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Jeanette's Pregnancy Journal

Week 33
~ 7 Weeks Left

This week I got in and out of the doctor's office in about 20 minutes time. It was a miracle! Funny thing is, I took a vacation day off work just so that I could accommodate the doctor's visit.

Remembering that the receptionist tells people to arrive at 12:00 noon, although the doctor shows up whenever he feels like it. Women usually arrive as early as 10:00 am to create a waiting list that is transferred to the official office list when they finally do open at 12:00 noon. Syed wanted to arrive at 8:00 am in order to be the first. I had to remind him that if we were the first ones, then we would be the list managers and the longest ones waiting and it simply was not worth it.

As we arrived closer to his office building downtown around 11:00 am, we noticed heavy traffic for a Saturday morning. Getting worried, I left Syed out in the car and dashed in so I could get my name on that infamous list. To my surprise, I found no women congregating in the lobby in front of the elevators. The security guard was away from his desk, so I just went upstairs. I found the office door opened.

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There I found a woman I had never seen before explaining to a woman to come back around 2:00 pm. When they finished talking, it was my turn to be explained the same disparaging news. Fortunately for me, the doctor walked in just at that moment. He took me immediately back to his office with him.

I knew that he did not remember me, so I reminded him that I studied underneath the midwives that he does backup for and my plans to birth stateside. As if I had forgotten him, he mentioned again that his Michigan medical license needs renewing and that of a lot of his friends moved there in the 1980's.

He weighed me and took my blood pressure. By this time, Syed had found parking and made his way in just in time for the in-office ultrasound. The doctor told us again that it was a boy and informed us that he was head down now. Thank God!

I took advantage of the extra time with him to express my concerns about unnecessary c-sections. "If I do birth here, can you guarantee me that a c-section is off the table?" Stupid question, of course no OB/GYN can guarantee that, but I had to ask. "I have a very low c-section rate. The rates are very high here, but what they do not reflect is that many women ask for them. Epidurals during vaginal births are not covered by health insurance private or public. The woman must pay $1,500 out-of-pocket, but when it is a c-section the anesthesia is covered. Also, women go to the hospital at the very first signs of pain and they go with the misconception that labor is a short process. So, when they realize that it takes a while, they lose hope and feel convinced that they cannot give birth [a school of thought probably perpetuated by other women they know who have had c-sections and relate their experiences]. He went on the explain that there are not a lot of anesthetists here, so one might say to him: "I'm leaving at 3:00pm, are you sure you don't need me?" He said that creates pressure as well.

While we are planning on leaving, in this just in case scenario he did suggest staying at home until dilating at least 5 centimeters. I can no longer see my vagina, let alone check myself. I would have to get assistance from someone else. I asked for and received an alternative telephone number in case of an emergency.

At the end of this visit, I was happy to present my new insurance card and pay only the co-pay. We have been paying for my entire prenatal care and emergency room visits. I refused to subject myself to the degradation of applying for Medicaid here. I now have some pending labs and an ultrasound to complete before my next visit in two weeks.

I asked the nurse why the office was uncharacteristically empty. She reminded me that tomorrow was Mother's Day and people were probably out scrambling for gifts. Yes, of course. Well, getting in and out of this office in twenty minutes with the day off of work was a wonderful Mother's Day gift for me.

I periodically check the Delta fares. They are the only domestic airline that has no restrictions on pregnant women flying. I have decided to buy my ticket at the last possible moment, because only this baby knows when he is coming and I do not want to risk losing my money.

We are planning a baby shower at our home. I do not know the first thing about them, because I have never had one. Now that I think of it, I guess I have never attended one either. I think you are supposed to play some games. To the people that I have casually mentioned our intentions to, I have asked them to bring a gift for my daughter too.

She is 12, but I am not expecting this to be an easy transition for her. She has poked and prodded at my abdomen a few times, moaned about the baby's name, but that is about it. She is still processing this as well. We do not expect her to take on any care giving responsibilities despite popular perceptions that I will have plenty of help because of her. We are trying to let her bond with the baby on her own terms. So, we'll see. The gifts for her are important so that she does not feel as though she is being left out.

I have been getting out and walking at my local park. Motivated by ridding myself of these darn aches and pains and addressing this weight gain. I gained two pounds in my last three weeks of pregnancy. Despite knowing that this last stretch (7 weeks) is a major weight gain period, I do not want to gain anymore weight. I am way too big as it is. This is the most that I have weighed in my life!

I have two friends who are over 35 years of age who phoned to inform me about their pregnancies. I had been meaning to journal about my elation of not being alone in my old age, when I learned this week that both had miscarriages (one is impending). Apparently as many as 60% of fertilized eggs miscarry and most women are not even conscious of this. The impending miscarriage appears to be a waiting game because after an ultrasound showed the yolk sac, but no bean-shaped embryo combined with weekly diminishing hCG levels, her doctor recommended waiting for the conception products to expel themselves instead of a D & C. I feel incredibly sorry for them both, especially the latter because there is no closure yet and she is hanging on to so much hope despite her doctor's warning. Although it is not the best of relationship circumstances for her, meaning she is not married to her partner, this was her first pregnancy ever after all these years and she felt very fortunate for it.

Syed and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary this week. Boy, does it feel like 30 years. We had some close friends over for a barbecue and cake. We unexpectedly received a box of nearly 300 diapers and matching wipes. We could not have asked for a better gift. Just what we needed.

Jeanette

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