Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pregnancy info dump: 7-15 weeks

This is probably going to be super boring, but I'm not writing it for your entertainment; I'm writing it to alleviate my second-time-mom guilt over the fact that I haven't been faithfully penning monthly pregnancy updates. :)


I had my first appointment at 7 weeks along. My favorite medical assistant (we'll call her N) did my intake and teased me a little about not bringing Tad along since she wanted to see him. (The appointment was late afternoon so it worked out that Scott could watch him after work.)

Then I had my appointment with Dr. B, who walked in cheerfully saying, "So, you're pregnant!" It was a bit disconcerting because I kind of expect the doctor to tell ME that the pregnancy thing is working out. :p

Then he went through his usual list of questions: Was the pregnancy planned? Were you charting your cycles? When do you think you conceived?

(He is the most NFP-ish non-NFP doctor ever, seriously.)

I was pretty sure that my due date based on conception lined up with my due date based on LMP closely enough for it not to matter, but I got a quick ultrasound anyway. Transabdominal u/s ended up working well enough for our purposes (always a relief!); baby had a good strong heartbeat and was appropriately sized for her gestational age. (In other words, she didn't look like much at that point!)

Dr. B also commented on the fact that I had a really large cyst on the right side, but it hasn't been mentioned since so I assume it went away.


I had some pretty heavy spotting right after the 7-week appointment but didn't bother calling about it because really, I'd seen the heartbeat a day or two earlier; would another ultrasound give much peace of mind?

Then around 9 weeks I had spotting again and at that point I had hit my limit of fretting about the baby so I called and made an appointment. I got N for intake again, which was nice, and then one of the nurse practitioners for the appointment itself.

Baby looked great on ultrasound; I could tell right away that she'd gotten a lot bigger and she had a good heartbeat again. (Side note: 9-week fetuses always make me think of the worms from Worms World Party--big head, squiggly body, little hands waving around nearby in a detached-looking way...)

To shorten a boring story, turns out the spotting was caused by a bacterial infection so that was pretty easy to resolve once we figured out a breastfeeding-safe antibiotic regimen.

That week was, I think, my first experience of mom-of-two guilt (which NEVER STOPS, incidentally). First I felt like nursing Tad was probably causing the spotting and I was a terrible mom to the new baby for not just weaning him on the spot. Then I worried antibiotics were going to cause IRREPARABLE HARM to my poor nursling and why did I get pregnant when he obviously wasn't ready to wean?


Two weeks after that (I was getting quite spoiled by biweekly appointments) I had my regular 11-week checkup. Dr. B started off trying to find the heartbeat via Doppler. When he didn't find it in a few seconds he reassured me that we could try an ultrasound if Doppler didn't work. And then he tried for a few more minutes, and still no heartbeat. So we went across the hall and took a quick peek and immediately could see the baby vigorously swimming around, but it still took a minute to find the heartbeat. (Me: "Well, movement generally correlates with being alive.") Then we found it, got it up on the screen for about 30 seconds...and then the baby disappeared entirely, along with her heartbeat. (Still being small enough at that point to swim off to the other side of my uterus and hide from the ultrasound.)

Afterwards, Dr. B very contritely said, "I hope I didn't freak you out. The manufacturer tells us not to use [the Doppler] until 12 weeks but I usually can find it." I reassured him that I wasn't too freaked out and the baby was totally just being difficult. (I mean, she was.) He still repeated a couple of times over the course of the appointment, "I'm sorry if I freaked you out."

After that I had a pap smear (I feel like I should be anti pap smears in pregnancy--a lot of the crunchy people I know are--but I'm totally That Person who never goes to annuals so I kind of don't have a leg to stand on there)--chaperoned by N the medical assistant. She commented on how nice it was to see Tad, since I hadn't brought him to either of my previous appointments, and I joked that I did it just for her.

Dr. B commented (as he was doing a pap smear, mind you) that he always loves to see his patients' babies growing up, and one time years ago he was borrowing a video on robotic surgery from another OB and he went to the office and saw a sign saying that children were not allowed (he quoted the sign in detail from memory so apparently it made an impression) and he thought that was just not right, to not have children allowed to come to an OB's office. (And then he almost ran over Tad with his rolling stool because Tad was getting in the apparently he means it when he says he likes kids around. :p )


The subsequent 4 weeks were very boring, obstetrically, and my 15-week prenatal was correspondingly boring. We actually found baby via Doppler on the first try. We talked about how I was starting to maybe feel movement and how it was normal for that to be irregular until closer to 20 weeks. We talked about how I'd had a terrible headache the previous week and Dr. B suggested checking to see when the air filters needed to be changed--at which point I remembered that we'd had the windows open that whole week and only shut them when the weather turned rainy, so of COURSE I was having pollen-allergy-induced headaches! That solved the headache problem completely (at least so far, 15 weeks later...) so this is why brainstorming is a good thing. :)


Now we will leave off this boring narrative and pick up again with the post-anatomy-scan narrative on another day.

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