Friday, January 11, 2008

10 weeks - more about the appointment

Okay, the ladies have left for the airport. (No, we are not happy with that but we will see them again in a few weeks at the beach.)

Now where was I?

Oh, after the weighing and the measuring. In the exam room, a nurse went over paperwork for testing to see if I'm a cystic fibrosis carrier (not) and the early blood test for chromosomal abnormalities and AIDS testing, etc. I consented to AIDS testing (I don't know why I did, in retrospect, because how would I have gotten AIDS since Bean was born?) but declined the others. I already know I'm not a carrier for CF and well, a chromosomal abnormality wouldn't change how I deal with the rest of this pregnancy so why cause myself additional stress with a potential false positive, etc? Eh.

The nurse took my blood pressure (110/106) and I got undressed because I was due for my annual pap smear, etc. I had mentioned (on numerous occasions, because I wanted to be sure everyone knew this so I'd get an ultrasound) that I wasn't sure about the date of my LMP and that I was further uncertain about my ovulation dates as my cycle had been wonky since I went off the pill a few months ago. I sat on the exam table in that cold room, naked from the waist down with nothing but a large paper towel to cover my lower extremities and literally watched my feet turn blue for about 15 minutes, with 100 people's worth of urine specimens collecting quickly in my bladder. And I silently said in my head, "You just don't leave a pregnant woman in a cold room, naked from the waist down, after having told her to DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS, for 15 or 20 minutes. It's cruel." JUST as I was about to get dressed and make a hasty trip to the ladies' room again, the doctor, Dr. Howey, knocked at the door, and I very happily gargled out, "Come in!"

I have met Dr. Howey before and she is a fantastic lady. I LOVE, ADORE, CHERISH the fact that she was a registered nurse in Labor/Delivery and Pediatric ICU settings for 12 years prior to getting her MD. I secretly believe that nurses are, in general, far more skilled and knowledgeable than doctors (perhaps excluding surgeons), to tell the truth. So I am very happy to go through this pregnancy with Dr. Howey, knowing full well that she will (as she has been up til now) be an advocate and a help to me as well as my physician. I'm actually excited to work with her to bring this Peanut safely and peacefully into the world.

We discussed the hospital where she will deliver Peanut. It's NOT the one many of the women around here have told me is the BEST. I was concerned about that so I asked the doctor about the one she uses. Why she'd chosen it over the other. She explained that it is a smaller hospital and that all of the OBs on staff there are one-doctor practices, and that she feels very comfortable with them because she knows ALL of them well, has worked and consulted with all of them countless numbers of times and that they have a sort of "family" together, all helping out as needed to cover for one another and so on. And that she likes the nursing staff and the administration of this hospital as they are very down-to-earth, kind people. She also said they are equipped to handle high-risk births and/or sick babies.

We also discussed my age as a factor of risk. She was SO reassuring to me about this. She DID show me the stats on the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities in babies born to women my age, which are frightening of course, just from a numerican standpoint, but she also said that since Bean is only 3 and I'm pregnant again now, vs. with a 12 year old child and a new baby on the way, she feels very happy and confident about my pregnancy and she feels confident that we will be fine. She says she is delivering more babies to women aged 34 - 42 than in any other age group these days and she doesn't see any more sick babies in that group in any other. She talked to me about all this forever, and touched me on the arm several times as we chatted, as if to put me at ease (which I was already, as I've sortof come to terms with my fears for this baby and am resting easy knowing God is in control). We had some great laughs, too.

She did the pap smear and then, without saying a word, rolled the sonogram machine over and before I knew it, we were seeing my tiny Peanut on the screen. But before that, let me tell you, she gave me a huge scare!

She felt around for my fundus and said, "Feels like 11-12 weeks?"

And I said, "Well, that would be way off by my calculations, they have me at a little over nine weeks, but my calculations could be wrong."

And she said, "This is really high for less than 11 weeks. Hmmm... you sure you couldn't handle twins?"

At which point I began to hyperventilate.

But there was only one lovely Peanut in there. A healthy looking, normal, one-headed little Peanut with a pretty heart beating away. And Peanut measured exactly to the day where I had guessed he/she was, so according to his/her measurements I really AM ten weeks today, no adjustments necessary.

The reason the fundus was high, as the doctor pointed out to me when she scanned over it, was that my BLADDER WAS UNBELIEVEABLY FULL, which I could have told her but was too polite to do!

Dr. Howey smiled through the whole sonogram, like she was HAPPY to be looking at my Peanut with me. It was just so nice. I was sad Al wasn't there, but at the same time I sortof liked the bonding the doctor and I did over it (isn't that silly???). I never felt a connection or any warmth with any of the doctors I saw during my pregnancy with Bean, so I am thrilled to feel good about my experience with this doctor so far. Really, really thrilled.

Peanut measured right under 3 cm. Everything looks healthy and normal so far with me and with the baby. After the sonogram I got dressed and the nurse came back and took vials and vials of blood until I felt weak (psychological, I'm sure) and dizzy. Then I got dressed and set my next appointment and left to come home. Al called once while I was bleeding into tubes as he was nervous the appointment seemed to be taking so long, and I called him right as I got into my car and told him what I'd seen. I got two pictures to take home, too, by the way, and I tried to reproduce them so y'all could see, but it doesn't work that great. Go get your early sonogram photos if you have some and look at them. Mine look exactly the same! Don't they all?

Way too early to make out bits, of course. Just a little sexless but adorable Peanut.

And I came home and my sister had lunch waiting for me and I ate like I hadn't eaten in three weeks.

Al seemed disappointed we're not having twins. He keeps saying there's another one hiding in there, but Dr. Howey assured me she looked around thoroughly and one is all we get. Phew!

Now that we've seen Peanut, I feel better emotionally. And Al has been kissing and patting my abdomen several times a day, loving on what he now KNOWS to be his new little baby.

And Bean was delighted to see the baby's picture too. She smiled but didn't say much as she was busy talking to and playing with her cousins when I showed her. The cousins and Aunt Jackie all looked at the sonogram stills as well and cooed a little. I am happy they were here for the experience. It made me calmer and happier and was nice to come home from the doctors office to a house full of loving, friendly faces and listening ears.

As the day wears on today, I am feeling a bit nauseous for the first time really since Tuesday, but I'm trying not to worry about it. I'm fighting a cold and am VERY tired out today from all the activity yesterday and the previous days, but happily tired out vs. depressed and deflated tired out. I will sleep while Bean sleeps today, and then have my sweet husband home for a cold, snowy, cozy, relaxed weekend.

We are having a baby. And it's all good.

Oh yes! And I've added the 10 weeks belly picture today, as well.


Beth said...

Sounds like a wonderful doctor! Glad the appointment went well!

BerryBusyMom said...

Glad that the appointment went well. I know that you feel better just having been able to FINALLY see a doctor. I've been waiting to hear how things went.

I was kind of wondering if there were 2 peanuts in there, too. With the extreme nausea, I was thinking either you are having a boy or twins. So now we just have to wait and see if Peanut has a peanut?!

Glad that the nausea has decreased some. Hopefully the Unison/Vitamin B combo will keep working. Just make sure that you continue to rest!

Take care - Hugs to everyone.


theflyingrat said...

Oh no! She was poking your belly and whatnot and you hadn't even peed yet?! I would have definitely said something, haha. You are far more polite than I am!

The ultrasound made it seem more real, yes? I felt happier and more at ease about my pregnancies once I saw the baby on the ultrasound. :)

I always deny the CF testing too. You're right - there's no point in getting stressed if it wouldn't change anything anyway. I'm sure Peanut (boy or girl!) will be perfectly healthy! ♥

Nicki said...

I'm happy to hear you really like your doctor. That makes all the difference.

Leigh said...

Yay, I am so pleased that you have found something that works for your nausea!! And your Doctor sounds so lovely. I am meeting my midwife on the 25th of January and I am excited and nervous to meet her. And how exciting having your sonogram. I can't wait to have my first scan.

Nancy said...

Its a good feeling to have a Dr. you feel connected to emotionally as well a professionally... Sounds like all things are normal.. Hope the icks leave you soon...

Rebekah said...

I guess I missed somewhere that you were posting over here. Call it Holida-lag or just plaing Mommy-brain. Glad to hear all is well with peanut.

Rebekah said...

apparently I can't type either

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