First Trimester Screening, Part I…

I suppose something good came out of the whole insurance debacle I wrote about last time: I got to spend close to 20 minutes seeing my babies via ultrasound during the Nuchal Translucency (NT) Scan.  Because honestly, given that a) my husband is in his mid 30s, b) the egg donor was 29, and c) the embryos were already PGD tested, it isn’t likely that something will show up.  Under typical circumstances with that kind of information, Evil HMO probably wouldn’t have approved it.  Then again, I’ve hit that special “1 in 1000” nail right on the head twice when it comes to dealing with medical issues–so I really wanted to make sure that should it happen a third time, I’m not caught unprepared.

The scan appointment, however, didn’t start off so great.  Our GS got lost on the way to the clinic, so she showed up late.  At first I wasn’t worried, because they told us to be there 30 minutes early.  But then she ended up arriving 20 minutes after the scheduled appointment time, which meant that she was really 50 minutes late.  We walked up to the desk to check in, and the girl told us that they have a “15 minute” policy, where 15+ minutes late = no scan.  But rather than flip my lid, I appealed to her soft side.  I explained that we were only told that the appointment had been approved the morning before, it was scheduled shortly after that, I made travel arrangements in the afternoon, and flew down from the Bay Area the same evening.  To add extra emphasis, I added that I drove 75 minutes to get to the appointment from where I was staying , and my husband and I were spending our anniversary apart because my attending the scan was so important to us.  (Lest anyone think I was taking advantage of her, everything I said was the absolute truth. Well, maybe not the 75 minutes, but only because I was driving way faster than I should have been. 😉 )  When I finished, she asked me in an incredulous voice if I had really bought same-day travel tickets and flew all the way down just for this one appointment.  I replied in the affirmative, and she said that she’d check to see if they could squeeze us in.

2 minutes later we were led back to the room, and the tech started the scan.  And oh, my goodness, the difference between 8 weeks and 13 weeks is incredible.  The heartbeats weren’t just flashing points of light, but actual muscle contractions that I could see pushing the blood through the twins’ bodies.  The arms weren’t just barely-visible bumps, but discernible limbs used to smack each other in the head with and fight like siblings do.  The most poignant moment, though, had to be watching one of them practice opening and closing the mouth.  For some reason, that made me reach for the stool and sit down for the rest of the appointment in awe.

Once the tech was finished getting all the measurements, she left the room and told us that the doctor (a perinatologist) would be there in a bit.  I figured we’d be waiting a while and didn’t mind at all, since they had made accommodations for us to be seen.  During the break, the agency coordinator texted me to inform me that our GS’s first appointment had been moved to the next day, which meant that I could attend it before flying home.  It was definitely a wonderful, unexpected surprise. 🙂

When the peri came in, he cranked up the ultrasound machine again to double check the tech’s work.  At first he claimed that one placenta was anterior and the other was posterior, which was good because it would make it easier to identify one as Baby A and the other as Baby B (until gender became apparent).  But then our GS’s uterus “shifted”, and both placentas were determined to be posterior, with one being high and the other being low.  Both the peri and the tech claimed to have never seen such a thing before, but told me not to worry, as the twins were still just as active.  Had they not mentioned it with such surprise I never would have noticed, being a novice when it comes to pregnancy ultrasounds.

At the end of the appointment, the perinatologist handed me a report and some pictures printed during the ultrasound.  Most of them aren’t too clear, although I think one is a facial profile, and another is a picture of a developing brain.  As amazed as I’ve been thus far by the science and technology we have at our disposal, I’m pretty sure that there’s still a lot left to be seen.

Oh, and I wanted to say thank you for coming back, especially after my ranting in the last post. It’s part of the journey, though, so I’m not going to remove it.  And besides, if a girl can’t rant on her blog, where can she do so? 😉

Leave a comment


  1. Oh how thrilling to see those hearts beating, a mouth opening and closing…
    their lives taking hold.

    I can picture it all…with so much love.

  2. That is *awesome*
    And thank goodness they were reasonable about working you in. I always wonder when people get angry if they really think that will make people want to help them. And you had a great story!

  3. autumn

     /  September 19, 2012

    Hello …I was checkin my blog roll and noticed how long ago you posted… hope all is well .. maybe and update soon?


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