Catching Up – the NT Scan

Here I am again with a backlog of posts to write! A lot has happened over the last month (? – or however long it’s been since I wrote, I didn’t even check the last date I wrote). We leave for vacation on the 17th, but I should have some time between now and then to write a few more posts and attempt to catch up.

The first significant event I have to write about is our NT (nuchal translucency) scan. This is an ultrasound done between 11 and 13 weeks, which measures the thickness at the back of the baby’s neck to assess the risk of Downs Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. Mine was scheduled for 12 weeks 1 day, and unfortunately my husband was not able to join me due to work commitments.

I had heard that it may be possible to hear the heartbeat around 12 weeks (so far we’d just seen it), so I was really hoping to have that opportunity.

Usually, with my husband there, I would watch his face, and his big smile while the ultrasound tech was doing her thing, to reassure myself that everything was okay. Since he wasn’t with me this time, I asked to see the baby before she started her measurements, and was surprised to see it wasn’t moving around like last time. I mentioned it to the tech, and she smiled “Baby’s sleeping. Good baby.”

She went about her work, and then switched from the vaginal to the abdominal ultrasound and kept going. And then she said the most amazing thing: “Do you want to know the sex?”

I practically sat bolt upright. “Yes, yes, of course I do” I said, hoping she wouldn’t change her mind. “Okay, have a look.”. I looked where she was pointing on the 3D ultrasound part of the screen, which showed the baby in a vertical position with its legs spread. As soon as I looked, I knew right away. “It’s a boy!” I said in amazement. She smiled, and then we got back to the work at hand.

At the end of the ultrasound, it was time for the ultrasound picture. By now, after all the disruption, baby was no longer sleeping, and the tech started laughing. “Silly baby, look!”. I sat up to look at the 3D ultrasound, which showed baby holding his (his!) ears at the side of his head. It was the silliest loooking thing, and picture makes me smile every time I look at it.

After the scan, I had to go for bloodwork, since results of the bloodwork and further bloodwork in the 2nd trimester would be combined with the NT scan results to assess the risk of chromosomal abnormalities. I had  a look at the requisition for the bloodwork, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it listed the NT scan measurement. It was 1.2mm, or well below the 3.0mm that could indicate issues. Phew. Another successful milestone. I knew that I still had to wait for the bloodwork results, but we were off to a good start.


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