Fingers and Toes

August 3, 2010 at 6:20 am (Uncategorized)

Well, my friends, it’s Week 20 of the pregnancy: we have officially reached the halfway mark. Llew thinks it’s all whizzing by at a great rate; I am finding it the slowest process in the known universe. Twenty weeks down and… gee, only another twenty more to go – what, pray tell, is fast about that?? It’s an age. And it’s really quite alarming to imagine what another twenty weeks is going to do to my waistline… I can’t visualise the scale of it, but Baby J is certainly beginning to make his or her physical presence felt, and I think there’s a pretty good chance this baby is about to go rogue.

We had the 19-week ultrasound on Friday, and A from Sydney Ultrasound for Women confirmed our little friend is tracking “on the big end of average.” On the monitor, Baby J gave a dismissive little wave as if to say, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. And for my next trick, watch this.”

I could have sworn I inflated further that very instant, while onscreen Baby J languidly flexed and stretched and made like a concert pianist (it must have been the Beethoven…). Then again, they were running behind schedule, and at that point I’d been forced to hold for an excruciating two hours, so there’s a very good chance I was about to explode because of my bladder, not my baby.

All looked good at the ultrasound: we have the correct number of digits, two working kidneys, a beautiful looking heart (A was very happy with the heart), and so on. Hallelujah. Basically Baby J passed this latest test with flying colours. I actually got misty during this one – my usual habit is to tear up alone afterwards, usually on a cold toilet seat somewhere – as there was something especially overwhelming about it. Counting fingers and toes made it all suddenly seem real.

I still can’t feel Baby J moving around in there, but I heard her or his heartbeat only a couple of hours ago at Dr F’s, so I’m just going to try to be patient. Apparently the placenta is lying across the front of my stomach, which is absorbing the movement. And the placenta is low, which may mean I won’t be able to deliver naturally, if it ends up blocking access to my cervix. Both A and Dr F said it was far too early to tell, but it does mean I’ll have to have another scan between 32-34 weeks to decide the issue. Personally I would prefer to do it naturally, so I hope it resolves itself as they both suggest it might, but it’s an early refresher course in the difference between what one wants and what may happen regardless. I would have preferred to conceive naturally too, but the fact that I couldn’t was a good lesson in embracing the alternative. I may be forced to do the same here, and as long as the baby and I both emerge safe and well, I really don’t ask for more. In fact, in the final analysis I’m sure I won’t care less. If I can deliver naturally, great, and if I can’t, why on earth worry any further about it? I’m a big believer in accepting the things one cannot change. Anyway, time will tell.



  1. Pete said,

    That’s exciting re the scan and the heartbeat (and all the digits)! L and I are a long way behind so we’re learning from you as we go along. (And can empathise re the long wait.) I liked the quip about the Beethoven. I’m imagining a Beethoven-soundtrack for a home birth but that’s just me being silly.

    • doctordi said,

      Not silly, Pete, but not possible either – there’s no way I’m risking a home birth after the ordeal of getting to the point where a birth is actually scheduled. I’ll take full advantage of hospital equipment and staff expertise, thanks! Besides which, since the ultrasound I have had to start accepting the heads-up that I may not be delivering naturally, so birth may be a surgical procedure instead. Let’s hope not, but who knows?

      • Pete said,

        I agree. Hospital and all the expertise definitely the way to go. I think the home birth comment came from my reading of a book of South African birth stories called ‘Just keep breathing’. Really interesting (and quite scary too). Whichever way Baby J decides to enter the world will be re-told here in fascinating detail I hope!

      • doctordi said,

        Pete, I’ve read some home birth stories over the years that make it sound like the most peaceful, ideal thing in the world, but I’ve also read stories that have made my hair curl.

        Yes, it’s funny you should say that… not long ago I read a feature in one of the weekend papers about the perils of writing about one’s children, and only last night I wondered when my cut-off point might be… Baby J will obviously be her or his own person, and may not, in time, take too kindly to a starring role on DoctorDi. Llew’s been extraordinarily good-natured and accepting of it, but a child isn’t in the same power relation, and it’s a very interesting question to which I have to give a great deal more thought.

  2. Lilian Nattel said,

    Oh Di, this made me mist up too. I am so happy for you. Congratulations!

    • doctordi said,

      Thank you, Lilian!! Yes, it was pretty amazing – everyone said the earlier scan was the best, but for me it was this one. Zeroing in on different parts of the baby’s body was… yeah, overwhelming for me.

  3. Grad said,

    How great is this news!! I’m doing a Snoopy happy dance in my office (safer than climbing up onto the roof). Truly, I”m joyous for you.

    • doctordi said,

      That’s a very cute image, Graddikins. Thank you, dear one – I’m very honoured to think of you busting a move for us!!!

  4. Norwichrocks said,

    Oooh, fingers and toes and heartbeats and everything. How completely extraordinary that all that is going on inside you. I mean, I know it happens to millions of women all over the planet every day, but still, it IS mind-bending to contemplate.

    I’m delighted for all three of you that its all going so well. Go Baby J!

    • doctordi said,

      That’s it, Truce: I *know* it’s been happening since the dawn of time and there is nothing special or unusual about it in fact, but emotionally, physically, mentally, it’s still a damn new thing for me!!!! I think the thing is, I’ve thought it was mind-blowing the whole time, well before it was happening to me. I mean, think about it – it IS mind-blowing!!! Every one of us entered the world in this exact way, every single person who has ever lived without exception, and that is just a trip.

  5. David said,

    Halfway there! It’s hard to believe. So glad that things are going well, and that all digits are intact.

    • doctordi said,

      Thanks, David, I am mighty glad about that too!! It is hard to believe we’re halfway there on one level, it’s true, but on another, come on, this is INTERMINABLE!!!

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