16w4d It’s a….

BOY!!!

J and I are thrilled to announce that come February 1, 2013, we’ll have a little boy to hold and to love!  I hate to say I told you so…

BUT MOMMY KNOWS BEST!  I’ve always had a feeling that I’m harboring a little boy in here…

To be honest, both J and I are still in a bit of a daze.  When the technician first told us that Baby Z is a boy, both of us just kept looking at each other and muttering, “I can’t believe we’re having a boy” over and over again in shock, as though we were expecting Baby Z to be a panda or something.

Of course, J said that he knew that Baby Z was a boy as soon as the ultrasound came up (before the technician even said anything), because,  you know, Baby Z’s boy part is just sooo huge and all.  *Roll eyes*

The most important news to us was that Baby Boy Z is looking very healthy!  We did a thorough anatomy scan, and our little boy is currently 6 inches tall, weighs 5 ounces, and possesses all his body parts (10 toes, 10 fingers, 2 kidneys, 2 eyes, 1 nose, 1 heart, 1 umbilical cord and a partridge in a pear tree).  His heart is beating steadily at 150 bpm, and his limbs, brain, face, and internal organs all look great!  In fact, while the technician was doing the anatomy scan, our little boy kept waving his little hands at us as if to say, “Hi Mom and Dad!”  He also kept rubbing his eyes and wiggling his toes.  We love him so much already!

The amniocentesis was also not as bad as I had feared.  We first met with a genetic counselor to go through some of the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as looked at various cases of possible chromosomal abnormalities beyond Down Syndrome.  Our doctor who performed the procedure was very matter-of-fact, which I actually very much appreciate.  I’m not a big fan of doctors who “ooo” and “ahhh” or coddle you too much.  I prefer ones that are efficient, competent and offer you tough love instead.  In fact, that’s also why I like my OB so much – she’s a no-nonsense type who is smart, capable and a straight-shooter.  When it comes to delivery, I already know that I’m going to be such a freaking hot mess that I need someone who will tell me to snap out of it and just get it done.  Haha.

Anyway, setting up for the amino took way longer than the actual procedure, which lasted all of 1 minute.  Even though I’m the biggest baby in the world when it comes to needles, the sting of the amnio needle was surprisingly not too bad.  I did feel some pressure when the doctor started extracting the amniotic fluid, but overall, it was definitely not as horrible of an ordeal as I had feared.

Now I’m a little anxious about the results, but I’m hoping and praying that everything will continue looking great.  Plus I’m really looking forward to getting a chart of our son’s genes and chromosomes.  We saw samples in our genetic counselor’s office, and J and I both thought that they looked so cool.  We may frame Baby Z’s chart (assuming all goes well…oy).

We go in for a second anatomy scan in four weeks, when we can see Baby Z in 3D!

In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures of our perfect boy and his tiny feet 🙂

14w3d Belly Flutters

I know I’m not supposed to feel Baby Z kick until somewhere between 16-22 weeks, but I swear that I am feeling him move already!  Each night this past weekend, I’ve been feeling a fluttering sensation in my belly that would last a few seconds every now and then for a few minutes.  It feels like butterflies fluttering – not quite like gas, but more akin to a light swishing, rippling feeling right above my pelvic bone area in my lower abdomen.

The sensation is amazing, like a little miracle.  It makes having a baby in there all the more real to me.  I can’t wait until he’s big enough to truly kick me in a few weeks! (Hmm…I don’t think that came out right.)

On another note, J and I finally decided that we’re going to proceed with getting an amniocentesis in a couple of weeks.  Even though the doctors put us at 1 in 10,000 for risk of Downs, we would still like the peace of mind of knowing that we did everything we could to find out if Baby Z is at risk for any chromosomal abnormalities.

I’ve been reading up on the procedure, and I’m really nervous.  It looks both painful and scary… gulp.

11w0d to test or not to test?

Baby’s now the size of a plum!

The end of the first trimester marks an important step for your baby-to-be. All of her major body systems are in place. In her digestive system, her small intestine is no longer entwined with the umbilical cord, but instead is tucked neatly within the abdomen. Her nervous system continues to develop, and her brain’s structure is fully formed. Many of her organs are starting to work on their own, too. For instance, her thyroid begins to secrete hormones. In your 13th week of pregnancy, she’s no longer considered an embryo, but instead graduates into a fetus.  She’s already looking more and more like the baby you’re probably imagining—she even has tiny fingernails.

(Source: The Bump and BabyZone)

I can’t believe that I am almost at the end of my first trimester.  One more week and Baby Z will officially graduate from an embryo to a fetus!  J and I have been waiting for this coveted 12th week mark to start telling people about my pregnancy, since at 12th weeks, the risk for miscarriage drops significantly.  For now though, we’re still holding off until our end of first trimester appointment next Wednesday, when we can see our baby’s heartbeat again.  We can’t wait!

One of the things J and I have been discussing lately is whether we want to do a CVS test at 12 weeks.  CVS, or chorionic villus sampling, is a prenatal test that is used to detect birth defects, genetic diseases, and other problems during pregnancy. During the test, a small sample of cells (called chorionic villi) is taken from the placenta where it attaches to the wall of the uterus.   According to WebMD, CVS can help identify such chromosomal problems as Down syndrome or other genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and sickle cell anemia.

The benefit of CVS is that it’s considered to be 98% accurate in the diagnosis of chromosomal defects. The procedure also identifies the sex of the baby (we’ll be able to find out already if we’re having a boy or a girl!), so it can identify disorders that are linked to one sex.  The downside to CVS is that it has a higher risk for miscarriage and a rare risk of defects in the baby’s limbs…both of which are very, very scary to us.

We’ve been talking to our friends who have had children recently, and there seems to be a 50/50 among our crew of pals who have had the procedure.   Those who did do a CVS all live in New York City and went to the same OB who specializes in CVS testing and is considered the BEST in the country in safely conducting these tests.  If we were to do a CVS, we would definitely go to her too.

Still, J and I aren’t sure if we want to take this risk with Baby Z, or whether we want to wait until 16 weeks to do an amniocentesis (amnio), which tests for the same things as CVS and has a lower risk for miscarriage.

Definitely lots to consider.  We’re planning to discuss it with our doctor next Wednesday – which can’t come soon enough!