One good, strong heart beat.
Nuchal measurements looking good so far.
Bloods taken with no issues.
Results to be sent in 7-10 days if, indeed, there are results to send. If all is well, I shall not hear my results at all.
And the poppy seed, there on the screen. Arms above the head, almost waving. The heart hammering in the chest and the legs flailing. A real baby.
And then the chat with the consultant. The moment I have been waiting for but dreading at the same time. Not wanting to hear her say that I must have another c-section (even though I may want a c-section!) and not wanting to feel I have no choice in things at all.
The conversation took place with all three of us, bizarrely, standing up. Having been left waiting for a good hour and a half, and then another few minutes in the consulting room after a brusque “I’ll be back in a minute”, we weren’t expecting great things. It felt different to the booking in appointment. We’d seen areas of this hospital that were not as new as the building we know we’ll be having the baby in. Parts that were as old, and as dingy as the hospital where The Preschooler was born. It was starting to feel a little familiar.
And then our consultant breezed back in and introduced herself with a smile and the three of us stood and spoke about this pregnancy. Almost immediately our conversation turned to the birth. Having had three sections, the last one being an elective, it was- quite rightly, I suppose- assumed that baby number four would be an elective too.
“Do I have to have another section?” I asked.
No, I do not.
There are risks involved if I go for a trial of labour. The biggest risk is rupture to my scar (tell me something I don’t know!) and the reality of the figures placed before me is that there is a 40% chance that I will end up with an emergency section.
But I am to be supported, whatever my decision.
I am to know that if I do labour, I will be continuously monitored. I will not be left alone at all. I will be in hospital, surrounded by beeps and machines that will monitor my baby and I and I will be constantly checked to make sure that my scar is intact.
There is a monitor that will allow me to use the birthing pool! There is a monitor that will enable me to move around the room, to stand and to walk!
We shall know more after the anomaly scan around 20 weeks gestation, as then we will know where the placenta is. In a woman who has had repeat c-sections, there is a greater chance that the placenta is positioned lower down, which makes a vaginal delivery impossible. If my placenta is in the correct position, I shall be given a green light to go ahead with a trial of labour, should I want to. A c-section can be booked for one week after my due date, should I want it to. I will not be induced. I will be able to try, if I decide that I want to.
Until then, it has been decided that my previous babies have all been too small for what they would have liked. The Big One was 6lb 15 at 42+1 weeks, The Preschooler 7lb 7 at 41+2 weeks and The Toddler 5lb 15 at 38+6 weeks. ‘Too small’. Growth scans have been booked from 28 weeks gestation, although I am not sure they are needed. My babies have all been small; I do not see the problem with that. But I don’t want anything to jeopardise potential plans for the birth, so we shall attend the first growth scan and make a decision about the others based on those results.
This week, the poppy seed is the size of a peach. A peach! The head is now half the size of the crown to rump length; tiny bones are forming in the arms and legs. Intestines are starting to move from the umbilical cord to the abdomen and vocal cords are forming. Ready for first words and babbles.
Hands and arms can move; thumbs can be sucked and waves- as we saw at the scan- can be performed.
And that heart? I saw it beat. I saw it, right there in the chest. Beating. Life.
And me? I’m feeling a little better than I have done previously. The sickness and nausea is still ever present but its becoming more manageable with lots of early nights and fresh fruit and veg. And yes, I am still a little rounded.