Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's a Girl!

So we had our week 18 ultrasound today, and found out that the tadpole is a tadpolette.
We also found out everything seems to be progressing normally, and the baby is healthy.

We had a bit of a scare with some tense times during the ultrasound exam, but thankfully everything has turned out alright. During the exam, they discoverd some 'choroid plexus cysts' (CPCs) in the baby's head. These are tiny open spaces in the choroid plexus which is where cerebrospinal fluid is created. It turns out that these cysts are pretty common, but are associated with a chromosomal abnormality called trisomy 18 (related to Down's but more severe, usually fatal). Because of this, we ended out having a much more detailed exam to look for other telltale signs of this chromosomal abnormality, like a cleft palette, heart defects, an underdeveloped chin, a thickening of the skin around the neck and most tellingly, hands that don't open with overlapping fingers, and a baby of smaller than expected size.

Thankfully, we got very clear views showing no cleft palette, a heart with 4 fully developed chambers beating very nicely, a well defined chin ('quite strong for a baby at 18 weeks' according to the doctor), perfectly normal neck skin thickness, and as you'll see in a photo below, perfectly formed hands that the baby kept waving around clenching and unclenching. We also found out that the size of the baby is just fine and is actually about what they'd expect of a baby a week older than ours. Because of all these good signs, and coupled with the negative AFP Tetra results we mentioned in an earlier posting (which screens for Trisomy 18) the doctors are confident that everything is normal and we have nothing to worry about.

Doing online research (see this website for more info on CPCs if you want to read more) we further verified that this really seems like nothing to worry about, and should clear itself up over the next few months. Also, longitudinal studies have shown that these CPCs have no effect on the babies development either before or after birth. It turns out that, although current practice says that a doctor needs to tell a patient about these cysts, there's a debate brewing over whether anything should even be said, assuming all the other indicators come back negative, since, as we can attest, this can be a scary thing to hear about, even when it turns out not to be a problem.

So all in all, it was a shocking, scary experience that we'd wish on no one, but in the end it turned out just fine. And now we can get on with being excited about having a healthy daughter on the way.

And here's what you've all been looking for (I'm sure) the ultrasound images:

I still think these 3d images are crazy

Supposedly this is proof that the tadpole is a girl.

Here's a great view of a nicely developed, wide open hand

This is the more traditional non-3d ultrasound image of the baby's profile.

and here's one final 3d image

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Nursery and Belly Photos

So here are a few photos:

The new bureau/changing table (from IKEA)

Emily's new chair (also from IKEA)

The previously mentioned 'crazy chichi stroller' and the crib from Bryan, Sheri & Rian

The belly at 18 weeks

more belly

the belly 4 weeks ago, for comparison...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Still Officially Pregnant

So, continuing on the 'I'm actually officially pregnant' strain -- this evening I was working on the Reference Desk. A coworker was across the room (across a large room, mind you) and yelled out -- Hey! Are you having a baby?! Needless to say, student conversation in the room stopped, the Circulation workers looked up w/ considerable interest, and a dead silence spread across the room. Just a side note here -- the first floors of libraries are never quiet and they shouldn't ever be. Librarians don't go "shhhh" anymore, and if they do they shouldn't be there. Back to the story-- "Well, not right now," I replied, and he finally moved closer so we could have a somewhat more private conversation. It turns out the reason he asked is because I'm showing. Again, it amazes me that people a) notice and b) say something. And now, a good portion of the university's undergraduate population knows.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Really Pregnant

So, I'm officially pregnant now. I was helping a patron try and recover a document that the computer swallowed (sadly, it was never recovered) and as we waited for the software to open she asked me if this was my first "little one". I've been outed. What surprised me was I would NEVER say something like that to a woman -- how do you know she's pregnant and not just fat? or has a stomach tumor or something? I mean, I wasn't offended obviously, and had a nice chat w/ her, but someone sure as heck could be. Anyway, it was a first. And as Dad pointed out tonight on the phone, for only being pregnant for 4 months I do look like I'm at least having two (or seven, as I believe Dad said) -- so let me dispel that rumor right now. The sonograms show just one, so unless there's another that's REALLY good at hiding that's all there is.

Which brings me to a tangent - though loosely related. Target has some great maternity stuff. But, it's ALWAYS right next to the Women's or Plus sizes and often mixed together. As a pregnant woman I find this merely annoying. I think if I was a Plus size person, and having to pick out my stuff from the pregnant stuff, I'd be super offended.

Anyway, the stroller came today. It totally rocks -- James of course had it out of the box and put together before he'd put the groceries away :) The dogs are none too pleased w/ the stroller - but at least Oscar didn't growl at it. I'm thinking we should take some walks w/ the puppies and the stroller -- but as Dad pointed out we could soon become 'those crazy people' who walk around w/ an empty stroller. Maybe late at night? We'll take pics of it and post them soon -- cuz there's some excitement for everyone.

Monday, December 05, 2005

AFP Plus Tests Negative

We got the results of the AFP Quad test today -- negative. Which means it's unlikely the baby has Downs Syndrome, or neural tube problems, or defects in the digestive system or ventral walls, or other random chromosal abmormalities. Yay! More info on the test here. The other cool thing is we heard the baby's heartbeat again -- about 150. Our doctor said the heart slows down throughout the pregnancy -- this is a good thing and means the nervous system is developing properly. Our next sonogram is the 20th and that's the anatomy scan (where they make sure the baby's growing alright) and we might get to find out of it's a boy or a girl.

In other news our new stroller should be here soon! And we got the nursery spiffed up (finally). Things are coming together....

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It's the time of year...

for Xmas decorations.

So that's what we did today.

lights on the house

the tastefully tacky tinsel tree

the gruesome twosome hard at work
(not really decorations)

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