The Pregnant Life: The Latest Ultrasound

Amy Keyishian

Ultrasound 4-20
These just get spookier!
So this is kinda funny: My cervix is getting ... bigger. Is that even possible? Last time, Dr. Cutie said it was "above average" at 2.75 cm. Now, a mere two weeks later, a new doctor, Dr. Curly, says I must've been mistaken -- 2.75 would be borderline, not above average, and I was most definitely at 4 cm now, so he thought I must've heard wrong.

It sure looked big. As usual, I bore down, the tech pressed on my tummy, and nothing moved or looked scary. "I've seen a lot of really short cervices today," she said, staring delightedly at the screen. "This one's nice and fat! I really like to see that!"

Dr. Curly (for the record, my funny husband calls them Dr. Wu, Dr. Jew, and Dr. New) wanted to hear what'd happened with my first pregnancy. As usual, I didn't know what to tell him other than I felt rotten for a few days, I called the midwife who dismissed my concerns, and then my water broke. His face fell. I'm continually amazed and touched to see how infuriated medical professionals get on my behalf or when they hear about any medical mishap. They call them the "helping professions" for a reason.

Another cool thing is that Birdie's been extremely active lately. Over the weekend, I was lying on the couch and Eli (my 9-year-old stepson) came in, and I said, "Hey! Look at this!" We both sat there, totally mesmerized, while my tummy jumped and shook like a drum played by invisible hands, right before our eyes. So. Amazing. But what, exactly, was she doing in there? I made sure to eat an apple and a piece of chocolate before the ultrasound so she'd be extra-active. I wanted to see it.

"Her head's up here," the tech said. The baby was curled up, her head pointing toward my heart. Then: I felt something. "What was that?" I asked. Our eyes snapped back to the black-and-white image. Suddenly, the baby's head was on the opposite side of my body, her legs stretched out and across, like she was lying in a hammock. How crazy is that? She's just flipping around in there like a little dolphin.

I really have this feeling that this time isn't going to be anything like last time. I'm in a very different situation, and my husband insists I'm carrying entirely differently. Of course I'm soft and round, that goes with the pregnant territory, and just like last time, my belly is entirely huger than anyone else's (though my fluid levels are fine and the baby's size is normal -- I just carry big). But I feel like myself, and it's only my belly that's grown. My feet aren't squishy round balls of fluid, my rings still fit on my fingers.

I swear, the difference comes down to MSG and sodium. I ate lunch out with my work pals all through my last pregnancy, which meant we'd go to Wen's two or three times a week. Any restaurant or processed food is going to have higher salt content, and while MSG isn't generally considered as dangerous as the granola-people say, it's still salt. I swear, salt and stress were what ruined things for Penelope's third trimester, and I've drastically cut the quantities of both. I think that's the main difference.

My OB keeps stressing that I don't need to monitor food intake or count calories -- just make healthy choices. I'm doing that, and my weight gain is where it's supposed to be. I almost feel like a fraud, making them check my cervix every two weeks when I'm apparently in such stellar shape. But, ya know. Better to be overcautious than end up in preemie camp again.

Next OB appointment is tomorrow! So I get to figure out what Week 24 brings. Yikes ...

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