At my first prenatal checkup, when Baby Carrot was a wee 7 weeks in utero, my sonogram tech asked if the paperwork I filled out when I came in for a pregnancy test was accurate. Based on my last period and what I believed was the conception date, Baby Carrot was supposed to be measuring two weeks larger. I was 100% certain of my dates – we had been TTC for a while and I was charting pretty religiously – so the tech wrote it off to an early ultrasound and margin of error.
Due to a few wonky results from my prenatal tests, I had a few extra ultrasounds between 9 and 12 weeks to check for a possible clotting disorder. Nothing turned up and I was an unlikely candidate for one, given my family history, but one thing remained steady – Baby Carrot was measuring 1-2 weeks smaller than her gestational age actually was. This remained a pattern throughout my entire pregnancy. I began showing late and barely gained any weight, despite having no morning sickness nor most of the typical pregnancy discomforts. My doctors were never concerned because I’m overweight to begin with, and my body seemed to develop a food control mechanism for me once I got pregnant – I actually began eating less because I would start to feel full after just a few bites. My cravings were actually healthy – I started wanting fish after nearly a lifetime of hating it, and had a hard time with carbs, which otherwise make up 90% of my diet. When I asked if it’s normal for the baby to be measuring small, I was given a variety of reasons – Mr. Carrot and I are both short people; “someone has to be at the bottom of the curve” and because her heartbeat was always normal and she was a very active mover, no one gave her size any worry, even though she consistently measured below the 10th percentile in size.
The first time I ever heard of IUGR – Intrauterine Growth Restriction – was after I delivered Baby Carrot. During my regular 36 week checkup, I mentioned to my doctor that Baby Carrot was on the quiet side the last few weeks, after a few days of being very active. I wasn’t worried – it was truly a casual mention, and I was feeling great overall - but my doctor decided to order an ultrasound. Her concern was that the baby went from breech position the week before to head down at that checkup, and she thought that maybe she was moving less because she was getting tangled in her umbilical cord.