40 Weeks

A mother's seventh (and final) journey through the wonders of pregnancy.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baby Dream

Not the first, and almost certainly not the last, but I had a baby dream last night that I would classify as a "bad mother" dream. In my bad mother baby dreams, I have forgotten to take the baby (Justin) home from the hospital, been scared of my supernaturally talking or flying babies (Justin and Mina,) and had a hungry baby but nothing with which to feed or diaper him or her(can't remember which one that was!) In this particular bad mother dream, I wanted to nurse the exclusively breastfed baby (who happened to be a Maya-like baby girl) but was too busy to find the time. I was supposed to nurse her every couple of hours, but was only managing every six hours or so. The milk supply was dwindling, she was losing interest, and I was feeling like such a bad mother!

I was just at a gathering with a group of moms who were discussing breastfeeding concerns on Tuesday and I do have some anxiety myself since my last three have failed to gain weight satisfactorily until I supplemented with formula, and I already struggle with finding time for things, so the dream isn't terribly surprising! At least not until the janitor for the bank I worked for 13 years ago appeared with some keys I had been unable to find. It was nice to see his pleasant smile again, but that was a surprise! I've spent half the morning now trying to remember his name and wondering what became of him.

Monday, April 21, 2008

13 Weeks, 5 Days

The maternal-fetal medicine office called today to let me know that I was not a carrier for either cystic fibrosis or thalessemia, rendering them impossible for our baby to contract. Always nice to have a bit of good news!

Friday, April 18, 2008

13 Weeks, 2 Days

I had my first visit with my obstetrician today, and we hired a sitter so K could tag along and meet her formally. They had crossed paths in the business world, and he thought I would like her, so there I was. It was funny how helpful he tried to be to me during the appointment, asking if he could help me with this or that, and whether he could get me things. As soon as we were out the door, it was back to normal!

Nothing unusual about this visit, except that I had a lot of questions about placenta previa (see previous entry.) She agreed with K that it was too early to worry, but humored me with answers to all of my what-if questions anyway. If there is still a complete previa when I go for my 20-week scan, nothing will happen except that there's less chance of it moving and they'll want to check again around 28 weeks. If there is still a complete previa at 28 weeks, it isn't going to move, and I will automatically be scheduled for a C-section. Most complete previas are sectioned at 36 weeks due to the risk of heavy bleeding and emergency sections if the mother should start to dilate on her own. If I have any bleeding at all before then, I will probably be kept in the hospital for observation, and depending on the severity of the bleeding, may be sectioned even earlier. The risks and scariness get even worse if you read too much online, but she prudently reminded me that it was too early to worry, and what we would plan for at the moment was that I would only be a partial previa when I am scanned at 20 weeks and will have no previa at all when they check again at 28 weeks. That would be great, because I can't imagine trying to recover from a C-section with the "no heavy lifting" rule with four little ones at home! My abdomen is hurting just thinking about it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

12 Weeks, 2 Days

Looking like an alien in 3-D.

I went to the maternal-fetal medicine specialists today so they could tell me all about my increased risks for terrible problems with the baby now that I'm so old (38, for the record, and just a few breaths away from decrepit, one would think after a visit like this!) First, a visit with the genetic counselor, where I was reminded that at my age, the chances of having a baby with birth defects was about 1 in 130. This is down from about 1 in 2,500 when I was 25. I was enlightened about several different types of birth defects, from the more common Down's Syndrome to the less common but more fatal Trisomy 18 and 21 birth defects. I was warned about the chances of Spina Bifida and the possibility of Cystic Fibrosis due to my ethnic background and something else (maybe Thalassemia? My brain was numb by this time,) due to K's ethnic background. After all this enlightenment, I was cheerfully escorted back to the waiting room by the friendly staff to wait for a sonogram. K has done a few, of course, but he is only trained to look for the most basic things, since that is not his specialty.

Phil, the sonographer, was arguably the best I've ever had, and the first to explain such small details as which way was up when looking at the screen. According to Phil, based on the sonogram, my chances for a baby with birth defects were much slimmer than they were a few moments ago based solely on my age. On the other hand, there is another subchorionic hematoma to watch, which he agreed could have been caused by this incessant violent cough I've been dealing with for the entire pregnancy so far. The placenta is also much lower than it's supposed to be, and exactly centered over the cervix. Known as placenta previa, it is not too worrisome in the first trimester and usually migrates to one side or the other and well out of the way in time for the delivery. Phil says that in my case, though, I have a complete previa (not at all to one side or the other,) and these are much less likely to migrate. I worked up a good bit of worry reading about placenta previa, but K won't even consider starting to worry unless it's still a complete previa when I go back for my 20-week scan. He thinks it will still migrate.

After the sonogram, I warned the lady who came to take my blood that I was difficult to get blood from at the best of times and I happened to be slightly dehydrated that day. She informed me rather cockily that people told her they were difficult all the time and she never had problems with them. That's what I like to hear, but preferably only when it's true. It took two needle sticks and a lot of deep digging with the needle all the way in as far as it would go before she was able to get all the blood she needed. I was sure she was going right through a vein and would be coming out the back of my elbow at any moment.