As you can see there has been a lot of action since I last posted about baby. I am now just over 3 months and everything is right where it is supposed to be. I have been experiencing a range of reactions to this pregnancy, most of which are supportive, loving and filled with excitement, and a few… not so much. Much to the contrary of what you would expect I have not had a single believer speak ill of pregnancy. It doesn’t seem to matter to them that me and Rich are not married or that we are Atheists who plan to raise the baby with secular values. No, the only harsh reaction came from a member of my local Atheist community… and I was admittedly unprepared as, after-all, everyone loves a pregnant lady. Maybe not. At our monthly brunch, a member of the local community expressed that they are reluctant to speak of my pregnancy, stating that 2% of babies die at birth (this is not true) and that they will “celebrate it once the baby is born”. This came from a dark place, a very unfortunate experience that they had for which I feel very sorry. However, I am an optimistic person- I know that anything is possible and any number of things can go wrong- but I refuse to focus on that. I am so lucky to have become pregnant in the first place (thanks again science!) that I intend on celebrating every minute of this baby’s life…and yes, the fetus inside of me is very much alive. So onto the good stuff… here is what science has offered up for celebration since the last time I wrote.
On December 30th I had the ultrasound that produced the pictures you see. During this sonogram the technician made a comment that just made me laugh inside. Everything was going along as normal, baby moving like crazy and me being more excited than ever in my life…but then the above image was captured and the tech exclaimed “Look, the baby seems like it is praying!”. Of course in my mind I was thinking “Well it isn’t, the baby has no knowledge of God or prayer.”, but to her face, I just smiled as I could tell that she felt she was being sweet. After that moment passed, she continued on, showing us the cord blood flowing, the face and even the baby’s brain. I cannot believe how clear the images were. Instead of that blurry image mother’s had in the past- I could see each part that was pointed out. This is undeniably the result of science and technology. First ,it is only within the last 25 years that we have had transvaginal ultrasound technology, and in 2014 it is far better than it was when it first came into mainstream use. It makes it possible to zoom in and create images like the one below, where at 10 weeks 6 days the hemispheres of the brain are clear as day.
Another example of science and technology performing as God never could happened just 2 days ago at my first trimester screening where they check the risk of Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and Trisomy 18 (Edward’s syndrome). This test consists of 2 parts- an ultrasound (Nuchal Translucency screening) in which the thickness of the nuchal fold area is measured and also a blood test. My ultrasound results were available immediately and the doctor said everything was excellent, my blood work is not back yet, but it is unlikely they will reveal anything but the same as the ultrasound. Isn’t it amazing that in today’s world we have ultrasound technology and research available to give an immediate assessment of the risk of these syndromes? Some people find them controversial, thinking that unfavorable results will make for an unhappy pregnancy or even tempt the mother to abort the fetus. I do not see this as the case, and a dear friend of mine said it best, that tests like this “allow us to mourn the baby we imagined having, and prepare for the baby we now have… so our first moments after birth can be spent with love and happiness, as they should, rather than shock and fear. ” .
One final milestone occurred on the 2nd of January, where we heard the heartbeat for the first time. It was the most amazing sound I have ever heard and made me immediately wish that I had an at home doppler so I could listen to it all of the time. Yes, science and technology has given us that option, but alas, it is too far out of our price range- so we will have to hold off the next time the doctor takes a listen. Until then I will continue to celebrate the life inside of me and share it with those whom I love and who love me.