21 weeks

First of all I have to say that I am completely amazed, truly blessed and just straight-up overwhelmed at how wonderful you all are. I was not expecting all of the sweet and supportive comments and emails I received after mentioning how scared I was after getting the phone call from my doctor about the 20 week ultrasound. I read every single one of your words and they truly made me realize that while I write to get my feelings out/keep the family up to date/make you all laugh once in a while, this blog has become something so much more to me and I feel like I have such a strong support group because of it. So to all of you, thank you for being there and for your kind words and prayers.

With that said, I figured I’d write my 21 week update a day early because the follow-up ultrasound was the biggie of the week and without it, I wouldn’t have much to write about. So without further ado…

Kind of funny to think that we went from a cantaloupe to a banana but I guess before, baby was being measured from head to bum and now it’s from head to foot. So let me tell you about this sweet little banana and all that happened in her world this week.

Tuesday was our follow-up level 2 ultrasound after my doctor saw a light spot on the baby’s heart last week. When my doctor had called me, she simply told me that the spot could be a calcification of the muscle or it could be nothing, but either way we shouldn’t worry but should have it looked at. And of course the only thing I did was worry. And cry. And eat a lot of ice cream. Actually what’s really funny is that the very first thought that ran through my head when I was freaking out was, “I NEED A CIGARETTE!” Of course I didn’t have one, but I was shocked that I haven’t had one for oh, 9 months now yet it was the first thing to pop in my head like I never quit. Weird.

Anywho, by the time Tuesday morning came, I was in less a state of worry and more back to my old self where I knew there was nothing I could do but wait and see. So Scott, my mom and I all went to the hospital that morning where a tech did the first part of the ultrasound. She measured the baby’s bits again – bones, kidneys, brain, etc. – and she found the spot in the heart right away.

So it wasn’t a shadow.

And I was surprisingly calm.

And for shits and giggles I asked her to verify for us that this baby is for sure a girl ’cause I’ve already been lied to once! And yep, baby is a girl. No doubt. I saw her lady bits. So after the tech did her thing and gave us more pictures…

…the high-risk OB came in and explained to us exactly what this spot in her heart means. She said it’s not a birth defect, it’s nothing we’d have to have monitored once baby girl is born, and it should be gone by birth. The significance of it is that it is considered a soft marker for a possible chromosome disorder, aka Down’s Syndrome or Trisomy 18, though with no other markers present the odds look good for us. So she looked for other signs – fluid around the kidneys, short limbs, a short or non-existent bone in the nasal passage, the thickness of the skin fold behind the neck, markers in the brain and bladder – she explained everything she was looking for and checked each one off as perfect in our little girl. Nothing out of the ordinary other than the heart spot. So while our chances for Down’s Syndrome are now up to something like 1 in 210, everything looks fantastic and the doctor didn’t seem concerned in the slightest.

We then talked about an amniocentesis. They can draw amniotic fluid from the placenta and test it for a 100% yes or no but the procedure carries a risk of miscarriage with it. I asked her if she recommended it in our situation to which she said it’s completely up to us. She told us to look at it like this….

The odds of a miscarriage from an amnio are pretty much the same as the odds of the baby having Down’s, so which would be worse for us? 1) losing a potentially perfectly healthy baby by having the procedure, or 2) giving birth to a baby with Down’s.

For me it would be way worse to lose this baby, Down’s or not. I love her with all of my heart. I am so completely and utterly attached to this little one that I would be devastated if anything were to happen to this little life growing inside me. And while it’s such a personal choice and I would never ever judge anyone for making a choice different from mine, I would not terminate the pregnancy if I found out early (or ever for that matter) that this baby has Down’s. For me the choice was simple. So we’ll hope and pray that baby girl is healthy and know that with a 0.5% chance of a chromosome problem, the odds are lookin’ pretty damn good.

Other things this week:

This weekend I was absolutely ravenous for burgers…I think I had 3 burgers in a 24 hour period. We’re not talkin’ those little mini frisbees of meat that McDonald’s calls a “hamburger”, we’re talkin’ 1/3 lb angus burgers that were twice the size of the bun. Yum. Oh, and it turns out a panini maker is awesome for cooking a burger in under 5 minutes, though it makes a huge greasy mess on the counter (but I’d totally do it again in a heartbeat).

This week Scott has been able to feel baby girl doing her aerobics, her kicks are getting stronger! If I watch my belly I can see it bounce once in a while – I even put the remote on my belly to see if it would move but the only movement I got to see was the beating of my own heart. Eh.

My belly button is getting more and more shallow…I have a strong suspicion it’s going to pop out to an outtie at some point over the next few months.

I’ve officially gone up another bra size which just blows my mind. Man I hope these puppies stay after everything else goes back to normal (or as normal as can be after a baby)!

While apparently it’s common to pop blood vessels when pregnant because of all the extra blood coursing through the veins, I’ve read I should expect to be Super Hero Bloody Eye for the better part of 2 weeks because it takes longer for an eye to absorb blood after a vessel pops. So today I wore a super hero ring to distract people and draw their attention away from my eye and towards the sparkles.

So far I think it’s working. I’m seriously scared of what’s gonna happen to my eyes when I start to push during labor though if one little pukey incident turned me into someone that can scare small children with barely a glance.

21 week belly shot (oooo, look at the sparkly ring, not the eye, the ring):

And to think, this morning someone actually told me I’m starting to show.

For past weeks, visit My Pregnancy Calendar

<— 20 weeks

22 weeks —>

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27 Comments

Filed under pregnancy, pregnant

27 responses to “21 weeks

  1. I love your perspective. Your little girl is going to be one lucky lady to have a Mama like you. And you are beyond cute in the belly shot- eye or not.

    • Thank you 🙂 Though regarding the belly shot, I think you may just be hypnotized by the super woman bling ring in the picture. It’s ok, it happens.

  2. Agree with the above poster!
    Glad you posted today. I think I checked your blog 50 times for an update in the past couple days.

  3. Agreed with everyone above. So glad things seem to be ok and I 100% agree with your decision. She looks so cute in her ultrasound pic! 🙂 Glad things have calmed down a bit!
    Oh… and I cannot stop eating burgers either. AGHH! SO yummy.

  4. What a crazy choice to have to make! I’m so glad that you made the one that feels right to you, and that you’re staying so positive. As I was reading this, I said to myself that if I can handle pregnancy- ups and downs- with the same humor and temperament, I’ll be one lucky lady. You’re daughter will be amazing and perfect, no matter what.
    Oh and I still hate you for having a better 21 week pregnant body that I do 0 week pregnant body 🙂

    • Seriously, this whole pregnancy thing is exhausting but it’s so freaking unbelievably awesome at the same time. And I follow your blog so I KNOW it doesn’t look like you’re smuggling a basketball under your clothes like me 🙂

  5. Jane

    OMG, the eye is so cool! I’m into weird stuff like that…

    Even though I don’t pray on a daily basis, or even monthly for that matter, I’m praying for your baby to be totally, out-of-this-world fantastically healthy.

    And that is one hell of a ring! I want one. Where’d you get it, and does it come in other colors?

    • Hahahaha, Jane, you said you wanted to see it and I totally posted the picture of my eye for you. Not kidding. Thank you for your prayers and happy healthy baby thoughts, it means the world to me. And the ring – I think it was a birthday present from my sister but you got me thinking about maybe doing a giveaway. Hmmmmmmm…

  6. md

    Jaime, i think ur awesome for dealing with this news in such a cool and levelheaded way! It could also be that doctors are overly concerned its down syndrome based on your age (which is still young but crazily enough in that moderately high risk group) but with all other soft markers ruled out, the odds are in ur favour! Ur little girl is definitely going to have one super mama!

  7. Oh honey, I’ve been away for a bit, so sorry I didn’t know. You are a champ. And your little one is so lucky to have you as a Mommy. The chances are still so low and I am certain that she is perfect just the way she is. You and Scott are going to be fantastic parents, and I know that we are all just as excited to meet her (even if virtually) as you are :). Love you

  8. It’s incredible how much more you are showing this week than last – you look beautiful! I know that everything with your daughter will be just fine …..because she will be your girl and that’s all that matters! 🙂

    • When it’s your own belly you don’t really notice it getting bigger day to day (which is why I’m happy I’ve been taking pictures of the monster tum), but my mom also commented at the ultrasound about how it was definitely bigger than at last week’s appointment!

  9. Kathleen

    Jaime,
    Your daughter is going to be amazing and you are going to be a wonderful mama. You are going to hear a lot of people saying that everything will be fine and not to worry – and they’re right, it will be fine and you shouldn’t worry. Your baby is going to be the light of your life. But, if you’re like me, you may need to do a little research and a bit of reading to settle yourself. I’d like to recommend http://www.kellehampton.com/. I think “meeting” Kelle’s Nella will make you smile.

    • It’s funny you mention Kelle, I’ve been following her blog for a long time now…I think she and I have very similar outlooks on life – focusing on the positives and making life what you want it to be. And Nella Bean is the cutest little girly 🙂

  10. As everyone else has said, you’re going to be a fantastic mother! The way you’re handling everything with such grace and strength is really admirable. 🙂 I’m sending happy, healthy thoughts and prayers your way for a healthy little baby girl! Additionally…you look adorable and your little basketball bump is just too cute. 🙂

  11. Alicia

    The doctor told me early on that their job was to tell you all the scary things to prepare you for your life as a mother. I’m now at 36 weeks and I’m glad they’ve prepared me. I’ve gone through scares with placenta previa, low iron, etc – but its a lot more empowering to know then to be “surprised” at the information as you’re giving birth. I know that whatever happens, you’ll do just great.

  12. You are so great and such a strong woman! Here’s a hero story for you:

    My in-law’s first child was Down’s. And you know what? That “kid” (she’s 39, by the way, and in perfect health) has taught me so much and is one of the biggest blessings in my life. She makes me laugh and shows me how to be persistent and how to keep things clean (cuz if it isn’t, she’s going to throw everything away), and I wouldn’t change her in the world.

    Have you read Expecting Adam by Martha Beck? It’s a really great book about some Harvard grad student who get pregnant and the baby ends up being Down syndrome and their process of working through it and growing in their marriage because of it. Because I know we have a chance of having a Down’s baby I read it, and I cried and laughed and the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It’s a great book. And all true.

    -Meghan

  13. Jen

    Loving the new webpage layout!! Its awesome as well as you..you’re full of awesomesauce!! That little girl is going to be FULL of awesomesauce 😀

  14. You are seriously the most adorable pregnant woman ever. Ridiculous.
    So sorry to hear the spot wasn’t a fluke, but you are handling it wonderfully and your baby girl is so incredibly lucky to have you and Scott as parents. Keeping you in my thoughts!

  15. I just want to say that your basketball belly is the cutest! 🙂

  16. Name

    Hi Jaime, just wondering – I’m from Canada, and when you are nearing the end of your first trimester and into the start of your second, you are offered a 2-part optional test which screens for genetic disorders. It’s strictly a blood test, and completely optional.
    I have several pregnancy and baby books which have discussed this, and I can’t seem to find any information regarding similar testing in the United States. I have heard lots about CVS and Amnio, but nothing about a standard blood test. CVS and Amnio do not seem to be practiced regularly in Canada unless the parents have a family history of genetic “problems”
    So, my question is – Were you offered any sort of blood test; or in American healthcare, do they normally just offer the CVS/Amnio if you wish to take part (along with the miscarriage risks), and then genetic counselling from that point on?

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