Nuchal Translucency Screening

Yesterday was our Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound. We weren’t offered this test the first time around, and they explained that this test was newer and because I will be greater than 35 when I deliver, I am at an increased risk for having a child with Down Syndrome.

The test is put under the big header of the AFP test, but it is really 4 tests and they called it a Quad Screening.  It involves 2 blood draws at different stages in the pregnancy, and an Ultrasound.  Then they combine all of the results together to give you the odds of having a baby with a life threatening disease.  The test is a screening test, but if the odds are high enough, you can opt for an Amnio to make a firm determination.


The US was exciting for me, even though they were looking for something serious.  The baby wasn’t cooperating and it took them a LONG time to measure the nuchal fold.  But, that gave me more time to gaze at my baby on the screen.  The babe was moving around a ton, turning and moving its arms and legs.  It was very exciting to see.

I tried to talk the technician into telling me the sex, but she said she couldn’t tell…and she said she doesn’t like to be wrong.   So, we will wait another 6 or 8 weeks until we can find out.

The baby is measuring exactly on schedule.  All tests were negative so far (CF, Tay-Sachs, etc.), and our odds were so slim that the perinatolgist said not to worry at all.  

Our next appointment isn’t for a few weeks, so I can relax and enjoying my growing belly for a bit.  
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So long sickness

Last Friday I felt horrible. I felt the worst that I had felt since my Morning Sickness started. It started around 3pm and continued even as I slept. I woke in the middle of the night, and I was nauseous beyond belief.

Then on Friday morning, I felt better. Saturday no morning sickness, Sunday the same. And since last week I have been feeling better and better. I was hesitant at first to say that the phase was over. But, it has been a week and while I still have a twinge of nausea, I feel vastly improved. I think that Thursday was the final hormone surge before tapering off.

The sweet, metallic, hyper saliva phase is almost over also (I was beginning to wonder if that would last my entire pregnancy). I still get a yuck-o taste in my mouth if I eat dairy products, yogurt in particular, but it’s minute.

My patience level is better as well. I haven’t been losing my tempter as much with Elliott, and in turn he has been behaving better. It is incredible how much children can perceive from their environment.

With the loss of the morning sickness I have gained an overall feeling of fatigue. One where no matter how much sleep or rest I get I still feel tired. Most days I can power through and just get things done. But, some days it is exhausting.

I feel very happy and finally feel at peace with being pregnant. With both pregnancies it seems to have taken me about until the 12th week to get used to the idea that I am knocked up.

My appetite is still strong, but the ravenous hunger I was experiencing has mellowed out as well. At my last appointment I had only gained 1 pound so far. I suspect she is calculating wrong, but I wasnt going to tell her.

Body Image Issues– rediscovered

I have spent my entire life trying to manage my weight.  Diet drugs when I was younger, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, exercise, and fad diets.  It wasn’t until shortly before I was pregnant with Elliott that I learned how much food and how much exercise I needed to maintain my ideal weight.  I was finally free of the emotional/boredom eating roller coaster.  

When I got pregnant with Elliott I had morning sickness BAD.  Except that unlike most folks where nausea makes them avoid food–it did the opposite for me.  I ate as if every meal was my last.  I also felt hungry more often than before and I felt like a bottomless pit-never satiated. Food was constantly on my mind and I while I felt guilty for indulging, I also couldn’t help myself.  
When I got married in 2005, I was at my heaviest weight to date–185 lbs approx.  I was also running with frequency, going to a personal trainer 3 mornings a week, but eating out most nights and consuming a fair amount of alcoholic beverages.  When I found out I was pregnant with Elliott 1.5 years later I was down to 165lbs.  It was my lowest *natural weight since High School.  And I say *natural because during the fen-phen (or was it phen-fen?) glory days, I was down to 145lbs.  But, that was drug induced.
After 9 months of pregnancy bliss, I had gained about 55 lbs.  I cant even write the number it is so embarrassing for me.  But, you are smart, do the math.  When I left the hospital after my C-Section, and delivering an 8 lb baby–I had only lost 6 lbs.  I was hugely bloated and swollen. 
Over the next several months to a year, I lost all the weight I had gained and then some.  I was down to a very happy 155 lbs.  I suspect that anxiety, breastfeeding, and a new lifestyle helped me shed all my pregnancy weight.  
I was able to keep it off for a bit, but when I lost my job in November and then the holidays came around…well, I gained a few pounds back–6 or so.  Then over the next few months I gained a couple more as I adjusted to being home full time.  And well, then I discovered I was pregnant again.   Which is ironic since I was exactly the same weight that I was when I got pregnant the first time.
You may be wondering why I just disclosed my weight loss and gain yo-yo.  You may be thinking, isn’t this type of thing you are supposed to keep to yourself?  Well, I want to be up front (mostly to myself and so when I look back I have it in writing) about the fact that I am likely going to gain a substantial amount of weight while pregnant.  But, hopefully, I will again be able to lose it like I did the first time around.  This is my mental prep for coming to terms with my new body.
I have already gained 5 lbs and I am only 11 weeks.  I am listening to my body, and it is saying I am hungry–so I eat.  The kicker is that I am choosing foods that are not the best for my body or my growing baby.  I know this in my head, but I cant reason with my hormones–they always win.  
And so it begins again…the power struggle.  The best thing for me to do is just let go and hope that it turns out the way it should.  Wish me luck.  
**the photo is at 11 weeks pregnant