I went for my first pre-natal appointment today. This is the first of the standard medical appointments, as opposed to all the tests and follow-ups of the previous 3 weeks (has it been almost that long already?!) when we thought this pregnancy was threatened. Hopefully it is the first of a series of uneventful standard appointments. I can wish, right?
(I talk - ramble - about pregnancy stuff below so if you don't want to read it, feel free to surf away. I will continue to write about my experiences if only to try to make them slightly less surreal. Because it is still very surreal.)
The days after my 3rd ultrasound have been pretty quiet. I have been more nauseated in the past few days. Not actually throwing up, but with waves of queasiness that force me to move slowly and do a lot of deep breathing. I accompany the deep breathing with (usually) helpful mantras like "Baby is growing." "Baby is alive." "Everything is OK." "You are ridiculous!" (if the previous mantras don't work). The nausea is usually worst immediately after getting up and after going to bed. So I have been having some trouble getting to sleep and getting up, obviously. Work colleagues have been informed that I probably won't make it to any early morning meetings. They are very sweet and supportive. I am so lucky that way. I can't imagine trying to hide what is going on at work. I am in no way creative enough to explain my preoccupations or behaviour with anything other than the truth. Thank goodness I don't have to.
Food cravings: None really, though I could eat cheese any time of day and I have been really enjoying milk. I always liked those things, though. Any raw fruit/vegetable is good. Bead with margarine and/or peanut butter and jam is OK too. I just ate a couple of tomato and cucumber sandwiches. They would have been better with cheese (we're out) but they were pretty good anyway. I am supposed to eat only one fish meal a week and my favourite is been a can of tuna in water. So, I can eat foods that are uncooked and cold and plain.
Likewise, have no particular aversions but I generally dislike anything cooked, any kind of sauce or flavour on food, in other words any dish prepared with imagination. I would definitely not be a good judge for the Food Network right now. No point going to fancy restaurants, either.
Other symptoms included an increase in twinges/pinches/pulls at the beginning of the week. I really hated these when they first appeared; they terrified me and all I could do was curl up and silently plead for it to stop. I still dread feeling anything unexpected in my abdomen. But after googling every descriptive word I could think of, it appears that lots of people have these sensations and it is just muscles stretching. The sensations are very small and don't last long - so my logical mind reminds me when the panic has receded.
Breast tenderness - this varies from mild to really intense throbbing pain (a couple of days ago). And yes, they grow. I don't mind - it's the one visible symptom so far (unless you count my general weirdness as visible).
Fortunately, the bleeding/spotting seems to have almost disappeared (fingers crossed!) I sometimes have a tiny bit of brown mixed in with clear discharge but no blood to speak of in 2, 3 days. This has really helped me to be more positive.
The pre-natal appointment was straightforward. We went through my medical history, where there was nothing to dwell on except the past mild case of thyroiditis that the fertility clinic diagnosed some months ago, and my physiological heart murmur (was diagnosed when I was 20). Standard blood/urine tests were all clear. I had a pap smear. Doctor Gnomish confirmed cervix is closed and there is no bleeding from the cervix at all. (exhale).
The next step, in four weeks, is the nuchal translucency scan. In addition to the leap of faith required to believe that I will still be pregnant in four weeks, I do have a bit of anxiety about that. There was never any question of doing the scan but it is another unknown and a weighty one.
Still. After weeks of tests, appointments, panic, dread, grief and hope against hope, all mixed in together, the conclusion to draw from my appointment today is: I am being treated like any other pregnant person. Because everything looks.....fine.
I could say more, but...this is already a long and rambling entry. The truth is I have few energy reserves left right now. My life is still about day to day survival and thankfulness. But after my appointment (it is a beautiful spring day) I went on a little excursion to our local shopping mall. Since it was the middle of a workday, this place was actually quite peaceful and relaxing, as opposed to its weekend mayhem. I bought a frozen raspberry yoghurt and wandered aimlessly, quelling my queasiness with the treat. I looked at the shop displays with vague interest but mainly the knowledge that there is nothing more in the world I really want or need right now, that it is enough just to be alive and to know what I know. I allowed myself to not feel terrified.
And then I went looking for some elastic-waisted pants because even though I'm not "showing," I find myself undoing my buttons rather frequently, and, um, socially awkward.
Wishing everyone the best in where their journeys take them, as always.