Today it felt like going to the doctor was my full-time job, which I really shouldn't complain about because with Zoë and Alexander I had to go to the doctor once a week for the last half of my pregnancies and I've only just started going every week this week (the last month) of this pregnancy. But today I had an appointment in the morning that ran longer than I was expecting and then I had to take Miriam and Benjamin to their well-child visits this afternoon (and that appointment ran a little longer than we were expecting as well).
My appointment went fine. I simply didn't realize I had to do another non-stress test, so that was a surprise. The test is easy—as I mentioned before, I literally just lie there—but it does take time. The baby seems to be doing fine, but the doctor noticed that I had quite a few contractions while I was lying there.
"Do you feel those?" she asked.
"Well, yeah, I feel them," I said.
Sometimes they're so strong I have to breathe through them and—my kids can attest—they really wear down my patience. I'm, like, not a very patient person right now.
"And how often do they happen?"
"Oh, off and on all day and all night. They're strong enough that they wake me up sometimes now, but...again...I don't think they're real yet."
"So no wonder you don't ever recognize labour..." the doctor mused while doing my cervical examination. She was a little surprised that I wasn't dilated or effaced at all.
The doctor was a little surprised that I wasn't dilated or effaced at all.
I wasn't surprised about at all, mind you, because the number of times I've been told by a doctor that I've been dilated or effaced prior to, you know, being in active labour, is precisely zero times.
This doctor even uttered the same fateful phrase my OB/GYN with Rachel said a day or two before I gave birth to her: "No dilation, no effacement. I will definitely see you next week."
Only in this case, I'm hoping the doctor is right because 37 weeks is the goal. But in Rachel's case the doctor was very wrong and only barely managed to get in the room in time to catch her. Hopefully I'll figure out when I'm actually in labour. But not recognizing labour is kind of my brand (and the intense Braxton Hicks contractions I have for months prior to delivery is why).
My uterus just likes to work out. Or something.
Anyway, after the non-stress test, a group B strep test, and a cervical exam, I also had to get another blood panel done (which went a lot smoother than the last time).
On the way home I'd plan to stop at CVS for my flu vaccine because I hadn't gotten one yet. There's a CVS very close to my doctor's office, but it's hard to get to after going to the doctor's office because you can't turn left on that road (and also turning left is horrible, anyway). So I looked at some maps online and saw that I could simply cut through a series of parking lots to make my way to CVS. Unfortunately, I found that the "street view" of the maps was a little outdated and a barrier had been constructed just on the border of the CVS parking lot so it wasn't possible to drive all the way there.
So I parked at different place and walked to the CVS and got my flu shot.
And then I went home, checked the work the kids had done while I was gone, helped them through some math problems, and started on lunch.
After lunch we headed to the pediatrician where Miriam was thrilled to learn that she's 4'11 and 3/4" so she only has a quarter inch to go before she hits 5 feet tall. And she's officially of average height for her age (in the past she's always been below average). She's hoping for a few good growth spurts over the next couple of years.
Benjamin is 4'5" so Miriam's got a good six inches on him now.
The kids are both doing well.
Like Rachel, Miriam had some blood pressure issues (stemming from nervousness) and they had to take her blood pressure three times to get a good reading (twice before the visit and once after when she was less anxious). But then she got her vaccinations (flu and HPV) and because of the potential side effect of dizziness and/or fainting with the HPV vaccine, she had to rest for fifteen minutes before we were allowed to leave. But then when the nurse came to check on us and asked Miriam to sit up, Miriam tried—but failed—to do so, announcing, "Wow, I'm dizzy!" Apparently that's a fairly normal reaction, but it did add more time onto our already lengthy doctor day.
Benjamin also had a little bit of a reaction to his vaccine (Pfizer):
He's a teensy bit excited to be on the path toward formally reentering society.
Here he is flashing his vaccination card while Miriam reposes in the background: