Yesterday morning I had my montly OB appointment, which I assured MJ he didn't need to attend, since it would only include taking my weight and listening to the baby's heartbeat. So he headed to work while I headed to the appointment, and sure enough, my doctor offered to do an ultrasound! I was thrilled to see the baby again, but MJ and I were both disappointed that he wasn't there too.
Fortunately Otto is doing fine. The bones are developed enough now that I mostly just saw the skeleton moving around, making the baby look very similar to a dinosaur (especially since he was facing down, almost in a "crawling" position). Then he turned his face towards us, and I realized just how much he looks like an alien. So there you have it: the body of a dinosaur and the face of an alien.
(By the way, although we use "he" and "him" to refer to the baby, it's just for convenience. We actually have no idea whether we're having a boy or a girl, and we don't plan to find out until the birth.)
I also had some blood taken at the appointment, for round two of the sequential screening. After my nuchal translucency ultrasound and first round of bloodwork three weeks ago, Otto's odds for having Down's plummeted to 1 in 5,000. Thank goodness! This second round of bloodwork will confirm the initial findings, as well as screen for Spina Bifida, so hopefully we will get good news about those results in a few more days.
Even though MJ wasn't at the appointment, we still went out to dinner at a nice tex-mex place nearby, as has become our tradition whenever we have an ultrasound. Next appointment is in 3 weeks, and it'll be the big ultrasound: when they do a complete anatomy scan and (usually) confirm the gender. I will have to remember to remind my doctor that we don't want to know the gender, else he may accidentally spill the beans!
In other news, the heart rate monitor that we're renting for the next few months arrived today. I immediately tried it and, after a few minutes of figuring things out, heard the baby's heartbeat loud and clear. It's easy to tell the difference between my heart rate and Otto's, because mine is much slower. At all our appointments, Otto's heartrate has been pretty consistently in the 140s, and today was no different. It sounds a bit like a galloping horse, but the sound is "whooshy" if that makes any sense. I called my mom and held the phone up to the monitor, and she could hear it clearly (although she thought it sounded a bit like the washing machine agitating). I also let Matt listen to the heartbeat when he got home from work, and I found it much sooner the second time.
In the last two weeks, I have been a bit more confident about Otto's health, but I'm still happy I rented the heart rate monitor. A month is a long way to go in between appointments, and considering my history, I will invariably have moments of doubt. It'll be nice to reassure myself at home without having to call the doctor's office and risk sounding neurotic and paranoid.