Category Archives: medical chitchat
First, I would like to welcome whoever Googled “how much partying by your husband is tolerable when pregnant” to get to my blog – welcome, friend.
We had our monthly check-up this morning with OB #3 (3 down, 4 to go), who was a very nice man who used the term “perfect” to describe three different things: my weight gain, my blood pressure, and the baby’s heartbeat. Note to Vegas: don’t get a big head now, going from “average” to “perfect” – you are still average, young man fetus. Aside from that, he was patient, calm, and very likable (the OB, not Vegas – though we do have high hopes). He’s definitely a keeper if we find ourselves in his care on the birth day, which is refreshing considering our episode with Georg-ado last month.
Next month, we’ll have our second ultrasound (well, third, if you count the 6 week ultrasound with the RE’s office). We’re still adamant about not finding out the sex, so we’re hoping to not get spoiled or that Vegas gets too revealing when it’s showtime. We’ll see OB #4 then as well for a check-up.
Until then, we’re enjoying the few unseasonably warm January days we’ve been having, and dreading the imminent return of the cold realities of Winter. I’m loading up on fruits and vegetables (Ruffles are potatoes, right?) and debating when will be the day I should cease wearing a belt with my regular pants. I can’t tell you the last time I didn’t wear a belt (it may have been the last time I wore a dress, which was circa 1995), but I hear that pregnancy pants don’t have belt loops. The nerve. I have a few maternity sweaters that I may break out sometime over the next few weeks, if only to clarify to strangers that I am getting more pregnant, instead of more fat. I dread being an unwilling contestant in a game my wife and I play in public called “Fat or Pregnant?” although it might be unavoidable. Ah well.
When we first visited our R.E. back in August, my wife and I sat together in the exam room – me on the table, her on the chair next to me. We waited for the nice doctor to come in and do the physical exam. We looked at the magazine articles framed on the walls, and chit-chatted during the curiously long wait in between “get undressed from the waist down” and *knock, knock*. I noticed the medical probing unit next to me, and we enjoyed a hearty chuckle as I worried that the transilluminator next to us (basically a light connected to a goose-neck stand) would illuminate my trans and they wouldn’t let us have a baby. We’ve now downgraded to less sophisticated exam rooms, but the transilluminator is always there, and better yet, we always still laugh.
We had the quickest doctor’s visit yet this morning with an OB in the practice we hadn’t met yet. We’re rotating through at this point, so that we’ve met with all seven OB’s by the due date; someone I work with assured me that the OB we like the least will be the one available on delivery day. Suck it up, buttercup. I don’t know if we like him the least (he’s only the second we’ve seen – two down, five to go), but he had a much different bedside manner than the hot nice lady OB we’ve seen the other two times. Much less squealing and excitement, and much more eat your green vegetables and try not to gain much weight. Seeing as I’ve gained exactly a half of a pound in one month, I think I’m doing OK. He took a while to find the heartbeat, as he wiggled the probe around, and we patiently listened to my body digesting a bowl of Kashi until he poked around some more, and eventually found the elusive Vegas, and his very average heart beating away. We shook hands, didn’t have any questions, and were out the door in 20 minutes. Record time!
Another month-long wait until the next visit with OB #3. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my non-pregnancy pants, while rocking what looks like a baby bump to most, but to me, just looks like I’m not sucking in my tummy. So far, no one’s tried to touch it, but it’s only a matter of time.
We are delighted to report two arms, two legs, a head, a brain, a spine, a nose bone, a mouth (that moves!) – all in apparent working order, as we saw him bounce around, arch his back, and wave. Helloooooo ladies.
Yes, we’re referring to him as a him, not because we know it’s a him, but because… like boats and cars are she’s, maybe unborn babies are he’s? And alternating he’s and she’s is hard to keep equitable. Much to many folks’ surprise and even projectile-anxiety, we’re actually even going to hold out on finding out the sex until he’s born. Gasp. I know.
Our appointment lasted over an hour, and involved a combination of vagwand and belly ultrasounding, some blood-giving/taking, and a brief check-in with the OB. During the ultrasound, they were piping holiday (OK, fine – Christmas) music, which was oddly comforting and delightful. We were captivated watching him on the screen, and although the sonogram pictures are wonderful to look at, seeing him in action and moving about was near breath-taking. I’m so proud of him for growing his body parts – does motherly pride start this soon? Way to go, baby… keep up the good work.
Oh the things we will reminisce about and tell our child once he/she is old enough. The birthing story, the first few weeks/months at home, the first time we feed him a pickle just to watch his face. You know, those sorts of things. One story I can’t wait to tell is about his implantation story. Wait – your mother never told you your implantation story? Well!
See, it was one of those many long and endless string of days and nights in between the IUI and the missing of the period. The two week wait… the 2ww, even. So there we were, waiting, relatively patiently, when we tucked ourselves in one night for some sleep. I’m sure the internet can tell which day past IUI or day past ovulation this was likely to occur, but in my memory, all those days blended together. That night, I hovered in that sleepless area between being peacefully asleep and being awake staring at the clock. I tossed, I turned, I perhaps even groaned aloud as I felt my insides become completely taken over by an alien force. A fertilized egg, if you will. There were twinges of uterine pain, but it was the overall sensation of being violated and adhered to. My back and shoulders ached, and I woke up the next morning feeling restless and hungover, as if my body had been fighting a losing battle all night long. I told my wife, and we tried to assume it was my body’s reaction to stress, though I’ve never experienced a sensation so disturbing before or since.
I mean, it’s safe to assume that implantation bleeding (although I did not have any, the mere knowledge of its existence) doesn’t necessarily come not from a place of an egg gently nestling into your uterus, but rather from a violent bodily takeover. I don’t know if any other people have experienced this, but it’s definitely one for our storybook… you know, right next to the one about the speculum.
Our first OBGYN visit is this afternoon, after it was rescheduled from last Friday, when the Dr. got unexpectedly swept away to the hospital moments before we were to meet with him. I’m 10 weeks (or so says this weird pregnancy math) today, and other than the 6 and 1/2 week ultrasound, which seems like a lifetime ago, there’s been no physical checking-in on the alien since. There are certain things that I find reassuring, like the nausea (ohh the nausea) and the feeling as if someone has placed a water balloon up inside of my lady parts. There’s other physical signs – my back hurts, my belly weight has started redistributing itself here and there, I’m still exhausted a lot of the time (especially int the evening), and I’m more winded than ever after going up one flight of stairs. So, yes, it’s reassuring to recognize that most of these symptoms are related to the pregnancy, which makes us all sigh in relief. As much as I am a “let nature run its course” sort of person, in favor of less ultrasounds, less poking, less sound-waves, less medical interference (you know, until the epidural comes – I know, hypocrisy much?), it would seriously be nice to have a Dr.’s reassurance as well that everything is on target, and that body parts are growing, and a heart is beating. Perhaps we’ll get some of that today.
I think we both thought we would have had more attention by someone by now, but maybe not? Maybe I’m honestly just another pregnant lady in their office. Shocker. After all, we were incredibly fortunate enough to have no complications getting pregnant at all – no PCOS, no Clomid, no follicle-counting, no trigger shots, no-nothing other than, ooh, I’m ovulating – well, OK, here’s some sperm, and presto change-o! All of the other lesbian couples we’re close to had so much trouble getting pregnant that, as soon as they were, it was blood tests and dopplers and ultrasounds every moment, it seems. Here we are just going on my intolerance for smelling coffee beans as our way of knowing that everything inside is still ticking. At least this afternoon, we may get that much closer to finding out if my sniffer-sensitivity is as accurate as all those medical procedures.
On a lighter note, I’m 99.9% sure I’ll be the only woman at the office this afternoon with skull & crossbones on her underpants.
After a visit to my primary care doctor yesterday afternoon, it is confirmed to be the flu. Who knows if it’s THE flu, but A flu nonetheless. Sunday brought chills and a fever, so the decision to see a doctor was made quickly. After the appointment, we were off to the pharmacy, complete with me wearing my medical face mask – nothing says, I care more about the health of you strangers than I do my appearance of being a plague-carrier. Day two of Tamiflu, and I’m not sure who to blame for my almost constant intake of saltines and hesitant sipping of lemon water, the meds or the morning sickness, but they are bringing my nausea to a whole new enlightening level.
So today is day two of home sick from work, of which I have a whole week, if needed, says the good doctor. It’s moved from strictly stuffy head and fever, to stuffy head and cough – no fever, no chills, thank goodness. The only information we can find about Tamiflu and pregnant folks talks to us about the effects of the drugs on bunny and rabbit babies – unless the cryobank seriously screwed up, I think it’s not entirely applicable. We’re hoping that the benefit of the drugs outweighs the risks of the flu turning into something more lethal – that’s the general consensus. In the meantime, I’m going to have to refresh my daytime TV lineup knowledge.
We have an appointment tomorrow with an OB Nurse Educator, who will (I’m guessing) take some blood to check on my levels (iron, etc.), go over my overall health, as well as have a conversation about what to expect while we’re expecting, among many other things I’m sure. Rumor has it, it’ll take about an hour. She’ll (that’s sexist, she could be a he – but we’ll say she for now) probably ask me about what vitamins I’ve been taking, in which I will most likely shamefully admit that I’m taking gummy vitamins. Here’s hoping she doesn’t l.o.l.
You see, I’m the world’s worst vitamin taker. For someone who can mentally will away vomiting of any kind (food poisoning, flu, morning sickness, you name it), I’m unable to stomach any normal kind of multivitamin. I’ve tried taking one on a full stomach, empty stomach, with breakfast, lunch, dinner, in the middle of a meal, while doing a handstand, this brand, THAT brand, and every single time, it completely floors me, resulting in my bending over in stomach cramps and nauseous whimpering. OK, maybe not while doing a handstand, but you get the point.
When I saw my Gynecologist back in the Spring, I mentioned to her our potential trying to conceive over the Summer/Fall, and she recommended to get started on a multivitamin with folic acid ASAP. We Googled relentlessly looking for sensitive-stomach vitamin solutions, and one alternative came in the form of One A Day VitaCraves™. One full day’s worth of vitamins = two berry-flavored (and shaped) gummies. I take one gummy in the morning with breakfast, and one gummy in the evening with dinner, and thankfully, this has worked like a charm so far. I have an underlying fear that my gummies will be demoted and deemed inappropriate or ineffective, and I will then be sentenced to months of huge, intolerable prenatal vitamins. I witness my excessive nail growth and vibrant yellow pee, so I can only assume they are doing their job. Oh dear gummies – please be doing your job. I should be able to manage a supplement, if need be (cough, iron, cough), though anything that would add anymore quease to my 9am-pickle-eating nausea might cause me to never eat again.
This morning was the first chance to receive more affirmation that things were indeed going as planned inside my body. Our appointment was at 9am, and by 9:11am, we were sitting in the dimly lit (mood lighting?) room. Me, pantsless on the table, observing the halloween footies on the stirrups. Her, standing, folding my pants and boxers. Both of us staring at the ultrasound machine, and giggling at the well-lubed vaginal ultrasound probe, of which we nicknamed, the vagwand.
Here is where dreams are made or shattered, we thought out loud. We quickly came up with a list of things that would make us feel better if we were in the shattered category: beer and more roller coasters. Phew, now we we’re really ready.
The Dr. (bowtie and all) came in with the lady we simply refer to as my “feminine sensibilities.” He was the same Dr. who did the procedure itself a little over a month ago. He seemed proud to see us back, and anxious to see how things were going. Laid-back, lubed-up, probe-probe-probe and I’m not sure what the exact sentence was, but it involved the words yolk sac and heartbeat. He probed some more (hellloooo Dr.) and zoomed in a little, and there it was, the heartbeat beating. “Everything looks normal,” he said. I love normal. I have no intention of being extraordinary here – normal is exactly what I’m going for, thank you very much.
He printed out a screen shot of our normal baby, and left us (well, me) to get dressed. Squish squish squish, boxers (yellow and striped, seemed hopeful), pants, socks, shoes, and out the door to his office where he graduated us from the land of Reproductive Endocrinology. He seemed genuinely happy, in a “this-is-why-I-do-what-I-do” sort of way. Now we’re onto making our first OBGYN appointment – it’s a little hard to believe, but also, very awesome.
In the meantime, I will continue to have my morning snack of saltines in the bed (that’s some serious sexy right there), and sport my new DD bra (hi, former C cups). Hot damn.
I went in this morning for the second round of bloodwork to make sure everything is working correctly. Usually, this is very quick and (“little stick!”) relatively painless. I check in, they call us (she comes for reinforcements – also to ask the questions I forget to) back, there’s some “date of birth?”, “which arm today?”, followed by “you’re all set” and we’re out the door. I went solo today, though, since she had meetings, and there was literally no good time for either of us today or tomorrow.
The moment I checked in at the front desk, I was unexpectedly expecting praise and congratulations for my confirmed pregnant status. After all, the lady who checked us in is always the same lady. I feel like she’s the third person in our relationship. But no – a smile and a simple, “I’ll let them know you’re here” while I read the latest Sports Illustrated. I was called back a few moments later, given a form, and sent downstairs to the lab, “so I could get my results today.” Not like I mind going to the lab. Lab Shmab. Whichever. I smiled, and took the elevator to the first floor.
My lab form was very simple, with my name and information on it, along with a brief line item list of the things to test for, with a little diagnosis note to the side, which read “Pregnancy.” So now every person (three, total) I gave this form to while checking in, I was all of the sudden expecting a scene right from “Scrubs,” filled with hugs, congrats, high fives, nurse fist bumps and the like. But no – more smiles that I took as such, though.
I had to wait a bit before I could go to the the “sign this”, “sign that” part of the lab check-in paperwork process – the same waiting room area as the scene of the Hysterosalpingogram crime (another post all together). A shuffle to the lab waiting room, and I was greeted by Mr. Mustache nurse, who is not of the “little stick!” but of the “I’ll try to be easy” method of blood-taking, complete with inferior ouchy band-aid. Another triple-check of my name and birth date, and I was out the door.
Mostly, I think I was taken off guard by this feeling that I need to be congratulated by total strangers. Maybe it’s the hormones gearing me up for when people want to touch my belly, setting a new stranger-involvement expectation. At any rate, hey strangers! Don’t leave me hangin’!