Eight Weeks, 6 Days ~ April 23, 2004
I had my midwife appointment this week. Quite a nice experience, all around.
This appointment was with one of the officially 'new' midwives at our Birth Center. However, she had been a student midwife doing her training rotation at the Birth Center when I was pregnant with Brendan, so I knew her already. She'd always struck me as very warm and caring, even when she wasn't always showing absolute certainty with everything she was doing (the student newness showed a bit sometimes).
Now, however, she's got a few years of work under her belt, and has that solid presence of an experienced midwife already. It was kind of nice to see that, and see her warmth still there.
Gabe and Brendan wanted to come along, and since it was an evening appointment, that was fine. Will picked up the boys and brought them there, and I went straight from work (bad traffic, or I'd have picked up Gabe for him). We got there almost the same time - I could see them walking up the driveway as I drove up the street.
Inside, Gabe pounced on me as soon as I opened the door to the little living-room waiting area. Once the greeting hugs and smooches were over, I went straight back to check my urine and weigh myself, plus asking for a new prenatal exam chart on the way (since my last book was partially used in the last pregnancy). My urine was negative for glucose and protein, as usual, and I was surprised to see that I'd only gained 7 pounds in the last eight weeks! I was sure that I'd gained closer to 20, the way I've been eating (since eating does stave off the nausea a bit), and I've had at least one more meal per day than usual, and sometimes two! Not to mention that nothing fits the way it used to.
I settled into the chair by the receptionist to fill out some of their new forms, while the midwife (Kathy) finished up with her current client. Then we were off to the exam room, a cozy little space decorated with ivy stencils over and under the windows - ivy stencils that (if I remember correctly), I picked out (I picked out the colors and paints for their first floor renovation/redecoration - I was in charge of the painting process.). I still smile at the ivy. It is just nice and homey, natural, warm, and evocative of healthy growth. All good things for a birth center. The waiting room is in cream with slightly smoky pale blue trim, and while it could have looked a bit like a nursery ('baby blue'), it reminds me more of a sky, with the floating clouds of white organza draped around the blue-trimmed windows.
We did the initial questions, with Gabe and Bren popping in and out of the room like jack-in-the-boxes. The midwife grinned at their antics, and we continued amidst the interruptions and questions ('what him doing?' asks Brendan, and 'him a DOCTOR?' - he doesn't get 'her' vs. 'him' yet.). After a few explanations of blood pressure cuffs and midwifery, at the 2-year-old level, the boys were off again to explore and say hi to the familiar faces, and we continued our introductory appointment. We set up my chart, got my BP (112/70), discussed my work stresses, checked to see if there was anything new to add to my medical history, and then off to the exam part. The boys were in while I was getting undressed (Bren: 'why you detting undress'd, mommy?'), and off again as soon as I was in the robe (Brendan insisting on leaving the door WIDE open, but I managed to change his mind).
The exam went well. My uterus is exactly the size she'd expect for 8 weeks, and my cervix is nice and purple (a good pregnancy sign), and everything over all looks good. No way to rule out twins entirely yet, but I just feel better knowing that I'm not large for dates at this point.
Kathy asked if I wanted her to try to find the heartbeat, even though it would be really a trick to do so at this stage. I declined. I think it would bother me more to have her try and not find it, even knowing it was unlikely, than to not try at all. She nodded, and put the Doppler away. I was glad that she'd asked, though. I know she knows I'm likely to need reassurance wherever I can get it.
After that, it was discussion of testing I want to have done, and testing I wish to decline, and what things they'll try to look into for me. I'd like to do the FASST test (I think that's what it is called), rather than a triple-screen. More accurate for Downs, and because of the collagen issues in our family, I really am not comfortable with CV or Amnio - too much risk that the collagen will not hold up to being poked, even though I've not had trouble with early ruptures in the past. Plus, I'm not comfortable with the risk of loss, either - I've had too many, I don't want to push the line AT ALL. We'll try for the FASST test (for Downs, much more accurate than a triple-screen anyway, especially since the triple-screen is just a SCREEN, not an actual diagnostic test), and a level-2 ultrasound, and maybe genetic counseling to go with the level-2. I'm 37, after all. Risks are just much higher now than three years ago.
I got to say hi to the nurse who has been there since my first pregnancy, and feel like an old hand around the new, young moms wandering through on their tour with the nurse. And I got reassurance that all is well, all is as it should be. That's really nice.
The rest of the week has been a mishmash of feeling depressed because I'm still pretty ill, feeling like I'm not pulling my weight at home, having less than enough patience with my co-workers, my mom, my siblings, and my kids, not to mention my husband (who is still doing a pretty decent job of being patient, even when he's really well past his comfort margin). I can't push the boys on the swing more than a few pushes, I just can't tolerate the visual of them moving back and forth in front of me. Turning my head suddenly makes me feel suddenly off-kilter, and I've been sleeping poorly again. Last night was particularly bad, with me waking every few minutes and feeling like I'd been awake for hours, only to discover I'd been awake for a few minutes, falling asleep again and waking 15 minutes later. Ugh. I spent rather a while throwing up this morning, got into work three hours late (thank heavens for flexible schedules!), and my friend and semi-manager (she actually manages the junior people, and I'm senior, but she's a half-step above me) took one look at me and told me I looked awful, I should just go home.
After messing up three versions of the training simulation I was working on, I decided that enough was enough, I needed to stop. Not going home, though. Going out for traditional Mexican food, and then off to my in-law's, where we'll have dinner and chat with the dancers who will be there for the three-times-a-month dance classes, and maybe tell some more of them (many of them very old friends) that I'm pregnant.
That will be good. A little unadulterated happiness as an anodyne for the mishmash of ugh, and ick, and sigh, and smile, and relief, and ookiness of this week.