Archive for January, 2010


Our first prenatal appointments were a bit of a letdown. I was really hoping to hear the baby’s heartbeat, but apparently my uterus hasn’t popped out yet so it can’t be heard on the doppler. We have another appointment in about three weeks, including a sonogram, and we should be able to hear it then.

The first appointment, two days ago, was with the nurse to fill out paperwork, learn about the hospital, and do a glucose and a few blood tests.  Everything came back fine, for which I’m thankful, because based on the science I’ve read regarding gestational diabetes, it doesn’t even mean anything for most women since it’s not actual diabetes, but it can still get you labeled high-risk and then a lot of stuff is out of your control.

Yesterday, we talked about a lot of stuff, made more appointments. One of the appointments is to get more information about the screenings. There’s a first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities like trisomies (Down’s syndrome, Edward’s, etc) and a second trimester quad screening for those and for neural tube defects. I’m not sure if we want to get the second trimester screening, because I don’t want to have an abortion after the first trimester. But I don’t know what we’d do…I don’t think I can take care of somebody, even my own child, for the rest of my life, but I guess if I had to, I would. It’s my child, after all. This is the risk we take. And I think I’d rather have the child than abort so late. It just doesn’t seem right.

I’m (obviously) still uncertain about all of this. My normal approach, reason, is fuzzy and somewhat unhelpful here. Usually, I’m far enough away from the grey areas that I don’t have to draw the lines. So if I start away from the lines…a baby with only the brain stem isn’t going to survive, will never be conscious, and is, neurologically, a reptile, if that. Clearly, aborting …that… at any stage isn’t killing a child. But a person with Down’s is still a person; they are aware and able to use language, take in information, make choices.

Hopefully we won’t have to deal with any of this.


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I think I may finally have expressed, in a Facebook discussion of all things, something I’ve been trying to say for years: my wonder at how amazing it is that we get to exist:

I don’t get the “humans are special” view. Too much time studying astronomy, I guess, and trying to comprehend how big the universe really is. Take a look at this. I look at it whenever I need a pick-me-up, and I’ll explain why I find it so comforting. The sun is a very small star and the earth is just a dot compared to the sun. There are billions and billions of other stars in the universe. We find organic compounds in meteorites. There’s bound to be life elsewhere. It’s just too easy. And if there’s life elsewhere, if it really is as easy as putting the right compounds together with a perfectly ordinary orbit around a perfectly ordinary star, then we’re not special; we’re just another part of the universe.

But that’s the best part! Incomprehensible numbers of particles and four very simple forces acting out an unimaginably complex dance led, in this particular part of the universe, to humans. Given the initial conditions, it could not have happened otherwise. That means we’re a basic part of the universe. We belong here. We’re integral to the plot of the existence of everything. We are exactly where we should be.

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Week 9

I think I was a little overly excited last time I posted a “Week #” update because I may have thought week 5 was week 7. This is week 9, and I know that for certain because yesterday was the 21st, and these things count from the first date of last menstrual period, and I told about six or seven different doctors and doctor’s office or hospital people what date that was, so it stuck in my head.

And there has been a sudden but relatively minor uptick in the intensity of The Quease. I’m still okay…but when I’m driving, I keep wondering if I’m going to need to pull over in the next five seconds to throw up. So far it hasn’t crossed that line, but it’s not a pleasant thought. I do try to avoid the bumpiest roads, which is not easy in this town.

In less than a week, we have our first prenatal appointment. I hope we’ll get to listen for the baby’s heartbeat!

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…not such a great one though. This morning I threw up for the first time. Yay! Turns out I shouldn’t have responded to my thirst by gulping down half a glass of water. Tomorrow morning, I’ll take sips.

Now I’m nervous I’m going to throw up again 😦

Bizarre dreams have continued unabated. I don’t even remember this morning’s dreams but I do remember wishing they would fade faster. I didn’t like the way they left me feeling, even though I can’t really describe it.

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I just took a nap — unusual for me, but I was falling asleep in my chair. And I had the strangest dreams: I needed to change the baby’s diaper but I didn’t know how, so I was looking for a book that I knew had instructions, but I kept getting distracted and before I knew it, the cat and baby were covered in baby puke and I had to take the cat into the shower with me to hose him off before he licked himself clean (ewww). He was surprisingly docile…and I don’t think the baby ever did get changed because then the dream changed to a gathering of some of my aunts and cousins, and I was trying to get a roast made for dinner and it was already 8 pm and there was something else I had to do…

I don’t normally remember my dreams, but I have remembered a lot of them in the past few weeks. I wonder what kinds of dreams my brain will come up with when I’m being kicked from the inside.

So today we visited with a doula that one of my Stitch N Bitch friends suggested to see if she would be a good fit for us. We both like her a lot and her fee is pretty low compared to the rates I saw in my research online, so I think we’re going to go with her. She will help me to not ask for drugs by providing techniques and guidance to deal with the pain of labor.

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  • The morning sickness is so far tolerable. It got steadily worse for a week or two after it started, and it’s been about the same for the last few days. The crystallized ginger that Mom suggested has been very helpful, even if the effect doesn’t last too long.
  • I can’t even think about fudge, like the fudge that our friend’s mom made for the get-together in Kentucky last weekend. Or the dinner at Patti’s or Logan’s. I can’t eat the pork I made yesterday (partially because it makes my stomach bubble, but mostly I just really don’t want it), and C doesn’t want it, so $8 worth of pork tenderloin is going to waste.
  • It’s hard not to think about foods that turn my stomach. I think it’s because of my natural tendency to investigate things I disbelieve or that are new to me.
  • No cravings as of yet, besides the bizarre 5-second so-intense-I-could-taste-it corned beef craving in church the third week.
  • You know how, once you puke on one particular kind of alcohol, you don’t want it again for years, and it’s still never the same once you can drink it again? Works for food too, as I found out months ago when I had the fajitas I was craving after I’d gotten food poisoning at a different restaurant. I’m afraid that’s how I’m going to be (after I have the baby) with all the foods that make me sick now.
  • I need to call the hospital and get started on appointments.
  • I want my books! Only three have arrived so far. Hopefully the rest will come tomorrow.
  • I have neglected my knitting. Need to get back to that.

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The end of week 6, I think.

Based on the date of my last period, I’m pretty sure that this is the end of week 6. I already have morning sickness, though so far I haven’t felt the need to throw up. When I get back home, one of the first things I’m going to do is stock up on cottage cheese at home and for work. I’ll have to get some veggies too, and some meat for dinners and to take for lunch as leftovers.

I am proud that I have, in large part, avoided the fudge that D’s mom made for us while we are visiting. I don’t know if I can take much of the credit, though, because sugar seems to be completely unappetizing to me and I don’t know if that’s the pregnancy in general, the nausea specifically, or the fact that I avoided sugar starting in early December (with the exception of Christmas Eve and Day, and some bits of fudge the first day or two of our visit).

Tomorrow I call the hospital and set up an appointment either with an OB/Gyn or to figure out my options. I’m not sure I want an obstetrician for the birth, but I have a lot of reading to do. And I don’t know who I see if I use a midwife.

That reminds me: I hope to have a nice stack of books waiting for me at home. Can’t wait to start reading!

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