Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Lilypie Pregnancy tickers

Monday, March 14, 2011

Show Time

Today Squishy is 12 weeks and is now causing an abdominal protrusion. Even though Squish is only a couple of inches long, my uterus is roughly the size of a cantaloup. And the rest is indigestion. The morning sickness, while slightly milder, is in no hurry to leave. I am, however, able to get out of bed sometimes now which is a major improvement. Hopefully my little couch potatoes will come alive too now that the weather has warmed up enough to play outside. I thought we might grow a garden this year. The only problem is that we're not sure if we'll still be living here when the time comes to harvest our bounty. I think I'm going to do it anyway, though, because it would be a great experience for the kids.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And the Magic Number Is...

Today was my appointment with the OB/GYN. Last night sleep was elusive. I couldn't stop thinking about today's impending adventure. Finally somewhere around midnight I finally drifted off to sleep. And then about three minutes later, at 6:45am my eyes snapped open with no hopes of returning to dreamland. I got up, shuffled around half asleep, made sure Damian was getting ready for school and did a little clean up so that my mom wouldn't have to wash dishes just to get the kids breakfast once they awoke.

Soon Damian was off to school, mom arrived, Josh and I got dressed, he tossed down a cup of coffee and I inhaled a chicken sandwich (eggs totally gross me out lately). The babies woke up crabby but were soon distracted from their irritability when they discovered that gramma was here. Once they were absorbed in the book gramma was reading, Josh and I slipped out the door and off to the doc.

Upon arrival at the clinic, I signed in and soon was handed a sizeable stack of paper to fill out. A lot has changed in the 15 years it's been since I jumped through the hoops of mainstream obstetrics. For starters, the list of personal and invasive questions has quadrupled! It used to ask if you had VD and if you had any ancestral history of diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. Now they also want to know your specific heritage and whether any of your distant relations had freckles (what?). After signing and dating 400 times, I handed over the book and waited. [I'm going to just say here real quick that the medical industry needs a serious overhaul when it comes to customer relations. If I showed up at, oh, say the salon for a hair cut and a massage, I would not be waiting for 30 minutes after my appointment time to be invited back. If there were such a delay I would be offered a beverage and maybe even a discount or coupon for my trouble. Any time I've ever been to a medical doctor, I was expected to wait for at least 30 minutes for my appointment and then bow down and kiss the egotistical feet of the all-knowing doctor who has so generously graced me with his presence. Horse crap, I say! I'm paying that person - and I'm paying him significantly more than my hairdresser. I think he should be hopping around trying to make me more comfortable in an effort to earn my business. Ok, that's the end of that rant. Back to the story.]

Eventually we were escorted down the long hallway to a nondescript exam room where I was handed a napkin and asked to, "undress and put this on, open at the back." I'm sorry, what? I think there's a mistake; this is a napkin. No, I was expected to adorn myself in this paper dress with the thickness and transparency of 1-ply toilet paper.

I undressed to my socks (sorry, the floor was really cold and they don't need to examine my feet anyway) and unfolded the napkin. From between the layers of the napkin a white strip of what looked like plumber's tape slipped out and fell on the floor. I still do not know what I was supposed to do with it as it was much too short for use as a tie-back. After carefully unfolding the fragile paper, I slid my arms into the holes and gingerly alighted upon the exam table so as not to damage or tear the garment. Josh compared my outfit to somethine Lady Gaga might wear (eyeroll - I don't like her at all). I was disappointed that, with the few hundred dollars they would be receiving from my insurance company, they couldn't provide something a little more... dignified? I mean just prior to being escorted into the exam room I was asked to pee all over my hand while holding a very thin strip of paper with bits of colored paper stuck to it. Few things in life are more degrading and undignified than peeing on yourself ON PURPOSE! And then they want me to wear a paper dress. [Another interruption: pregnant women often suffer from hot flashes which cause excessive perspiration. Have you ever washed your hands only to discover that the restroom was out of paper towels and you mistakenly thought toilet paper would be a good substitute? Remember the thousands of tiny bits of wet paper shredded and stuck to your skin like persistent white boogers? This is much the same effect of combining sweat with a toilet paper dress!]

The nurse took my vitals and I waited with Josh for the ominous obstetrician to grace us with her presence. Eventually Dr. Narcissistic showed up. She did some poking around on me, listening to my lungs, etc. Then I made love to a speculum while having my cervix poked and brushed. Finally, she wheeled over the ultrasound machine and squirted a nice sized glob of cold, slimy wetness all over my lower abdomen. It felt so good in the midst of my hot flash. I asked her if she would squirt some on my forehead too but she didn't think that was very funny. My grin at my own joke faded as quickly as it had come on and she proceeded to apply the ultrasound wand to my skin in search of Squishy. She found one very cute little alien-looking fetus residing in my lower abdomen. When I asked why I am measuring 2 weeks ahead of where I should be for the gestational age of the baby, she suggested fibroids. Lovely. She didn't see any point in looking for any fibroids since there was nothing that could be done about it anyway. So now I get to spend the rest of my pregnancy wondering whether or not I have a tumor growing on my uterus. She printed out a few ultrasound pictures for us and left me to clean myself up.

She then sat down at a computer to enter in whatever findings she had procured when she began to argue with me about tests, procedures and exams. I explained that I did my own prenatal care and delivery of my last baby after educating myself on the topic and that I didn't feel the need for tests and procedures which were not medically indicated. In fact, the only reason I was sitting in front of her today was because I was concerned about my uterus measuring so big. Had it not been for that fact, I would be sitting at home, awaiting my prenatal care items and assuming the care of my own body and baby. I was ready to pull my hair out by the end of the visit. Suffice it to say that Dr. Narcissistic and I don't like one another and I will not be returning to their office for any other concerns. It was certainly a mutual feeling as was evident by her suggestion of a group of midwives who might be a better fit for me.

Despite the aggravation I experienced at the OB/GYN, I am relieved that Squishy is singular. There was a small measure of disappointment but after seeing the flutter of a tiny heartbeat, that disappointment quickly melted away. I'll be putting in my order for my prenatal and birth supplies next week and assuming my own care from now on.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Size Matters

As previously notated, I felt my bump last week. And that cute little bump is still there. Shocking, I know. But here's the thing: I think Squishy has company. As in Squishy might be plural. Ok, wait, before you start rolling your eyes, let me explain. If I were under the care of an Obstetrician I would have likely had an ultrasound by now and would be able to hear the rhythmic galloping of a heartbeat in the next week. Multiples would have most likely been discovered by now. For those who don't know, beginning usually between 14-20 weeks, the provider will begin measuring the fundus or the uterus. They do this by taking a nice, flexy tape measure, placing the end of it on your pubic bone and then stretching the tape up over your belly to the top of your uterus. The number of centimeters you measure is proportionate to how many weeks pregnant you are. This means that at 25 weeks you should be measuring 25 centimeters. This is accurate to within 2 centimeters either way. Well, I thought that my bump seemed rather large so just for funsies I decided to dig out my handy tape measure (I normally use it for sewing but, hey, a centimeter is a centimeter). First I emptied my bladder to assure an accurate measurement. Then I dropped my britches, layed flat on my back on the bed and unrolled my tape measure. Imagine my surprise when I brought the tape up to my eyes where my fingers were holding the place of the measurement and saw....

(drumroll please)...


WHOA NELLIE! It should say 10.

So I called and made an appointment with some random OB/GYN that was spit out at me by the website owned by my insurance company. I'll be going in on the morning of March 9th for a head count to see if Squishy does in fact have a roommate or if my uterus is just abnormally large.

If Squishy is all alone then we continue on as planned, providing we don't discover any other threatening anomalies. However, if Squishy turns out to have cloned him or herself then all of my plans for an unassisted homebirth go right out the window and I begin the tedious hunt for someone who is spineless enough for me to push them around to get what I want, MWAHAHAHA! No, seriously, I want to find a doctor or midwife who is willing to put up with me and my very highly specific demands. I know more about natural birth than the average bear and fear that I won't be able to exercise self restraint when the urge to slap the lips right off of some patronizingly arrogant doctor overwhelms me (anyone who has been pregnant before knows the kind of unbridled rage I'm talking about here). Thus the need to find someone who won't fight with me.

If there's one Squishy in there then he or she is now the size of a kumquat (just over an inch long). If there are two Squishies (Squishes? Squishi? Squish? Squeeshe? whatever the plural is) then there are two kumquats in there. I think I should mention that the kumquat comparison is just the baby, not the furnishings required by the wee tyke. Each little kumquat is enveloped inside of a water balloon complete with a full functioning kitchen, or placenta. That's quite a bit of occupied space when you double it up. I'm 10 weeks now which means I'm 1/4 of the way through my pregnancy already. Also, if there are a couple of little citrusy sweeties in there then I can feel justified that my belly pooches out a bit further than I really like. HA, it's not just gas!