Monday, November 10, 2008

7w, 6d: First midwife appointment

I arrived to the Obstetrics office *25 minutes early* (I was aiming for 15, but was a bit off :-P). For the next 25 minutes I sat frantically wondering where my loving husband was, as he was supposed to meet me there. As I was already quite nervous to see the midwife, I was making myself sick over him not being there. Or was that the morning sickness that seems to be just starting up?

I was brought into a room and worked up by Katie, not my lovely nurse Julia, but very sweet and kind just the same. Katie took my BP (100/80, I think) and weight (88 lbs - 3 gained already! only 45 more to go... hahaha). Luckily, I had come in in May for my yearly appointment, so the midwife didn't need to do the breast exam/pap smear/other lovely gyn stuff, and only had to feel the size of my uterus... Which, in case you're wondering, is approximately the size of a grapefruit by 8 weeks! Katie also found my loving husband after he had dashed in 5 minutes late and brought him back to where I was.

Mary, my midwife-for-this-appointment, (who came in after 25 minutes of waiting!) was very, very sweet. She told me that I have O negative blood type (like my two brothers, mom, and probably my sister), which relieved some long-held guilt that I had been the cause of sensitizing my mom to the Rh-factor, thus causing the death of several of my mom's later pregnancies... Phew! (Seriously, that was a major concern of mine since I learned about antibodies in AP Biology.) Sadly, that means that I HAVE TO GET THE SHOTS. Ugh. I think those come at 28 weeks (unless you bleed earlier in the pregnancy, then you have to get it immediately) and somewhere right before you have the baby. The point is to prevent your body from making antibodies against the Rh-factor, which would attack a future baby who was Rh positive. Our babies have a 50% or 100% chance of having the Rh-factor, depending on whether Jonathan has this on one or both of his genes. The first baby who is Rh-positive will never be attacked, as the mother does not create the antibody until coming in contact with the baby's blood during a miscarriage or delivery. Future babies would be attacked in-utero, thus four out of five miscarriages that my mother had. (The first, Ashley, was due to an incompetent cervix, and we believe that she must have been Rh positive.) Short genetics lesson... Sorry.

Other tests that were done last time: no HIV (big surprise there!), no cystic fibrosis gene, no anemia (that was actually a surprise to me!), and everything else they tested looked great!

Because my brother was born with a hole in his heart (well, mom actually corrected me later and said that it was actually opened by the doctors putting him on a cold gurney while they were trying to get him oxygen because he wasn't breathing on his own), Mary said she may want to get my baby an Echocardiogram with the ultrasound at 18 weeks. Just to be sure that everything is okay... She said the relation was kind of remote (being my brother, not a direct ancestor of the baby), and she would check with an OB to see if it was necessary or not, but that makes me feel like she really cares and is being thorough with my baby. I am perfectly happy to have the Echo just to be sure. I think my family's history of heart problems maybe pushed her a bit more in that direction.

Due to the long history of *both* types of diabetes in my family (and gestational diabetes!), I get to be tested for gestational diabetes EARLY at 20 weeks, instead of 28! Lovely! (Not.) Basically, you go in to take this test and drink this *super* sugary concoction, wait an hour, and then have your blood sugar tested. Cute gem of a story: my mom told me that when she took one of her tests (I think it was for one of my younger siblings, when she was actually *going* to the OB), she drank a coke immediately before the test ("But nobody told me not to!"), and the doctor about had a heart attack when he saw that her blood sugar was so high. But she explained, and they did the test again later. Nice.

The midwife seemed happy with my 25 minutes of walking home from work (at a brisk pace... which is just my normal pace, for those of you who have never walked next to me), and told me I was probably right to stop walking with all of the spotting that I had had. She said it was probably due to my cervix being extra-sensitive during pregnancy (this is normal), but after a few more weeks, I should work back up to walking that much again and it wouldn't have any effect once I was further along.

Mary confirmed my due date of June 23 with a wheel that calculates things from LMP (last menstrual period) or ovulation date (which I knew). I thought the wheel was funny, because my mom has one from 24 years ago when she was pregnant with me.

There was a second midwife along with Mary; I think her name was Jennifer. She is taking over most of Mary's time at the office, since Mary has another office somewhere else that she is going to be shifting most of her time to. It was nice to meet both of them, especially since Jennifer will probably see me more often, since my appts. will most likely stay on Mondays. Jennifer looked *extremely* familiar to me, so I'm not sure if she just looks like someone I know, or I've actually met her somewhere... But considering I didn't think I knew any midwives, she must just look like someone.

My next appointment is scheduled for December 8, and sometime between December 5 and 16 will be my "First Look" screening. This is a new screening test for Down Syndrome and Trisomy 13, which counts some proteins in the mother's blood, as well as an ultrasound to measure the nachal folds (the length of the baby's neck?). They then calculate your chances of your baby having Down Syndrome or something else, and give you the option of doing CVS or amniocentesis later on, if you are high risk. We are only doing this test because it comes with an ultrasound, which otherwise would not be done until 18 weeks!!! I thought that was a bit long to wait to see my baby, considering we haven't even been able to hear a heartbeat yet. The whole thing seems a bit imagined with zero visible or audible proof of being pregnant (although the doctor's confirmed it with a blood test). I guess my growing pooch is kind of proof. Anyway, the test is free to us and it has no risk of harming the baby (just being a blood test and an ultrasound), so it seemed like a great deal to us!

We left around 3:50, considering the 25 minutes of waiting for the midwife, wasn't too long of an appointment. Everything looks great and we're very excited for our "First Look" at the baby!

No comments: