(This pic is so stereotypical.. I’m going to paint my nursery mint or turquoise regardless of whether my baby is a girl or boy!)
The second trimester (Week 13)
I read that pregnancy symptoms reduce drastically in the second trimester and it is true. I got my energy back! I also got back the results of my Harmony test, which screens for the risks of chromosomal abnormality trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) and trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome).
And if you’re interested, here’s a link to Understanding Genetics, which really answered my questions about Down syndrome in general.
Many mums whom I’ve talked to said it was “unnecessary” for me to go for the Harmony test (accuracy of 99.99%) instead of the more common OSCAR screening (accuracy of 90%) as it is much more expensive (about $1000 – $1200). Most of their doctors tell them to go for the OSCAR test, and if the results are no good (there are many reported cases of false positives), to then take the Harmony test to confirm. I don’t agree – I mean, great if your results are low risk but what if you get a high risk result and you don’t even know if that result is accurate? And it’s another 2-3 weeks of worry as you wait for your Harmony test result. The anxiety that you’ll experience is not worth it. Nobody should have to go through it.
My Harmony test was done at Dr Koh’s clinic at around Week 12. 6 tubes of blood were drawn and dispatched to the USA on the same day. The expected waiting period was about two weeks. And because I have fat arms, I always have a problem drawing blood. The senior nurse (she’s really aunty and many say she has a bad attitude but to me she’s just a bit kan cheong… and she’s actually very kind) is so experienced… imagine where she took my blood from? No, not from the back of my palm as the veins there are too small to draw 6 tubes of blood. She drew the blood from….. my wrist! OMG I was mindblown.
Harmony test results (Week 14)
I remember I was at work when I got a call from the clinic. I was waiting for this phone call forever (although it was really only 9 days). “The results of your Harmony test is normal, extremely low risk,” said the senior nurse at the other end. RELIEF SWEPT OVER ME, and before I had a chance to react, she broke another news:
“Your baby’s gender is FEMALE.”
OMG CHUA BEE BEE IS A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *throws confetti*
I was convinced Chua Bee Bee’s going to be a boy because I saw how sharp her profile was at the 12 week detailed scan and thought to myself, ‘Looks like Jason’s facial structure!” And ok, also because of the Chinese Gender Predictor LOL. I pray for a healthy baby and her being a girl is a super bonus!
Pre-eclampsia + 12 week scan + Harmony test report (Week 15)
My doctor went through the results of my pre-elampsia risk test, 12 week scan and Harmony test with me. My risk of developing pre-eclampsia was 1:4381 (risk cut-off 1:200). The risk of fetal growth restriction (due to nutrients not reaching the baby, for example) was 1:1861 (risk cut-off 1:150). Levels were healthy and Chua Bee Bee’s measurements (10.1cm) were all on track and normal. She’s looking like a peanut here:
For the Harmony test, my risk level of all three chromosomal abnormalities was less than 1 in 10,000. Best news in forever!
From now on, our doctor’s visits will be once a month instead of the once every two weeks we’re familiar with. I was starting to develop a case of separation anxiety.
Pregnancy: The second trimester – 20-week anomaly scan + gestational diabetes scare
Pregnancy: The third trimester 4D scan – I saw Chua Bee Bee’s cute little face!
Pregnancy: Mount Alvernia Hospital – Maternity Tour & Estimate Bill Size 2016
Pregnancy: Bellybuds! Playing music for your baby in the womb
FY2016 Budget: Is the government giving us an extra $3K into the Child Development Account?
Pregnancy: Why I’m choosing GAIA Natural Baby Organic Skincare for #ChuaBeeBee
The third trimester: Tips for changing your gynae at Week 35
Pregnancy: When you wrist hurts like nobody’s business (De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis)
How to bake your own chunky chocolate lactation cookies
Pregnancy: Week 39 – Low amniotic fluid and an eviction notice!