Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wiggling & Whooshing

Well, it's been quite the whirlwind week here.

First, we had our wedding anniversary, or at least saw it go by. We have already reached that "old" married state where we don't need to make a huge deal out of it.

I always feel guilty for not doing the things I used to do early on. Things like make homemade cards and poems and make special meals and plot cool gifts. I have total stage fright about it now... it's never as perfect as I think it should be, so I freeze up and don't get anything done. Okay, that's not always true, but it's one area that my perfectionism is still creating unnecessary havoc in my life. Yes, it sucks. I try to be nice to myself and do stuff instead of indulging in guilt. My husband is also sometimes lax in this department, but he doesn't usually suffer the same amount of guilt that I do. I take that back. We both tend toward social neglect.

In any case, there are things we appreciate about each other more than the ability to choose the perfect gift at the perfect time. We used to eat out at the fancy organic Italian restaurant we ate at for our rehearsal dinner, but they have been not that great in recent years (hard to find enough things on the menu that we are really enthused about for that price), and in addition, I have been feeling a little wonky in the evenings due to that *other* situation. Yes, it does make it hard to eat food. Okay, enough of that little guilt-ridden interlude.

What I like about us, though, is that we have a mutual sense of what makes for a good time, so gifts are optional. He always successfully surprises and delights me, regardless. This year, it was a cute necklace. I ordered him a "Scratch Fury" T-shirt that has been back-ordered for a while since a certain person was at a comics con and hasn't got his orders out... hellooooo, Scott? *ahem*
(Edited to add that while telling DH about this post, he started cackling out loud at the mention of the T-shirt. Apparently, this is the first time I have slipped up and actually said what I had ordered rather than merely hinting at it. Yeah, he's psyched.)

So what constitutes a fun anniversary for us? Lots of fun, boring-to-everyone-else stuff.

Went to the library. I found parenting books and recent fiction and he found a new stash of science fiction. We both run off to our respective sections and reconnoiter to share what we've found. We are both big readers, so yeah, this is fun for us. Ditto on cruising used bookstores, but this time it was the library.

We also did a little clothes shopping to find some new work shirts and pants for him. Sometimes I find the perfect shirt for him, and other times, I need his input as to which color he'd prefer. We zig-zagged through the store and collected some things to try on, then I got to join the small crowd of wives outside the dressing room to give advice and opinions to the men inside. First time I recall doing that in a crowd! Myself and another woman were amused by how some guys needed that extra opinion of confidence in their choices. I watched an older woman hand her husband shirt after shirt, and I mused both about how sometimes men don't like to shop for clothes, and how they sometimes need a nudge to get stuff that actually looks good on them.

Mr. Sweetie ended up with three shirts that looked especially great on him, but no pants. It looked as if all similarly sized men had already picked the selection clean.

Then, although we hadn't planned on any kind of grand dinner out, we decided to go by a little deli in our area for a late lunch. The meal itself was not exceptional, but it gave me the opportunity to audition quiche as a food I can tolerate, and discovered melon again -- melon! Oo, that I can eat, too. It also gave him an opportunity to be gallant and give me the rest of *his* melon. As he likes to say, I have "Food Priority." He is surprisingly non-resentful of this, and in fact came up with the term.

And then we made a little grocery shopping run on the way home.

In between, we had some quality conversation reflecting on how we and our relationship have solidified over the last several years.

Over the years, we've gone from thinking of "me" to "us," then edging back to "me," then refinding the "us." Somehow we've helped each other be more solid, mature adults, who can then be more effective in the relationship. It's as in dancing: we hold ourselves up, connected but not dragging, so that our overall frame is stronger. Pretty darn cool, I say.

For me, the best part of the day was simply being together. It sounds so simple. I love our doing things together, even if it's as mundane as reading together on the couch or running to the hardware store. See? Old married people. No glitz required.

Then the rest of the week, oh my gosh. It was one medical appointment after another, with dancing (play) and calling (work) around the edges, and lots of targeted sharing. And I asked myself last night... and this was all in one week?

Herein starts the pregnancy-heavy part of the post.

So the nurse appointment was lots of paperwork and an interview wherein we discussed the paperwork. We had some questions answered as well. For instance, yes, it is possible to be feeling round-ligament pain this early. Ow. So I still get the occasional pain, but at least I know it's nothing dire.

After that, we had an hour of genetic counseling, which was quite interesting and informative. One friend asked me why we were having that done, and I said, duh, I'm over 40! Also, it's available. Mainly, we're doing screening to rule out certain things now so that (hopefully) I can avoid more invasive procedures later such as amnio. A friend had wisely pointed out to me that if they were able to screen for certain conditions and drop one's risk level to *below* the added miscarriage risk from amnio, the odds became pretty clear. I can't explain that well, but I am all for the early screening for any scrap of information we can gain.

As part of the screening, I had several vials of blood drawn and an ultrasound to measure this and that. This was an unexpected pleasure. I am far enough along that they went straight for the belly instead of approaching vaginally.

"Aw, the baby is all curled up in there," the technician cooed. "This may take a while, though," she added. She couldn't get a good angle to get the measurements she needed at first. I was confused.... "Can you make the baby move, you mean?" I asked. "I wish! We'll just wait for the baby to change positions." Change positions??!!! You mean... Oh my god, it's flipping onto it's back! We were totally unprepared to see the kidlet arch its back and wiggle around. Wiggle! It was magical. I was enchanted. Afterwards, they told us that although we wouldn't get the blood test results for another week that the measurements alone looked very good thus far, so whoo-hoo! for that.

You know I had to send my mother some jpgs. She was also charmed. Gosh, the technology certainly allowed for a lot more detail than in her day, she said.

Then we drove drove drove so I could call a dance for a huge, happy crowd that night. I hadn't had much sleep the night before, being nervous about the medical appointments, so I was a leetle more tired than usual, fortified by a big brownie, protein snacks and lots of hydrating fluids. When I got there, I discovered a big-name caller was in attendance, just to add to the stress level. But the band was great to work with and the dancers were enthusiastic. I worked hard, everyone had a good time, and then I conked out in exhaustion. They are already trying to rebook me to come back, which I will be happy to do as long as it's before the new year when the schedule becomes a little chancy.

A couple days later, we came in again to see an actual doctor this time, the first of several. The practice we've chosen has a whole slew of doctors with every kind of maternal-fetal-medicine specialty you could imagine, so if something *were* to go wrong with my pregnancy, they'd be all over it. Luckily for me, I am considered "low-risk" (crossing fingers) despite my "advanced maternal age." The doctor apologized for even having to put it that way, because obviously, a healthy 40-something like not especially old. She herself had her children in that age range.

We had a fun time talking things over with her, and we felt good about the information and advice received. She anticipates I will have a "normal" pregnancy, although of course, they check frequently for any potential problems that might develop. I'm still at higher risk for gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, etc.

The highlight of that visit was hearing the whoosh-whoosh of baby-heartbeat on the doppler stethoscope. "Yup, I agree with the ultrasound that you've got a baby in there!" the doctor remarked.

The low point was the rather brusque pelvic exam. Um, a little more lubrication and a little less haste would make it sooo much easier for me to cooperate. I'm just going to have to be upfront with all the doctors about that from now on. That and about the use of the automatic blood pressure cuff which I find extremely painful. It's kind of hard to get an accurate BP reading when I'm in pain and my fingers are going numb, yes?

Another thing I've done this week is go new clothes shopping, as I've started growing out of my jeans and camisoles, and the need was becoming dire. As best I can tell, I've gone up a full cup size already and and am getting ready to spill up one further. My favorite find was a "body slimming" garment that hugs both breasts and belly so there is less uncomfortable jiggling going on while dancing or walking.

So you can tell how the week has been going... relentless. Kinda like this post. (heehee) Have I worn you out yet? And that's not including a dance and a birthday party and a collegial gathering and ....
But OH my gosh, so much good stuff!! Heartbeat! And wiggling! And time spent with my Sweetie, even if much of it is spent sitting in waiting rooms.

Now we'll breathe a little easier for a while and try to plot what I'll eat when I can eat. The nausea is supposed to go away soon, right? I said, Riiight?!

1 comment:

Lori said...

When I tried to comment before, I was going to say happy anniversary. Of course, now it's even later but the sentiment is still there.

On our anniversaries, we make every effort to go out without kids. That's such a rarity that it makes a special occasion on its own.

I hate getting pelvic exams but I agree that some doctors are way too rough. My gp is quite good with them and makes every effort to put me at ease. Of course, I don't need them as often as you do right now! :)