At week 13, you are officially in your second trimester, for most people, the nausea subsides and you start feeling like your old self again. Pasta, spice and all the other foods I eliminated was back on the menu, so much so, that part of me worried whether I was still pregnant.
PART I: The Girl Who Needed Disprin
Three days before my 13th week scan, I had cramping and according to my Google searches, it meant you needed to call your doctor immediately. I had no spotting, no additional discharge, just extreme cramping.
I work 40 kilometers away from my OBGYN and kept muttering to myself that everything is okay, just three more days to my scan, that’s all… that being said, my undeniable love for this lemon-sized baby took over and I googled the OBGYN closest to me to find an availability. The receptionist heard my voice shake as I mentioned my cramps and was kind enough to call all of the appointments for the day to check for a cancellation. She found one and without any hesitation, I left work – thankfully, I have an understanding boss.
The scan happened at the Fetal Assessment Centre, which I would highly recommend if you can afford it (just under R2000, but that’s the price you pay for anxiety). This scan was different to the one I have at my regular OBGYN. They have an HD screen, they dim the lights and they spend a good hour with you going through every single limb and organ on your little bub.
Immediately, there was the heartbeat and I nearly cried as I felt the anxiety lift.
“Ah, look at how inflamed your intestines are! No wonder you have been having cramps – but don’t worry, your baby is healthy, look!”
And we watched as this little thing, which actually looked like a baby now, wiggling around, kicking little legs and at one stage, JUMPING. The OBGYN slowly measured limbs, length of nasal bones, skull, etc. etc. and calculated the chance of baby being born Down Syndrome. Our chances were very low.
What is the point of knowing? Well, that is up to you, some people choose to test further, and if it’s confirmed, they abort, others, seek therapy and knowledge to be prepared once their little baby arrives.
She could measure the blood flow to the baby and noticed the blood flow was slightly lower than ideal – “Don’t be alarmed if your OB recommends a low dosage Disprin (Asprin)”
I was immediately alarmed.
“The Disprin will help assist blood flow and decrease the chance of having a baby born underweight. But don’t worry about it now, all of these details will be sent to your regular OB and she will discuss it with you”
To change the mood, she asked, “Would you like to know the sex?”
“But it’s so soon, can you tell? Can you be sure?”
“I am 99% sure”
My husband and I exchanged glances. We both wanted to know.
“It’s a girl”
Whether she said girl or boy, we’d have had the same reaction, being overcome by this big emotion, this big love for the unknown which was slowly becoming more and more familiar. My husband squeezed my hand and quietly whispered, “We are having a baby girl”.
Fast-forward to a few days later where we attended our scheduled scan. My OB immediately said, “Your bloodwork returned and I am going to start you on a low dosage Disprin, as you are a pre-eclampsia risk”
What? Is it not because of the blood flow?
She paged through the documents she received from the FAC and nodded, “Oh yes, yes, it will help with the blood flow, but you are a pre-eclampsia risk and so if you start the Disprin now, it will be okay, you have to start it early”
I spent that evening crying and researching. Was the Disprin going to hurt my baby? Why have I not heard of anyone else doing this?
According to my research, it seems like a relatively new but proven-to-be-effective treatment with little to no side effects and since two OBGYNs recommended it to me, who am I to dispute it?
PART II: PLOP
That’s how I would spell what I was feeling in my belly. Plop and sometimes PLOP. Many people describe it as bubbles, or a little fish swimming around. I just kept feeling plop and it broke my brain to think there was something moving inside me, against my will, completely unpredictably.
My husband put his hand against my belly, desperate to feel what I was feeling. We would sit quietly, I would hold my breath to keep my belly as still as possible to give him the ultimate chance to feel it, but nothing.
We did this almost every night and then one night, he put his hand there and pulled it away in shock, eyes wide, “WAS THAT ONE DID I FEEL HER WAS THAT A KICK FROM MY LITTLE DAUGHTER”
It was also Father’s Day.