Just a brief note on ultrasounds. I’ve had 3 at this point, and I am grateful for medical technology, because I am prone to worst-case-scenario horror fantasies of the most paranoid sort. I’m usually pretty good at quickly and rationally talking myself out of these, but nevertheless, they can intrude upon my more logical thoughts at any time.
The ultrasounds I had done at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and then 20 weeks have been immensely reassuring, because as stupid as this sounds, despite my belly growing rapidly larger by the week, it does not otherwise feel like something is growing inside of me. Like what if the fetus is totally dead, and this belly expansion is actually due to ingestion of too many tacos and donuts? My arms and legs are expanding too, so maybe I’m just getting fat. Totally plausible. I’ve read stories about women whose bodies continued to grow and mimic a healthy pregnancy for several weeks, despite the fetus having no heartbeat.
My friend who is also currently pregnant felt the fetus move at 14 weeks, which is early, but I’m at 20 and have felt nothing. It’s dead! No, it’s not, but the thought crosses my mind, which is why these ultrasounds are sort of amazing. At 20 weeks, seeing the fetus clench her hands, suck her thumb, and watching her renal arteries pump blood was a major relief.
My mind can get carried away, however briefly, with all kinds of unreasonable fears, so until they have a cure for neuroticism, ultrasounds and technology are here to save the day.