Thursday, January 29, 2009

22 Weeks

I had my 22-week ultrasound yesterday, and everything looks good. Perfect, even. Both the technician and the doctor were great about respecting my desire for a "surprise", so I am still completely in the dark about the gender. But the baby's important bits and parts are all present and accounted for; s/he's measuring "exactly right" for my dates (a relief considering the, ah, considerable weight that I've put on); my placenta* and the cord are just where and how they should be. Since I've been able to feel the baby so much, I was actually more worried about those two parts than about the Passenger, on the grounds that s/he's got to be at least mostly OK to be treating me as though I'm a mosh pit**. Incidentally, my hunch that this little one is more active than is usual was confirmed by the ultrasound tech, who asked, "Good grief, is it always like that?" because every time she stopped the probe to take a picture, she had to start again as she went back to the live image, as the baby was in a different position than before.

Gender prediction update: For those going by fetal heart rate: It was 147 bpm yesterday, for whatever that is worth, which I don't think is much... a little Googling found me this:

One of the first questions asked, and easiest answered, was, "Does the
fetal heart rate predict the sex of the baby?" We performed a t-Test of the
means for females and males and found no significant difference (mean for
females = 149.26, males = 149.38; p = 0.929; +/-1SD: females = 13.8, males =
13.1). The means were less than a quarter of a beat per minute (BPM) different,
with two standard deviations being approximately +/- 26 BPM for both genders. A
quarter of a BPM with that much variation is nothing.

I have two little snafus with the medical system, apparently. The first is that at my appointment yesterday, the receptionists forgot to check me in (you know, by doing that thing where they move my chart from the "incoming appointments" area to the "ready and waiting" spot where the doctors/nurses/techs can pick it up and call my name) even though I checked in with them and presented my new insurance card and all. So I waited for more than 40 minutes before finally going back up to the desk to ask what was going on, since I had to get back to work after my visit and all. That's when they realized their little 'oops'...that sucked.

The second is kind of weirder. I just got a call from the wonderful nurse practitioner at my OB's, wondering why I haven't been in for a prenatal visit in forever. Confusing, much! It turns out that the visits to the Prenatal Diagnosis Center are supposed to be in addition to regular, every-four-weeks visits with the obstetricians, which kind of explains why they never weighed me or asked me questions or any of that stuff. Back in the beginning of the pregnancy, when I got booted from the REs to the OBs***, I had an 8/9 week appointment, the "initial visit". On my way out, they had me schedule an ultrasound with the other clinic for 13 weeks. I had that visit, and upon leaving, they had me schedule a 22-week scan, which is the one I had yesterday. Apparently, in addition to those two ultrasounds, I should have been back to the OB at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, and 20 weeks, so I've missed three month's worth of appointments and literally haven't been checked out by a doctor since I was 9 weeks along.

OK, now I'm not completely clueless... I did kinda, sorta know that I was missing an appointment in there somewhere. It was in the back of my mind, that no doctor or nurse had weighed me, checked my urine, my blood pressure, asked how I was feeling, or anything like that since that first visit three months ago. But getting away from work to go to the doctor is a HUGE pain in the ass: the bank is this terrible combination of "retail" and "office". If I worked retail, I would have to work some weekend shifts, and would have a day off (or at least a morning or afternoon) during the week in which I could do things like visit the doctor. If I worked in an office, my hours would be more constricting, but it would be easier to just leave and come back as long as I scheduled well. Like an office, my hours are exactly business hours-- I work 8:30-4:45ish, Monday through Friday-- AKA doctor's-office-hours. Like retail, I can't leave unless we arrange for someone else to cover me; it's shift work. With the bank's hiring freeze, we're perpetually short-staffed, so getting that done is difficult.

The other thing is, I tend to view pregnancy as black-and-white. Either everything is going OK, or everything is ending terribly. I know that later on, there are things to look out for-- warning signals for gestational diabetes, pre-eclamsia, etc. But for the past few months, I knew how I felt; and between the ultrasounds, the textbook-perfect uterine growth, and the fetal movement, that everything was OK with the baby. I know how to eat well, take my vitamins, keep moving, rest. Pregnancy is something that essentially progresses on its own, you know? So I kept the missing-appointments-thing in the back of my brain, and rationalized that if I were supposed to come back, they would have had me schedule an appointment, as they do (somebody in the office really did miss the boat on that one). Until today, when Peggy called me wondering why I hadn't been in for an appointment since October. Whoops.

In other news, a customer brought me a baby present-- a tiny UVA hoodie and booties-- and a card. The card was a really nice thank-you for some things I'd taken care of for her at the bank... it was so sweet and so unexpected that I cried.

I was doing so well with all of my goals and plans lately: bringing lunches, making dinners, saving dollars, cleaning and organizing. Yesterday, though, I totally fell off the wagon. I was so revved up from my ultrasound that the idea of going home to work on the house for awhile just didn't seem appealing. So I went to Barnes & Noble... and bought a slice of cheesecake, a caramel macchiato, and a magazine... and spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in their cafe, reading books... Thus neatly killing my financial, house-keeping, and dietary goals simultaneously. I am nothing if not efficient, apparently.

*Is the placenta mine, or the baby's? Neither? Or both? It's really the most mysterious part of the whole deal, to me.

** I've heard expectant mothers say that they must have a little soccer player in there. HAH. I think we've got either a little rugby player, or a heavy-metal/ rock concert enthusiast, as it's not little feet I feel but whole head and body slams... ALL THE TIME.

*** Now that you're pregnant we have no further interest in you! Go back to your regular doctor, please!


Bex said...

So you better start checking out sports/activities. Sounds like a hyperactive child hehe.

And one day of falling off the wagon isn't bad at all. I've been eating so well and started exercising. I had a couple days of what I thought was falling off the wagon and maybe even spooking the horses to the wagon left without me but it turns out that I lost a couple more pounds. It's all good, tomorrow's another day just get back on it.

Steph said...

LMBO re: missing appointments. ROOKIE! ;)

As for that little B&N slip up... fear not. There will be no more slip ups of that sort in about 4 months. Enjoy guilty pleasures while they still exist in your life.

Polly Gamwich said...

I can't believe you missed so many appointments! I know I would have freaked out learning that!! But I can understand your black or white mentality ...

Good to know at 22weeks everything is looking good!


ayla said...

Missing appointments isn't that big of a deal. Hell, I would do my own prenatal care if I didn't feel that spending 6 months building a relationship with my midwives was essential. Fundal height is kind of a joke, ultrasounds are usually unnecessary, and pee sticks are informative but easy to do at home if you care. I don't believe in gestational diabetes so I don't test for it, I can take my own blood pressure thank you, and I have a fetoscope so I can listen to the baby whenever I want. But I like my MW and I like supporting her, so what the hell, I'll go to appointments.

That being said, routine prenatal care does save babies' lives, and is recommended by ever medical association in the world. Ergo, your employer must give you the time off to visit your doctor under FMLA. They do not have a choice. When you go to the doctor, you can get a note saying you are receiving routine prenatal care, and then you can visit HR to get the time off under FMLA. They don't have to pay you when you leave, but they do have to let you go without firing you. FMLA is for more than just maternity leave, and it doesn't have to be all at once. Call your benefits office to see what's available to you.

robina said...

your babe sounds a lot like wren was in utero. but i always interpreted her non-stop movement as a desire to be part of the action more so than her being hyper. and i was pretty much right. wren is not a particularly active child, but she's a big presence, and very social. basically, she rules, so your baby will too. :P

do things like your B&N trip OFTEN now. people told me the same thing and i always kind of shrugged off such advice, but it's hard to anticipate the way in which your time's really your relationship to time more than anything else. even when i'm out and doing my own thing i experience it differently. so take advantage of this time while you can. it's very sweet.