Today was supposed to be a wonderfully happy day. I’m 12 weeks pregnant, and DW took the day off for Dumplin’s Nuchal Translucency ultrasound. We’ve been anxiously awaiting this day all week. I wasn’t originally going to do the NT scan, figuring my odds of having a baby with a trisomy were low, being 32 years old at the time of egg retrieval. However, since DW hasn’t had a chance to see Dumplin’, I figured it would be a good opportunity for her to connect with Dumplin’, for it to be as real for her as it is for me.
We started off the day really nicely with a hike at the conservation area with the dogs. Juno found a deflated soccer ball and we played fetch in the water for a long time. Clem ran around, with a stick in her mouth, chasing after her big sister. The sun was shining, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! It was also unseasonably warm at 22 degrees Celsius. I felt like I had found a little piece of heaven.
A bit after noon, we arrived at the fertility clinic, which is where we chose to have the NT ultrasound done. We could’ve gone to any ultrasound lab, but chose the fertility clinic because I’m comfortable and familiar with the place and the staff.
There were many fuck-ups today:
1. Rampant homophobia- The sonographer wouldn’t let DW in the room for the ultrasound, even though partners are allowed. She said that she’d call her in later. She started the transabdominal ultrasound, and had a lot of trouble trying to measure the NT because of Dumplin’s position. She tried and tried, digging into my belly, and I eventually fell asleep on the table. She huffed and puffed about how hard it was to get a good picture, then sent me to the washroom to empty my bladder so we could try again with the dildowand. On the way to the washroom, I saw DW in the waiting room, looking super concerned. I guess an HOUR had passed, while this tech tried to get an appropriate picture. I went back and we did the transvaginal ultrasound, visualizing Dumplin’ a bit better, took some measurements, and then we were done. I was confused. Done? But my wife hasn’t gotten to see the baby yet. She huffed and puffed again, and then called DW in. She gave a mediocre visual of Dumplin’, pointed out her arms, legs, stomach, and then called it a wrap after what felt like 1 single minute. She didn’t even show her Dumplin’ long enough to watch her move (she was moving a lot when the dildocam was in). She was rude and totally discriminated against us because we were gay. Prior to this visit, this same tech has always been super nice to me, chatty even, but I always came alone, and I guess she assumed that I was straight. Despite promising to let DW be involved in the ultrasound, she totally intended not to honour her word, or DW’s right to be involved as a parent. She restricted DW to standing in the far corner of the room, opposite from me, and had her back to her the whole time. I don’t think she said a single word to her.
– I had to do my IPS blood work at a different lab, but the fertility clinic wouldn’t give me back my original requisition for the ultrasound (or even a photocopy), saying that I wouldn’t need it. I argued with them three times, as my midwife explicitly said that I would need to bring both to the blood lab. The receptionist at the fertility clinic became annoyed with me, went on a rant about how much she hates midwives, and then sent me away without the requisition and measurements from today’s NT scan. When we got to the blood lab, the nurse wouldn’t accept my blood requisition without the ultrasound requisition and measurements. Faaaaaaack. I was right. I frantically called the fertility clinic, which stopped answering their phone and closed up for the weekend. I ended up calling their head office and bitching to them, and eventually the rude midwife-hating receptionist faxed the requisition.
– Abnormal NT on ultrasound- the cut off is 2.5, but the show concern for anything above 2mm. Dumplin’s NT was 3.8mm. I could see the bulge on her ultrasound and was nearly in tears while I watched the sonographer measure it over and over again, 3.6, 3.5, 3.8…. They are supposed to report the largest value. This means that there is a chance that Dumplin’ has trisomy 21, 18, or 13, or a heart defect. I have spent the day crying and obsessively googling related terms. DW and I went out for dinner and did some shopping, but we’ve both been trying to process what this means.
Dr. Google has been less than hopeful in terms of what I should expect. DW and I have talked about doing further testing like an amniocentesis to get a definitive answer. The way this IPS/NT testing works is that I have to do IPS part two at 16 weeks, then we get results when I’m 18 weeks. That is a long time to wait for answers. We are both trying to be optimistic about this, as obviously we want Dumplin’ to be healthy, and realize there is a high rate of false positives for the NT test. However, it seems that in our 3+ years of TTC, we’ve fallen on the rare and shitty end of the statistics more than once: infertility, RPL, miscarrying a chromosomally normal embryo…
My midwife appointment isn’t until 15 weeks, but I don’t think I can go that long without some answers. I plan to see my family doctor next and ask if she can requisition a repeat scan. I also want to do the amniocentesis if it remains high, so we have something definitive.
I woke up this morning like it was Christmas Day, excited to see our little Dumplin’ and share that moment with my wife. Instead, we were treated with discrimination, and were given news that there might be something terribly wrong with our Dumplin’.
Here is our beautiful Dumplin’:
Crown Rump Length measuring four days ahead at 12w4d, with a heart rate of 170bpm.
Please please send us your hopeful thoughts and prayers for our little one to be healthy.