Tag Archive for ultrasound

How to waste time and irritate people

So we had our 32-week scan on Wednesday.  What a lark that was!

Our appointment for the scan was at 9:40 and our clinic appointment was 10:20, so already we were going to be cutting it fine, despite them being just down the corridor from one another.  When we arrived at the ultrasound reception desk, however, I was told my appointment was 9:50.  Apparently, it turned out later, a load of appointment times had been changed – I’m not sure why.

So we went to sit and wait, knowing we had an even longer wait ahead of us than we had originally anticipated as we’d arrived not long after 9:20, having misjudged the traffic and made it to the hospital in less than 20 minutes.  However, 9:50 came and went and we still hadn’t been called in yet.  By the time we were eventually ushered into an ultrasound room it was almost 10 past 10, so I told the sonographer that our clinic appointment was only 10 minutes away.

She was clearly having a bad day all of her own and wasn’t impressed that all these appointments had been changed.  She had a student with her, who carried out most of the ultrasound – which I thought was perhaps not the best idea as we were in kind of a rush – and they both seemed flustered.  Twice I had wiped my belly dry and got down off the bed when she asked me to get back on as she’d missed a measurement.

So then we were running almost 20 minutes late for our clinic appointment.  We rushed down the corridor and checked in at the clinic reception.  The receptionist didn’t seem too bothered that we were so late.  She also didn’t tell me that the clinic was running late.

At 11:30 I went back out to reception to ask when we were likely to be seen.  The receptionist then explained that they were running later as they only had two doctors on that morning (she didn’t say why), but that she was fairly sure I would be one of the next couple of people called as I’d already had my notes collected and my blood pressure taken.

Eventually we were called in to see the doctor sometime after 12.  I don’t know exactly what the time was because by then we had both pretty much lost the will to live.  He looked at the ultrasound printout, agreed that the twins were both now cephalic (head down) and said that I needed to come back in 4 weeks, after my next scan.  To say the appointment lasted 5 minutes is probably being generous.

I had some blood taken to check my iron levels, booked an appointment for the 4th July and we left, 3 hours after we had arrived.  We didn’t even get any pictures from the ultrasound because we didn’t have any change and neither did the sonographer, besides which she had only managed to get a profile of one baby (the right one this time though!) and I would have had to get back on the bed a third time and be gelled up again in order to try and get a picture of the other twin.

There seriously has to be a better way to run a hospital!

The long and short of it is that the twins are now in the correct position and in fact Rightbaby is now the lower of the two and very low at that – the student sonographer struggled to get the probe low enough on my belly to measure the head accurately.  They are also both kind of big!  Rightbaby is 3lb 12oz and Leftbaby is 4lb 4oz!  I am a little afraid that in 4 weeks’ time I’ll be carrying the equivalent of a 12lb baby, which, on my 5’2″ frame, is not a prospect I relish!

As a result I started panicking about not having packed a hospital bag yet – I’d been fairly convinced I would end up needing a caesarian and therefore have a set date to go into the hospital – so the wife and I have been out shopping to make sure we have everything we need. It’s amazing how expensive it all is!

It looked yesterday like we would be ready to exchange contracts today, but our buyers’ solicitors are making it extremely difficult for our solicitors to get hold of them and our buyers are first-time buyers and not pregnant and I guess therefore are not harassing their solicitors the way we are.  Hopefully – HOPEFULLY – we will now exchange on Monday and then complete the following Monday.  Please keep everything crossed for us!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, comparative bumps:

6th April / 6th May / 6th June… Never mind the bump, look how puffy my face has got!

About time for a little update

Ah, my poor neglected blog.

It’s not that I haven’t had topics in mind to blog about – I have – it’s that, during the holidays I had plenty of time to blog, but also needed to plan a lesson observation for the first Thursday back at work.  I tried to get all my work done at the beginning of the holidays, but after a fruitless hour spent on the computer, I put it aside for another day.  I eventually finished all my work over the last weekend of the holidays.  This meant that, during the holidays, although I was technically procrastinating the whole time, I couldn’t really justify sitting down and blogging because then I would be actively avoiding doing my work and…I don’t know…does anyone else have that kind of mind set when it comes to procrastination?  If you’re not really doing anything, you can’t possibly be procrastinating.

Anyhow, then we were back at work and I had my observation and that meant that week was totally hectic.  Plus, over the weekend my amazing wife ran the London Marathon (SO! PROUD!) and between seeing relatives who had come down to support her and actually traipsing around London to catch a glimpse of her on the course, we didn’t have a lot of weekend left.

The babies are wriggling like crazy these days, which is so exciting!  I am even starting to identify different body parts – at least in a vague “that must be a limb, that must be a head” sort of way.  Rightbaby is breech (and still very obstinate as evidenced by the scan pictures below) and his or her head is constantly trying to make its way under my ribs.

Leftbaby, 25 weeks 1 day

Rightbaby, 25 weeks 1 day

We had a scan at 25 weeks and the babies had grown, although they still seem to be on the small side of average.  The doctor we saw this time wasn’t at all concerned (there’s a whole other post in that) and we’re back again at 28 weeks for our regular twin scan and appointment.  Maternity leave is growing closer (only 6 more working weeks after this one) but still seems ages away – particularly as our friend at work, who is 8 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, is finishing next Friday.  Jealous doesn’t even begin to cover it, even though I know I’ll only have a few more weeks to wait and that after SATs in 3 weeks’ time, my working day will become a hell of a lot easier.  Work has definitely become less of a priority since I’ve been pregnant.  I really did want my observation lesson to go well – particularly as I knew it would be my last before having a year off – but I’ve found it hard to put as much effort into work as I would usually.  If I could have my way, I think I’d have sat at home for the last few weeks just watching my bump ripple and talking to the babies.

We’re getting closer to exchange of contracts on our sale and purchase but still aren’t quite there yet.  I am so desperate to have a moving date and can’t wait until we can seriously start thinking about nursery furniture.  Once we’ve bought our buggy (which will hopefully be from The Baby Show, this time in Birmingham near the end of May) we also need to look into a second car.

So whilst I am eager and anxious for the time to come around when the babies arrive, we still have a great deal to do before they make an appearance!  Hopefully things will fall into place and we’ll be well and truly settled by the time these babies are out in the real world.  If not, I know we will muddle through, whatever happens.

Small packages

“Oh, she’s quite small too,” said one doctor to the other as I entered the room to my appointment on Tuesday after being made to wait just over an hour.  I’m not sure exactly what happened – I think a doctor was off sick – but this wasn’t quite the greeting I was expecting.

“The babies are quite small,” offered one doctor, by way of explanation, waving the notes from my ultrasound.  “How tall is your husband?”

It’s good to know they’d done their research before inviting me into the room.

I explained I had a wife and told them I thought the donor was about 5’10”.

They pointed out the scan summary in my notes, which I have to admit I hadn’t given a second thought to.  After the scan, and being told that the babies were perfectly healthy and had all the right bits, I’d been too caught up in showing everyone the pictures to look at the actual report.  The babies’ measurements are listed in there and beside each one is a little scale with a diamond on to show where the baby’s size relates to the average.  The report shows that both babies’ measurements fall somewhere just below the 25th percentile, if not lower.

One doctor ushered me over to the bed and got out a doppler machine to listen to the babies’ heartbeats.  They were both pretty clear and one was slightly faster than the other.  I had been really excited about hearing the babies’ heartbeats, but somehow, when it happened – and the way it happened – it wasn’t the amazing, magical moment I’d imagined, although it was really cool to hear their little hearts pounding away.

They wanted me to book another scan for around 24 weeks and to book a follow up appointment with the doctor to discuss the scan results.  They asked if I had anything I wanted to ask, but I felt a bit overwhelmed.  There had been things I wanted to ask – like about my constantly pounding heart, and the slight bloody nose I’ve had on and off, which is probably caused by the fact my nose is blocked up – but I just shook my head.  They checked I was still taking folic acid and iron and reminded me of the risks associated with twin pregnancy – diabetes, pre-eclampsia, high risk of emergency c-section – and then bid me goodbye.  The whole thing felt pretty rushed, which I guess it was seeing as how they were running an hour behind schedule.

I booked myself in for another appointment at the antenatal clinic on 18th April and was able to book a scan in for earlier that same day, so L and I will both attend both appointments that morning.

I left feeling slightly uneasy and unsure whether or not to panic.  On the one hand, I am a pretty small person – 5’2″ and slim build – plus I wasn’t exactly a massive baby myself, coming in at 6lb 14oz full term.  Also, the appointment they wanted me to book was for another 4 weeks’ time. Although any sooner might make it difficult to register any notable changes in the babies’ sizes, one would assume if there was a real worry, they would have had me back sooner for another scan.  Also, they didn’t give me any instructions other than to continue taking my pre-natal vitamins.  No bed rest, no suggestions to eat more protein, just “see you in 4 weeks”.

So I think things are okay.  I’m not too worried.  The babies have all the bits and body parts they need, they’re just a little small.  I’m not even sure how accurate the measurements are considering how wriggly and uncooperative the babies were at the ultrasound.  Plus, friends of ours have told us how when they were pregnant the doctors told them to expect a certain weight baby which then turned out to be wildly inaccurate.

All in all, I’m not too worried.  I am making an effort to eat a bit more protein, although I do have protein in pretty much every meal, and we’ll just have to go back to the hospital on the 18th and hope that the little ones have done a bit of growing in the meantime.

Scan-tastic

It’s been a busy week.  We had our 20-week scan on Wednesday.  It was so cool to see the babies again after so many weeks, they have really grown and look more and more like real people now (although their faces looked slightly alien-like).  As with the 12-week scan, the baby on the right was incredibly naughty and would not roll over so the ultrasound technician could take all the measurements she needed.  We ended up with me half on my side, with the bed tipped back so my head was angled down towards the floor and she STILL struggled to get all the correct measurements.  She did get them, despite the babies’ best efforts, and all is well.  Apparently the babies are around 10oz and 11oz!  So tiny still!

The good twin

The naughty twin

They were moving loads and both L and I were amazed that I can’t feel all that wriggling around.  The ultrasound technician asked if I’d felt any movement and I described the vague fluttery feelings I’ve had.  She said she was sure that it was the twins I had felt and said that it wouldn’t be long until the movements were more pronounced and felt like proper kicks.  Already, I’m feeling stronger sensations.

In fact, in the bath this morning, I was laying back and enjoying having a leisurely soak on an unexpected day off when I felt the babies start to move.  My heart was pounding quite hard – as it has been a lot recently, just another pregnancy symptom I’m sure, and so my belly was lightly vibrating with each heart beat.  However, suddenly I noticed a much more distinct movement on the surface of my belly, that coincided exactly with one of the kicking movements I felt inside.  As I lay there a bit longer, it happened a few more times.  So incredible!  The movements definitely have become more pronounced over the last week or so and now they don’t even really feel similar to gas anymore.  It’s nice to be able to tell for sure when one of the babies is trying to say hello.

When we could see the babies on the ultrasound, the technician pointed out that they were both kicking my bladder, even though I couldn’t feel it.  I have, however, been aware of increased pressure on my bladder over the last week or so.  It’s always been a running joke that I have a bladder of steel.  L thinks it’s really weird that I can go a whole day at work without going to the bathroom.  She, on the other hand, takes “tactical” bathroom breaks at every opportunity, whether she needs to go or not, in order to prevent being stuck somewhere and unable to go.  I think that’s weirder, but there you go.

However, my bladder of steel is starting to weaken – not surprisingly when there are two babies kicking it!  I’ve been waking up in the night to go, plus during the day I find that even after I’ve gone, I still feel like I could go again a few minutes later.  And it’s only going to get worse!!

My bump is still growing gradually and in fact, when I measured it this morning (not something I do regularly, you understand, but in this case carried out in the interests of scientific comparison) it was around 97cm.  Which means at 20 weeks I have finally reached the size I was at 4 weeks when my belly was bloated from OHSS.  Madness!

For those of you wondering why I do have a random day off on a Friday, the reason is that yesterday the choir I run at school went to the Barnardo’s Young Supporters’ Concert at Wembley.  Yes, we actually sang on stage at Wembley Arena!  We met the children at school at 8am (and then the coach was late and the traffic was awful and we didn’t get to Wembley until well after 11!) and didn’t arrive back at school until just after 10:30pm.  SUCH a long day.  But really worth it because the kids all had such a fab time.

(This is where I tried to add an image of us all taken by EmCee Sonali Shah and posted on her Twitter account last night (@sonali__shah), but for some reason, WordPress won’t let me.  Bah!)

Having been at work for the best part of 15 hours, however, the Deputy Head decided I should have the next day off as, being pregnant, I was likely to be completely exhausted.  I was and have really appreciated being able to just relax today and start my weekend early.  L was able to miss the morning briefing too, so we had a nice lie in together although she then had to get up and go into work.

In the meantime, our property search continues.  We have made offers on two houses now and both times a first-time buyer has jumped in and offered the same as us.  So frustrating.We have widened our search area, so hopefully soon something else will come up.

Holy ultrasound madness, Batman!

So, we went back to Guy’s today so that they could check up on my progress in terms of the OHSS and hopefully as well so that they could  do a scan.

Two babies!  Twins!  Of course it’s still very early days (6 weeks and one day by my count, although the doctor was a little vague about it, not having a calendar in front of him), but today we saw two little fishes swimming around in my uterus!

L is coming up with a series of nicknames for them: Pinky and Perky one week, Torville and Dean the next, Ant and Dec the week after.  We’re both slightly shell-shocked, although I was fairly convinced it had to be twins.  The doctor chuckled as he told us, saying it was no wonder I’d been so ill.

Even though it’s so early, we’re pretty much totally out of the closet at work with the whole pregnancy thing.  When I was in hospital, it was hard for L to fudge the details when people were concerned I was off work, so we ended up agreeing that if it came up specifically then it was okay for her to say.  This meant that we were freely flashing our scan picture in the staff room today when we got back from our appointment this morning.

We have another scan booked for the 19th when we hopefully should be able to see the heartbeats!

And my OHSS is much better.  My ovaries are still enlarged, but there is far less fluid in there, so although I’m still bloated, it’s not too concerning.  And we kinda have bigger things to worry about now.  Like double buggies.

Holy shit, it’s twins!

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