Today was our comprehensive anatomy scan. We had originally been booked for almost 22 weeks, but I was getting anxious to get it done so I moved it up sooner. They were able to get us in at 7:30am.
We arrived and because it was so early, there was no one really around and only one other person waiting. We were called soon after we got there.
The technician this time was really nice. She said she recognized my name and she was very warm. She also explained a lot more during the scan than any of the others. She was very careful too and would tell me to close my eyes when she was near the genitals. She did well and it’s still a surprise.
Baby was surprisingly cooperative this time and the scan wasn’t very long. We actually ended after about only 30 minutes. We were able to see everything and it was all normal. The placenta was good too - a big relief. She told me where I might start to feel movements in the future (right side). Baby was lying with head mostly down, hands and feet to my right side and butt to the left. Baby weighs 12 oz! We got some pictures again.
It is a relief to have this ultrasound done and know that things look normal. For many people, this is the time when they feel more comfortable to share the news with others. I still have a few people to tell in person or on the phone, but I think we will announce it soon on social media. Nothing crazy, but we will definitely put it out there.
Pregnancy cravings - truth or myth? I say truth! I have been craving oranges and orange juice like mad. I also am eating a lot of cold cereal - for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
My last Fresh Direct order included ten oranges of different varieties and orange juice. I am eating them like it’s my job. I have always liked oranges, but not like this! When I’m not pregnant, I’m pretty strict with myself not to drink juice due to the sugar/empty calories. But now I can’t get enough juice.
Fred thought maybe my body was just craving vitamin C, but I actually take a vitamin C supplement and I’m still having these mad cravings.
Outside of pregnancy, I do eat a little bit of cold cereal occasionally, but it kind of goes in waves. I’m really craving cereal now. My cereals of choice include Cheerios (original), Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes and I usually add some banana.
Everyone thinks pregnant women also eat weird combinations of things. My weird combination is pickles and cheese. The combination just works! Last week, I melted cheddar on a hot dog bun (didn’t have bread haha) and added some pickle. The pickle kind of acted like the hot dog would. Anyway, it was delicious! I would totally eat it again.
Finally, there are other things I’m eating a lot of, but I wouldn’t say I’m craving them. I am eating a ton of eggs. I probably eat 6 eggs a week, at least. I eat a lot of nuts - my favorite are the unsalted mixes from Trader Joe’s. I really like cheese curls and have found this off brand at the local grocery store that is sooooo good. I’m trying to limit my cheese curl intake though, as this is obviously the least healthy thing on the list. To try to keep it more natural, I bought the Whole Foods brand last week and it was not good. I really love the Barbara’s brand, but I can’t find it anywhere so for now, I’ll have to stick to my occasional off brand cheese curl.
At this stage of pregnancy, I’m still feeling pretty lucky. I am still wearing my regular pants, I’m not gaining too much weight and overall I’m feeling well.
Today I started feeling round ligament pains.
Midwife note: The round ligaments are the ligaments that support the uterus. As the uterus grows, these ligaments stretch and occasionally you feel sharp jabs of pain as a result. This is totally not concerning, but can be uncomfortable. It can be on one side or both, a sharp pain or a dull ache. Commonly women feel them when they move from lying to sitting or sitting to standing or at the end of the day.
These round ligament pains are no joke. They really can be quite uncomfortable. Mine feel like there is a jab in my groin area and at the end of the day, a dull aching. Oh joy!
After much extensive research, I purchased a pregnancy support belt to see if this will help. I plan to wear it when I’m on my feet a lot and probably when running.
It almost feels like these are growing pains, yet I’m still not really showing. The pains will probably not be consistent and hopefully will ease off over time. Funny enough, this week my book and Fred’s app both discuss how I’ll be feeling these pains. I guess I’m right on schedule.
Midwife note: Round ligament pains are most common in the second trimester.
Some relief measures for round ligament pains:
Today was our early anatomy scan. For an “optional” ultrasound, I was really, really looking forward to it. Again, it’s one of those moments where as a patient, I can’t imagine not having it done.
Midwife note: The early scan is done around 14-17 weeks and is an early anatomy scan. At this point in the pregnancy, not everything can be seen and is not fully formed yet. The medical purpose to this scan is to possibly identify any abnormalities sooner.
Going to the waiting room, I always wonder if I’ll see someone from our practice. There wasn’t anyone. However, I did make the mistake of looking out the door into the hall. One of the genetic counselors walked by and looked in. She made eye contact with me, did a double take and backed up again to wave. I was outed! Oh well - if I was really trying to hide, I would have hidden. I spoke to her later to actually tell her the news.
We were called by our ultrasound tech after 10. She was much more pleasant than the last one. Right away I told her who I was and that I didn't want to know the sex. She said okay and thanked me for letting her know. I also made sure the doctor I wanted to see was there and that he would read my scan.
We started the scan and it was so big! She said the fetus is weighing in at 6 oz. It’s still so crazy to think that a fetus that size is fitting inside my small (flat, not yet showing) belly. She was very good and persistent - I think she really wanted to see everything she could. Embers wasn’t super cooperative again, but with some movements from me and the wand, she got what she needed. She was very careful around the legs/genitals and I didn’t get a peak. Embers has hands and feet, five fingers and toes. The cord insertion appears normal. The placenta is anterior and not near the cervix.
Embers was moving a bit, especially the hands. The hands were right up by the face and even opening and closing. Embers was waving! Embers also liked to really jab and kick the placenta. It was really great to see.
I asked her for a few extra pictures for our parents and told her the last ones we got weren’t so good. She ended up giving us 10 or so pictures! It was really great.
At the end, she went to get the doctor. I hadn’t told him yet, so he was surprised and happy for me. He told me “you hid it well” and asked how long I was going to work (“to the end, right?”). He said all looked well and we’d be back in another 4ish weeks for the comprehensive anatomy scan.
Overall I was really pleased with the experience. The tech was much nicer and the pics were great. I was really in awe of seeing the fetus so much and I never thought I’d felt as emotional/happy as I do.
I am now waiting for movements to happen, which I know can happen later now because of my placenta. It would also be nice to start showing, but I should be grateful I haven’t gained much weight yet and can still wear my clothes, including pants.
Midwife note: Anterior placenta is a variation of normal. This is when the placenta is in the front, or between the belly and the baby. It can act as sort of a pillow and muffle the fetal movements. Women with anterior placentas tend to feel movement later and often feel less movements. As the baby and uterus grow, the movements will intensify as pregnancy progresses.
Today is my father-in-law's 65th birthday. We got together to celebrate with Fred's sister and family too, and we figured it would be the perfect time to tell his nephew and niece (ages 12 and 7) about the pregnancy.
I really wanted to be creative about it and came up with a game of charades. They love to play games as family, so it was perfect.
We didn’t have a pre-made Charades game, so I made up my own cards with index cards. They included things like “mowing the lawn” and “playing baseball”. It certainly wasn’t hugely creative. I also only made about 15 cards.
My father-in-law would suggest he wanted to play a game. In order to get the kids on the same team as Fred and me, we did oldest vs youngest. This put the kids on our team.
He suggested the game. Since we didn’t have a lot of cards, we just played one card per round. We started with the youngest acting out the cards so almost everyone would have a chance to act them out.
When it came to Fred’s turn, he started acting it out. His sister was recording it on her phone. It took the kids a little while to guess (they kept guessing right then guessing something else), but they eventually got it. It didn’t actually click with them at first and then they thought we were joking. When they did finally realize, it was really cute and they were super excited. His niece is the youngest grandchild and she was saying how happy she was not to be the youngest anymore.
It was a really special moment to share with our family. I’m so glad we got to tell them in such a fun way!
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City