I realized the other day that I never updated after my first prenatal appointment a couple of weeks ago (that was at 11 weeks), not to mention everything that has happened since then! But regardless, the good news is that so far everything is still ok so we’re trying to be optimistic.
I went for my first actual doctor’s appointment (as opposed to the short one to confirm the pregnancy). It’s a new doctor (and new clinic) this time and I really like her. She spent a long time talking with me and going over all of the pregnancy info, most of which was not new to me. Because of my age and history of pre-term labor and gestational diabetes, she referred me to the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic at the hospital where I will eventually deliver (it’s a HUGE hospital, as opposed to the tiny little small town one where I had E). She also said that she didn’t think a glucose test at 12 weeks was necessary and that she would just check my A1C. If that was high, THEN we would talk about a glucose test, but otherwise that can wait till 24 weeks (yay!).
Finally it was time to check for the heartbeat, which was the part I was MOST nervous about, obviously. I’d checked at home with the doppler a couple of days before and was able to find it, but was still really needing reassurance. Unfortunately after checking FOREVER, she was unable to find it with the doppler and I was starting to panic. She said the options were to come back in a week and try again, or she could get the ultrasound machine and look for it visually. One look at my face told her to get the damn ultrasound machine, stat. She reassured me that she understood my anxiety given my previous loss (which I found out about in the exact same way- when they couldn’t find a heartbeat at my first prenatal visit). She said she’d had a previous loss as well so she understood the fear. So she got the ultrasound, which was actually just a tiny little low-resolution handheld screen and not the big ultrasound on a cart I was expecting. She explained that it wasn’t nearly as clear as the bigger machines but that was what they have at the clinic. So with the small probe, it took her FOREVER to even find the BABY, but when she finally did she showed me why it was so hard to get the heartbeat- the little munchkin was literally doing back flips in there. Just flipping around like an acrobat. I was surprised we couldn’t hear a little voice going “wheeeee!!!!!” in there. SO.MUCH.RELIEF.
So then the next week was our appointment at the Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic. I’ve heard good things about that place and all of them turned out to be true. THEY.WERE.AWESOME. The doctor was amazing and spent forever talking with us. He was very critical of the way my last doctor had handled the preterm labor before and said that while he thinks it’s a fairly low risk of it happening again, I will still need cervical ultrasounds every 2 weeks until 23 weeks. If I’m dilated at that point they’ll do a cerclage, but they can’t do that beyond 24 weeks. He was also VERY critical of the first fertility doctor we saw back when we were trying to get pregnant with E. That made me feel SO much better because I KNEW that place was terrible and I appreciated that he fully validated those concerns. He also agreed that there is no need to test glucose until 24 weeks, given my A1C levels and he is hopeful that I won’t have GD again this time (though I remain pretty certain I will). He also scoffed at the idea that we’re too old to be parents- he said that even though I’m at the upper end of the age range, I’m very healthy (shocking, given my awful diet and lack of exercise!) and it’s perfectly normal to have babies at my age nowadays.
THEN it was ultrasound time so they could check the nuchal fold as part of the prenatal genetic screening. Our 12 week ultrasound with E had been AWFUL, and we never got a picture from that because the midwife was such a horrible, awful, jerk, so this experience was so much better! We got to see the little munchkin happily swimming around in there with a heartbeat of 158 and a perfectly normal nuchal thickness. The baby had it’s little hands up by it’s face a lot so it looked like it was sucking it’s thumb, which was adorable. And we got great pictures!
Then it was on to talk to the genetic counselor, who was also awesome. I had been under the impression that we weren’t doing cell-free DNA testing this time, but was pleasantly surprised to learn that we were. So she just went over the basics of our history and explained chromosome abnormalities vs inherited conditions and probabilities based on our age range. She too was pretty optimistic, especially given that the nuchal measurements had been good on the ultrasound. So she gave me a little kit and had me head down to the lab for a blood draw. Last time we did Panorama and this time we’re doing MaterniT21, but essentially they screen for the same things. AND we will get to find out gender! Results should be in sometime next week, so we’re on pins and needles waiting for the notification from the doctor’s office. My husband pointed out that then we’ll need to start calling this kid by a name other than Oh Crap! and I said that given how E has taken to repeating everything we say, we probably need retire that nickname anyway. 🙂
Speaking of E, we got her a t-shirt that says “Big Sister” and took a cute picture of her in it for a pregnancy announcement. Like last time, we will NOT be doing anything on social media, but will just send cards to grandparents and great grandparents (even though grandparents already know). I do not want to put anything out there, especially given I know at least a few people on my friends list who are struggling with infertility and loss and I don’t want to do anything that might hurt them.
And finally, I have not yet told my bosses at work. I am not really obligated to at this point, but I’m starting to show (ok, let’s be honest, I am very obviously showing) and I’m getting really sick of trying to hide it. But I’m hesitating because my boss is already REALLY stressed out because we had someone quit and we haven’t been able to replace her, which means a huge headache for the rest of us. So telling her that I will be on maternity leave for 3 months will not be well received. Not to mention she was pretty rude (bordering on inappropriate/illegal) last time I was pregnant. So this really stinks. I should NOT have to dread telling my boss about my pregnancy and I should not have to justify why I’m having a baby. Is it ideal timing? No. But given all we went through to get E, I’m certainly going to take this as the gift that it is.