pound a week. And he offered no guidance on our question about circumcision.
So all in all, although our ultrasound was amazing, the appointment with the doctor was stressful and discouraging. I will set up my meeting with the high risk pregnancy specialist and will have more info on that and hopefully a game plan after the appointment. Thankfully our next appointment with our physician group (Feb 3) starts with an ultrasound and then continues with Dr. Shuman, the doctor that we have liked the best so far. I am very much looking forward to talking with Dr. Shuman because she made me feel encouraged and supported after our last appointment with her. Some good and some not so good. I know pregnancy is a rollercoaster, but I’m not good at dealing with unknowns.
Happy New Year! This will probably be a longer than typical bump update because I have been waxing nostalgic the last few days (thank you pregnancy hormones!).
2016 certainly got a bad rap, and while a lot of terribleness did happen, it was a pretty incredible year for us. Last night, we celebrated the end of the year by heading (after I got off work) to the distillery (their drinks are delish without the booze too). We worked a little on the electrical for our house, I looked through photos from this year and then we played some dominos. As I looked at our year, I was struck by just how many incredible milestones we accomplished and celebrated this year:
In February, I finished and successfully defended my dissertation. The next day, we closed on our lot.
In April, we both celebrated our bachelorette/bachelor parties with our close friends.
In May, we got married, I graduated (which we celebrated with my parents and grandparents), we honeymooned (which was full of several firsts and incredible moments for us: visiting the Caribbean, helicopter ride, scuba diving together), and when we got back I turned 30.
In August, I started my job at the Morgan Center.
In September, we found out we were pregnant.
In October, we saw our Bean for the first time.
In November, we enjoyed Thanksgiving with both our families, celebrated Chad’s and Mom-Kathy’s birthday together and heard our little Bean’s heartbeat for the first time. We also broke ground on our house.
In December, we found out we were having a boy (!!!) and we celebrate Christmas with Owens family (and virtually with the Geier-Hayes family)!
It has been an incredible year.
Last night, we rang in the New Year in the best possible way. We spent a lazy day watching movies until it was time for me to go to work. Before it was time to leave, we had a late lunch and I was sitting with Chad on the sofa when I felt, with absolute certainty, Mr. Beau kicking. I have felt it several times since (he’s wiggling around in there as I type). It’s so amazing to feel him and know he’s there. I can’t wait until Chad will be able to feel him too. I went to work and then we headed to the distillery. After we got back from the distillery (they closed at 10), we cuddled on the sofa and read to Beau. We have started reading aloud to him–one chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone every night. Chad voices Hagrid and I read everything else 🙂 We want to start this nightly tradition with Beau and have him learn our voices. We finished our chapter, looked at the clock and it was 12:02–we missed the countdown and official ringing in of the New Year, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
On to the update!
How far along?
I am 19 weeks today–We are halfway to full-term!!
How big is Bean?
Bean is the size of a large grapefruit (6 inches from head to butt) and weighs just over half a pound! Most people use fruit to specify baby size, but we have another way to measure Beau: he is almost exactly the size of the super oversized Reese’s peanut butter cup I got Chad (purchased late night at Sheetz last night) for Christmas. (See below)
Total weight gain/loss?
As of yesterday, I was net +1 pound. I am considering 144 my starting weight, and yesterday (actually the past few days) I have been weighing in at 145. I’m a little concerned about my weight gain. I am worried about gaining weight very quickly during the rest of the pregnancy–I have read that steady weight gain is best for a number of reasons. I also know that too little weight gain is associated with early/small babies. I will certainly talk to the doctor about this! (We have a long list of things about which we need to talk with the doctor at this appointment, including something I hadn’t thought of before we knew we were having a boy: circumcision. I am going to learn a lot about boy parts now that I’m a boy-mom-t0-be!)
I am wearing a combo of cute maternity tops and stretchy or oversized stuff. I love the maternity clothes because I actually look pregnant in them, and I love my little bump.
My sleep has been incredible this week because Chad is the most amazing man in the whole world. He gave me an amazing pregnancy body pillow for Christmas. It’s called a Snoogle and I am blown away by how much my sleep is improved. I get so comfy with this pillow, it has especially been helping my hips/back and my sinuses. It’s also great for lounging in bed when we watch TV and read to Beau.
Best moment this week?
Feeling Beau! Absolutely. It’s so incredible.
I am so happy to report that although some nausea persists, I am feeling free from morning sickness symptoms almost every day! I was only sick enough to throw up two days this week, and for the most part have stopped taking my Zofran. Not taking the Zofran means that I have been much less constipated and much more comfortable. I have found that big meals less often make me feel worse and have been trying to reorient my eating so that I am doing smaller snack meals more often. I have been feeling hungrier more often, which is a good sign! Thankfully, no stretch marks yet!
Still loving the sour stuff. I started the week craving fruits and veggies–we ate vegan two nights in a row. (These lettuce wraps and these sweet potatoes are two incredible plant-based recipes.) But after the second day of lots of veggies, I got morning sick and since then I’ve been eating an unfortunate number of grilled cheese sandwiches (always tummy safe). I have been trying to sneak in fruits and veggies when I can. Applesauce has been yummy!
Two smells have really turned my stomach this week: seafood and whisky. ICK! That’s probably not a food aversion though–I hated those things before I was pregnant!
BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY (I am so excited!!!)
YIKES, still no!
Belly button in or out?
What I miss?
I never get tired of missing cured meats. But let’s see… Do I miss anything? Not really. This life we have is pretty great!
What I’m looking forward to?
I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL OUR ANATOMY SCAN THIS WEEK (on Friday).
Obviously, feeling Beau Bean (the “quickening”) is an incredible milestone. I think we are going to have a lot in common, because like me, Beau seems to be motivated by food. I have most been able to feel his kicks after we eat! He loved the pasta that we had yesterday and also got into the creme brûlée french toast that I made for brunch this morning. Less appetizing is this kinda gross, but very cool milestone: Beau is getting vernix caseosa or “cheese varnish” this week. It’s a greasy cheese-like coating that is made up of a mix of lanugo (downy hair that covers him and apparently falls out and he ingests and starts making into poop also this week), oil from his glands and dead skin cells. Sounds so gross, especially to call it “cheese” (one of my most favorite things in the entire world), but it is pretty amazing because it keeps Beau from getting wrinkly in the perma-bath he’s taking until he pops out.
January 6th for our “Level 2 Ultrasound” anatomy survey. During this scan, we will measure Beau, view all four chambers of the heart, look at his kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, spine and verify that he’s got boy parts. We’ll check out the umbilical court. And the sonographer will check the amniotic fluid (like a car check), the location of the placenta and monitor Beau’s heart rate. There are a lot of things to check and we’ll know a lot about Beau’s development. It’s a little nerve wrecking because of course we want to see that everything is ok, but we have very little reason to suspect that anything will be abnormal, so all-in-all, I expect that it will be very informative and incredibly cool. I will write up all about it on Friday, and post any photos of our little that we get 🙂
*Ah, and I have a note.* One thing that should be clear about this blog is that it is my (Lydia’s) view on the world. Chad’s perspective on everything might be different (maybe I can get him to guest blog someday!). He was reading the blog the other day, pointing out typos, and when he got to my story about the name he said “And, just so you know, you got this story about the name wrong.” “Um, what?” “I had Beau on my dog name list.” So, Chad thinks that when we were in the car, talking over names on our roadtrip that when I said “Beau,” he said “Yeah I like that one, it’s on my list of dogs’ names.” He just showed me, he really does have it on a file with dog names.
So I leave you with this, the final scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Sorry, Beau, you were, sort of, named after our future dog!):
Sallah: Please, what does it always mean, this… this “Junior”?
Professor Henry Jones: That’s his name. [Points to himself] Henry Jones… [Points to Indy]… Junior.
Indiana Jones: I like “Indiana.”
Professor Henry Jones: We named the *dog* Indiana.
Marcus Brody: May we go home now, please?
Sallah: The dog? [starts laughing] You are named after the dog? HA HA HA…!
Indiana Jones: I’ve got a lot of fond memories of that dog.