The 13 week update

“Faith isn’t faith, until it’s all you’re holding on to.” ~ Tre Fields

Finally we have another baby update. It seems like so long ago since I updated you all formally on my blog, and perhaps that’s because it has been quite some time. It’s been over five weeks since we last saw our baby – I’m fairly certain that is the longest I have ever gone without seeing the doctor while pregnant. Needless to say, despite seeing the heartbeat during the last appointment, the long wait for the first trimester to end certainly left me nervous and anxious for today to finally arrive.

Today I am officially 13 weeks pregnant. I am officially out of the first trimester. I admit it’s been a tough one, by far uniquely different and challenging in comparison to previous pregnancies. I have felt more sick and fatigued than ever before. This first trimester has left me feeling very helpless and the only thing that has kept my spirits up despite feeling very crummy most days is knowing that the crummy feelings are signs that the baby is doing well. I’ve been guilty of sleeping 12-18 hours some days and many times it was in part due to the nausea. So I welcome the second trimester, though on the first day I’ve still felt nausea so I’m just praying that goes away completely soon. I’m not sure how many more crackers a person can eat to keep from feeling sick!

Today my appointment was for the Nuchal Translucency (NT) Ultrasound that I admit left me feeling both nervous and anxious. I was obviously excited with the thoughts of getting to see the baby again today, however, if you haven’t heard of the ultrasound, it is one that is intended to help detect the possibility of Down’s Syndrome. It is an optional ultrasound, but one that is recommended by the doctor’s because it helps them know the risks before they suggest additional testing that typically could be unnecessary. Apparently, this ultrasound along with bloodwork tests can help them see risk indicators of Down’s syndrome if they are present which in turn would result in suggesting tests like CVS or an amniocentesis which can tell the diagnosis with certainty but also have a small risk for miscarriage. In the past I know the decision to do tests to inform me of concerns with the baby, such as Down’s syndrome, were things that I was torn in wanting to know. Regardless if if this little one ends up having any special concerns, I know it will not cause me to love it any less than I love the two children I have now. However, knowing news such as this would certainly help prepare our family in how to handle news like this. I don’t think I’d have been as open to the thoughts of the test if our niece born a little over a year ago wasn’t diagnosed with Down’s syndrome. The news of her diagnosis after she was born just put into perspective how real conditions like this can be. Thankfully the preliminary ultrasound test came back with no high risk indications of Down syndrome. During the ultrasound they take a series of measurements of a part of the baby’s neck and apparently in babies with down syndrome this gap is larger than normal and is often identifiable in the NT ultrasound. They also try to get a good view of the bridge of the nose because typically babies with Down’s syndrome there’s something about the size of a baby’s nose can also be a potential indicator. Neither ultrasound scan can completely rule out Down’s syndrome, however, thus far the test results show great signs for a healthy baby.

Now I know you all are anxiously awaiting to see the photos. They did provide us with a few photos to share. Instantly the moment the ultrasound tech put the ultrasound device onto my belly we got to see the baby moving around. The ultrasound technician made it a point to point out that the baby was such a wiggle worm and after the ultrasound was complete she said everything looked perfect thus far for where the baby is at in gestational age. Today we also got to not only see the heartbeat but the ultrasound tech said the baby’s heartbeat was strong enough for us to hear so we listened for a few seconds. 160 beats per minute of my baby’s heartbeat was definitely music to my ears. So here is my little one, 13 weeks, and still thriving strongly with me.



Though today’s news was certainly uplifting and allows us to worry less there is still another series of blood work I return for in a few weeks to complete this test in its entirety. Once it’s complete we should know the risks but for now we’re quite thankful to make it through another appointment with nothing but good news.

During my appointment I was also asked to be a participant in a research study. They only ask those who participate in the NT Ultrasound due to the needs of the study. Every time I give blood for lab work I will donate an additional 2 viles of my blood to be used in a study they are doing to help in the early prediction of preterm delivery by the measurement of “maternal serum markers”. Apparently the results of the ultrasound in addition to the blood work done could potentially help predict the possibilities of if a woman may enter preterm labor. Obviously this will not affect me in any way, other than they will take my blood on occasion and sent the results of my tests and the baby delivery to this study. I admit at first I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be a guinea pig and donate blood but when I was better informed about the study I instantly didn’t think of myself, I thought of all those families I have helped photograph with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  It seems as though many of the babies I’ve photographed or other Orlando photographers have been called to photograph have been ones who were born too early and never had a chance of survival. I think I’ll rest a little better every night knowing that I can make such a small effort that could potentially somehow help families who have had to struggle with the concerns of having a baby prematurely.

So that’s the 13 week update. I return to the doctor on September 22nd for a routine appointment and again on October 18th for the 20 week ultrasound. Thank you all again…the prayers definitely seem to be working.

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August 31, 2010 - 8:36 pm

Shanna - We’re having a baby, we’re having a baby, we’re having a baby! You are 13 weeks! Woo Hoo, I am so excited for Berry Kern to arrive. LOL

Love you!

August 31, 2010 - 9:32 pm

Connie Bristow - Such great news, Amanda. Thanks so much for sharing it all with us. I will keep praying for you and our little Baby Kern. Love you, Sweetie.

September 1, 2010 - 11:55 am

Sharyn McNichols - Thanks so much for including us in your update. Sorry you are feeling extra crummy (as you put it, ha) and we hope this feeling will diminish now that you passed the three month beginning.

Best wishes to the Kern family and know my prayers are with you as well!

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