Thursday, March 29, 2012

Things You Don't Want To Hear

... when pregnant.
"Bwoah," said my midwife. "Bwoah!"
Bwoah is not really top of my list of things I want to hear from healthcare professionals during the course of a pregnancy. Normal I like. Normal is good. As in -
"Yes, pet, I know you think you look like a beached whale but actually you don't. You're a bit tubbier but that's normal."
"Don't worry, dear, a total lack of morning sickness is not an indication that your baby has stopped growing, it just means that you were lucky. It's unusual, but normal."
"Well, Mrs Gingerbread, I'm not sure if a newly-discovered love of wiener sausages actually counts as a symptom, but if you are eating three or four a day, then it might. It's a bit weird, but still normal."
This is all very nice.

However, whilst I am perched upon an uncomfortable doctor's stool, watching the midwife looking through my latest test results, including the high-tech scan that was carried out for the nuchal fold* (it came back - thank goodness - normal. How I love that word!), she cast her eye down the baby's measurements, including its head diameter and the length of the baby from crown to rump.
"Bwoah!" she said in delight. "That's one big baby!"
I felt the cold finger of fear tickle the back of my neck. Yes, Baby Gingerbread measured a twelve on a scale of one to ten for normal measurement in his development stage. This ordinarily would be good news - who does not like a bonny baby? - but the person in charge of the baby's exit is experiencing a sense of trepidation. The father of this monster baby is quite proud - our baby is going to be the best baby ever and beat all other punier babies in terms of length, breadth and girth. (And, by the way, the ultrasound scan also saw Baby Gingerbread flailing his arms about. We were told that what looked like thumb sucking was a purely random thing, but Mr Gingerbread and I have decided that we have a genius in utero, one already capable of complex hand movements, unlike the other afore-mentioned punier babies in its age segment. Competitive, much?)
"Don't worry," said the midwife. "The growth rate might slow as the baby develops. It's more than likely that you'll have a perfectly normal-sized baby."
Hmmm. Not sure I believed her, but I allowed myself feel comforted.

So there you go, readers. And thank you all for your kind words about the impending Gingerbread expansion. I will take your advice and do what so many of you suggested - ignore everyone's advice and do what feels right to me. Tomorrow we'll be back to our usual programming and proceed with all things crafty.

* If, like me up to 13.5 weeks ago, your knowledge of babies extends to polite smiles when they're handed to you and sighs of relief when you hand them back, you probably don't know what a nuchal fold test is. No worries. Rather than read a book on pregnancy, I rely on my midwife to inform me on a need-to-know basis: pregnancy in bite-sized chunks. One such chunk was the recommendation to have a very high-quality scan done that measures the amount of fluid in the baby's neck fold. This allows doctors to determine the likelihood of the child having some chromosomal defect. The chances of this happening are relatively slim (though, being an ancient mother - 37, gasp, - they are statistically higher. Some people - like my husband - presume these things happen to everyone else; other people - like me - assume that they will be hit by a random thunderbolt of fate. As it happens, everything was ... well, normal.


Karen said...

Normal - love that word!

I even discovered when doctors and midwives used the word 'abnormal' with me, they were wrong, thank God, and normal was what I got.

Although, I do hate that 'advanced maternal age' thing - and as you are much younger than I (and younger than I was when I had my last - gasp - two babies) I would ignore that too!

Glad all is going well


Paul & Carla said...

Congratulations on being perfectly average — in fact, normal. I think that is what we all want to hear right now. Love to you, the hubs and the little cookie in the oven.

Liz said...

What's in those sausages?

nursenikkiknits said...

The docs scared the bejeezers out of me at 36 weeks by saying that my first had a head measuring in the 90th percentile. After 4 weeks of cold sweats about it, he was born with a lovely round head bang on the 50th percentile.

Don't worry! Ultrasounds are great for a bunch of things... but accurate measurements is not one of them.

Jay said...

Don't worry the midwives/doctors/scans don't tell you everything & babies change through the pregnancy - I was told several times with my 2nd that he was smaller than average - he was born 2 weeks early weighing 9lb 12oz!! Not so small!

Allyson said...


(PS...I just started a new WIP, using your Realta pattern. LOVE it!)

Donna Lee said...

I've had three babies (all between 9 and 10 pounds so no peanuts)and have never heard of nucal folds. I never had an ultrasound except when my middle child (who has been contrary all her life) was thought to be in the breech position at 8 months. She was indeed standing up (which she liked to do almost immediately after birth. The child wanted to be held vertical all the time). The solution to the breech positon? Lay an ironing board on the couch so that it was at a 45 degree angle and lay on it with my head down for a half hour at a time to try to force the little darling to turn around

Not likely. She did turn, all at once (and that was an interesting day) and all was well. She had a 14 and 1/2 inch head and managed to be born with one arm and shoulder raised. She was anxious to be born!

Chain Stitch Crochet said...

So glad it was all normal! I'm looking forward to each report, be it yarn or baby related. :o)

Sue said...

Missed your post the other day, so congratulations on your news!
How wonderful. Having had 4 cookies myself the thing I learnt most is, do what feels right to you cos everytime I popped one out the 'professionals' gave me different advice, you know, keep them warm, keep them cool, sleep on their backs, fronts, sides, head! You get the picture.
I just followed my heart and I'm quite pleased with the finished product LOL!

Reality Jayne said...

Congrats Ginger...!! This should be interesting.
I am looking forward to the adventurous blogs about your new baby world adventure.
BTW...I heard somewhere that the meat industry uses secret growth recipes....
I wonder if your new found love for sausages could have something to do with that little Gingerbreads off the charts size.

Annie Cholewa said...

I had never heard of a nuchal fold and I have four children, all normal, well as normal as it gets around here anyway!

Oh, and I know someone who had the first of four at 37 ;D

The Foggy Knitter said...

Friends of mine were told their baby was going to be big and yet when he turned up he was actually on the small side of normal so I shouldn't worry too much. Sounds like you're taking a good approach to it all.

patrysia said...

The 2.5-year-old son of a pregnant acquaintance is above all the tests on length and width for his age. And although she's only 4 months pregnant with this one, no. 2 baby looks like he/she will follow in big brother's enormous toddler footprints. I guess I can't blame it all on those prenatal vitamins anymore.

Good luck. Better get cracking on practicing those sewing skills to let out pant hems in the not too distant future. Does Mr. Gingerbread seem interested in learning to cobble shoes as a hobby? At the rate kids grow...

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Emma (GirlAnachronismE) said...

I haven't said it before so congratulations! Hope everything is going well!