So, today I had the nuchal translucency screening. It can't be done until 11.5 weeks, so of course I scheduled it for the first possible date, at 11 weeks 4 days.
The nuchal fold is a translucent space in the tissues behind the neck, and if the area is expanded (larger) it can mean that fluid is accumulating in that space - not a good sign, since genetic anomalies can create that excess fluid. Checking for the presence of a nasal bone is also part of the screening. So, a thin neck fold and any kind of nose bone are the hoped-for findings. Which, luckily, is what we found today. And even though I know that it's not a definitive test, it is nice to see that things aren't suspect already.
Still, with my last pregnancy, the nuchal translucency scan was also fine. The first trimester blood screening was normal, growth was always right on target. It does weigh me down to think of how much can go wrong between now and birth, and as much as I want to be able to believe that these things are rare, that the odds are always in favor of "fine", it's hard to forget that I've been here before, not so long ago.
It's not that I'm all doom and gloom - I loved seeing the little somebody wiggle around, floating and bobbing like one of those giant balloons in a parade. It's amazing how human-ish the fuzzy combination of blobs and splotches can look. I'm so grateful for each reassurance: the placenta looks good, the organs look fine, we counted two arms with hands and two legs with feet. So, I am happy, but it's mixed with caution. I am relieved, but it's not complete. I suppose maybe I am pleased - a word that always seems more neutral than it ought to be, but I guess that helps it work here.
I think I am going to have to start "telling" - I'm too bellyish to be anything but pregnant, so it's mostly just obvious. Even a solid diet of pastries couldn't make anybody this particular shape, so the idea that I just got fat over the summer might not go over as well as I had planned. The traditional notion of waiting until the first trimester is over coincides with my girth fairly well - and if that means 13.3 weeks, then I will just have to carry strategically placed tote bags for another twelve days. I'll be like an inconveniently pregnant sitcom actress, always holding potted plants and shopping bags and giant manila folders over her midsection. Too bad it's about a million degrees here and I can't just wear an enormous poncho all the time!