Posted by: thiscait | February 27, 2008


We had our Nuchal Translucency scan yesterday. We didn’t do this test with Natalie, and I can see now why we avoided (and will continue to avoid) most testing, but it was good to see the kid, and to get some reassurance that he/she is still there and still growing.

Before they did the scan we had a long conversation with one of their genetic counselor-type people. She did a great job of explaining things to us without being condescending, and we both really liked her until the end when she suggested that Jen might want to get a late ultrasound just to make sure that this baby isn’t too big to deliver at home. Um, OK.

But really, she was fine and though talking about all the horrible things that can happen left us feeling unsettled and a little bit wishing we hadn’t decided to go this medicalized route, it was OK. There were some pictures on the table that showed enlarged NT measurements, so we looked at them while she was out of the room so we’d know what to look for during the scan.

After more waiting, they finally called us back. (Did I mention that I’d had caffeine earlier that day and that combined with anxiety and a longer-than-expected wait was making me a horrible, twitchy, terrified mess? It’s a wonder Jen didn’t kill me right then and there.) Immediately we could see the baby squirming around and looking much more human than at 7 weeks. The heart was beating away, so while the tech measured the heartrate, I focused my attention on the back of the neck. And OH MY GOD, the space there was HUGE. My heart started pounding. A prickly feeling of dread flooded me. Our baby clearly had some horrible genetic condition, and I was quickly convinced that he/she surely would not survive.

And then the tech switched angles and started measuring. And I realized that what I’d been seeing was the space between the neck and the sac. The actual NT measurements were all below 2. (They wouldn’t tell us anything one way or the other, but from my googling, it seems that that’s an acceptable measurement.) Once I saw her measure a few times, I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the wonderful things our bean was doing, like rubbing his/her face and kicking. Oh the kicking. And the squirming. I remained jittery, anxious, and over-caffeinated, but was able to admit that in all likelihood, this kid would probably be OK.

Following his/her sister’s example, Carbo measured 13w1d at 12w3d. This time, however, we were able to reassure the tech that our first child measured way ahead at this point too, so managed to sidestep the whole “are you sure of your dates?” conversation.

Natalie has been figuring things out little by little, so we finally gave up and just told the poor kid last night. We had been planning on waiting much longer, but seriously, between a book she saw while visiting friends, and a baby shower we went to over the weekend, she and I had been having multiple conversations a day that went something like this:

“Baby in Nanee’s belly?”
“No, honey, babies only grow inside grownups” (yes, I know there are many exceptions to this rule, but I’m not ready to go there with my not-yet-two-year-old)
“Baby in Mama’s belly?”
“No, honey, there’s no baby in Mama’s belly.”
“Baby in Mommy’s belly?”
“Uhhhh…maybe someday. Would you like that?”

Her first act as big sister? Crumpled the ultrasound pictures. This is going to be fun, isn’t it? So, the funny lines and scratches in this picture are her work. I’m already reading Siblings Without Rivalry.



  1. Heehee. I think your answer to Natalie was perfect. From the point of view of a toddler, babies DO only grow inside grown-ups. 🙂

    And if they want to give you more u/ss later in the game, why not? I can’t imagine that anything other than a truly shocking result would change your birth plans.

    BTW, do you think you could have Natalie explain what’s up to Noah?

  2. That’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing the photo and the story.

    Siblings without Rivalry is brilliant.

  3. My favorite part of telling Natalie was that after we confirmed, yes, there is a baby in Mommy’s belly she started looking intently, finally asking, “Baby in Mommy’s pocket?” and peering into the pocket of my sweater.

  4. dude. That’s a baby in your UTERUS, not your belly. 😉

    And what a beauty it is, too!

  5. Yes, and at some point I’m sure we’ll get to that detail with Natalie, but since belly was the word coming from her, belly is what we went with. There’s going to be a lot of ongoing sorting out, I think. 🙂

  6. congrats on the good nuchal test. love the pic. he/she looks great. i like the idea of a baby in a pocket. much easier to birth at the end of the pregnancy, no?

  7. *laughs* That makes me want to ask my mom what I did when I found out she was pregnant with my brother. With any luck, she’ll get over it, and not be horrible like I was.

  8. What a nice picture! The picture of my little wiggly looked like a monkey.

    I think I’m going to pick that book up as well, my son is 30 months old so I need to prepare him (and myself).

    I too have been avoiding saying much to him about the baby at this point, because the belly really isn’t that obvious yet.

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