Friday, November 04, 2011

15 week goings-on

So today was AD, or Amnio Day. It all went fine.

We were hoping to find out the whole BOY or GIRL, but the kid was turned away from the camera. Nick is always all chitty-chatty with people, and sometimes this works with their personalities and sometimes not.

Hell, sometimes it works with my personality and sometimes not.

He was talking too much for my taste while they were doing the sono and prepping me for the amnio and at one point he said, "You're doing fine!"

And I said, "So are you, but it would be nice if you would do it a little more quietly."

Anyway, they got their basic measurements, confirming that we are, in fact, at 15 weeks and 1 day, and there are still arms and legs and a brain and what-have you. But Nick was holding out for the sex. Nick asked the sonogram technician, who was nice but not one of those humor-you types, if she'd prod the baby a bit to get it to turn.

She was all, "Look. It's on its tummy. We wouldn't be able to tell your sex if you were on your tummy, would we?"

And Nick was all, "Oh, you'd be surprised!"

I just lay there and cringed, naked belly towards God.



Also, what's your opinion of belly pictures? I quite liked having them with Jordan, but I wonder if it's silly to do twice? But I am house-bound and it just seemed like why the hell not.

One remarkable thing (to me - not to anyone else who has ever been pregnant more than once) is that my stomach poked out significantly faster with this one. It's not surprising. I had kick-ass abs prior to our friend J, and then they went all to hell.

I think I'm poking out about a month faster than I did the first time. I need to look back.


And! Big news in my world! something just happened to me that has never, ever happened in my whole life.

The midwife I met with on Wednesday? Called to check on me.

Have you ever had a health care provider call to see how you're doing?

I told her, very candidly, that I felt like she had taken what I assume is her hostility towards the medical establishment and directed it at me. I said I felt very put on the defensive, when I would never have chosen to have a C-section, and wasn't happy about how things went the first time...but this was what my OB was supporting, and nobody was suggesting otherwise.

I told her that I was so upset when I left. I was just very frank about how bad she made me feel.

And she apologized! She didn't try to justify, except that she said that they have to bring up some very difficult, negative things, to make sure that this is what you are looking for.

She said she was sorry that she made me feel so bad. She didn't mean to put me on the defensive. Especially when I'm in such a vulnerable position, being pregnant. It's the opposite of how they want to make you feel. Their goal is to make you feel very supported and to give you a good experience.

Which, I told her, is what I'd heard from everyone. Everyone I know who has gone to her, including two friends of mine, everything I have read, has been nothing but positive.

We spoke for 15-20 minutes. We talked about all my concerns.

There is an increased risk of fetal death past 37 weeks. It is small, but it is there. She said it's 2 babies per 1,000 after 41 weeks. Which is a small number...unless it happens to you. So it needs to be talked about.

She asked if I'd made a follow-up appointment, and I said no, I'd been too upset when I left and I was thinking about what to do. That she had caused me so much anxiety that I wasn't inclined to put myself through what I assumed would be another hugely anxiety-provoking appointment. But that our conversation had made me feel a million times better.

And I do. I've never had a medical professional call me to ask how I'm doing. I've never been apologized to.

This woman has already spent more time talking to me than my OB did at almost all my prenatal appointments combined. And she actually talked about FEELINGS. How I FEEL emotionally. Something I'm sure my OB would rather have cut off his toes than do.

So I am going to go to another appointment.

I will be 19 weeks, and if at that point it doesn't seem right, I still have time to switch. And if it seems like a supportive, safe place to be, then I will feel like I'm in the right place.

Nick, however? Still mad. If you hurt someone he loves, he takes a long, long time to get past it. He is not in any hurry to get past this.

In this regard, he's just like me. I get it. I used to follow Maude's horrible ex-boyfriend around at parties just to give him the stinkeye and make him twitchy. I did this for years.

It made him very uncomfortable. Which I found profoundly satisfying.

I'm not saying it's normal. Just, you know. Uh. That it's probably not, now that I think about it. But I appreciate the protectiveness, and I have a huge dose of it in me, even if it comes out in weird ways.

Happy weekend, all!


  1. Me? I'm still glaring at the condescending OB. I can forgive bluntness a lot easier than I can forgive pats on the head, especially if the bluntness comes with an apology.

    But you do still need to go with your gut. I ignored mine, and had exactly the experience my gut was teling me about (the one midwife I loved was not one of the ones who was on call when I was in labor and I didn't like ANY of the other ones). I didn't realize how mad I was until I went to my post-natal visit and saw a poster that said "We believe in the power of women," and I thought "Bullshit. You were sharpening your scalpel and you would have cut me open if I hadn't pushed so damn hard. How's that for power of women?"

    And you can change even after 19 weeks. You can change whenever you want. They want your business. You're the boss.

    And you're the bomb.


  2. Wow, so much to comment on. First and most importantly, congratulations on a positive AD Day!

    Nick's remark about being able to tell someone's sex while on his/her belly - that's the funniest damn thing I've heard all week. Thanks to the wonderful Nick for a much needed laugh!

    About more belly pictures with pregnancy number 2: why not? Compare and contrast. Could be fun, sort of like marking children's height in pencil on the wall.

    I am thrilled that you had a long, positive discussion with the midwife. I am happy she took the time to listen to your feelings and apologize. Working with her may or may not be the right thing, but I am so happy you had a good conversation and that you feel empowered. Go you!

    Hugs to you, Nick, Jordan and Betty!

  3. Alex - I would rather be talked to bluntly than be condescended to as well. Thank you for glaring from afar.

    So, gut-wise, today made me feel good. I felt both listened to and heard, and I was left with the impression that I will continue to be heard. I never had that feeling with my OB, although I do like him and think he's a good doctor. But I felt very much like his agenda is his, and I was just on the conveyor belt.

    I really applaud you for having the strength in a very hard time. I read your birth story and you are absolutely amazing. And yes, I believe they'd have cut you open in a second if you weren't so clear on what you wanted and so tenacious.

    Hugs to you, Alex! Hugs to your whole family!

    Lynn - You and Nick would enjoy each other, I think. We never get down to NC, though. Do you ever get up to DC? I would love to see you.

    And you are exactly right. I feel empowered. I have never gotten to tell a medical provider exactly how I feel about my care. And then to have her respond - sincerely - in a way that addressed my concerns impressed me immensely. I don't know how it will all pan out, but for now, I feel good.

    Big hugs to you and yours!

  4. I did weekly belly pics with my daughter from 12 weeks on. Now that i'm pregnant again (16 w, close to you!) I'm only doing them monthly. I guess that's what you get for being the second child :)

  5. Belly belly belly! You look beautiful.

    So glad about the phone call. I'm very impressed with your candor -- I'm not great with confrontation, even when calm.

    And yes: good god, that Nick is too funny! I think I would still be blushing. And I laughed out loud thinking of the plight of the horrible ex-boyfriend. Hahaha!

    ~Laura from A.S.

  6. Ditto Ditto Ditto what the other Lynn said. I LOVE that you and Nick fiercely stick up for each other. When I am hurting that's ALL I want(and booze and chocolate) And I roared at his comment to the tech. The world needs to lighten up! (except you are allowed to roll your eyes at Nick cause you're the pregnant one) Happy Healthy weekend to all of you. Oh and I wish we could press a thumbs up button on some comments. I love your audience.

  7. I'm so glad that the midwife turned out to be more caring and empathic than she seemed, the fact that she's willing to listen to you is very important I think.

    I never managed to get my sh*t together enough to do weekly pics but I'm so happy with all the monthly pics I took I actually wish I had more, so post pictures so we can all be envious of how awesome you look!!

  8. Sounds like we were in similar situations as far as having C-sections. I wasn't induced, but my OB (a woman) was really pushing it after I measured pretty large at 39 weeks.

    For the entire length of my pregnancy, she constantly said that she supported my decision to have a natural childbirth. She even referred me to a doula (who was awesome and attended my C-section). However, when it came down to it, when I was having decels at 41w 3d, the first words out of her mouth were "We've got to get that baby out of there now."

    I wonder, though, if I had worked with a midwife early in my pregnancy if I would have gone 41 weeks and 3 days only to have a C-section. I wonder, really, If I would have had my natural birth.

    Anywho, THe fact that she called you back means that she really does care about your birth experience, which I would find greatly reassuring. Not to get all religulous, but remember, Jesus rebuffed potential followers three times. Perhaps that was what she was doing?

  9. Nice! Glad to hear that talking about it with her made things a bajillion times better. Hope things continue on that path.

    And I for one, am all for the belly pictures. Like you said, why not? Besides, what could better illustrate the point of any story you tell about being pregnant?

  10. It must have taken a lot of strength to confront the midwife. Good for you, lady! And good for you for giving her a second chance. I still kind of hate her a little, though. I have a bit of the irrational protectiveness too, I guess.

  11. I support belly photos even with multiple pregnancies - it'll be neat to see how different this one goes. And worst case scenario is you look back and go "I didn't need to do those" which is SO MUCH better than "I wish I'd done those"

  12. You look great! And I agree with the above poster. If nothing else, your second child will most likely really appreciate it. I'm glad the midwife called and apologized and all that. Because of you, she might be more careful/sensitive about future moms-to-be with similar backgrounds as you, so it's great that you showed her some grace and also took the time to share your honest feelings.

  13. Tempest - I will see what I get to, I suppose. That is what happens to the second child. :)

    Laura - You know, I've gotten better and better with confrontation but I only manage it well when calm. And it makes me feel so dramatically better.

    And Nick is sometimes hilarious but sometimes I also really want him to keep his mouth shut. :)

    Lynn - I love you! Nick is good people, and he's fiercely protective. It is wonderful, if inconvenient sometimes, but I do appreciate it. And I love my commenters. I so love all of you.

    Moomser - I am so glad, so very glad, about our conversation.

    And you're very kind! I'll see if I can get it together weekly! :)

    Miss Dallas - I know you really wanted natural childbirth, and you wound up with the opposite, and it's very upsetting. It is so hard to tell what's real and what's not, especially when you are in the super vulnerable position of being very pregnant. I do feel kind of bitter about my C-section, but then of course I also feel grateful that I had a very healthy baby, and maybe if i'd waited, I'd still have had a Cesarean... I don't really know how to think about it, honestly.

    And I love your Jesus analogy. Love, love, love.

    click clack gorilla - Thank you! I was so prepared for them to be exactly what I was looking for, and was devastated when it felt like the opposite. So it felt wonderful to talk candidly and feel like I can be supported and get the care I am looking for.

    Hillary - I know you are like this, and it's one of the things I love about you. You're so my people.

    Jen - You are right. I hate wishing I had done something. Better to do it and realize I didn't need to.

    A.K. - I will try, I have decided! And you know, there are a lot of women in my position. I hope you are right. We can get so caught up in our own way of thinking and not really realize how it comes across.


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