Our appointment was in a children's hospital, which was decorated with child-appropriate furniture and colorful wall paintings, with waiting rooms full of child-friendly activities. We agreed that, even though no one wants to end up in a children's hospital, if you had to go to one, it seemed a friendly one.
The cardiology department was just as welcoming, and we didn't have to wait long before the technician took us back for what was essentially another ultrasound. This one, however, was concentrating only on the heart. We didn't get any pictures or get to see much of a glimpse of our little guy, except for those four, tiny chambers.
If our mini-geek had been willing to cooperate, the appointment would have been over sooner, but it seemed like every time they had a view they liked, he'd move before they could record the information. We watched as they proceeded, and the process involved highlighting the section containing the heart and then recording video and audio. They also used something that looked like a spectrum, that showed the heart in pulsing orange and blue. I wish I did have video of that, because it was amazing to watch.
Finally, after the baby got tired of spinning to avoid the poking wand, the doctor and technician got the view they wanted and were able to give us the results. Normal!
According to the doctor, there are a few caveats. The heart is too small at this point to see the veins and assess their health. Also, at this stage the heart is still in the process of developing, so it's impossible to say whether it will complete the process as expected.
However, with those asterisks, he was confident in telling us that the development so far is good, the heart beat strong and normal, and there are no obvious defects.
When I asked him about the nuchal translucency results that had led to this extra testing, he agreed with my statement that "all ducks are birds, but not all birds are ducks." In other words, if you find out something is a bird, it COULD be a duck, but it also might not be a duck. Still, if you're afraid of ducks, and you know that it's a bird, you need to do further testing to see if it's a duck.
Likewise, my understanding of the nuchal translucency test is that thicker-than-usual fluid at the back of the neck is associated with genetic disorders and heart problems but not in all cases. It's a bird that MIGHT be a duck.
Yesterday, we got final confirmation, it's not a duck. (You know, taken out of context, that sounds really funny!)
Just because it looks like a duck doesn't make it a duck.