I had my anatomy scan last week. As the day approached, I had my usual influx of paranoia that my baby had stopped growing. In other words, I was afraid my baby had died. There I said it – the “D” word. I’m always afraid to type that word. As though saying it out loud, or in this case typing it out loud, could make it come true. But that’s the fact of my feelings – oddly I’m not afraid that my baby has any disease or growth abnormality. I’m afraid of finding a silent heartbeat.
As soon as the scan began and the heartbeat was present, I was able to relax. Then my Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialist proceeded through the lengthy process of measuring and calculating every detail of my growing baby. Reclined on a comfy table, I watched in awe and enjoyed every moment. I loved having my scan with a highly experienced MFM, who also happens to be a geneticist. He was able to explain everything we saw, not only the structures but also assumptions about functioning, with precision backed by extensive experience and knowledge. It really is amazing how much they can tell based on these pictures. For example, when they see fluid in the baby’s stomach, they can make assumptions about how the brain is functioning because apparently swallowing is a much more complicated series of behaviors than you would think, which relies on a well developed brain.
And every bit and part checked out perfectly. Could there by something wrong with my baby that they cannot see? Well sure, I suppose. But the chances of that are very unlikely. So unlikely that I’m not going to worry about it anymore. I know my baby is healthy. I will, of course, continue to worry about my healthy baby dying before every appointment, even though that doesn’t make any logical sense. I mean, why would that even happen? It wouldn’t be due to some fetal disease or deficit, but sometimes things go wrong in pregnancy for other reasons. I guess my IVF stress has to go somewhere.
One slightly annoying thing we found out was that I have an anterior placenta. On the plus side, this means that my placenta did grow away from my cervix, as my OB thought it would. That’s great news and I’m thankful. But, seriously – how do you freak out an IVF mama-to-be? Give her an anterior placenta so she can’t feel the baby moving as often as she “thinks” she should. It’s a rabbit hole I’m trying to not go down. How am I doing with that? Well let’s just say that the other day my hubby walked in on me Googling “haven’t felt the baby move in 3 days with anterior placenta” and he simply said, “stop it.” I’m trying to stop it, really I am. I haven’t Googled anything today.
And last, but certainly not least. We found out the gender! With IVF baby #1 we didn’t find out until birth and that was pretty amazing, but this time around we decided to do it differently. We saw the telltale three parallel lines, clearly showing that we’re expecting a girl. So my daughter gets her wish – a little sister. I get all teary just thinking about it. I really thought she would never get to be a big sister and I am so grateful. Of course now all of a sudden she says she wants the baby to be a brother – but 3 year-olds are fickle little ones.
I also had an anterior placenta with baby #2, and I know it’s frustrating not feeling much movement BUT the closer you get to the third trimester/as she puts on weight, it becomes less on an issue. Before you know it it’ll be arms and knees and elbows and feet poking out all over the place. Picked up in intensity for me around 24-27 weeks.
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It’s good to know this is normal. I can’t wait for those reassuring kicks!