Today I am 20 weeks pregnant. Halfway home.
Boy, that time sure didn’t fly.
Needless to say, I’m happy to be here, waving goodbye to the first half of my pregnancy.
Yesterday I had my much-dreaded anatomy scan. I had tears in my eyes on the way up the elevator. In the waiting room, I felt sick to my stomach.
But you know what?
Once I finally got in and got scanned, that baby looked perfect. Absolutely perfect. He or she was quite cooperative, too — turning just so for its measurements and letting the tech get a good look between its legs. The tech wrote down the gender and sealed it in an envelope. We’ll find out with our friends on Sunday if we’re having a boy or a girl. I will, of course, let you guys know.
The tech didn’t give us much during the ultrasound, but the doctor came in afterwards and told us everything looked good. I asked him about downs and trisomy 13 and 18. He said the scan doesn’t always detect downs (about 50% of the time), but that it almost always detects trisomy 13 and 18. “These things are not subtle,” he said. So we are hopefully in the clear from the big, bad guys at least.
At the end of that conversation the doctor looked at me and said, “That kid is fine. I don’t want you to worry about this. I want you to go home and have a healthy pregnancy.”
You can’t get much more reassurance than a high risk OB telling you your kid is fine.
I asked the doctor about non-stress tests because my regular OB mentioned that I might need them later on in the pregnancy. He said I didn’t technically need them, but it seemed a little strange to him to have me so closely monitored in the first half of the pregnancy and then nothing in the second. Then he said, “Non-stress tests are also good for our anxious patients. They put their minds at ease.”
Boom. Nail on the head, buddy.
I told him that I definitely qualified as an anxious patient, so we agreed that I would come back at 32 weeks for a growth scan and my first non-stress test. He also told me that he was totally fine with me coming in for a scan before then, too, if I felt anxious and wanted reassurance. How cool is that?
Later that night, we told Lettie she was going to be a big sister. She was completely underwhelmed. I pretty much expected that. She’s jazzed about the gender reveal party this weekend, though. Girlfriend loves her a good party.
And that’s about all I got. I just wanted to share the good news. Of course, scary things could still happen and my anxiety is not going away any time soon, but I might let it hibernate a little. For five minutes at least.
Because it finally — finally — feels like it’s time to celebrate.
Hi, friends. First of all, thank you for your comments on my last post. They were all wonderful and heartfelt, and made me feel significantly less crazy town. I’m sorry I haven’t responded yet, but I will. I love you guys.
I don’t have a single profound thing to say today. I’m thinking this is going to be a semi-boring update, so get your yawn faces on. In a nutshell: baby and I are ok. As of today, I am 18 weeks and 2 days. I had an OB appointment on Wednesday and that kid was moving around so much that my doctor couldn’t lock down a heartbeat! All we could hear for a minute were these swishing sounds. I’m thinking that means there’s a hyperactive boy growing in there. Anyone else have any gender guesses? When the doc finally got the heartbeat locked it sounded nice and strong at 158 bpm.
Following that appointment, I went to my dentist and got two more root canals. I only have three non-root-canaled teeth left in my mouth now. Can you even believe that? I kind of can’t. I half-jokingly asked my dentist if I had the most root canals out of any patient he’s ever had and he said “yes.” The man has been practicing for 33 years. Dude. I don’t even know what to say about that, so I’ll just leave it right there. Anyway, the one root canal went smoothly. The other was bleeding so much he couldn’t finish it. The dentist said he suspects it’s cracked, which means the root canal might fail. Which means a tooth extraction. The last time I had a tooth extracted, it took two hours and the head of dental surgery had to call over his colleague to help. Apparently I have the longest roots this side of the Mississippi. I do not want to go through this ordeal while pregnant. It’s already stressful enough getting root canals while pregnant. I’m really bummed about all of this, but it’s beyond my control.
I’m not sure if I told you guys about this yet, but I got a call from Dr. Braverman a few weeks ago. My long-awaited test results came back and according to him my immune system was “acting up again.” He doubled my prednisone dose. Dr. B assured me that he wasn’t worried about miscarriage at this point, but rather complications later in pregnancy. This increased dose will supposedly help prevent that. I was supposed to stop my intralipids after the first trimester, but those are continuing on for now, too. For those of you who don’t know, prednisone is kind of evil. I really try not to complain about it because honestly I am just grateful that it’s helping me stay pregnant. However, it causes major insomnia. I lay awake from roughly 1 am to 5 am every night. Once in a while I’ll take a Unisom and that helps, but I don’t feel comfortable doing that every night. More or less, this lack of sleep makes me feel insane. In-f*cking-sane. Like totally bonkers. I prowl around the house at night like a freaking cat, scouring the fridge for midnight snacks. Speaking of snacks, another fun little side effect of the pred is that I’m huge. I’ve been gaining a pound a week and my face is like a mylar balloon. Again, I’m growing a human, so whatevs, but it’s a little freaky to see the scale jump so much every time I go to the OB. The good news is that Dr. B wants to wean me off the prednisone by 24 weeks, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
All of the above BS aside, I really am doing ok. I’m still nervous as hell about our anatomy scan in two weeks, but other than that, I’ve been managing the anxiety. Here’s a couple of things that have been helping:
*The gym! I haven’t gone to gym with any regularity in three years (you can thank fertility treatments for that). But now that I don’t have endless doctors appointments and the first-trimester nausea has subsided, I have a little more energy (even with the lack of sleep, boom). It feels awesome you guys. I only do a half hour on the eliptical machine like three or four times a week, but even that feels like such a treat.
*I’ve been taking some space from Blog Land. I’ve found that it’s for some reason easier to manage my anxiety if I just keep my head down and don’t write about it.
*Staying busy. If I’m constantly moving or doing something I don’t dwell as much on the what ifs. I’ve been doing a lot of baking, organizing and even (gasp!) folding laundry.
*Planning a staycation. Tim and I booked a hotel in the ‘burbs next weekend. Lettie will spend the night with her grandparents. We’re going to get a couples massage and eat in a chain restaurant and swim in the hotel pool. I’m gonna get me a bottle of non-alcoholic wine, pop a Unisom and get a full night’s sleep. Romance, people!
Speaking of sleep, if you’re not snoozing yet, you deserve an award. I mean, I know how riveting reading about me folding laundry must be. Anyway, that’s about all she wrote. I’m still scared every single day, but I’m doing fine.