Well, Hello There!

To make a long and painful story short, Incompetence denied the request to go through the lab for the Panorama test. I will spare you the gory details, and summarize:

My doctor’s office says that there is one lab (Natera) that does this test. Nope, no one else.

My insurance says their preferred lab does the test too, so won’t accept Natera.

They are incorrect, but I’m fairly certain they have yet to update their files to reflect the change. This, sadly, has happened two other times, resulting in delays in treatment.

Sigh… This left me with only one Downs screening option and exactly two days to do it in. This screen, consisting of an ultrasound and blood work, has to be done between 11 weeks and 13 weeks 6 days. Today I am 13 weeks 5 days. If ever there was a reason to utter the phrase “Fuck my life,” now felt like the time.

So I spent the ENTIRE DAY running around signing consent forms and finding the one office that had an opening today for an ultrasound. (Weather in my next of the woods is shit right now, so many offices are closed.) Luckily I was able to get an appointment at 1:30 today– again due to the weather, this office had a cancellation so I could slide right in.

I walked into the office and thanked them profusely for getting me in. I was exhausted, had not showered, and was hungry because I hadn’t eaten anything except some oatmeal I picked up at Starbucks between stops. Not to mention that I was anxious because I was worried that they would tell me there was something less than perfect* about my wee one.

I was, essentially, a train wreck.

And then. Oh, ladies and gentlemen, and then… I saw the little thing that has set up camp in my uterus. It is real. Like, really real. It has hands and feet. Hands! And it waved. (Okay, it was probably passing gas or something, but I prefer to think of it as waving.)

It waved at me. It said “Hi, I’m here.” (Okay, it didn’t saaay anything, but I was having a moment.)

That’s when this whole pregnancy thing became so motherfucking real to me. This is happening. And it is awesome.

As should come as no surprise, there were some oddities. Mostly that it is on the longer side. Depending on which range you use, it is either a wee too long or just right. Baby Ostrich is either right on schedule or 14 weeks 1 day.

I couldn’t figure out why this mattered, so I kept pressing the nurse. She gave me some pat answer, so I made it completely clear. “What I’m asking is there anything I could Google and freak-out about later?” She assured me that no, there was nothing to freak out over. And she is right. I have Googled and there is nothing terribly conclusive about these ranges.

[Aside: This seems weird to me. Different labs use different ranges? Wouldn’t something like baby growth be fairly standard and generally accepted?]

But in case you thought I couldn’t find something to panic about… I learned that I have actually lost weight in my first trimester. Lost weight. Aren’t I supposed to be gaining weight? I suspect this is because I have been backed up a lot, what with the rampaging constipation. To put it bluntly, it is really hard to put food in when it won’t come out. Or maybe it is grief. Because, you know… I’ve heard that can put a damper on one’s appetite.

Again, I find myself wondering if the cause even matters. Ultimately, I need to find a way to get more in my belly.

Barring a natural disaster, I will be heading to California tomorrow. It seems like a delightful way to spend the week wait until I get the results of the blood work back. Not to mention, I hear they have amazing food trucks where I’m headed.

And I could certainly use the sunshine.

*I hesitated to use this word because I don’t think there is anything wrong with people who have Downs or other disabilities. If I am being honest, there is a part of me that would be upset if my child had Downs. Not that I wouldn’t love them or care for them. But every parent wants the easiest road for their child, and I would be disingenuous not to recognize that this was all tumbling in the back of my head in the waiting room.



  1. AdoptiveBlackMom · February 10, 2015

    Glad you got in. Man, eff your insurance company. Bamas. I have no experience in this area other than I’ve had lots of pregnant friends. So many of them lost weight during the first trimester that I came to think of it as not much to fret about. I had one friend who lost over 15lbs. Shocking to me, but her kiddo turned out fine, so there’s that anecdotal data from a complete stranger on the internet to make you feel better. 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · February 11, 2015

      I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. 1,000 SUNS! I’ve already written complaints to my employer (though got the most patronizing response, I want to set something on fire.)

      I will gladly take anecdotal data from complete strangers– especially when it makes me stop being a panicky mess!

  2. My Perfect Breakdown · February 10, 2015

    I’m glad you were able to get in for the testing today, but sorry that you had so many frustrations with your insurance company!!

    • thecommonostrich · February 11, 2015

      ME. TOO. I’m still pissed I had to go through all that. It was totally unnecessary. If they hadn’t jerked me around for weeks, I could have scheduled this like a normal person.

      Rage. So much rage.

  3. Stefanie @ The MD & Me · February 10, 2015

    Ugh, insurance companies… I swear they are out to get us! If it makes you feel any better, I think I lost weight in the first trimester too.

    • thecommonostrich · February 11, 2015

      That does make me feel better! And as Mr. O pointed out to me last night, I’ve been eating much better than usual because I need to eat copious amounts of veggies if I’m going to… ahem… stay regular.

  4. vtr87 · February 10, 2015

    If you don’t get conclusive answers from your NT Scan, the harmony blood test is just like panorama… but if you get it done at an ariosa lab and your insurance company denies the claim the cost to you is $0

    • thecommonostrich · February 11, 2015

      That’s AH-Mazing. Thanks for the tip!

      • vtr87 · February 11, 2015

        Absolutely! My NT came back elevated risk, but not “high risk” so I was disqualified from genetic testing. I called all the companies that offer it and Harmony was the best one in terms of working with you for a reasonable payment.

  5. bionicbrooklynite · February 11, 2015

    Aw! Hey, there, wavy one!

    Losing weight in the first trimester is not that uncommon and is pretty likely to solve itself. (Weirdly, I lost weight for a while during the third trimester of my first pregnancy. Who the hell knows what that was about.)

    Couple of things about u/s measurements: first, and most important, the margin of error for weight, anyway, gets bigger and bigger as pregnancy progresses. Counterintuitive, but true. (You may especially want to keep this in mind if someone tries to freak you out about your giant baby close to term, assuming there are not other reasons to be concerned.) The other thing is that growth can be, well, spurty. So maybe Wavy Gravy there just had a big jump and will look just exactly average for fifteen weeks, only you won’t know because no one looks.

    All that is brought to you by the University of Google, but I did do the full doctorate. So.

    I remain so pleased by your gravid-ness. Long may it wave.

    • thecommonostrich · February 11, 2015

      Yes. That makes so much more sense to me, which is why I couldn’t figure out what was the big deal. Not to mention that my people tend to have longer torsos (this was a head to rump measurement) so I also wonder if the little sucker is taking after me. Oh, the stumpy legs you will have, kiddo…

      As for the weight, Mr. O also pointed out that I am eating a whole lot better in an effort to keep my plumbing plumbed, and that might have something to do with it too. I suppose that this is just a lesson in “Pregnancy is Weird.”

  6. labmonkeyftw · February 11, 2015

    Hurray for a “oh hello, you really are in there” moment, you were due an unreservedly pregnant moment after the past few weeks.
    The reason there are a few different weight/length scales out there is some are general averages, and some are more specific to specific populations (e.g., asian populations are typically shorter, and their babies lighter). So there are a few different charts they could place you on.
    People lose weight all the time in the first tri, usually because they are puking up a lot of food, but also sometimes because there is no room for food (ah progesterone-induced constipation), or because it takes a while to recalibrate what you need to eat to be eating for 1.2 people. It’ll sort itself out, I am sure. Worst case, you will have to consciously eat more food for a while, but a Dr. will tell you if that’s necessary if and when it happens.
    Where in Cali? I am in Cali, near many interesting food trucks. I could give tips and ideas if you are coming near me! I’m in SF.

    • thecommonostrich · February 18, 2015

      I love your comments. You always add a much needed dash of logic and realism to my freakouts. I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but your right that different populations would have varying standards. Accounting for all those variables would be difficult, hence the ranges. Not to mention, that all humans are different and this evidently starts in the womb.

      Cali was great. I was in LA, where I ate like a champ. Perhaps I will have packed on a few more pounds by my next check in. I went to SF in May last year, and fell in love with the city. You’re one lucky girl!

  7. lucy50 · February 14, 2015

    It’s real! Isn’t it cool when it gets real?
    And as far as the Downs thing and fear goes, of course you would be a little upset. Anyone would regardless of how much you love the child. I have a special needs sister, who will be dependent on my mom and eventually me for the rest of her life. It is not easy to deal with at times, and I was very scared of having a child with a disability. I still am, I guess, because my sister’s issues didn’t manifest until she was a toddler.
    Cheers to CA sunshine!

    • thecommonostrich · February 18, 2015

      So cool. And so weird. I had this moment during the ultrasound when I thought “I have two butts right now…”

      I’ve thought a lot about what I would feel like if I did have a special needs kid. Though by no means at the level, my brother has learning disabilities which can be a challenge for him. Even on that smaller scale, I’ve seen how it has impacted his life and our entire family. When you love someone, you take on their struggles– much more so when you’re talking about your own child.

      CA was great, and very much needed. Since I wasn’t worried about hiding my burgeoning bump, I felt so relaxed and at ease. Now I’m back to ill-fitting pants and baggy sweaters. Ho-hum…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s