Back to the first half of the doctor’s appointment.
I started in my OB-GYN office, where we did a ton of paperwork and talked about family history, timeline, testing, etc. One of the questions was about chicken pox; I’m supposedly immune, as neither my sister or I have ever had it. The nurse told me that she would sleep a lot better at night knowing for sure that I was immune, because getting chicken pox while pregnant can be fatal or, at best, REALLY awful. I agreed, and they added it to the test order. I mean, I’m pretty damned sure I’m immune. But it doesn’t hurt to be extra cautious.
She also spoke to me about the tests that they can do — a little while down the road — for birth defects like Downs Syndrome, etc. I told her that we weren’t interested in that at this point. I honestly don’t see the point; all you can do if you get a positive result is to worry and be upset for the entire pregnancy, or get an abortion. There’s no way in hell we’d do the latter, and I see little merit in the former. If something is awry when Deuteronomy arrives, we’ll deal with it then.
Family medical history, etc…. it was nice being able to say “no” to practically everything… The only time I felt cringey was when she asked what my normal, non-pregnant weight was. I’m afraid that my pre-pregnancy weight is not really what I’d call “normal,” but it is what it is. For the sake of information and honesty, I’ve been in the 180 range for some time, and was actually in the high 180s before I knew I was pregnant. Now, fully clothed, I’m weighing in at 193; I’m honestly not entirely sure how much I weighed before I conceived, so I’m not sure how much I’ve gained. Not a lot, though. Part of me was kind of hoping that I’d lose some weight this trimester due to feeling sick, but it hasn’t happened (and I know that’s an idiotic thing to hope for).
For the next several months, they’ll have me come in about once a month for a checkup.
My next appointment is at 12.5 weeks; they’ll do another ultrasound (probably TV again) to make sure that everything is on track and that we successfully navigated that embryo-to-fetus transition. I’ll also have the full “lady doctor visit” at that time to make sure Deuter’s host is in full operating order.
At 20 weeks we’ll have the fun visit, with the full anatomical ultrasound. At that time we’ll be able (barring hyper modesty on Deuter’s part) to tell whether it’s going to come with a pink hat or a blue hat.
At about 26 weeks (I think) there’s the
electric kool-aid acid test gestational diabetes test. That might have been 30 weeks; too much information flying.
Starting at about 30 weeks, I’ll begin going in every 2 weeks.
Starting at about 36 weeks, I’ll go in every week.
My nurse, J, is very opinionated. While her formal answer was “We want you to have the best possible birthing experience, and we want you to have things the way you want to have them, as long as it’s medically appropriate” (which is the correct answer, of course), she also basically laughed at me when I said I didn’t want an epidural, and made very rude faces when I said that I had originally (like, last pregnancy) planned on using a birthing center rather than a hospital. I mean, I get having your opinion, and I don’t even necessarily completely disagree with her rationale behind it. But knowing that I liked the idea, shouldn’t she keep her enormous negative reaction to herself? She told me that I should have the baby at a hospital, preferably St. Lukes, and that I should get an epidural as soon as they offer it. Now, I know that some of you reading this are poised to tell me that I should run, not walk, away from this doctor at this point… but wait just a second while I finish my thought. We had a conversation about it, J and I, and I was satisfied — so far — with where we ended up. However, if she’s going to be the primary nurse in there with me during delivery, I think I may have investigate a doula or something to run interference! (She also said that in her experience, the more detailed your birth plan and the more interventions you insist you are not going to have, the more likely it seems to be that everything goes wrong and you end up with a C-section. So, opinionated and superstitious!)
(My doctor is way cooler. I think — no insult to my many friends in nursing; this is probably a good thing — that nurses are just naturally opinionated. And heck; I don’t mind candid talk — I’d rather hear what she actually believes than some rehearsed line. I don’t have to believe it or anything.)
At this point, what I want to do is take a tour of the birthing suites at St. Lukes and see what I think. I’m not opposed to the idea of a hospital per se — I’m opposed to the idea of giving birth in an operating room. That being said, if things go badly and I need more advanced medical care, I would much rather be just down the hall from an operating room than across the street or a mile or two away! It’s funny, but not, I think, a bad thing, how one’s perspective on things can change after a traumatic experience like last December’s. My idealism is tucked away a little bit, and I’m willing to consider that I may not have known absolutely everything that there was to know now. I still don’t believe that “modern medicine” has it right about childbirth, and that there are FAR too many interventions and everything involved. But R and I are also smart enough, and stubborn enough, to fight for what we want in an environment that feels more secure to our families and to us. And who knows? Maybe we do have Deuter, or future babies, in a birthing center. We’ve got months to figure this stuff out.
There was more, I’m sure… we talked a bit about billing… I asked her about my Super Unawesome Indigestion of Doom… and about being simultaneously parched and “the woman who couldn’t stop peeing” at night…
Anyway, I’m about to be late to book club, so I should go. More riveting blog posts later.