Monday, December 15, 2008


We're up to week 13 now, which officially marks the transition from first to second trimester. (Don't get me started on figuring out exactly when the second tri starts; pregnancy is 40 weeks, so 13 weeks and how many days? Dunno.)

We decided early on that we wanted to do the early screening to look for markers that would indicate birth defects, Down's Syndrome (Trisomy 21) and Trisomy 18 (another chromosomal defect that is incredibly life-threatening). We had no real reason to think we were at risk, but we wanted to know. The screening is a combination blood test and ultrasound, so I went and did the blood test last week, and the ultrasound was today. When giving us the results, the perinatologist didn't even factor in the ultrasound, because the results of the blood tests indicated so resoundingly that we were not at any risk. The ultrasound just confirmed this.

So we got to sit back and enjoy the ultrasound.

That whole thing last week about the baby reacting when you poke it? Yeah, it really does. We got to see our little junebug dancing around, arching its back, and turning away from the ultrasound paddle. It also kept bringing one of its hands up to its face; we weren't sure if it was sucking its thumb or just touching its cheek. The perinatologist initially told us that the kid was being very cooperative, but started laughing a couple minutes later, because the kid was doing some "wild" stuff. (Should I start researching gymnastics classes now? Or just not drink a cup of decaf coffee with eggnog on my way to my next ultrasound?)

Here's our bug proving how flexible a fetal spine is:

And in case anyone is wondering, it is too soon to determine gender via ultrasound; we'll be looking at that in late January, probably. But if we want to look into some old wives tales, some people believe that the fetal heart rate can be a predictor of the baby's gender: the theory goes that if the heart rate is 140 or above, its a girl; below 140, its a boy. Today, the bug's heart rate was 150. Draw your own theories.

And for the text book stuff: this week the kid is the size of a small peach or a large shrimp (definitely more the shape of shrimp...). The junebug has its own distinct fingerprints, and its head is now only 1/3 the total length of its body. And the baby can dance...

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