Monday, February 15, 2010

A few more grey hairs..but a happy ending

Today, I found out what it is like to be a parent worried about the well being of their child.

We had a doctor's appointment today and although everything turned out ok in the end, it was very worrying at one point.

Today was supposed to be an easy appointment to meet for the first time the doctor who would be delivering the baby, Dr Michael Hold.

Once my wife's name was called we were taken through to the back where they did the usual checks before taking us into one of the rooms. The idea is for a nurse (or whatever they're called) to do all of the routine stuff and then check the baby's heartbeat before the doctor sees you.

Only today, the nurse couldn't find the baby's heart beat. She tried for a long time, possibly about 10 minutes, although it seemed a lot longer at the time before attempting to reassure us that sometimes the person doing the scan can't locate the baby but another nurse usually can.

She did say she heard the heartbeat but only for a short time and she wanted to hear it for longer to make sure everything was ok.

So she leaves the room and another nurse comes in, introduces herself and gets straight down to the business of locating the baby's heartbeat. This nurse was a little more forceful and pressed the doplar thingy a bit harder into my wife's stomach. She moved it around and heard lots of various sounds but nothing like a heartbeat.

She eventually did find something with a heart rate of 133 and said though it was low for a baby, it was probably too high for a normal person so that was probably it.

We were starting to get a little bit worried by this point and that wasn't helped when the nurse took my wife's pulse and her face changed dramatically. She mumbled something to herself and ran out of the room.

We were both left wondering what was going on and were now very worried something was wrong.

Luckily, a few minutes later Dr Hold came to the room with an ultrasound machine. It was much briefer introduction than we probably expected but by now we just wanted to know the baby was ok.

Dr Hold did the ultrasound and after a few minutes located the baby who was moving around a lot. He showed us the blood flowing through the baby's body and legs and arms moving around but he still struggled to detect a heartbeat.

When he eventually did we were very relieved. Even when we could see the baby moving, it wasn't until we could actually hear a strong heartbeat we were sure the baby was ok. He took various measurements of the baby, the circumference of the head, length of the arms, legs etc.

When he put all the figures into the computer it said the size was that of a baby 16 weeks and 4 days old. My wife is actually 15 weeks 5 days so the doctor said this is a sign that the baby is healthy and growing. He then tried to find a good picture for us to take home but I think he got our baby's picture mixed up with something from Area 51. If it is our baby then it seems to have got it's looks from my wife's side of the family!

After that, we just asked the doctor a few questions we had and he asked us if we wanted the triple screen blood tests to check for Down's Syndrome etc. We agreed and we went over to the lab for them to take some blood.

My wife had previously suggested we get a dokpar thing for home so we could hear the baby's heartbeat whenever we wanted. After today, I think she now agrees it wouldn't be a good idea. Everytime we couldn't find it there would be a mass panic.

I suppose this is how it will be for the rest of our lives now, worrying about our children's well being so we better get used to it.

The results of the triple screen, which actually became a quin screen aill be in this week so our next appointment is next Monday to discuss the results.

Hopefully next time the baby will be a bit more co-operative!

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