Nuchal Fold Translucency Scan

Try saying that three times fast!

We had our Nuchal Fold Translucency Scan (the scan to test for Downs) and everything seems fine. It wasn’t easy to come to that conclusion, however!!

Our appointment was at 1pm in London, but I insisted on leaving early as you never know about the trains, etc and I suspected this place would not look kindly if you were late. We got there freakishly early at the obscene time of 11am.

There were about a million women in the waiting room and so we just took a seat and waited. At 1:20 they called me in for my blood pressure and blood tests. They took my pressure on both arms at the same time, twice. (So four results.) Blood pressure absolutely normal. After that they just had me wait in the waiting room again.

About 30 minutes later we were called into the scanning room. The technician did an external ultrasound, but couldn’t get the right angle on the baby — despite poking my belly a few times. In the end she did an internal ultrasound and had a much better picture, but still the baby wasn’t playing ball. (S)he WAS hanging out and would sit up or roll around but just wouldn’t get on his/her side so the technician could get a measurement. She kept asking me to cough to try to get the baby to move, but it didn’t particularly work. She then really started poking my belly saying, “Wake up baby!” Eventually Andrew and I were both having a good poke but still the baby just wouldn’t stay in the right position. After what felt like hours she said I should go and have a fizzy drink, walk around for a while and come back in 30 minutes.

After doing said activities I came back and she again did an external and an internal ultrasound (with yet more poking) and still no joy. Eventually, I had to stand up with a sheet wrapped around my now-naked bottom half and do a crazy little dance in the room to try to get the baby to move around more. Luckily, it worked and we got the view we needed.

The results: According to my age alone, my risk of Downs was 1:657. But after the measurement of the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck, as well as identification and measurement of things like internal organs, amount of blood flow in the umbilical cord, my blood results, etc my risk went down to 1:13129.

I feel much better now! I was so worried before this test and for the grand-total of 5.5 hours from the time I entered the hospital to the time we got the picture that we wouldn’t get a good shot and I would be stuck wondering (and therefore worrying incessantly!)

The baby is a little on the small side, but I can only imagine it’s because I’m eating even less than when I was only eating for one! We’re still in the “normal” range, though … so nothing to worry about.

The best part of the day was the detail we were able to see the baby in. Because it took so long to get him/her into the right position we got to stare at the little one on screen for ages! Andrew got all teary when it did a proper, grown-human kind of stretch. The kind you do when you get out of bed — arms over head, legs stretched out… the works! We also got to see a profile of the head including a nose and lips — and an amazing view of a little hand with perfect tiny fingers (5, by the way). Andrew really creeped out when he got to see the baby’s brain… Luckily I missed that portion of the scan!

(pictures to follow)

I still can’t figure out how this perfectly formed little person can be doing all this stuff in my tummy and I can’t feel it. For that reason I’m pretty sure I’m not really pregnant. Sure … the urine sticks say I’m pregnant and I’ve now had three ultrasounds that all confirm I’m pregnant… but if I don’t feel pregnant surely I can’t be?? Even my queasiness and tiredness are starting to fade. Sure — it could be because I’m in my second trimester… but it could also be because this is some huge joke and I’m not really pregnant. (Luckily, I know this will all change as soon as I feel the baby move … but in the mean time I just have to pretend.)