As a first time to-be-mother, pregnancy was a completely new experience for me. I had a lot of questions and was fondling to understand the changes taking place in my body. I was equally worried about the growth of my baby inside my womb.
With this blog series, “Pregnancy Week By Week”, I hope to extend a helping hand to all expecting parents by telling you about my journey.
There might be some things that you would be able to relate to and would even give you solace to know that someone went through the exact same thing as you. Hope I’m able to help!
Disclaimer – This is entirely my personal experience. The intent of this blog is not to advice but only to share. Any medication, medical examinations, dietary intake or exercise, mentioned in this blog, were prescribed as per my pregnancy and my body. Please do not perform these without consulting your medical adviser.
Week 13 marks the beginning of the second trimester. This was truly a magical week for us as we got to meet our baby (through an ultrasound, ofcourse!).
Level 1 Ultrasound and Genetic Testing in Week 13 of Pregnancy
This was the week of our level-1 ultrasound. Along with this ultrasound, we also got the double marker and Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) done.
These tests coupled together tell you whether you are at low risk or high risk of carrying a baby with genetic disorders.
In case you fall in the high risk category, you would be advised additional tests like Amniocentesis. In Amniocentesis, a small sample of amniotic fluid is extracted from the uterus which is then used for genetic testing. It can help detect if your baby is facing any chromosomal condition like Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome or Patau’s syndrome.
Note that Amniocentesis is not offered to all women. Only if your results from the ultrasound, double marker and NIPT show that you are at high risk, you might be advised to take this test.
Once genetic disorder is confirmed you might have to take the hard decision on whether to continue with the pregnancy or not.
Results from Level 1 Ultrasound in Pregnancy
Now coming to the Level 1 ultrasound, the radiologist measures the length on the Nose Bone and also looks at the fluid at the back of the neck. In technical terms they are called NT/NB. This is the first step towards checking if the baby has any genetic disorders. For us, this value came under the low risk zone.
Baby Organs in Level-1 Ultrasound
During the ultrasound, the doctor showed us many different organs of the baby. We saw the spine, the brain, their arms, legs and face. The baby’s face was facing my back so the radiologist had to try really hard to get the baby to turn around. She tried capturing the baby from all possible angles just to be able to get a view of their face.
You can see some of these in the ultrasound photo that I have added below.
Finally, we also heard the heartbeat of the baby and this truly was quite special.
During the ultrasound, your doctor will also give you a range for your baby’s weight. For us it was 58gms ± 8 gms, which is the normal range.
Gender Detection of Foetus
In India, the gender of the baby is not revealed anytime during the pregnancy. This is done to avoid any kind of gender selection at birth. Especially to protect the girl child, as illegal abortion of girl foetuses had become a widespread practice in India. So well, we’ll have to wait till delivery to know the baby’s gender.
What is interesting here is that if your baby shows signs of genitalia from both the genders in the ultrasound, this is something that the parents are informed about as it is considered an anomaly. As per my OB-GYN this also gets captured in the NIPT test.
There are some theories out there based on which you can make a guess about the gender of the baby. One of them is the Nub Theory. A Nub is formed early in the pregnancy in the baby’s lower abdomen which turns into a penis in case of boys and clitoris in case of girls.
If this nub is at an angle higher than 30 degrees than the baby’s spine, then it’s likely a boy but if the nub is parallel to the spine, it might be a girl. Based on the premise of this theory, we might be carrying a girl child.
Note that this is just a theory. Only your radiologist can precisely confirm the gender of the baby based on the ultrasound.
Low-lying Placenta Detected in Level 1 Ultrasound
As for me, based on the ultrasound results, the doctor told me that I had low-lying placenta. You can see this in the ultrasound report above. While it is not uncommon at this stage, given my history of bleeding in week 5, the doctor asked me to avoid travelling all together, which also included travel by car.
So, unless and until it was urgent like going to the hospital, I would need to stay put at home. Luckily my office has no objections with me working from home so it made things much easier.
NIPT and Double Marker Tests
I also gave my blood sample for the double marker test and NIPT test. The results for both these are expected to come in the next week. Once we have results from both these tests, we would be meeting the doctor again to get a full understanding of the situation.
My OB-GYN also recommended that I take another injection of Progesterone this week and based on the double marker test and NIPT, we can take a call on whether we need to continue these.
Supplements Added in Week 13 of Pregnancy
My OB-GYN also added iron and calcium tablets to my prescription. She also changed the folic acid medicine that I was taking earlier.
For this week she stopped my oral Progesterone medicine, called Duphaston as either of the two – Progesterone injection or tablet were sufficient henceforth.
Pregnancy Symptoms Continued in Week 13 of Pregnancy
As for my symptoms, I still have most of them. The main ones include nausea, vomiting, fatigue and gas. In fact this week, after the Progesterone injection, the next three days were quite horrible, with extreme gas and vomiting air.
This week I was also at the lowest of my weight. I’d reached 49.9 kgs. My OB-GYN is still not too concerned about this weight loss as the baby’s vitals are fine. Also, she expects moderate weight gain to happen now, with the beginning of the second trimester.