9 weeks and the OB

Today I finally met with an OB.  I loved her.  Loved!  I did not expect to.  I really wanted to use a midwife, but was struggling to find one that could deliver at the hospital I wanted to deliver at.  After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to bite the bullet and schedule an appointment with an OB, thinking that I could always switch to a midwife if the OB didn’t feel right.  But did I mention that I actually loved her?  She gave us a lot of information, the spent time with us, she answered our questions, and she treated us like smart, competent people.  She didn’t stumble over the fact of my wife.

Except (you had to know this was coming) she is leaving the practice in a month, because she is moving.  So, I am back to square one, except that I know now that a friend of ours uses a doctor at this particular Ob/Gyn office as her gynecologist, and really likes her.  So I have hope I will like the other doctors in the group and can stay put.

While we were waiting for the physical part of the appointment (aka the legs in stirrups part), I got hungry. This is not surprising, since I am often hungry.  I ate pretzels.  Apparently, the baby likes pretzels, because a few minutes later, when I was having the sonogram, the baby was dancing up a storm.  Wiggling arms and legs so much that it was hard for the doctor to measure him or her.  And then finally, when she did, she said I measured at 9 weeks, 2 days. Which is exactly what I am.  Congrats, baby, for growing at the precisely average rate.  So far, the baby is all head, but here’s a typically horrible ultrasound picture of our little dancer.  Starting to look very baby-like, don’t you think?  Except proportioned like a gummy bear.

 photo (6)

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great-grandparents

This weekend, I was supposed to fly to Michigan for my grandmother’s 90th birthday.  She and my grandfather, who is also pushing 90, are really quite active and well, all things considered.  Then, there was a freak thunderstorm that lasted the exact 30 minute window that my flight was supposed to be taking off.  The flight was cancelled, and I couldn’t get re-booked until the following day, after the 90th birthday party was over.  Needless to say, I declined the opportunity for an 18-hour trip to Michigan, with 6 hours of driving from/to the Detroit airport.

One of the things I was looking forward to this weekend, though, was telling my grandmother I am pregnant.  Partly, I was looking forward to this because it would mean I had actually succeeded in telling my grandma before my mom blurted it out.  But partly because my grandma is fantastic, and I wanted to tell her in person.  Since this was not to be, I called my grandma to personally say I was sorry for missing her birthday party, and to deliver the big news.  It went something like this:

Me: Grandma, I have some news to tell you.  We’re expecting a baby!
Grandma: WHAT? [she doesn’t hear well over the phone, or maybe just could not believe what I had said]
Me:  I’M PREGNANT.
Grandma:  Well well, how’d you two manage THAT?
Me:  We had an anonymous donor, and had a procedure at the doctor’s office.
Grandpa, in the background:  WHAT’S GOING ON? [he doesn’t hear well at all, regardless of whether there is a phone involved]
Grandma:  (to Grandpa, and basically everyone else in a 3-mile radius) SHE’S PREGNANT. (to me) Well, honey, that’s just lovely!  How exciting!

My sister was there later in the day, and apparently my grandmother kept saying how excited she was, and how much she loved babies.  After one of these exclamations, my grandfather said to her, “You know, the only thing that would be more surprising is if you were pregnant.”  Good point, Grandpa.  That would indeed be more surprising.

working while pregnant

The first trimester is seriously difficult at work.  This is the time that you feel like crap, you’re exhausted, you can’t remember anything, and you spend your meetings trying not to vomit on a conference room table.  If it’s summer, and you work at a law firm, you also have to attend approximately 40 drinking events in a 12-week period.  It’s also the time that you don’t tell your boss you’re pregnant.

A good friend of mine, who I work with, recently had a baby.  I knew that she was pregnant from about five weeks on, and I think it made it much easier when I realized that if it was 8:30 pm, she was probably at home, fast asleep, and I could cover for her.  Unfortunately, she is now on maternity leave, so I am here, faking like a responsible employee, while sneaking out to buy hard candies in between meetings and sleeping each way on the train to and from work.

Lifesavers

(currently working my way through this bag)

When my friend finally announced her pregnancy, our (male) bosses were reasonably accommodating, and tried not to overload her.  Of course, by then she was comfortably into the second trimester and past the puking/exhausted phase, and could much more easily have increased her workload, had it been necessary.

I used to think that if I were in charge, I could make periods a lot more convenient (like – why can’t you hold the blood in until a convenient time, the way you can with pee?).  So, I would like to point out that if I were in charge, I could also make pregnancy more convenient.  Like – your physical appearance should bear a proportional relationship to how you actually feel, on the inside.  That way if you are green with nausea, want ice cream for dinner, and fall asleep while people are talking to you, they can look right at you and think “Oh yes.  She is harboring new life, no wonder she’s behaving strangely.”  Instead of thinking, “She used to be a good employee, but today she called me three times to ask me the same question, even though I saw her write down the answer on her notepad.  Maybe she’s off her game.” And then only three months later realize in retrospect  that its because you were busy making a placenta at the time, and your attention was elsewhere.

nausea and the fetal heartbeat

We had a doctor’s appointment this morning, and saw our little fetus’s heartbeat.  This was such a relief, for both my wife and me, because (1) there was only one baby in there (relief for wife), and (2) it is in fact growing as it should, so all of this exhaustion and nausea has some sort of point to it (relief for both of us, but mostly me).  I couldn’t stand the thought that I felt this horrible for no particular reason.

Our doctor cheerfully informed me that the nausea usually eases up around week 12, so “only” about five more weeks of it to go. Ha.  And to think, not that long ago, I was feeling all left out for my lack of symptoms.  I have not actually thrown up yet, but that does not make me feel any better considering that I have felt like I could throw up, at any minute, for days.  I have had some conference calls lately where I spent the better portion of them just purely focusing on not vomiting on the floor of my boss’s office.  It makes it kind of hard to take notes, actually.

Here are the things that are helping me, on the nausea:

(1) Getting more sleep.  If I rest, I feel better all around. Sunday night I slept miserably, and felt horrible all day yesterday.  Last night I slept better, and feel better in general today. This did not stop me from passing out the entire Long Island Railroad ride into work after my doctor’s appointment today, but I really do feel much more human with a solid 8 or so hours of sleep under my belt.

(2) Eating McDonald’s.  Really!  It’s the only thing that sounds good to me, which is weird, since I haven’t really eaten McDonald’s more than a handful of times in about 10 years, but let me tell you, there is nothing like one of those skinny little cheeseburgers right now.  I have eaten McDonald’s three times in less than 2 weeks.  I figure, as long as I eat some sort of real food in between the McDonald’s trips, it can’t be so bad, if it’s the only thing that doesn’t make me want to barf.  Really the moral here is, I think, to eat what your body is asking for if it is trying to reject everything else.

(3) Eating more in the morning and less at night.  I used to eat the other way around – a light breakfast, a mid-sized lunch, and a relatively big dinner.  Today I had eaten a bagel with cream cheese, a Nutri-grain bar, a breakfast egg wrap, and 2 large glasses of water before 11 am.

(4) I also finally switched out my normal prenatal vitamin for a Flintstones chewable.  They seem easier on the stomach, and I had not been that great about taking the prenatals since they upset my stomach so much.  Once the morning sickness eases up a bit, I will switch back, but I figured a Flintstones vitamin is better than no vitamin at all, if it’s all I can stomach.

The nurse at my appointment today recommended ginger, so maybe I will try that.  I have also heard that hard candy helps, as does drinking food instead of eating it (like smoothies and soups).  We shall see.

six weeks

So here I sit, at six weeks (and one day).  Mostly, I don’t “feel” pregnant. Mostly, I just feel like me, only a slightly more tired version of me.  My stomach is a little touchy, I guess.  But I don’t have the stabbing pain in the boobs or the gut-wrenching nausea or any other torture I was promised.  My mom said that for two of her pregnancies, she had barely any symptoms.  For me, she tossed her cookies daily.  I am hoping that I will fall into the former camp, rather than the latter, although I must admit, I feel a little excluded from all the whinging on the message boards.

The most noticeable thing is the absence of the anxiety I had for almost all of the ten months we were trying to get pregnant.  I know I am supposed to be all mood-swingy, but the last real mood swing I had was the day before I found out I was pregnant.  Now that I know, I feel so much more relaxed, it’s incredible. I barely know myself!  In a good way.

I am so relaxed that I actually purposely failed to make my doctor’s appointment for this week.  I am supposed to come in for weekly ultrasounds, I guess because if you conceive through a reproductive endocrinologist the consider you high-risk even if you aren’t.  After the first of these, where there was literally nothing to see because I was barely four weeks pregnant, and the second, where there was a small white dot but nothing more, I decided not to go back until I was fairly confident we would see a heartbeat.  Which means next week, when I am 6 weeks and 6 days.  It just seemed invasive, all those sound waves poking around in my uterus, you know?  Somebody is in there, busy trying to grow from the size of a blueberry to a raspberry, without a lot of disturbance.

In other news, today is Boo’s birthday, and last night I stayed up late making her a birthday cake and decorating cookies for her to take to school.  She is the least-demanding of our kids, which makes it a little harder to make her birthday special, because she doesn’t really want anything. She shares a birthday with another girl in her class, who dibs-ed (is that a word?) the cupcake thing, so after laughing over the idea of her bringing fruit in for the class, she was ready to shrug it off.  But I was not having any of it.  I put her initials and an 11 on the top of 25 chocolate chip cookies with green icing (her favorite color) and sent her on her way. It’s hard to imagine any 5th grader not wanting a cookie because they already had a cupcake, right?  I was impressed with myself for getting it all done, but slightly less impressed with myself when I woke up 6 1/2 hours later to go to work and wanted to cry because I was so tired.

Anyway, it’s hard to imagine that 11 years ago, my wife was heavily pregnant, sitting in the nursery in the early morning hours after her water broke, waiting for the contractions to get close enough together to justify going to the hospital.  It is slightly harder to imagine that in about 8 months, that will be me.