First Unscheduled Dr’s Visit, The Asian Persuasion, & Bump Pic

So earlier this week I had my first unscheduled Dr’s visit during this whole pregnancy. At 29 weeks I think that’s pretty good, considering all the problems I had prior to getting pregnant.  I’ve made a conscious effort of NOT being that crazy paranoid pregnant lady who calls in about every little twinge, even if I really wanted to.

So for the last couple weeks I haven’t been feeling well.  By that, I mean while at work I’ve been getting very light headed, dizzy, hot, and just basically feeling like I need to sit down or I’m going to pass out. I figured, hell, I’m in my 3rd trimester, I’m sure this is just part of it.  My job is pretty physical – I’m on my feet all day.  I do get to sit for a minute or two while taking a medical history during exams, but for the most part I’m standing, walking, or power walking even. My office is very busy.  We see around 130 patients a day.  So from 8 until noon, it’s nonstop busy, and then from 1 until 5 it’s nonstop busy again.  My lunch hour is the only time I really have time to sit and rest.  The dizziness has been lasting ALL day at work, and it was starting to make it really hard to function while doing my job.  Just standing was becoming a problem because my heart would race, I’d get really hot, and I’d have to sit down for fear of hitting the floor.

Some of the girls I work with asked if my blood pressure had been high.  It was elevated at my last doctor’s appointment (it was 157/96) but they weren’t too concerned because that was the day I did my glucose test and the nurse said sometimes the sugary drink can affect your blood pressure.  Plus, my blood pressure has been normal up until then. I haven’t even monitored it at home because there was no need for it.  But since I hadn’t been feeling that great, I let the nurses at work check it for me.

It was a little elevated but nothing dangerously high.  Last week I had them check it almost every day I worked that I was feeling bad.  It was hanging out around 140/86, give or take a couple numbers. A little high but nothing crazy.  Over the weekend I wasn’t feeling well at home either.  Just doing light housework, like wiping down the counters or loading the dishwasher, made me stop in my tracks and sit down.  Taking a shower has this effect on me as well.  Monday rolled around and I wasn’t feeling well all morning.  So I had the nurses at work check my blood pressure again.  It was 153/94.  I know they don’t like for your bottom number to get above 90, so I didn’t like that number.  After a lot of persuading (I have my routine checkup this coming Tuesday and I was content just waiting until then to bring it up, but the girls at work convinced me not to wait) I finally called my doctors office.

Diane, Dr. L’s nurse, called me back quickly and asked what had been going on.  She seemed a little concerned and scolded me some for not calling her sooner.  She felt like I should be checked out that day, “just in case”, but Dr. L was out of the office all last week.  So I had to see one of the other doctors in the clinic.  I wasn’t too crazy about that, because I’m partial to Dr. L (he knows me, he knows my history, and he wouldn’t make me feel like I was overreacting even if I was), but I didn’t have a choice.  So that afternoon I was worked in to see Dr. W.

I was not impressed with Dr. W.  He is the “young” doctor in the practice and most of the women I know who use this clinic think he’s super hot.  I suppose he is good looking, but that did nothing for me after I met him.  First of all, when he walked into the exam room he didn’t even introduce himself.  He didn’t shake my hand, didn’t ask how I was, nothing.  He walked in, sat on his stool, and said, “So what’s going on?”  From that point on, I didn’t like him and there was no going back.

After I explained what was going on, he basically went on to tell me, in not so many words, that I was pregnant and this was part of it.  He then went on to give me an anatomy lesson about how the farther along you get, the bigger your uterus gets (wait…WHAT?! That is BRAND NEW information! I never would have thought!!!) and it sits on the vena cava, which can interrupt blood flow to your brain, causing occasional dizzy spells.  He also said that’s why I shouldn’t lay on my back or sit in one position for a long period of time, neither of which I do while at work, which is when these dizzy “spells” are happening ALL day, not just “occasionally”.  After explaining that I work in a busy office and am on my feet all day, and that the dizziness is lasting pretty much all day and not just happening in spells, he dismissed the information like it wasn’t important at all, telling me that he didn’t think my blood pressure had anything to do with it all (although it was still 152/90 when I got to the dr’s office, and that was AFTER an hour lunch break and sitting in the waiting room for half an hour) and that I just need to take more breaks and lie down on my left side if I feel dizzy until it gets better. He then instructed me to follow up with Dr. L on it at my normal appointment next week.

So basically, it was a HUGE waste of time.  The good news is there was no protein in my urine.  But I have a hard time believing that my blood pressure has absolutely nothing to do with the way I’ve been feeling.  And I have no idea how I’m supposed to just lie on my left side until the dizziness goes away if the dizziness is lasting ALL DAY LONG.  I don’t think my job is going to be willing to pay me to lie down all day.  I ran into Diane on my way out of the appointment and she asked what Dr. W said.  When I told her she gave me a look, but then told me if I needed a note to take to work to allow me to take breaks (because like I said, I only get a break at lunch), then she would get me one.  I told her I would probably take it, even though I’m not sure how much good it will do at my job.

The whole experience just put a bad taste in my mouth and I just wish I had waited until my routine appointment with Dr. L.  This other doc tried to make me feel like an idiot and I’m pretty sure he thought that I was trying to find something wrong.  Dr. L would never make me feel like that.  After everything I’ve been through, even if it was NOTHING, he would tell me I have every right to be concerned because, as he’s said before, “If it’s going to happen to anyone, it’s gonna be you, kiddo.”  (When he said that it wasn’t in a bad way, just in response to the fact that I’ve had SO MUCH working against me all this time).

It took all I had not to yell at this doc that I absolutely did NOT want there to be anything wrong, in fact, that is the LAST thing I want!  I’ve been so lucky in this pregnancy.  Everything has been great.  No complications of any kind.  Just a normal, boring, healthy pregnancy.  Who would have thought?! And I am so incredibly grateful!  When you’ve been through all I have and you are constantly expecting the worst, it’s so nice to have things go your way for a change.  If this doc would’ve taken two seconds to read my chart he might have known that instead of treating me like some paranoid first timer looking for attention.

Ugh.

Ok, end rant.

To end on a good note, I’m going to post my first ever bump picture.  I haven’t posted any because I don’t feel like I have a real bump yet.  I was a pretty good sized gal to start out with, and I naturally carry most of my weight in my stomach anyway, so it’s taken a while for me to look pregnant. And even now, I don’t look as pregnant as other people I see at 29 weeks.  My scrubs still cover my bump pretty well at work, so I don’t get a lot of prying questions from people who don’t already know I’m pregnant, which I’m actually grateful for.  Some people look and I can tell they may be afraid to ask, haha.  They are usually the ones that ask if I have any children, to which I reply, “I’m expecting my little boy in January” and it goes from there.  BUT, these last couple weeks I’ve had 3 people as me if I’m pregnant or when I’m due.  And they have ALL been Asian ladies!

The first was last weekend when I went to get a pedicure.  I guess maybe my bump was showing a little more in the sundress and cardigan I was wearing that day, who knows.  But as soon as the lady told me to sit down, she said, “You having baby??” and gestured to my belly.  I nodded and we talked a little bit about how far along and when I was due.  Once she found out I was pregnant she gave me THE WORKS…hot stone massage, paraffin wax on my feet, and I’m pretty sure she massaged my legs much longer than they usually do.  Pregnancy for the win!

Then, after my appointment Monday with Dr. Douchebag, I was getting on the elevator to leave and a nice Asian lady was on there with me.  She looked right at my stomach and asked, “When will the baby be here?” I was wearing scrubs, which, like I said, camouflage the baby quite a bit, so I was surprised.  Sure, I was coming from the OB’s office, but plenty of women are there just for yearly’s and the like.

Finally, I had a nice Asian lady as a patient the other day ask me if I was pregnant.  Again, at work and in my scrubs.

So, who knows, maybe I am finally starting to look pregnant.  Or maybe Asian women have some sort of crazy intuition and that’s why they are the only ones who confidently ask me about my baby bump.

So here’s my first bump pic.  It’s not a very good one, and I’m just in my yoga pants and a tee-shirt.  And it was actually taken at 26 weeks, so I’m a bit bigger now.  I’ll post another as soon as I can motivate myself into some clothes that aren’t scrubs or pajamas. 😉

26 Weeks

26 Weeks

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Baby Nugget – 28 & 29 Weeks

I’ve been a bad bad blogger lately.  Here’s my updates, better late than never!

 

Week 28:

Baby is the size of an eggplant!  At week 28, he is putting on layers
of fat and still weighs somewhere between 1.5 and 2.2 pounds.  He measures
around 13.6 to 14.8 inches.  His skin has a smoother and less wrinkled
appearance too.  And his lungs are mature enough that he could probably breathe
on his own if he were born prematurely.  Plus, his eyes, which can now open and
close, can sense changes to light as well.  The groundwork for his vision has been
laid, but baby’s sight will actually continue to develop during infancy after
he’s born.  Still, those blinking peepers are something to get excited
over!

Week 29:

Baby is the size of an acorn squash!  At week 29, baby is getting plumper.
Begin to prepare yourself for the absolute cuteness you’ll soon experience
every day!  Right now, he measures about 15.2 to 16.7 inches long and weighs
about 2.5 to 3.8 pounds.  He still has a long way to go, and may even triple
his weight before birth.

How far along? 29 weeks (and 3 days)

Total weight gain: I still haven’t weighed myself, but I’m going to guess somewhere between +5-7lbs.  I’m beginning to feel huge.

Maternity clothes? I have some but haven’t really worn them yet. I wear scrubs during the week and have been in the habit of not really going anywhere on the weekends.  I’m still in my same scrubs at work, although they are beginning to get just a little snug. Ok, a lot snug.

Stretch marks?  No new ones.

Sleep:  Sleeping pretty well besides the frequent trips to the bathroom that seem to be getting worse.

Best moment this week: Finally got our rocker/glider (which is a LONG story). But it’s still in the box right now.

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my stomach.

Movement:  Oh, yes :) He has been a wiggle worm the last few days!

Food cravings:   Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies. I still want a big bag of movie theater popcorn. Someone take me to the movies!

Anything making you queasy or sick: Morning sickness is back. Nothing in particular triggers it. If I take a Pepcid before I go to bed that seems to help some.

Gender prediction: Sweet baby boy!

Labor Signs:  No, thank you.

Symptoms:  Fatigue, bloat/gas, VERY frequent urination. Occasional round ligament pain. Sciatic nerve pain. Heartburn and indigestion. Shortness of breath. Morning sickness. Dizziness/lightheadedness. Pretty sure I’ve had a few Braxton Hicks this past week.

Belly Button in or out?  In, but starting to look….funny.

Wedding rings on or off?  They fit.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Pretty happy! And tired.

Looking forward to:  Baby Shower November 2nd 🙂

Next appointment:  October 22nd.  I’m be 30 weeks! Yikes!

Awareness

October has always been my most favorite month of the year.  Something magically changes when October 1st comes around.  The air gets cooler and crisper.  Leaves start changing colors.  It just simply smells different when you walk outside.  I love dressing in hoodies and sweatshirts and scarves (although I have none of those things that actually fit me right now…besides a scarf maybe haha).  It’s just the best time of year.

Until I had my miscarriage, I was unaware that October is also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, with October 15th being the actual Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  I have personally suffered two losses.  One from an ectopic pregnancy where my baby was trapped inside my fallopian tube and had to be surgically removed before the tube ruptured and killed us both.  The second was a 1st trimester miscarriage that, for all intensive purposes, the cause is unknown, although we now have a pretty good idea of what may have caused it.  I know many of you have had similar or not so similar losses of your own through this journey of infertility.  October is our month.

We all deal with our grief in our own way.

In November of 2011, I put pen to paper and dealt with a little bit of my grief.  Strangely enough, this was triggered by another person’s grief, a very close friend of mine.

THIS IS YOUR WARNING.  If you are having a bad day or are in a bad place, you may not want to read on.  This post is about loss.  Terrible loss.  Turn back if you don’t think you can handle this today.

A lot of people don’t know that I like to write.  I’m not by any means calling myself a writer.  But it is something I’ve always enjoyed doing.  I put out a LOT of poetry in my junior high years.  I wrote in a journal through most of high school, and I only wish I still had that thing.  I rocked out essays and research papers in college.  I’ve even written my fair share of short stories that I’ve never let anyone read.  But I hadn’t written in so very long, and until I started this blog that was still true.  But in November of 2011, there was something I had to get out.  And this is how I did it.

I’m not sure if you would call this a short story or a diary entry or what.  I’ve taken out the names in it to protect anonymity.  It’s not my best work.  It wasn’t even really written to be shared at first.  There are a few things in it that might be controversial, especially on a place like a fertility blog.  But I figured here was the best place to share it.  All I ask is you take it for what it is and try to withhold your judgment.

Her slender fingers intertwined with mine and squeezed my hand tightly, fearfully. Her pale face that I had known for the past 15 years was almost unrecognizable to me. Dark circles lined her usually bright blue eyes, which were both now lifeless and filled with sadness. Three small worry lines had formed on her forehead almost overnight, causing her to look ten years older than she actually was. 

“She looks like a porcelain doll, doesn’t she?” She looked hopefully into my eyes, which were now brimming with tears. 

I nodded my head gently. “She’s beautiful,” I could barely get out. 

In that instant I wondered how in the world we got here. How could this be happening to someone so close to me? I thought back to when we were kids. About all the things we had been through together. How it never crossed our minds that someday we would be grown women having to deal with things like this. And I thought about how amazing it was that through all of these years, even though we didn’t see each other as much as we used to or talk every day anymore, she stilled called me and we were still standing by each other. 

I was the first person she called when we were 15 and she got to third base with a boy for the first time. I listened intensely over the phone as she gave me all the details, giggling and oohing and awwwing. 

I held her hand in the counselor’s office at school while she cried and admitted what an abusive drunk her father was. I never judged her when she told us that she sometimes wished he would just die. 

A year later I held her hand again when her father passed away. 

When the two of us had failed to get dates to our Junior prom, we simply went with each other. We got dressed up, got our hair done, we danced our asses off, and we had the time of our lives.

She was the first person I told when I lost my virginity. That next morning we skipped class and instead went out for breakfast, where I told her all the nitty gritty details over pancakes and hash browns.

When we started college and she made a terrible mistake, I didn’t judge her for the decision she made. I drove her three hours out of town to the clinic. Past the man with a video camera and signs reading “BABY KILLER” and “YOU’RE GOING TO HELL.” I held her hand as we walked into the clinic together, were patted down by security, and were given the 3rd degree by the nurse behind the bullet proof glass. I was waiting in her recovery bay when she was done. I didn’t agree with the decision she made, and I could never go through with it myself, but in all honesty it made the most sense for the situation she was in. So I was there for her. I was the only person in the world who carried her secret. And I’ve kept it to myself all these years. 

When she met her soul mate some years later and finally got married, I stood up beside her as she took her vows. It was 110 degrees in July, my hair was flat, and I was sweating like crazy beneath my long satin dress, but there was nowhere else in the world I would’ve been except standing up as her Maid of Honor that day. 

A year later when we had both gotten pregnant, we were so thrilled that our babies would be the same age. She was 4 months farther along than I, and had already found out she was having a girl. Of course, she had decided our babies would either get married someday if I had a boy, or, Lord help us, they would be best friends just like us if I had a girl. 

At 9 weeks and 3 days, I miscarried. I was devastated. And my friend was devastated for me. She felt guilty because she was still pregnant and I wasn’t. And it was too hard for me to be around her during the rest of her pregnancy. 

When I got the call that she had delivered her baby girl, I was elated. I was still grieving from my loss, but I was truly happy for my friend and couldn’t wait to see her. Then I received the rest of the news. The news that had to be a big cosmic joke. The news that made my own miscarriage almost seem trivial in comparison. 

The tears came instantly. I was crying before I even realized it. I was crying for my own baby that I would never meet. I was crying for an innocent life that had been taken for no reason. I was crying for a friend who didn’t deserve this, a friend who had been out of my life for the last few months simply because it was too painful to be around her. 

And here we were. Both staring at the tiny ivory casket in front of us. So small. How could they make caskets that small? The life inside of it had never even been given a chance. And for once in our lives, I was at a loss for words. I didn’t know what to say to my friend. I wasn’t sure there was anything I could say. So I held her hand, I squeezed it tight, and I cried silently beside her.  

Her mom appeared at my side, a tear trickling down her cheek. She smiled softly and wrapped her arms around me in a hug. “You’ve always been such a good friend to her,” she whispered, causing a floodgate of tears to be opened as my lips quivered and I tried to choke them back. Because I didn’t feel like I had been a very good friend the past few months.  

My friend and I stood there holding hands, staring at the tiny porcelain doll laying peacefully in the impossibly tiny casket. I wasn’t sure how long we had stood there so far. And I wasn’t sure how long we would stay there. All I knew was I would stand there as long as I needed to. As long as she needed me to.

Baby Nugget – 27 Weeks!

 

Baby is the size of a rutabaga!  Your baby is now 13.6 to 14.8 inches long and around 2 pounds!  And he’s not just getting larger, he’s becoming a complex little human being.  His brainstem, which controls most of his vital functions (such as heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure) is nearly fully developed by this point, and his cerebral cortex (which forms consciousness and allows us to think, feel, and perform voluntary actions) is growing more and more, maturing and becoming more complex during the last trimester.  So don’t be surprised by baby’s karate kicks in you belly!  He can stretch and make grasping motions now too!

How far along? 27 weeks…Hello, 3rd Trimester!

Total weight gain: I haven’t weighed this week, but I’m going to guess somewhere between +3-5lbs.  I’m beginning to feel huge.

Maternity clothes? I have some jeans but haven’t really worn them yet. I’m still in my same scrubs at work, although they are beginning to get just a little snug. Ok, a lot snug.

Stretch marks?  No new ones.

Sleep:  Sleeping pretty well besides the frequent trips to the bathroom that seem to be getting worse.

Best moment this week: Passed my 1 hour glucose test!

Miss Anything? Sleeping on my stomach.

Movement:  Oh, yes :)

Food cravings:   Ice cold milk. Movie theater popcorn. I’ve eaten a couple bags of those new Snickers Bites lately, too.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Morning sickness is back. Nothing in particular triggers it. If I take a Pepcid before I go to bed that seems to help some.

Gender prediction: Sweet baby boy!

Labor Signs:  No, thank you.

Symptoms:  Fatigue, bloat/gas, VERY frequent urination. Occasional round ligament pain. Sciatic nerve pain. Heartburn and indigestion. Shortness of breath. Morning sickness.

Belly Button in or out?  In.

Wedding rings on or off?  They fit.

Happy or Moody most of the time:  Pretty happy! And tired.

Looking forward to:  Have a hair appointment next Saturday…will probably be my last one before baby gets here!

Next appointment:  October 22nd.  I’m be 30 weeks! Yikes!