Yesterday was a pretty busy day as we’d scheduled three major pregnancy-related things in one day. We both took the day off work and settled in for the gauntlet. First up was my pregnancy physical with my family doctor. I like her so much, she’s caring but not in an overly soppy way, she always takes the time to answer all of our questions and never seems annoyed when we have a lot. She’s also always right on time which makes her the perfect doctor as far as I’m concerned.
I asked her for a prescription for my nausea, but I’m not sure if I’ll fill it. I’m just worried because we are flying next Friday and nausea plus a flight seems like the worst combination. She said it’s okay for me to take regular Gravol for the flight if I need it, but if I want to take something regularly for the nausea it’s safer to take the Diclectin Rx. I’m not sure whether I will take it regularly, I’m really hoping that the constant nausea will go away. According to the doctor’s scales my weight stayed the same, but that’s with clothes and after breakfast etc. On my own scales at home at the same time and before eating, I’ve actually lost about 2.6 lbs, I guess just because I can’t eat that much and a lot of things make me nauseous. This is okay – because of my starting weight I’m not supposed to gain too much if I can avoid it, anyway, and I was worried that I would.
From the moment you get pregnant it seems like there’s The Forces That Be (doctors, mostly) that want you to feel awful about any choice you make. I didn’t even read the super judgemental books but it’s like tl;dr: you were fat before you got pregnant and therefore you have fucked over your future child, way to go. It makes me mad. I also think BMI is a lot of bullshit. Anyway. So the visit with the doctor was fine, just like a regular physical with pap smear and all that. After it was over we had some time to kill and I was feeling nauseous/hungry (if I get too hungry it leads to nausea so I have to eat small things often) so we went to a coffee shop and hung out for awhile. At around 9:50 I drank two glasses of water like they had told me to do an hour before my ultrasound. Remember this, it becomes important later.
We left the coffee shop and headed to the hospital. The maternal fetal medicine centre is there in a building I hadn’t been in before. We didn’t have any trouble finding it and parked pretty easily. We were there early because they’d told me my appointment was at 11:00 and to come 15 minutes early to do paperwork, etc. I filled out the paperwork, including a separate sheet indicating that I was eligible for a study about pre-eclampsia diagnosis. I was getting a bit uncomfortable with needing to pee at this point so I was glad for the distraction when the study coordinator came out and explained what the study was, what it would entail for me if I chose to take part. The biggest thing was a blood sample, I told her that my veins are notoriously awful and I’d be okay with doing the study if she was good at taking blood. She said “I think I can do it!” so we went back with her to a small room where she weighed and measured me, took my blood (from a vein near the side of my wrist, which is a new one for me and I don’t really like it mostly because it was quite sore after. The poke itself was fine and worked on the first try). Then they had to take my blood pressure three times while I sat at rest and ask me some questions. After this was all done we went back to the waiting room where I sat trying not to fidget because I REALLY needed to pee.
There was a family with a kid sitting behind us, maybe six or seven, and he had a drink that was empty that he kept sucking on the straw from. SLURP. SLURP. Then his mom would take him to the water cooler and he’d refill it. GLUG GLUG GLUG. And one of the toys in the play area was sort of a bunch of wooden beads I guess (I didn’t look) or maybe a RAIN STICK because it was making this constant sound like rain and V was trying not to laugh because my face was all MURDER and having to pee badly is the worst. I finally went up to the receptionist and told her I overdid it with the water and she said I could to the bathroom with one of the dixie cups, no problem.
So here’s where this story gets wacky. The ladies’ room is over by the elevators, outside the clinic itself. I go there. It’s completely silent, there’s nobody in there. I pull at one of the stall doors and it won’t open. I pull harder, say “Hello?” (Maybe there really is someone in there??) Nobody answers. It’s empty. But it’s been LOCKED FROM THE INSIDE. I try the stall next to it and it’s the same fucking thing. So here I am, nearly peeing myself and clutching my dixie cup while hulking out on this bathroom door like “IS THIS SOME KIND OF SICK JOKE?!” I considered crawling under the floor but by gosh I still have some dignity left. After a moment’s consideration I dash out into the hallway and across the way to the men’s room. If there’s a man in there, well – that will suck, but there probably isn’t. If one comes in, I will apologize and tell him there was a problem with the ladies’ room. Or hide in the stall until he leaves, whichever.
Fortunately there are no men there and none come in and the crisis is averted. I go back to the waiting room somewhat more comfortable and I’m telling V what happened and he’s shaking with laughter because why do these things always happen to me? and he says I should probably tell the reception desk about the problem with the washroom. I go up to tell them and the lady hops up right away as if to help me and I realize she thinks I was unable to go to the bathroom and I tell them both “Oh no, I went to the men’s room, I am pregnant and I needed to pee NOW,” haha. They both laugh and one goes to figure out what’s going on. I think probably a mischievous child crawled under both stalls and just locked them from the inside before crawling out again which is NOT a good practical joke from my perspective.
Finally, mercifully they call my name to go back for the actual ultrasound portion of the day. It’s weird, I feel like I should have been more emotional (or that some people maybe cry?) at this point but I didn’t. I was so relieved when she zeroed in and we could see the baby shape in there. She immediately measured its heartbeat as well and that was another good moment. It was a healthy 168 bpm. She took some other images of P3 rolling around in there (I think at one point he/she may have HICCUPED because it bounced around in there, which was so weird/cool). She was having a hard time seeing everything properly though because my bladder was too full (gawd) so she had me go and pee some more. There was ultrasound goo everywhere. After this she could see a bit better. She showed us the brain, bladder, little arms/legs and took a side-shot for crown to rump measurements. Then the important NT portion of the scan where she actually measured the fluid at the back of the baby’s neck. It was 1.4 mm which is right in the normal range for this stage of development. V says at this point he started to relax a lot because the results seemed very good. I thought it seemed good too but I don’t know if relax is in my vocabulary anymore, haha.
At this point, our original tech left and another one came in to do the ultrasound measurements they needed for the pre-eclampsia study. She needed to zero in on my uterine arteries, which was weird. She explained that we’d hear the sound of a heartbeat but it wasn’t the baby’s heartbeat, it’s mine. She had trouble getting a good result from the right artery so it involved a lot of re-tries and pushing. About halfway through this I started to regret signing up for the study because it was hurting, but I’m okay with it now. It was just a bit of discomfort and hopefully the results will help bring a good diagnostic tool here to help other women in the future. Fortunately the left artery was a lot easier and we were finished.
Here’s where things go wonky again. A different tech came to take us to a small room. We knew this was going to happen, everyone had warned us “don’t freak out, it’s just what they do, they’ll come talk to you about your results.” The room was freezing, the thermostat on the wall said 22 degrees C but that is a damn lie, it was at least 17 in there or colder. I huddled under my winter jacket like a blanket for warmth. We were talking and just trying to stay casual and calm but we were waiting a really long time. I’m embarrassed now that we didn’t go out to find someone, I just thought that’s how long it took while they figured out the results! We waited probably over a half hour when finally a nurse came into the room. She goes “You’re not supposed to be here!” and I asked her did she mean, we were in the wrong room? “No, due to technical problems we’re having today you’re not going to be able to get your results.” My heart sank. The results were the WHOLE POINT of doing all of this, this was supposed to be the day we found out everything is probably fine. We’d be able to tell more people and finally maybe also relax. She apologized profusely, said we should never have been put in the room because the techs should know they don’t have results for anyone that day, and encouraged us to fill out a comment card to complain. I did as she suggested, and she was very nice and apologetic, but still it was hugely disappointing.
We left our small meat locker room and went out the waiting room again to pick up a print of our ultrasound photo. I’d told them I wanted to the CD of images too (for an extra $10) but they didn’t have it ready. As the receptionist worked on it, she called me up again to tell me that she didn’t think it was worth it because the images were all so blurry. Even the one they printed for me is really blurry – it was another letdown. Maybe I should have insisted. (Secretly I think they should’ve given it to me for free regardless considering how they’d messed up and wasted our time, but…) Anyway, we didn’t get the CD. I know there’ll be other (hopefully better) images later on but it’s a bit sad that none of them are any good.
We left and went out for lunch, which wasn’t great for poor V because I spilled a completely full glass of water (I’m not usually clumsy?!) and it went ALL over him. Not a drop touched me, it all sluiced onto his side of the table and spilled into his lap and even in his shoes, haha. We went to go look at cribs because my dad insists he’s buying one for us this week when he visits, and then we went home. I had a much-needed nap, and woke up in time to make myself presentable to meet our doula that was coming over for an interview. I told you we did EVERYTHING in one day!
I really liked the doula and V did, too. We’re thinking we will hire her. By some bizarre coincidence, she lives IN our suburb a few streets away from us. This is very convenient for two reasons, because we’ll hire her as both a birth and post partum doula. She’ll come over for a certain number of hours after the baby is born to help with things like breastfeeding support, laundry, some tidying or even meal prep and all of these things sound amazing to me.
So that was a good end to the day. We’re now waiting for our first trimester screening results to arrive by mail. I hope they come by tomorrow, the nurse said that they should. It’d be nice if I could relax a bit by the weekend. Saturday is our eleventh anniversary! We’re…not sure what we’re doing, since I can never seem to tell whether a meal will make me sick or not, we’d like to go out for supper but it’s a risky venture.