Friday, June 28, 2013

Seven Quick Baby Takes Volume Two

Okay, first, a bit of background without which this post might not make sense:

First relevant medical professional is Dr. M, who is trained in NaPro Technology but doesn't do regular prenatal stuff. He's been monitoring my progesterone.

Then there's my OB practice, with a Dr. W, a Dr. B, and a nurse practitioner. They do all the routine prenatal appointment stuff.

Okay, now actual updates:

My progesterone was 35 on Wednesday. (So it's still up from the 28 of four weeks ago, but sharply down from the 47 of two weeks ago.) Dr. M assured me that this number is still "consistent with a healthy pregnancy", but he still didn't like that it went down, so I'm back on 100 mg of intramuscular progesterone twice a week. (I was on 200 mg from 6 weeks to 12 weeks, and then 100 from 12 to 14, and then nothing from 14 to 16.)

I don't actually mind the shots so much (they're not up there with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but 22-gauge needles don't actually hurt as much as they look like they're going to). Right now I'm more freaking out that instead of being a random fluctuation this is a sign that Tad's placenta is deteriorating prematurely or something similarly dire.

Scott remains cheerfully optimistic about it all, though, and he brought me chocolate, and it's only 57 days until viability, right?

I also had an OB appointment yesterday morning (with the nurse practitioner). I didn't get an ultrasound, which was weird. (I realize I've had more than my fair share, but I haven't yet had an appointment without an ultrasound, so it was still weird.) I did get Dopplerized for the first time, though, and got all schmoopy hearing Tad's little heartbeat compared to my big old slow one. (Tad's heart rate seems to have settled into the high 150s, if you're curious.) NP had to chase the baby around with the doppler, which amused me, because this is the second time I've gotten the "very active" line from a medical professional. I wonder if 10 a.m. is just time for Baby Zumba, or if this baby is active ALL the time and I'll never sleep again. (I wouldn't mind. Feel free to be perpetually awake, baby, as long as you live.)

I weighed 187 at my appointment, which is only worrisome to me because it's 7 pounds up from 3 weeks ago. I was all prepared with a speech about how my metabolism is probably just compensating for first tri weight loss and I'm only 4 pounds up from my pre-pregnancy weight (which is 100% normal for 16 weeks), but NP didn't bother mentioning it at all. Apparently they really don't care at this OB office.

(My blood pressure was 118/68, which is like ALMOST DEAD for me--I usually toy with the white coat hypertension thing--in case anybody's worried about that.)

I've since decided that at least a few of those pounds were water weight from the Sugarpalooza of vacation (insulin affects cell permeability; it's SCIENCE), so I'm not really worried any more. I will probably be less militant about my Eat All The Things Diet, though, since my body seems to have remembered how to gain weight.

(I also worry about weight gain because disproportionally rapid weight gain was one of the first signs of my endocrine system going all to pieces a few years back...shortly before I was diagnosed with depression + anxiety, but a good long while before I was diagnosed with PCOS + insulin resistance. You'd think there'd be some kind of basic hormone workup for young women with mental health disorders, but apparently therapists just tell you to think positive and maybe take some antidepressants if you're really stuck in your un-positive-thinking ways.) 

The anatomy scan is scheduled for July 29. I was burning off a lot of my anxious energy earlier this week trying to decide if I want the ultrasound-doing-person to make an educated guess at whether the baby is a he or she sort of baby. (I still haven't decided.) Obviously I know the anatomy scan isn't primarily aimed at identifying the baby's sex, but I don't have the emotional stamina to worry about Tad's vital organs being as they should be, so I have to burn off the anxiety somehow, and dithering over inconsequential things is a great way to do that.

(I just looked it up, and July 29 is apparently the feast of St. Martha. People who get worked up over inconsequential things, unite!)

Has anybody else had that super-heightened sense of smell thing? I have it, and it's not nearly as cool as it sounded. I don't seem to notice any fresh-baked cookies or flowers I didn't before; I just notice all sorts of weird smells nobody else does. (I keep thinking things are burning because of the way a hot stove smells, and there's this stretch of road on the way to my OB's office that always smells like rotten hot dogs, and I JUST CHANGED THE SHEETS WHY DO THEY SMELL FUNKY AGAIN.)

It's like a really annoying and useless superpower.

I've heard that some women miss their waistline after they get pregnant. I never figured that would be me, because I didn't really have a waistline--it was more a crease, level with my belly button, dividing my abdomen into two little squishy hills.

Well, now the whole pregnancy thing has made my abdomen turn into one united squishy hill, and although it makes me exceedingly happy to think of my baby growing bigger and bigger, boy do I miss that waist-crease. Now, I hike my skirts up to my belly button and they just slide right off. I'd try the under-belly look (I'm pretty sure at least some of my skirts could be cinched to fit there), but I don't think any of my shirts are long enough to bridge the resulting gap, and nobody needs to see my vampire-pale, stretch-marked belly hanging out.

(Remember that rapid unexplained weight gain I mentioned above? Yep, I got stretch marks all over without even getting a baby out of the deal. PCOS is just the gift that keeps on giving.)

Obviously, the solution to this problem is maternity clothing. I was waffling on purchasing anything because major retailers are too expensive (seriously, $39 for a shirt?) and Goodwill is unreliable. When you can find something there, it's usually awesome, but sometimes you have to try repeatedly, and I just don't have that kind of time in between frequent naps and Eating All The Things.

So my mom went out to a local consignment store up where she lives and bought me 7 shirts and 1 skirt. She is apparently also going to buy me some new things online.

My mom is pretty cool sometimes.

Speaking of my increasingly large belly, pictures! Because what's a pregnancy post without some literal navel-gazing?

(Well, not really. My shirt is staying DOWN. See above note about vampirism; I'd probably blind you or something.)

First, 12 weeks (and 1 day)!

This is pretty much the baseline shot; at that point I hadn't noticed any difference in my figure. (Meaning it's normal for my stomach to pooch out a little bit. In fact, I was expecting a lot more pooch than that; apparently all that weight I lost before getting pregnant actually made a difference.)

Now 16 weeks (and 1 day)!

Those are actually different shirts; I got the same style in two colors way back when. Also, the second picture was taken in Williamsburg; remind me to write a vacation post.

And now I'm just going to hit publish before I think twice about encouraging strangers on the internet to comment on the largeness of my squishy belly.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


jen said...

PCOS is such a PITA.

And yes, I totally get the heightened sense of smell. The only problem: I never lost it so 4 years later, the smell of Indian food at Costco has the possibility of making me vomit and my husband is still not allowed to make bread that incorporates every spice found in the house.

The Sojourner said...

The thought of my sheets smelling funky forever is a little bit terrifying.

Lady W said...

The baby's activity is clearly the sign of either a hyperactive extrovert who bounces off the walls when people are nearby, or a violently reclusive introvert who uses Phelps-like superpowers in an attempt to not be seen.

The Sojourner said...

Baby HAS shown a tendency to swim away from the ultrasound wand. :)

geeklady said...

I wouldn't fret over the progesterone yet, you may just have lower baseline progesterone and you'll stay below the normal curve the whole pregnancy. Mine was like that. I relaxed (a little) after 14 weeks, since my problem seemed to consistently be a failure of the placenta to establish itself, and after it was established, low progesterone or not, it seems to work just fine. Just take your lumps and try not to luxuriate in the worrying.

Re weight, these days OBs don't scold unless you are underweight and don't gain, or you're gaining too much. (Especially when you're heavier.)

I'm really sorry though, I don't have a scrap of summer maternity clothing. Target and Old Navy are more reasonably priced sources though. Old Navy's tanks were especially good, I thought, and I got two whole pregnancies out of their maternity jeans.

Also, in the last month or so of pregnancy, Gillian O'Malley black pj pants are both comfortable and an acceptable fashion choice. I wore 'em to work, they're practically indistinguishable from standard maternity clothes. Only they don't cost a fortune.

The Sojourner said...

According to a handy-dandy chart I filched off Dr. Hilgers' website, I've been puttering around in Zone 2 for just about the entire pregnancy, except a brief flirtation with Zone 1 at 6 weeks and a foray into Zone 3 at 14 weeks. So probably I just like it down here and shouldn't feel bad for being below average. (I don't worry for fun, though. My brain is kind of broken too, is all.)

geeklady said...

Zone 1 the whole pregnancy, for me.