Friday, June 18, 2004

The Wonders of Medical Technology - Hahn Jr. Revealed

There's a series of tests that's administered to pregnant women in the 15th-16th week of pregnancy termed the triple test. The tests measure the levels of 3 hormones in the blood that are indicators of increased risk of cystic fibrosis, neural tube defects, and Down's syndrome in the developing baby. So I had the triple test done last week at my appointment and this week my doctor called to tell me that my results were abnormal, specifically that my risks of having a Down's baby were increased from 1/700 (average for someone my age) to 1/193.

Well, needless to say I was pretty alarmed by that news. However, the doctor said that if the test was given too early, then the results would be wrong. She had estimated my due date of Nov. 29th based on the standard pregnancy wheel which assumes that a woman ovulates on day 14-15 of her menstrual cycle. However, I knew that my cycles had been very long for the past 9 months and that I probably ovulated a week or two later. So it was highly likely that the triple test had been given too early. But she scheduled me for a sonogram so that the baby's developmental age could be more precisely calculated.

So I went in yesterday for the sonogram and it turns out that I was correct. The doctor measured the circumference of the head and abdomen, and the length of the femur to calculate the age of the baby. Turns out that Hahn Jr. is only 14 weeks old, instead of the estimated 16 weeks. Thus, I was only at 13 weeks when the triple test was given and the abnormal results are most likely false positive. So I'll have the tests redone probably in a week or two and my new due date is Dec. 11th.

But the coolest part of the whole experience was getting to actually see Hahn Jr. The first thing I could make out was the beating of his/her little heart. Jr. was wiggling around a lot, too. No wonder, because the doc was totally squishing my tummy. Below is a shot of Jr.'s foot as (s)he kicked in our direction. You can see the individual toes and the bones in the feet. Hmmm...I wonder if Jr. will have my long 2nd toe or Randy's BIG big toe.


Now here's a profile that Alfred Hitchcock would be proud of. The details are amazing. You can see the tiny nose and lips of Hahn Jr. Jr. is only about 9 cm (~3.5 in.) long at 14 weeks old right now. Teeny tiny, but he/she definitely looks like a little human. There was a second or two where Hahn Jr. looked like a boy, but I don't have the prints unfortunately. Hopefully, in a couple months we'll be able to tell. I'm not one of those people that want to be surprised after delivery. I'd like to be able to get as much shopping done beforehand without having to buy nothing but green and yellow.


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