An eventful week: this nineteenth week. A little earlier than the name suggests, we had the 20-week ultrasound. The ultrasound, where they check all possible things about the health of your little one (again). Because of the excellent previous screenings and the 13-week ultrasound, we were not so worried and went to the ultrasound with an easy mind. What would be the chance they would suddenly see something that had not been seen before?
Yet, every time I lie down, my nerves start to get the better of me. Seeing and hearing the heartbeat makes me breathe easily again. Thankfully, we begin by looking at the heart each time and then move on to the rest. All kinds of things were examined during this 20-week ultrasound, from the number of ventricles to how full the bladder was at that moment. When we got to the last part, we would look at the placenta and the attachment of the umbilical cord.
And there it was, not the reassuring "wow," "that's good," or "that looks great." After a desperate look and a short pause, those nerves immediately came rushing back. While it may have only taken a few seconds, it seemed much longer to me. The umbilical cord was on the side of the placenta, while according to the books, it should be in the middle. This could cause growth retardation or, even worse, heavy bleeding during the delivery due to the rupture of the membranes.
When I asked whether I should be worried, I got a less than desirable answer: 'not yet.' Of course, at the end of the ultrasound, she tried to reassure us that it didn't mean anything yet, and we should try not to worry. With these concerns, we went home, waiting for the already planned appointment with the midwife the next day.
You can imagine how long such a day - and night - lasts then. I decided to call on my friend Mr. Google and hopefully find similar stories to find some recognition. Unfortunately, I immediately saw an article about a severe anomaly with the same mentioned dangers, which 2% of pregnant women have to deal with. Startled and even more nervous, I went to bed and had to wait another day to find out what it actually meant.
I won't go into what that time was like, but I was not the best version of myself. I envisaged all kinds of disaster scenarios where either the baby or I would not come out of it well or, at the very least, my desired home birth would fall through.
My husband could not come with me to the appointment; my mother-in-law was there as my support who could listen to all the information. We soon discussed the ultrasound scan from the day before and the frightening news we had heard and read. The result: there was nothing wrong at all. Like me, many other pregnant women had experienced this without any problems. And if there were any problems at all, they would most likely be visible now.
Immediately after this explanation, I was asked where I would prefer to give birth, in the hospital or at home. Both options were possible - as it seems now. Before, I was convinced I wanted to give birth at home, but I am not so sure now. Luckily, I do not have to decide yet; one less thing to worry about. There are still many weeks to go before I reach that point.
After a pit stop at the supermarket, I went home with a sense of relief. Because such good news must, of course, be celebrated with tasty snacks. And so I ended up on the couch in front of the newest season of Bridgeton with chips, salted popcorn, and peanut M&Ms. The best end of the day & week I could have!