Saturday, September 3, 2016

Week 12: My first ultrasound

So on Tuesday August 23rd I had my first ultrasound to see the baby - finally.
We took bus 92 to Duroc and got off right in front of hospital Necker.
When we went to register, I did not bring any ID or attestation d'herbergement (proof of residence) but the guy was super nice and said i could do it next time i'm there.
We then went into the maternity ward where the reception there processed me for my appointment.
While we were waiting, about 3 other couples also arrived - but it felt pretty empty overall (maybe it's cuz it's August?).

Caleb asked me if i was going to speak to them in French or English and we got into a slight disagreement. I thought if i spoke with them in French, they might be more apt to provide info but caleb said he wants to understand everything. By the time we got to see the first person (not sure if it's a nurse, doctor, technician or whatever they're called, we haven't really come to an agreement. For the sake of ease i will call him a doctor.

The first doctor was responsible for asking us all kinds of questions, analyse the documentation i had brought, which included by blood test results, and decide on what additional work i need to have done. He asked me things like how much i weighed (i had no idea) and family history of diseases, etc. He spoke in perfect English and completely understood the need for Caleb to have this conversation in English. He gave me some forms to read and sign after I said I wanted to test for Down's Syndrome (Trimosome 21) and write a prescription for additional blood works that he thinks i needed.

We went back to the same waiting room after until the ultrasound technician/nurse/doctor was ready for us. This doctor was happy to speak english too, but she was one of those french people who liked to tell you "Il faut apprendre francais" (you must learn french) whenever there's space to slip it in.

I asked her if she had a weight and found out i was 48kg. I dont think im that much heavier than my regular weight but i definitely look much rounder overall (face, arms, legs, belly, you name it). She went through the list of questions I had and told me I needed to find my own sage-femme - a gyno is not necessary, and that the father's blood type doesnt matter (which is different from other stuff i've read).

She read my list of illness, and said everything was normal and said if im sick from taking vitamins or folic acid i dont have to worry since i'm in france and there's plenty and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide me with the nutrients i need (yeah right, they have so little variety of veggies here). I don't really like her type of frenchness where they think everything about france is so great, but she's extremely professional and kind in other ways.

And then it was time to hit the ultrasound machine. I gotta admit, the 8 weeks of puking didnt really make me feel like i cared one way or the other, or even have the realization that there's a living thing inside me, but when i saw the sonogram of the baby and she poked my belly to make it move and turn and kick its legs, it really hit me.

I used to think people who cry at ultrasounds were crazy, but now i am one of them. My couldn't stop the tears from coming down! And for the rest of the day i couldnt wipe a smile off of my face. I even went to the office after the appointment (which ended at around 11am), as the guy on the phone said it would take 3 hours (we arrived at 8am and our appointment was at 830 so pretty good timing overall).

After the ultrasound, Caleb asked if we can have a photo and she said she would give it to us because we asked, but she didn't really and we had to wait until the next appointment to pick up the full package of results.

After this session, we went into the waiting room where the bloodworks are to be done. The girl this time spoke no English at all but she told me that we would be assigned a mid-wife from the hospital, which is completely different from what the ultrasound doctor said - it was really strange.

After she took my blood, we sat down and made the appointment to come back for the down's syndrome results while the rest of the results would get mailed me to me. The appointment was made for Thursday, August 25th and i was going to also receive my "declaration grossesse" - the three sheets of proof of pregnancy so i can mail them in the assurance maladie and CPAM to receive my benefits.

When we went back on Thursday, it was the same ultrasound doctor who saw us, gave us a package of results and photocopies of the ultrasound scans, and the down's syndrome results.

She asked me if i found  mid-wife yet, and i told her that the girl who took my blood test said i could get one assigned from the hospital, so she assigned me one who is american but told me i still needed to find my own mid-wife to give me classes and take care of me. She gave me a brochure to find the network of mid-wives in the city and also gave me an appointment for the follow-up with the american midwife, and my next ultrasound at 22 weeks.

It wasn't until I began my search for mid-wives did i start to get some insight into why she thought it would be better if i found my own.

Anyway, based on the size of the baby and my date of my last period, they believed that the baby was conceived on June 14th and my due date is March 14th. The earliest the baby could have been conceived was June 15th, so i guess my baby is healthy size.

Oh and it's also official that i'm at week 12 and 0 days on the day of the appointment i had.

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