Thursday, October 29, 2009

29 Weeks

Yesterday marked 29 weeks. It blows my mind sometimes how far we've come. The baby's been more and more active. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem satisfied with her digs in my belly, and is often intent on climbing up under my ribcage on the right side. I can very distinctly feel her bottom when she does this. As uncomfortable as it is, it does make me giggle.

Stats for this week: Up 18 pounds from prepregnancy weight. I think I am a little down from last week, so I'll have to keep plugging away at eating many small meals. There isn't room for anything else. Last night we got burritos from our favorite place (the shrimp burritos at this place are amazing-it's one of the few places in my little corner of New England that is authentic Mexican), and I could only eat half what I would eat if I wasn't pregnant.

My doctors appointment went well yesterday. I passed the gestational diabetes test. My iron was like .7 off from what they's like to see, but my doctor wasn't overly concerned. She said to add a supplement once a week if I can handle it, but not to bother if it makes me constipated. She did chide me on my heels, which seems to happen at every appointment. I've stopped wearing the really high ones-yesterdays were very modest. But, skinny. She is afraid I'm going to fall, and reminded me that my balance won't be as good as I continue to get bigger. I promised to give them up before the ice comes, and really, once this big project is over at work, I won't need cute shoes any more.

I've been on the fence about the flu vaccines. I don't normally get them. Where I ended up shaking out is that if I could get the preservative-free (thimerosol-free) shots, I would. I got the regular flu shot a few weeks ago. I was supposed to be on a list for the H1N1 through my PCP, but they called yesterday to say that they're only getting the regular vaccine, and no preservative-free. They tried to convince me to get it anyway-so irritating. I hear them that the risk of getting the flu is higher than the risk of the shot with preservative. But if there's another alternative (ie, the presevative-free shot), why would I risk it? My OB wanted to know what I was doing, and I explained my position to her. She said the preservative-free has been really hard to come by. Then, just as we were leaving the appointment, they came running after us, and told us that they'd founf a small supply of preservative-free. I am not supposed to tell where it is. Another doctor's office has it, and has agreed to vaccinate a few patients. I'm not to call the other office, and I'm supposed to show up there at a particular time tomorrow to get it. I told my docotr's office that I felt like we were arranging anb illicit drug deal. It's crazy that after all of the hype about this damn vaccine that it's so hard to come by.

Finally, speaking of crazy, I never did get the call back from my other doctor's office about the form. I did, however, receive the form via fax, perfectly and correctly filled out, as I had requested. I guess the doctor wasn't as fired up as the evil nurse would've liked me to believe!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Quick Rant About Healthcare Providers

As I have previously mentioned, I have excellent health insurance coverage. I pay about $90 a month for our coverage (two adults), and it covers pretty much everything. Had we needed IVF, it would have covered the whole shebang. My healthcare providers get paid quickly by my insurerer (I can look online at all of the billing), and they get paid pretty well, by my review of the bills.

Which makes it inexplicable that the staffs at the three doctors offices I currently visit are so incredibly rude. My physicians are lovely people, but their staffs kind of suck. Two cases in point:

I was at my PCP's, gvetting the regular flu shot. My PCP said they had the one that is thimerosol-free. That's what she recommended. That's what IS recommended for pregnant women. When the nurse came in to give it to me, I asked her to verify that it was in fact the thimerosol-free shot. Her response? "I can go get you the box if you'd like.". Okay, so far, so good. But when I took her up on her offer, she got very huffy. "I can guarantee you that there are NO side effects from getting the shot with preservative. I had it with both my kids, and they're fine.". Um, okay, lady. Your study pool of TWO has definitely convinced me. By the way, have you read my chart lately? See the weird bacterial infection I got last year AS A RESULT OF MEDICATION, which occurs very rarely, and happens to hardly anyone? Yeah, I'm not playing the odds with my baby, thank you very much.

And then yesterday, different docotr's office...I need a form filled out for this job that I want so much. In addition to regular background clearance, I have to get medical clearance. My doctor filled out the form, but neglected to fill in one of the boxes. The nurse was very nice when I spoke with her on Friday, but yesterday when I had to point out the oversight, she got huffy. "You know, you're lucky that she filled out the form at all. No other doctor in this practice would've filled out the form. You should've gone to your PCP.". Despite the major attitude, I patiently explained that I did go to my PCP, but she hadn't treated me for the aforementioned infection, she'd referred me to this doctor. And, that I was a patient there, and needed a form filled out related to my care, so there really wasn't anywhere else I could go. (Seriously-I pay THEM money for a service. Who are they to say no to a damn form? A SHORT form, at that.) What did I get? More huffiness. "I don't know if the doctor is going to want to do this.". Hmmmm, that's funny, because I've talked to the doctor several times about this very issue during my appointments, and she seemed just fine with it.

What do you suppose the cause is of medical staff rudeness?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

28 Weeks, and Other Stuff

So, we are offcially past 28 weeks. This has been a milestone in my head. I don't know why. Maybe because survival rates go up so much after this point. 32 weeks is the next big milestone in my head, because long-term effects on premature babies go down after this point. I don't spend much time worrying these days, but this kind of stuff is always in the back of my mind. No doubt a lingering side effect of the miscarriages...

A few days ago, my husband saw his aunt for the first time since we announced the pregnancy. She asked him if it was an accident. I was so offended. This question never fails to irritate me. He also confessed that two of his sib's asked the same thing, and expressed surprise that I'd want a child. He said it's because they don't know me well, and don't see that side of me. They don't know me well because I try to avoid them, because one is an alcoholic and the other a drug addict. But still, their attitudes bothered me. I don't understand why people we are not particularly close to feel the need to express their horrid, ill-informed opinions. Thank god there are plenty of people who love us, support us, and are so excited for us. It more than makes up for the lugs who say stupid things!

I am up 19 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. People keep telling me how tiny I am, which is driving me nuts. All I can hear in their comments is recrimination: "you're not eating enough.". That often appears to be the inherent message. I know that I am Perfectly on track, and eating just fine. I forgot to mention, I think, that I had told my OB that the GI said my albumin was low, and I need to eat more protein. The OB said that she was surprised my GI didn't remember that albumin is generally low in pregnant women, because they have more blood. She wasn't worried at all.

Things continue to be crazy and hectic. The big project at work is scheduled to kick off next week, but there is always the chance that things could get messed up. A big monkey wrench appeared last week, and I'm still waiting to see how it all shakes out. It wasn't anything I could've prevented or seen coming, and is totally due to someone else's rookie mistake, but that does little to ease the concern. Normally, the response would be to simply bump things a little, straighten out the problem, and move forward. But time is something of the essence for me right now! I can't bump it too far into the future without risking that the baby might appear before the project is finished! Argh! I should know more by midweek.

Things on the new job front are holding steady. I finally had to tell my office at the beginning of the week. I was able to get by with just telling the HR person who maintains my personnel file, and the head of my department. The HR person was psyched for me, and swore she wouldn't tell anyone. The department head was also surprisingly cool, said that none of us know where we'll be in a year, and said she's keep it to herself. She also promised me that it would have no impact on my assignments in the future. We had a really good conversation about it, actually. So, we'll see how things progress, now that I am sort of out of the closet.

My first baby shower is in a little more than 2 weeks. I am not sure if it's supposed to be a surprise or not. I am also not sure what to wear, but I don't really want to buy anything new. Maybe a cute, inexpensive ebay find is in order.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Swirling Clouds

I am all over the place lately, so please forgive the mess. I kind of just need to get some of it out of my head.

First of all, I am incredibly forgetful all of a sudden. I know this is a side effect of being in a million different places, but it's making me crazy. I will be so certain that I left something somewhere, and then it's not there, and I can't find it. Business cards, cell phone, files, notes, my watch. . .it's completely maddening. I already have no time, and then I have to waste time trying to find the stuff, but have no idea where to look for it, because it's not where I was SURE it was.

I am incredibly, horribly thirsty all of the time. My OB wasn't the slightest bit concerned, but I feel like I can never drink enough (although, I am constantly too full to WANT to drink). Yet, I am hardly peeing. Althogh, I keep thinking that I have to pee, only to discover that I don't. And then, I think I don't have to pee, only to discover five minutes later that my bladder is stretched to beyond capacity. I don't know why or how this happens, but it's maddening. It is also inconvenient, given the upcoming project, which involves a fair amount of public speaking.

I am so, so, so ready for change. I am not sure what I will do if this job doesn't pan out. I can't even think about it, really. It's overwhelming. I have had my background check interview (and boy, were there a lot of questions on their list). I don't see any problems there, but when you put your life under a microscope, there are invariably things that come up. It's shocking to hear, I'm sure, but I've actually made mistakes in my life. Who knows what they will think of them--I assume that no one is perfect, but maybe I am wrong, and I am some terrible abberation when you look at my life up close. No, background checks are not good for the neurotic, in case you were wondering.

In an odd twist, during my background check interview, it came up that my background examiner had suffered with secondary infertility, and ending up adopting the second time around. He said he liked to tell his wife that she had their first child, and he had their second one, since he made most of the arrangements for the adoption, and brought the child back from the country they adopted from. It really is everywhere.

I feel like I am on the cusp of a new and exciting life, but I can't quite see what it looks like yet. The baby is one component, but there are definitely other components. It could be this job that I want so badly, it could be something else. I am impatient and anxious about it. . .I just want everything figured out already. It's so HARD to try to figure out what's next, and waiting is HARD, and being uncertain is HARD. Life is so much easier once you've made the tough decisions, once you can see the goal, once you have a plan. I am not good with the in-between spaces.

The baby is doing well. She's been kicking and punching me throughout the day today. I am excited for her to get here, but I feel oddly detached lately. I think it's because I've been so busy with so many things. It's like, I know she's in there and growing, but it doesn't feel quite real. The more time that goes by, the less real this feels. I intellectually know that her due date is in 12 weeks or so, but I feel like time has sort of suspended, like I will be pregnant forever and there won't soon be a baby that is living in my house. Lately, it's actually hard for me to imagine the baby living in my house part of this equation. What I really need is for time to slow down and for me to have more time for and with myself. Unfortunately, it will be another month before that happens. The good news, I suppose, is that once Thanksgiving gets here, I am slated to have a really light work schedule through my maternity leave. The silver lining is that this doesn't give me much time to freak out about the baby-coming-out-of-me stage. See? Sometimes denial is a good thing.

I have not talked to my office about the background check yet. I had every intention of doing it the other day, but my department head was only around in the morning on Thursday, and I had meetings all morning, and then she was out of the office all day on Friday. Likewise, our HR person was out of the office during the only time that I wasn't in meetings. I am dreading telling them. The background examiner was very supportive, and completely understood my concerns about being pregnant, layoffs, not guarantee of a job, etc. He told me to tell them whatever I wanted to (ie, it's preliminary, no guarantee of job, I might not even take it, etc.), and that he would be happy to reiterate that during his meetings with them. But still. . .it's going to be painful. The HR person will be fine (she thinks our office is incredibly screwed up right now, and I know she'll be supportive). But, she doesn't count for much around my office, unfortunately. The head of my department won't care that I'm leaving (she never cares, except to the extent that it impacts her staffing), but will want to know exactly when I'm leaving, so she can make plans to fill my slot. She will likely pester the hell out of me until I actually leave. If I actually leave. Because, have I mentioned that this job is completely theoretical, at this point? I'm sure I've mentioned it at least once or twice! Argh.

I have had no time to deal with the doctor situation. In my heart, I know I'd be happier switching OB practices and delivering at the other hospital. In my head, I think I just can't deal right now. It's too much, with everything else I've got going on. Since I last posted about my dilemma, I've had two family members as patients at the hospital where I'm supposed to deliver, and let's just say I haven't been all that impressed with the care. I know I should switch. But I'm already at the point where I have to see the doctor every two weeks, the giant project at work is impending, and I'm exhausted. Switching seems like a Herculean task. I still might, but I can't deal with it yet.

And, it's getting harder and harder to get my own shoes on and off, because bending over has become a chore. For some reason, I never anticipated this problem.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Weeks 26 and 27

Things have been a little crazy around here. Work is wild (two weeks to the debut of a HUGE project, another big project just completed yesterday in the middle of prepping for the next one, and more to come tomorrow on a third!), we are scrambling to complete the renovations to the house before the baby gets here, and things on the new job front continue to progress (and require lots of follow-up from me). I running around like a crazy person, but taking care of myself. I am (finally) even gaining a little weight.

Week 26 found my weight up 17.5 pounds from pre-pregnancy.
Week 27 found my weight up 18.5 pounds from pre-pregnancy.

I had a doctor's appointment this week, and everything is measuring on schedule. My blood pressure looks good. The doctor said that my placenta is anterior, so I probably don't feel the baby as much as some other people might. Still, I feel her plenty. She is still laying sort of sideways, and spends a lot of time kicking my left side and punching down near my bladder. Fortunately, she mostly misses the bladder! Everything feels good, except that I am starting to get very round, and I am already running out of room. I am never hungry any more, and eating has become a chore. I constantly feel full! I know it's only going to get more uncomfortable, which is a little disconcerting.

This morning when I got into work, I have to let them know about the possibility of this new job. I'm not excited to do that, needless to say, but I need a background check before I can get a firm offer from the new job, and I can't get the background check completed without them talking to my office. Ugh. I am obviously worried that my office will start viewing me as a short-timer, and that it will impact my work, or worst case scenario, put me on the chopping block. The impending maternity leave also complicates things. I don't want them to think I'm not coming back, when this new job is not even close to a sure thing (getting background clearance just gets me on a list to be hired off from, when their hiring needs accomodate). Heightening my anxiety is the fact that layoffs are currently underway. I am reasonably comfortable that I am secure--I work hard and have done good work for them, and they desperately need people in my position. But still, particularly given that my maternity leave is coming up, I am feeling vulnerable, especially in this economy. I am hoping that I can tell a few key people that can work with the background examiner, and that it can otherwise be discreet.

So much craziness!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Weekend Update

Over the last few days, a friend has been nagging me to call my doctor's office. There is the spotting, and then there is the mild tightening of my lower belly that's been happening periodically. I wasn't particularly concerned (very, very light pinkish brown spotting most days this week, and last week, actually; the tightening is weird, but it doesn't hurt, and there's no apparent rhyme or reason to it.) So, I didn't worry about it. My friend, on the other hand, thought that I should just check in. Of course, with my very conservative OB's practice, my call landed me in the office yesterday afternoon for an ultrasound.

It was all good news. My cervix looks fine. The baby looks great. She was face down, so we didn't get to see her face, but the tech spent a lot of time going over her whole body and taking measurements, since we were there anyway. She currently weighs 1 lb, 11 ounces, and her heartbeat was at 144. As I expected from the general areas I feel her (upper right side of my abdomen and lower left side), she is laying crossways, with her bum against my right side and her legs crossed. Her hands are up by her head. I got an adorable photo from the tech of the bottoms of her little feet. It was very funny, because she started punching the tech as she tried to do the ultrasound, and the tech felt her doing it.

Measurements also reminded me that I haven't posted about my discussion with my mom about her labors with my brother and I. She said that I was a 7 pound baby and my little brother a 9 pound baby. Her labor with me was worse, though, because she had back labor. She was only in labor for five hours after she went to the hospital, though. They broke her water, and I was born just five hours later. Hopefully, this will mean short and easy labors for me, too! The one weird coincidence is that my mom told me that she only weighed 112 pounds when she got pregnant with me. She had no idea how much I weighed when I got pregnant when she told me this, but that's EXACTLY how much I weighed at the time I got pregant! I thought that was an amazing coincidence. Of course, when she had me, she was a good 17 years younger than I am now, and probably in much better shape.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Quick Update At 25 Weeks

Overall, things are going well. My belly is getting bigger, although the rest of me doesn't seem to be. I am up 15 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight. I had a routine visit with my gastroenterologist, and because of the abdominal pain I'd been having, she ran pancreatic and liver panels just to make sure everything was okay. They came back fine, but she said I need to make an effort to eat more protein. I was so disappointed. I have been struggling with the protein, because it's the only thing I just DON'T want to eat, but I thought I'd been forcing enough of it down my throat. Apparently not. So, I've redoubled my efforts. Oh, and I've dropped the high-fiber cereal from my diet (eggs, instead--meh), and since then, no more abdominal pain. Well, at least we've gotten to the bottom of both issues!

The only disconcerting thing is that I've started lightly spotting again. I'm not having any cramps or anything else that would send me flying to the doctors. They told me last time to check in with them if I had any other warning signs of preterm labor, but since it's just a tiny, tiny bit of pink spotting every few days, I'm trying not to freak out, and I'm keeping a close eye on things. My next appointment is in two weeks. If anything changes or becomes more worrisome, I'll call before then.

The baby is becoming more and more active. I can feel her throughout the day now. The funny part is feeling her in two places at once. It's weird to think that she's gotten that big! It's so exciting, though.