This morning I had an appointment with my perinatologist, Dr. Monotone. It was a work-in appointment, so I brought a book, triscuits, dried apricots, water, and my file. I knew I'd be seen sometime between 8:20 and 11:00 am. And I knew I needed a full bladder. After trying to time things around my relative bladder fullness, I finally asked the nurse if she could let me know an approximate time to aim for. She said I'd be seen in the next 15 minutes, and indeed I was.
But by that time my bladder was overly full, causing me to spasm every time the tech dragged the probe across my belly. But man, oh man, did we get some great views! I noticed the shape of the baby right off because this time, well, it looked like a baby. Then I focused in on the heartbeat (which was a relief, despite the fact I'd heard it on the Doppler just before going to bed the night before). Here's my kiddo posing for the camera:
The tech then decided that I should partially empty my bladder before the doctor came to complete the scan. (note for another post: very hard to partially empty bladder when you don't know how much is in a full tank.)
Perhaps this would be a good place to remind you, cherished reader, that the point of this appointment was to begin looking for early signs of the disease my first son had, arthrogryposis. Our son had clubbed hands and feet, was unable to bend his arms or straighten his legs, along with numerous other challenges. So we were hoping to see the beginnings of good limb formation.
The doctor came in and promptly decided that he wanted me to completely empty my bladder (thank you, sweet Jesus!) and do a vaginal ultrasound (not my favorite, but whatever gets the job done). The baby looked amazing, and I asked for a heart rate measurement. Just as he started it, the baby began to move, so he cancelled it and focused in on the movement.
He flexed and waved his arms!!!! And he moved his little legs around!
It was beyond beautiful. I didn't know it would hit me so hard, but I began to bawl. It struck me that these were movements I NEVER saw in any of my children, even Thomas at six months gestation.
He scanned down the legs and arrived at... FEET! Two perfect little footprints! The very first time we knew something was amiss with Thomas was when our OB couldn't get a clear picture of his feet. And here, at 10wks3days were two beautiful feet.
Dr. Monotone wants to see me again at 13 weeks to monitor my progress. Then at 15 weeks we'll travel to Houston to see Dr. Amazing (fetal-maternal specialist) for a final, thorough scan. This afternoon I'll be calling Dr. Amazing's office to report today's findings. The trick is that we're not sure at what point arthrogryposis manifests itself. In other words, we're not sure if this is good news just for today, or if signs would have already begun to show of the disease.
No matter what, I'm not coming off this high for a while. I bawled some more in the parking lot while I reported the news to my husband, my parents, and my best friend. I just cannot believe how sweet it was to see that beautiful dancing. Who knew a bent elbow could make a girl so happy?