It’s a privilege that only a father can say to his child. Drum roll please… And I will have that privilege…!!! Yeah…!!! Have a look at this tweet of mine:
That’s when I came to know about my wife’s possibility of pregnancy. She took multiple urine tests at home and the results were positive. I know it’s not 100% accurate. The inaccuracy happened once to us few months before that, the urine tests were positive but the blood test (in hospital) was negative. However this time I was convinced about my wife’s pregnancy so I tweeted about it.
We went to Mirae Hospital Daejeon at Saturday. That hospital was recommended by Han (my Vietnamese colleague). The doctor in that hospital at that time couldn’t speak English well. Despite some troubles, we managed to understand that he couldn’t sure whether my wife is pregnant or not. He told us to come again in two weeks. But we were not going back there. There are other doctors at different day that can speak English well, but I want to always accompany my wife and Saturday is the only day I can go.
We were looking for alternatives. First, we defined our requirements for our new obgyn doctor: (1) speaks good english, (2) available on Saturday, (3) (preferably) woman. Luckily we heard about Dr. Oh in Queenzmedi Clinic (http://www.queenzmedi.com/) from Daejeon women group at Facebook. And she qualified all three of our requirements! We met her and she was amiable and genuinely care about my wife’s condition. It was perfect. We stopped looking for another doctor.
In our first visit to the clinic, Dr. Oh did a scan. And the result was: my wife was 4 weeks pregnant! We are happy but still hard what to make of it, since the scan only shown a small white dot. Anyway, unlike in previous hospital, in here during the scanning I was allowed to stand next to my wife. Yeay!
In Korea, a pregnant woman is eligible for Mom Card. It is a card filled with 500,000 Korean Won to be used in clinic or hospital. To obtain the card, we need a paper from a doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Later on with this paper we can get the Mom Card in a bank. But at week 4, it is hard to detect the number of babies that my wife was having. As the amount of money in Mom Card is influenced by the number of babies. So she told us that at week 6, it will be known for sure and the paper will be written and given at that time. So we still have to pay the clinic fee without the card for our next visit, no problem at all. But after she said that, we were looking about the possibility of us having twins! My mother has twin younger sisters (my aunties), so it could really happen.
2 weeks have passed and we went to see our doctor again. At week 6 to our surprise, we were able to see and hear our child’s beating heart! Yes we could “see” beating heart! There was a dot blinking in the center of the fetus! It was an incredible feeling! We are so jubilant, tears almost falling. We didn’t expect that we could hear and see it that day. So I was shocked, the awesome kind of shock. The heart beat was really fast, around twice of an adult human, but doctor said that it was normal and a sign that the baby was healthy. Also during this week, my wife did smear test.
Dr Oh informed us about folic acid and it is very important for a pregnant woman to consume enough of it. She recommended us a vitamin called as “Mom I”. During this time, my wife’s appetite was deteriorated. She lost weight. Fortunately it’s common in early pregnancy to lose some weight.
This time Dr. Oh said that there’s a baby in my wife’s belly. So no twins. It doesn’t really matter for us. We were super happy either way! Anyway, now we got the paper and my wife applied for the card the next day after the visit.
During the scanning, Dr. Oh saw a cyst. It’s common during pregnancy but it had to be removed. She took it out without any anesthesia. She said there shouldn’t be any pain at all during surgery. But my wife felt it. I was so confused. I was not sure what should I do during that 2 or 3 minutes surgery. I kept asking the doctor whether she should stop the surgery. She said it’s fine. My wife said it’s okay also, there are some pain, but not painful like some-one-cut-your-finger pain. After the surgery she didn’t feel any pain anymore.
The cyst was brought to lab and are going to be scrutinized for its possibility to be cancerous. The result will come in our next visit.
Few moments after the surgery, our baby moved a bit. I didn’t see it. When it happened, I was looking at my wife. My wife didn’t see it also. She was tightly closing her eyes. We had to take Dr. Oh’s words for it because she was the only one that saw it. We regretted that we didn’t take video during the scanning. Next visit we should!
Dr. Oh offered us two choices on when to do blood test; (1) this week, or (2) next visit after we got the mom card. She said it’s common to do it after getting the mom card, because blood test was pricey. So we went that route also.
Around this time, I got Pregnancy Day by Day (amazon link) book from Robert (my British colleague). The book has been very helpful for me and my wife. We like to read it almost everyday to know about the development about our baby.
Wife got the mom card from Woori Bank because one of their branches were located only 5 minutes walk from our house at that time.
The cysts test came out and the result was negative. Luckily, it is a benign tumor.
So another scan. I forgot to take video during the scanning. And I can’t really tell what happened here. Since I don’t remember because what I am about to told you next. After the scan, Dr. Oh said that she noticed that the fluid thickness’s behind my baby’s neck was not normal. It was too thick. It was around 0.57 cm when the maximum was under 0.3 cm. The implication was that my baby could have chromosome abnormality which can lead to many fatal diseases. She said that we didn’t need to be worried because week 10 was too early to measure the thickness. Well, it’s hard not to be worried after she said it. After the visit, during our way to home we didn’t say a lot of words. It was totally different atmosphere. We left home happy, we came home gloomy. The following was one of the hardest two weeks in both of our life.
In next few days, I did some research about it. Nuchal translucency (NT) scan is the keyword. It is normally done in week 11 to week 13 and there are multiple standards on what is considered to be ‘normal’. Some even say under 0.2 cm is ‘normal’. I read a lot of forum posts, there are a lot of worried couples asking about it. There was one of posts that said that the fluid thickness behind their baby’s neck was measured to be too thick at week 10. They did another measure on next visit and it was greatly reduced into normal range. I kept my hope high because of that post. I told this good news to my wife. I pointed to her also that our baby’s nasal bone is already visible, a good sign for a healthy baby. She seemed a bit happier. Despite that, on one of the following days she broke into tears because thinking about it.
During this time, I concluded myself that life itself is a miracle. I have heard it many times, but it didn’t made any dent until this happened. When I see people, I look at them and think on how lucky for them to be alive. Then I look at myself, and again think how lucky I am to be alive. There are many things that can go wrong even before our birth, yet we are here. It is indeed a miracle. A great miracle.
At this time NT scan could be done properly. Dr. Oh did measuring multiple times and the average result was 0.14 cm. Our baby was healthy according to the scan result. We were ecstatic and relief to hear that.
And also the blood test result that was done in week 10 came out, the conclusion was my wife is healthy.
This week 12 was a pure joy for us. Bonus point, I didn’t forget to take video. I used my wife’s new phone and it’s kind of different on how to take video so I missed recording half of the scanning session. But it was a good 5 minutes video, we saw a lot of movements from the baby. He/she was very active! My wife were convinced it was because before the visit, she asked our baby to wake up during the scanning. The video was played dozens times by us even until now. The baby’s movement was so cute and so adorable.
There is, however, another test coming. It is called as integrated test. They took blood from my wife on this visit and next visit (week 16). Yet again to measure the health of the baby.
Here is a picture of our baby scan every other week:
The following weeks
As in tradition, we should conduct an event to announce, to celebrate and to pray for pregnancy. It is common to do it after week 12. So we did it, twice! First was in wife’s hometown and the last one was in my hometown. I would like to say thank you for both of our parents to hold the events even though we were not there.
We will visit the clinic at week 16. And my wife’s appetite is getting better. She’s eating almost all the time yet still hungry! Hahaha…
See you next time with my next post on my baby!
Edit: My wife pointed out to me that I made some mistakes on mentioning the date of some events. But well, you got the idea.