Tuesday, March 11, 2008

33 weeks: Ultrasound and cervical length

My OB's office was able to get me into an ultrasound cancellation slot for this morning. This meant going to a different clinic than usual - a bit further from home, but still reasonably close. This particular facility is less than two years old and is clean, beautiful and spacious. Rebecca and Greg accompanied me, and Becca had plenty of room to run about in. In fact, I don't think I've ever been in such a large waiting room (barring the emergency waiting area at the hospital). I didn't have to drink any water for this ultrasound, given how far along I am (hooray!), which is good because naturally, they didn't take me on time. Rebecca was exceedingly well behaved during the appointment, she watched and chattered a little, but stayed on her Daddy's lap without almost no escape attempts, and held my hand. She did remove her socks, but no other articles of clothing - thank goodness. The technician was impressed that I still had an innie bellybutton. The chief differences observed in this ultrasound versus the halfway point ultrasound, are that we got to see Lucy's face, and I got to see my ribs. Lucy's face looked very peaceful and sweet - despite her incessant movements during the ultrasound, she appeared to have her eyes closed. I was relieved to see her face that way because the face shot of Rebecca during my last pregnancy had a scary Skeletor look due to big black spots for eyes, nostrils and mouth. I got to see my ribs because the technician was examining the feet. Yes - she really has her feet within millimeters of my ribs - I *saw* it. And dammit, if it hasn't been exceptionally uncomfortable lately. When I spend an afternoon at work in agony, I just want the whole pregnancy to be over - to hell with the stage of gestation. According to my research, there are women who have had their ribs bruised or fractured by their unborn children. Lucy isn't enough of a kicker to fracture me, but I would definitely believe she has or could bruise me. Either that or move the rib enough to mess up muscles and pinch nerves. God, I don't know what it is she's doing precisely, but it's hard to envision her as some peaceful and docile angel baby when she puts me through demonic torments. It's so frustrating sometimes that I just want to cry. The relief of coming home and being able to lie down is tremendous, but I don't want to spend every night lying on my bed until it's time to go to work again.
Anyhow, to return to my thrilling narrative... all was well with dear Lucy. Then came the part where my cervix was to be measured. The technician quaintly stated that this had to be done from "beneath", i.e. transvaginal ultrasound. Hooray. Everyone likes to take their pants off for a stranger wielding a sheathed probe and freezing cold ultrasound gel. Fear not, my modesty was protected by some sort of enormous paper towel. Rebecca was not pleased by this development, and seem to object to the procedure. She was calmed down, but kept saying "pants" for the rest of the appointment. I don't really know what we were looking at on the monitor - nothing was explained, but she said it looked fine. That was it. I was left to remove the ultrasound gel and attempt to get off the examination table. I don't know if I could have done it solo.
I think it is unlikely that I will need to have the steroid shots, given the technician's reaction. The anatomical properties of a shortened cervix must be fairly obvious (for all that there were measurements made) for her to make such a quick pronouncement. I will feel more at ease once I hear back from my obstetrician. Whether that will be at our appointment next week, or whether it will be sooner - I have no idea. I felt a little blue afterwards, despite receiving good news. I think I was hoping for more information, perhaps confirmation that the pregnancy was drawing to an end (this is my gut feeling - and I prefer to have my instincts backed up with science), maybe a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. Greg thinks I have trouble with uncertainty. Having a child is a wonderful thing, a joyous miracle - but I find pregnancy (for me) to be a physical and emotional ordeal to be endured. Hopefully, I manage to do so with some grace. I try to keep my bellyaching (hahaha) to a minimum. I know how to count my blessings, and I appreciate that I am extremely fortunate - but I want it to be over. I don't have the patience of Job.

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