Review 2005

Karen

When Pete wrote about the brain-bulging awesomeness of New York City, the one life-altering factor that he didn't mention was the baby that we conceived there (with apologies to Stuart & Krissa's spare bedroom). This was of course entirely unplanned and accidental, but when we miscarried at 7 weeks, our destiny was fully focused on the fact that we definitely, definitely, wanted another go.

So at the earliest possible opportunity, we conceived again, and for two months now we have been sitting on this brilliant burning fact, unable to tell anyone except where absolutely necessary (to explain the debilitating effects of all-day morning sickness, for example). It's such an exciting thing, and we can't tell anyone. These have been the longest weeks ever, waiting to reach the magical 12-week mark, when the risk of miscarriage diminishes significantly, and we can relax and start to enjoy it.

This morning - exactly 12 weeks in - we had our first scan. The main purpose of this was to establish the statistically likelihood of having a baby with Down's Syndrome; but we got bloody good value for our fee, including a DVD to bore the grandparents-to-be with at christmas. We had a full tour of the baby, showing that it had two legs, two arms, and two halves of a brain. It seemed to be sleeping, so it had to be jiggled around to wake it up, so that the scan-lady could measure the fluid at the back of its neck, which is the indicator of chromosomal abnormality. When woken up, it wriggled and somersaulted for a few seconds, and then went back to sleep; no doubt about its parentage, then.

So, in summary, we have one healthy foetus; 5.3cm long at the time of writing, which puts it at exactly 12 weeks old. Its tiny heart is beating at 158 bpm. Statistical likelihood of DS reduced from 1:312 to 1:1754. Up until this point, we have been so very cautious; we have not given it a comedy nickname, or planned how we will fit the cot into our house. Last time it was so intensely disappointing to get all excited, and then have nothing; so we have counted every day that we woke up still pregnant, and been pleased about it. Now I feel as though we have been given permission to let go of some of the anxiety and enjoy the pregnancy; it's such a relief, and it is SO exciting.

Written 5th December 2005, but embargoed until after Christmas, by which time we will have told our parents.

Karen writes Rise

For an introduction and list of contributors to Review 2005, follow this link.

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