I've Moved!

My new blog is called Reflections from a Global Nomad, in order to acknowledge that we no longer live in Maadi and that we are, in fact, global nomads, not staying in one place longer than two or three years. Please join me at http://DeborahReflections.blogspot.com

Monday, December 28, 2009

Prenatal Visit #1

This morning I had my first official prenatal visit at the health unit. Finally! It's only the third time I've been to the health unit since I knew I was pregnant ... but it seems like things are on track now. The doctors are acknowledging that there's a baby growing inside me, not just a miscarriage waiting to happen. As the doctor said, "You're never completely out of the woods, but getting that heartbeat was HUGE."

If you go by the date of my last normal period (off by a few days based on when I know I ovulated, but the doctor wants to go with it, so okay), I'm around 9 weeks along now. My official due date is 3 August 2010. I guess that means that officially, the baby is gestationally 7 weeks old, since the date of pregnancy is assumed to be two weeks before a woman actually ovulates and becomes pregnant. So, according to my pregnancy book, the baby should be about an inch long now. He or she should have elbow, wrist, and knee joints; fingers and toes; and external ear folds. Primitive neural pathways are forming. It's estimated that one hundred thousand new nerve cells are formed each minute. Wow! That's 100,000 a minute! What a HUGE little miracle God is working inside me!

Now on to the next big milestone ... early screening for potential problems. There are four options: (1) no screening, (2) an early invasive procedure--I forget what it's called--that risks miscarriage but can be done earlier than other screening, (3) amniocentesis, or (4) nucal translucency ultrasound plus blood tests. This ultrasound focuses on whether or not the baby has a nasal bone and on the thickness of the fluid at the back of the baby's neck. Apparently, this information, in conjunction with my blood tests and my age, is a highly accurate predictor of various problems with the baby, including Down's syndrome.

Jeff and I have decided to go with option #4, the only one that provides information about potential problems without increasing the risk of a miscarriage. We'll need to have it done in late January. We aren't at high risk, but the test is available and safe for the baby, so we've decided that we want to know. Many people want to know early so they can abort if there are problems; that isn't an option for us. No matter what, this is our baby, given to us by God, and we'll keep him or her as long as possible. But if there are problems, we'd prefer to have time before the baby arrives to prepare ourselves as much as possible. But of course, we aren't expecting problems--this is a routine screening that's offered to everyone, although the nucal translucency option is a new one. I don't think we would have had any screening done if the only options were the invasive ones that could potentially cause miscarriage.

Anyway, I just wanted to provide a pregnancy update. I'll continue to post updates as the situation warrants. Please continue to keep us in your prayers--as the doctor said, you're never totally out of the woods. We're so happy to know that so far, the baby is doing well and developing normally. We just pray that the baby continues to develop in a normal and healthy way.


  1. Of course you three are in our prayers. Glad you had more good news to share.

  2. Praying too... and so glad yall got to hear that little heartbeat. My first visit w/ Kalila was at 7 weeks & we couldn't hear hers yet. It scared me pretty bad even though I knew we may not yet (well we thought I was 9 weeks because our dr tried to go by LMP too lol, but that's still early for it).

    W/ her we got those same tests you did because the dr didn't let us know we had a choice. We decided to skip them this time. Keep in mind they have a high rate of false positives... Thankfully that nucal scan does weed out most of the false positives from the blood tests, but not all. Not a huge issue since yall would go ahead w/ the pg anyway (as would I), but I know from other women that it causes a lot of stress when it happens, so if you get a pos result keep in mind its very likely not true.

    Anyways, congrats on the good visit & enjoy your pg!

  3. Definitely keeping all three of you in my prayers. How scary and exciting to be dealing with a pregnancy in a foreign country; I pray all the visits go smoothly.

    And, like you, I hope the new (unofficial/not talked about yet officially by TSA) restrictions on international passengers are lifted or relaxed by the time you next go home.

  4. sounds like things are on track.... i am sooo happy for you!

  5. How fun you live in Cairo! Can't wait to read more of your blog--we hope to visit Egypt sometime in the next few years.

    About that prenatal testing--the good thing about screening tests is that they don't cause miscarriage. The bad thing about them is that if you do end up in a high-risk category, you are left in a limbo because you will not want to go ahead and get the amnio for a definitive answer. That happened to me in my first pregnancy, as we got the AFP blood screen. It was stressful, but my baby girl was born healthy. For my second pregnancy, I refused all prenatal tests except for the basic ultrasound, and I specifically asked not to be told anything if they looked for the nuchal fold measurement. But chances are, everything will be fine whatever you choose. Enjoy your pregnancy!

  6. Yay! It sounds like things are going well! We only had the option for the nucal translucency ultrasound plus blood tests and THEN, IF they noticed something, you had the option for the one that they take some tissue from the baby.
    Good luck and we are thinking of you!

  7. Thank you everyone for the prayers and kind thoughts! We have an appointment at a local hospital for the nucal translucency ultrasound in a few weeks. We're looking forward to it--who doesn't want more pictures of their baby?

  8. Hearing that thumpity-thump-thump for the first time is always thrilling. Congratulations!


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