i opted to go ahead and do the first initial screening tests as part of my prenatal care. They include 1. a small finger prick proceeding vicious squeezing of finger to squish out enough blood to fill multiple circles on a little piece of paper 2. ultrasound measuring fluid at the back of baby's neck and 3. more blood being sucked out of my arm at some future date.
there may be more steps, i'm not sure, i wasn't paying attention. just kidding, i was, i'm just not super into it. from what i gather all of these things combine to give you a rough calculation of the possible chances that something might be wrong [not all things just certain things, like spinal bifida and downs syndrome], and it may or may not be a reliable determination. pretty iffy. my first baby doctor was a midwife who tried to convince me how absolutely necessary it was for me to do the more invasive screening tests with the amniotic needle, she said the chance of miscarriage was worth it. she said there was only a 1 in 100 chance of the giant, huge, terrifying amniotic needle invading my child's place of refuge resulting in miscarriage. but that's the same chance for babies born with any birth defects. i personally didn't like those chances, it just wasn't worth the risk to me, especially since no matter what they told me may or may not be wrong i wouldn't even consider termination, so it doesn't seem to serve a purpose for me. my new doctor is sweet and wonderful and doesn't really try to force any of the screening tests, she said the first few are safe and just give a general idea and the amniotic screening isn't for everyone. so why would i even opt for the little screening tests that don't really give you solid answers? because they do this AWESOME, industrial, detailed ultrasound. and then they give you PICTURES. and i wanted in on that. it was way worth the finger prick followed by death grip squeeze. way.
as much as i adore these pictures, they really are nothing compared to what craig and i were seeing at the time. the quality of the pictures isn't even comparable. we saw everything! it made us so giddy, craig couldn't stop gasping and giggling. i wanted to squeal with joy, but i had to hold my tummy still. so i just laid there with my mouth open mostly.
our little squirt is a doll. and he's absolutely ridiculous! i always picture him lying there very still in a curled up position, thinking deep thoughts or sleeping, and every time i see him he totally surprises me. when the image came through we caught him in the act of MOVING. A LOT. he was almost DANCING! he wiggled and rocked back and forth a whole bunch, like a rocking horse, and kicked his legs and scooted around. it was so incredible. but as soon as the ultrasound technician started taking measurements of the back of his neck [checking for spinal bifida, but he's absolutely perfect, and she said there's no worries so far] he held very, very still. then she was going to tell me to cough to try to get him to roll over, but before she could get all the words out he rolled right on over for her.
such a sweet thing! but so ACTIVE. it's ridiculous. he waved his arms all over the place like crazy, like a drummer or something. i couldn't believe how much he can do already. or how much we could see! i'm only 12 weeks a long and he's already huge. and there's so much about him that we already know for sure. he has all ten fingers. he has two arms and working elbows. he has all his toes, precious little feet, and surprisingly long legs, i think. at one point the technician gave us a view from his head looking down at his legs and they were bent and bowed in a little froggy stance. and most of all he has the BEST little nose ever!
look. at. that. nose. we could see it so clearly. and we could see his little heart, and we heard it beat again. it's so strong and regular. it looks like a muscle now! before it just looked like a flashing light, but this time craig and i could see the different halves of it squeezing, like a real heart! well, it is a real heart. i can't believe how perfect little squirt is. every time there isn't something wrong with him i'm just blown away. everything we can see so far is all how it should be.
he's so very special. and a little bit of a drama queen, haha. he kept resting one hand up on his forehead and it looked soooo dramatic. maybe squirt is a girl after all? at one point squirt had both his little hands on both his little cheeks and i just wanted to die, it was so precious. i wish we had a picture of that. it was way too cute. oh, and she showed us his bladder which was SUPER full [i know where that stuff goes when i'm not looking, don't think you're fooling me squirt] and his stomach too, which she also said was super full.
the yolk sack is almost non-existent, where just five weeks ago it was bigger than he was. now that he's eaten it all up [i'm sure that's not entirely accurate, but bear with me] he's going to move on to my new developing placenta. just so you know, i HATE the placenta. i don't hate that it keeps my baby alive, but i hate thinking about it's existence. i didn't know about the placenta until after my last pregnancy. and it just sounds so very inconvenient. that's really my biggest problem with it. after doing the most physically challenging thing of your life, your body has grown this perfect child and you just spent a ridiculous amount of pain filled time bringing him into this world, all i would want to do at that point is snuggle my new baby. but no. you're not done. you then have to give birth to the placenta, and i'm not sure how much effort you have to put into it at that point, but it sounds ridiculously distracting. hopefully i'm overreacting. the placenta is making me mad again though because she told me it's developing at the very front of my uterus. she says that's fine, but i don't approve. i always picture is as this huge slimy mass, and if it gets in the way of me feeling my babies little kicks and punches, imma kick it's butt. you hear that placenta? you watch yourself.
i could just watch him on an ultrasound all day long. i just love knowing he's there and apparently enjoying himself. i hope he likes it just as much out here. we're completely giddy thinking about him, or her, and how soon little squirt will be here and we can finally bestow all these kisses we've been saving up!