Thursday, December 21, 2006

No News is Good News?

I did not have any luck talking my new OB into giving me the ol' Doppler. He was adamant. He did, however, write a scrip, on the spot, for an ultrasound anytime I might need or want one between that first visit with him and my next visit two weeks later (when the Doppler will finally make an appearance). I didn't fight it because frankly, I just didn't have time. If they'd had ultrasound in their offices, I would have asked for that. But, to schlep to another unfamiliar part of the hospital in the middle of the week before Christmas...I am just too lazy. I'd rather sit around and worry.

He did give me the five-finger-feel and pronounced my uterus to be sizing right on schedule. He must be good at picking out produce at the market, too. That reassured me enough to drop the whole thing. It's really just that with an RE you get somewhat dependent upon those ultrasounds. But, absent any significant symptoms, I just have to believe that everything is fine.

The OB himself is great. Very attentive and sensitive (so far). I have heard good things about him through the grapevine. He, himself, told me that when he left the other practice at the hospital (due to personality conflicts) to join this current practice, all of the female nurses and doctors that were pregnant followed him to this new practice to have their babies. I mean, it was told in the spirit of assuring me that I had made the right choice in finding a compassionate practice. It didn't come across as self-aggrandizing. But, he is a doctor, afterall, so anything's possible.

I still have reservations about the birthing process that were not laid to rest during our visit. My daughter's delivery still haunts me. It was as bad as could be without being life-threatening. That said, I was this close to needing a transfusion, so maybe it was life-threatening. I had an epidural, then felt everything after the nurse dialed it down so I could go into more active labor. I was given Pitocin (which I strongly believe was the cause of my daughter's subsequent distsress during labor). My daughter's heartrate went low and stayed low during and after contractions, which necessitated the use of first the vacuum, then forceps. And my hey-nanny-nanny suffered a 4th-degree tear. Which isn't really a tear at all, is it? It's a blow-out. A 5th-degree tear means your spine falls out.

Okay, there are a lot of stories just like mine out there and I'm mostly over it. Except for the fact that I feel it was the medical team that failed me. I believe that the doctor who delivered (who was not from my practice, but rather from the covering practice) wanted to have his Saturday to himself, and therefore sped me up with Pitocin and that led to giving birth a mere 7 hours after my water broke, with only 45 minutes of pushing, further putting me in a position to need strong intervention (vacuum, forceps) because my baby was in distress but couldn't get out because she hadn't had time to mold her giant head to the contours of my birth canal.

This, my friends, is the short version. Were you to come over for lunch, I would bore you with much, much more. Like how, as the doctor stitched up my 4th degree tear, I said "I can feel that, and it really hurts. Could you please give me something to numb the pain?" and he replied, "I'm almost done." Twenty minutes later, I made the same request and got the same response. And then there was the next day when he came to see me and I asked, "Was that a really difficult delivery?" and his response was "Well, you made me work harder than I wanted to."

To him I say in all sincerity: Fuck you.

Misogyny aside, I want the next delivery to be different. Doula, maybe, as my husband, God love him, was absolutely useless to me during delivery. Granted, his number one fear was losing me, but now that we have a baby at home, do you think that fear is going anywhere? The OB was open to the idea of a doula, but warned that there are those who do a great job advocating for the patient and there are those who wish they were midwives and step over the line. So, I'll get a few names and run them by him as he was certain he would know who the good ones are if he just heard their names (having worked with several).

Yes, I am already thinking about the delivery. Honestly, it's just another thing to worry about, and I wanted to test out some ideas on the OB. When else do you have the chance but at that first sit down, when your pants are still on (and still fit). He suggested that I might be a candidate for a scheduled C-section, since a 4th degree tear can cause problems in subsequent deliveries as far as, er, continence problems. But, since I am not currently suffering from any of that, I could probably do another vaginal delivery just fine. If only my next child would have the decency to inherit his father's peanut sized noggin, which is why I married the man. Oh, and the next time let's make sure the drugs do their job. What's the point of risking paralysis otherwise?

I am not going to have time to write again before the holiday weekend settles in full force. I hope you all have the Merriest, Sparklingest, and Most Peaceful holiday that you choose to celebrate. I, personally, am looking foward to the weekend and sharing laughs with family and not hemorrhaging at the same time. As you can see, I have lofty goals.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tired has Taken Over

Can it really be almost two weeks since I last wrote? And not one freak out that I can remember (or at least not one to which I will admit).

Honestly, I am stealing time from myself here to give a little update and some thoughts on my process over the past two weeks. Christmas is a scant 10 days away; the shopping is not done, not to mention the decorating of our house (sorry, poor tree); and the holiday orders for my business pile up as you read.

I had an epiphany early last week. I was very mopey, inclined to think that I might be depressed. I didn't want to do anything except sit on the couch. My gym membership had gotten moldy. My daughter was left to watch inordinate amounts of TV (whilst I lounged on said couch). Nothing seemed to excite me, not even good food.

And then it occurred to me: I'm pregnant.

While the statement itself seems frought with, I don't know, forehead-slapping obviousness, it was really something that I had not considered in my quest to find a seat all day, every day. I have spent the better part of a year trying to reach the point in a pregnancy, any pregnancy, wherein my RE released me from his care with a fond farewell, a smack on the behind and a knowing wink. I thought, when that happened, that I had reached some sort of milestone this time. And while that is true, the milestone was really mental in nature and in no way changed the fact that at 8 weeks pregnant, I was actually only still entering that part of the pregnancy where one's bottom is naturally inclined to find repose.

I wasn't depressed, I was just damned tired.

It comes and goes, depending on how well I eat. What has remained as a steadfast souvenir of my past year is a certain inability on my part to relax. Yes, I rest and sleep and nap and so on. And I even maintain a certain calm about this pregnancy (I still have told no neighbors or friends, save the one). But I am in no way relaxed about it. I am ever vigilant for signs of doom and will go so far as to overanalyze my bathroom habits with my RE (it's true) to make sure that my own progesterone isn't plummeting when taken off the supplementary stuff.

And then there's this urge, when reading pregnancy literature (I cannot help myself) to turn to the chapters entitled "When There's a Problem." A year ago I wouldn't have dreamed of laying eyes on those pages; now it's as though I feel those are the only pages I'm entitled too.

So, you can see, I am not quite relaxed.

Tomorrow I will see my OB for the first time. I will demand the Doppler, though I can't say whether they'll put up much of a fight. I'm just imagining a nurse's resistance due to only being 10 weeks, but really, with my history, if I leave without hearing a heartbeat, you might as well send me home in a straightjacket. One way or the other I'll find out what's going on, so if they try the Doppler with no luck, of course I will suggest we go straight to an ultrasound. Because why make me guess for another two weeks.

At the moment, though, everything seems to be going as it should. Except the damn tree.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Now, where did my cap and gown go?

So I have graduated. From RE to OB. I need a tassle to move ceremoniously three inches . Nipple tassles don't count.

I am happy. Things are good. My RE actually used the word "Terrific." You'd think there'd be an exclamation point on the end of that one (Elaine) but he is just a laid-back kind of guy. Moved me up to the 95% success-rate subgroup.

I feel a little lost, to be truthful. After my appointment this morning, I finally made the call to arrange an official OB appointment. I hear good things about the practice I'm going to (didn't I tell you? I decided to switch from my former OB when, after my second miscarriage, she told me that she hadn't thought to treat me with progesterone because it wasn't my issue, but didn't honestly have time to--and I quote here--"keep up with all the literature."). The new practice has something like 6 or 7 doctors; there's got to be somebody in there who has some compassion for a skittish miscarrier like me.

Anyway, my little one and I are fighting head colds, although I finally broke down and started her on antibiotics in the middle of the night last night when she screamed from ear pain. Nevermind it was not the ear that her doctor had tagged with a beginning infection, nor that her father let her float in the tub before bed (and after the doctor's appointment) with nothing but her nose and eyes above the high-water mark. So, only nine more days of that bullshit to go. I am currently praying that my cold does not decide to migrate to my ears because what to do then? Antibiotics? Really? I just can't picture it. But I'm sure that noone will think it's a good idea to let an infection go unchecked in a pregnant woman.

I just realized another reason I feel lost. I don't know how to begin to tell people that I'm pregnant. My family knows, but no one else except one friend. I'm not looking for a big "outting" of myself. I don't want hugs and happy congratulations. I just want people to know. But how. I'm considering not saying a thing until it becomes uncomfortable for my friends to ignore my rapidly expanding waistline, thus forcing them to confront me.

I have a feeling that situation is well on its way, regardless. A neighbor/friend had us over for lunch today and apologized after I picked all of the feta off my salad. I love feta, but I think it's on the list of no-no's. She'll put that together with my immediate neighbor/friend who most likely spied me leaving in my husband's car this morning, heading where? while my husband piled himself and my daughter in my small Saturn, heading where?

It's a small neighborhood. Maybe I won't have to say anything at all.