Friday, May 28, 2021

Pregnancy FAQs

Our baby has done quite a bit of growing and changing the past month. Here they are last month, looking like a little bean:

And here they are the other day, looking like an actual human:


No wonder I'm tired!

My sister Kelli likes to tell a story about her son Andrew who was busy studying some ultrasound pictures of his twin sisters. They were labeled here and there with 'arm' and 'leg' and 'Baby A' and 'Baby B' and so forth. After staring at those pictures for some time he exclaimed, "Oh, I know why it's taking so long! God's still putting 'em together!"

Which, I suppose, is ultimately not wrong. 

Anyway, here are some frequently asked questions I've fielded...

Q: How are you feeling?

A: Pretty okay; just tired. All food is gross, but nothing enough to make me throw up or anything. I'm not a very throw-uppy pregnant person. In fact, the only times I've ever really thrown up when pregnant have been (1) with Rachel when I got the stomach flu from the aforementioned nephew at his brother's birthday party because my sister decided to hold it anyway without informing us beforehand that all of her kids were sick and...it was great, (2) with Miriam when I got food poisoning in Egypt, which is actually something that happened a few times while we were there but one particular time when I was pregnant with her. That's it. Those are the only times I remember throwing up while pregnant. 

Although, when I was anxiously (so anxiously (I was a wreck)) waiting to see if we were pregnant with this baby there was one day when I hadn't had breakfast yet and Miriam asked for help with her schoolwork and I was bending over to join her on the floor and I...threw up a little...and thought, "Oh, no..." 

So the second part of this answer is that I've been working through all the oh-noes and oh-yesses of being pregnant again. I didn't expect to be this emotional about it. But then again, I didn't really expect this at all, so.

Q: Are you considered high risk? Will you have to take progesterone (17P) shots?

A: My doctor is actually pretty chill. I asked her these questions myself and she was like, "Why...would you?" And I was like, "Oh, because with my last two..."

Anyway, this is considered a "geriatric pregnancy" because I'm of such "advanced maternal age" (and a geriatric millennial, to boot), so in that sense it's considered high risk. But my doctor had both (? or at least one) of her children past the "advanced maternal age" cut off and assured me that it's just a number and everything should be totally fine. She's not concerned on that front at all.

As far as my history of premature delivery (thanks, Benjamin) and subsequent pregnancies ushered along with P17 injections, my doctor feels that Benjamin was probably a fluke. We talked a bit about his delivery and I mentioned that my placenta was supposed to be taken off to have an autopsy of sorts because my doctor thought he noticed some infection in it but that order got lost in all the hubbub of delivering a preterm infant at a hospital not equipped to handle a preterm infant and...the placenta was destroyed instead. So we never found out why Benjamin came early (whether it was an infection that caused labour or what). Had we found a reason for him to be born early I wouldn't have had to take the injections in the first place. So my doctor was like, "It probably was an infection if you didn't deliver your last two prematurely."

We talked a lot about cervical competence. I've never had an issue with that. 

So, she said the shots probably weren't necessary this time around (but that we'd check in on my cervix situation later). There were super "in vogue" prior to 2017 but have since kind of fallen out of favour among medical professionals. My doctor hasn't prescribed P17 shots in years. The FDA is considering revoking their approval after multiple studies showing a null-effect. And so we're going to just...see how things go...which I'm okay with.

I asked her about bedrest, since I was put on "modified bedrest" for my last two pregnancies as well (no lifting anything heavy—including children—no strenuous exercise, and so forth). My doctor said she didn't feel that bedrest would be conducive to my lifestyle and said she saw no reason to instruct me to take things easy. 

Now, to be fair, with my last few pregnancies I did spot for a considerable amount of time early in the pregnancy (once for the entire first trimester) and this time I've had nothing like that. So things are going well so far. 

Q: What about diabetes? When will you test for that?

A: We talked about this as well. I told her that I would likely fail my first glucose test and that I would then simply decline the second glucose test because I see no reason to go through three hours of misery when I know I'm going to fail. She asked how early I wanted to test for diabetes; we're playing that by ear based on my symptoms (though I'm sure it will be around 20 weeks). In the meantime, I've been trying to stick to my diabetic meal plans (though I think that will be easier to do after everything stops being disgusting (for example, Andrew got me these special yogurts that I ate all through the second half of my pregnancies with Zoë and Alexander—Greek yogurt, packed with protein and sweetened with Stevia rather than sugar—and I *gag* just can *gag* hardly eat them. They're so nasty and just so much! Like, the portioning on those yogurt cups is ginormous! And then I can hardly swallow them. So I'm just kind of...waiting until everything's not disgusting...and then I'll be able to follow a diabetic diet easier, I think).

We've also been pretty good at our post-prandial walks and I've been taking the kids to the pool a lot. Not that I get much swimming time in for myself when I'm so busy making sure my little people aren't drowning... However, today we went and there was a lifeguard there for the first time ever (because school is not in session) and during guarded hours, the pool is reserved for "adult swim" for the last fifteen minutes of every hour. 

So the guard very dedicatedly cleared the pool. Even though literally no adults were there to swim. It felt a little bit like overkill. Like, I can understand clearing the pool if there were adults who wanted to swim. But there weren't. 

So...I got in to swim. And I have to admit...it was kind of nice to swim a few laps without worrying about my kids drowning or messing around on the deck. Because they were being watched, see?

Adult swim isn't a terrible idea, is what I'm saying (though it's kind of a buzz kill for the kids—never fear, children: we'll have the pool all to ourselves in August).

I'm sure I'll have more to say about this pregnancy later, since it will be on my mind quite a bit in the coming months, so stay tuned for more frequently asked questions!

1 comment:

  1. I find yogurt rather gag-worthy most of the time. The texture...it's so gloppy. So, yeah, I get that, and I'm not even pregnant.

    I think I would have been more surprised if you never had another baby. You were just made for it, and I kept thinking, "Surely Alexander isn't the last one..."

    I'm curious when you suspected. I'm sorry you've been so emotional about it. My mom had her last baby at 35 - almost 36. I remember at the time thinking she was SO OLD, but I've had many friends who've had babies into their early 40s now. It seems to be a thing. :)

    Hooray for your adult swim time!

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