Thursday, July 24, 2008

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

Just came back from the doctor's office where I .... get this .... heard the heartbeat. Poor Stew missed it. I almost missed it had my doctor not said, "hey, wanna hear something cool?" And me thinking he had an in on the new Guns & Roses was waiting for something cool when I finally honed in on the "thwoomp thwoomp thwoomp" filling the room.

"Oh! That something cool." Duhhhhh.

Then, as fast as I got caught in the moment, I was taken out by my doctor's lecture on all the tests (nuchal and amnio) I have the option of taking all within 12 weeks while there is still time to abort if we had to. It's a horrible reality but one that you have to think about.

But, way to kill the moment, doc.

"But, if you know you're not going to do anything about it, then don't bother with the tests," my Doctor said. "And sometimes the amnio causes a miscarriage because you are sticking a needle into the placenta and potentially popping a balloon." Another morsel of food for thought.

Of course, my first reaction is to have every and any test known to man. But, then the harsh reality of what those tests might reveal and the decisions I'd have to make post-tests. I knew i would have to talk it over with Stew. So, when he got home I trailed him around the house with my folio of pictures. Then, I hit him with it.

"He said most people can't do anything once they hear that heartbeat," I said.

Stew gave me the look which said exactly what I was thinking when my doctor said that but didn't want him to know that mixed with blood, there's some ice. Only the man who married could really know that.

"I know. I told him I was not like most people."

The nuchal tests only test for Downs Syndrome. The amnio, while risky (1 in 400 have a miscarriage) tests for everything under the sun. My age factors into the testing, as does my height and weight. And while both tests are great and resourceful, they could yield false results and cause you to stress for the next nine months. Or, you could terminate your pregnancy and after an autopsy is done on the fetus, the doctors can come back and say, "it was nothing afterall." But, if it is something like, says, Spinal Bifoda, they can actually perform surgery on your baby in your womb. Modern medicine has come so far and yet has fallen short.

Of course, I can just do the nuchal but then if that has a bad result, I'd have to make a really hard decision about the amnio. It's a no win situation. And of course, as I tried to put on a brave face and tell my mom that I should do them anyway because they'll be fine. This is one healthy baby, made up of love, fruit, veggies and pizza; I can't be 100% sure. But, then again, nothing in life is 100%, right?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A cold front is moving in

So, yesterday was one of the single most stressful days of my life. And all I had to do was go to the Doctor. Well, okay, that's not true. I really had to go to the doctor, go to work and possibly get into an argument with my boss's boss. Hellooooo. The day i am supposed to go for a "viable" and the big boss is allegedly coming to town to talk to me.

Needless to say, I got like NO sleep.

I'll explain why this was a bit stressful. Although, I am 7 weeks pregnant with soaring HCG levels and wicked bouts of morning sickness, you are not considered to have a viable pregnancy until you have an ultrasound to see if the sac is empty or not and if you see a tiny flutter which is your baby's heartbeat. So, for 7 or so weeks, you walk around like you're a fragile egg giving into cravings and peeing every 5 minutes caring for something that may or may not be inside you. Where's David Copperfield when you actually need him? Is he even in jail yet for rape?

So, I finally find something worthy enough to make Stew take some time off work and we wake up bright and early to go to the OBGYN's office. My mother apparently got up even earlier because she was there before us and we were five minutes early.

"I don't think I locked the door to the house," I said to my mom.

"I left my flat iron on this morning and almost burned the house down," She said.

I see we were having a who is more nervous pissing contest.

I tried to calmly breathe while thinking of the reassuring words my other OBGYN #2 (yes, when you have my kind of problems, you have two) said to me the day before on the phone. "Baby, it's going to be fine. Let me bottom line it for you. It's either going to go good or bad." Um, thanks doc. Do you have any reassuring words for my husband since OGYN #1 put a 20 week hold on my sex life?

Finally, the nurse called my name. I can't even really say finally. That's not fair. Usually, I wait for a good two hours in that office and this time I was waiting less than 10 minutes. They lead my posse and I through a maze of hallways and doors and deposit us in an ultrasound room. The nurse tells my posse to sit in the chairs in the corner and to strip and sit my ass down in the chair with stirrups. Fun. I do as I am told all the while trying not to pass out from nerves and exhaustion wishing I was able to stomach more for breakfast than just half a grapefruit.

The nurse comes back in and punches my name into the computer and asks me my last menstrual cycle and all that. And then she starts looking intently at it and excuses herself suddenly. Damn, she has to get the doctor already and she hasn't even seen anything. She returns with another nurse and they are trying to figure out why the machine is acting up. I told Stew he should have handed her his card because they obviously needed tech support.

The system finally works itself out and she punches in all my information again and then lubes up the ultrasound wand. I am so happy that Stew finally gets to see what I have always referred to as "The dildo cam." In fact, I think I even called it that out loud so that there was no mistaking it for anything else.

She tells me to watch the monitor hanging from the wall. She locates what appears to be the sac and inside the sac is something that looks like a head with a tail. "Do, you see that fluttering? That's the heartbeat." I try to focus on it when the monitor starts freaking out and trying to autocalibrate blocking the view of the kid completely while flashing "color" "brighteness" over and over again. Eventually it stops and she goes back to the spot. I have not taken my eyes off the screen. I see it, for a split second and the monitor starts spazzing out again. This goes on for three tries and sort of ruins what i thought would be a emotional moment but took a fast and furious turn towards comical. But, eventually, I do see it long enough to see this tiny little flutter and see the computer takes the heartbeats per minute and my pregnancy is validated.

Deep breath.

Then, she starts the tedious and cramping task of measuring my uterus and checking my ovaries. The ueterus measuring went off without a hitch but the ovary checking was awful. She pressed down on my stomach (something I have avoided doing since finding out I was pregnant) and suddenly blue and red splotches were swirling around the monitor.

"Looks like a cold front is moving in," I said cracking myself up so bad I started shaking from laughter prolonging the misery of this because now she was getting nothing. These nurses are so going to have the last laugh when I am pushing this kid out. Yeah, who's laughing now, Al Roker. No epidural for you!!

After a few more uncomfortable minutes, she was done and I hopped out of that chair faster than hell and got dressed. As I drove to work, I thought that anything could happen with the big boss today and I was not going to sweat it. I was in a fantastic mood and nothing was going to break my stride.