So, I found out I was pregnant a few weeks ago! Isn’t that great? I mean, I think it’s pretty great, anyway. It wasn’t too much of a surprise on the whole, as we’d been trying … for all of two weeks at the point which I’d found out I’d been sperminated. (Is that gross or unladylike for a pregnant woman to say? “Sperminated”? Never mind. I guess I don’t much care whether it is or not.) So yeah, I’d been on the pill since our first daughter was born but apparently I’m some kind of fertile Myrtle over here, I guess, as I wasn’t even off the pill a full thirty days before we’d started trying.
This past week was both my first OB appointment and my first sonogram. According to the docs, I am 9 weeks pregnant. Only nine weeks. Guys? Physically, I feel about 29 weeks pregnant. I’ve got it all – the sore boobs, the debilitating morning sickness (whose name is very misleading, as the sickness lasts all day long rather than just in the mornings) and fatigue that puts me to bed around 8 in the evening. How does it compare to my first (and only other) pregnancy? Frankly, it’s a polar opposite. Aside from the growing bump and gradual kicks in the ribs, I had no physical symptoms that my body was harboring a sweet little fetus. Even my labor and delivery didn’t exceed six hours. Is this repayment for having such a blissful first go-round? I’m thinking yes. All I can say is thank God for Cheez-Its, chicken noodle soup and ice cream.
During the very first visit, the midwife tried to pull a fast one and do a pap test on me. A pap test. On a (probably paranoid) pregnant woman, not even out of her first trimester. I politely declined, saying that my most recent pap had been within the last six months, thankyouverymuch. She looked fettered by practiced courtesy and excused herself from the room to consult with the physician over her newest, uncooperative, sure-to-be-a-pain-in-the-ass patient. She returned a moment later and advised me that I’d have to have a pap during my second trimester and did indeed have the option to refuse the first-trimester test. As if I’d have it any other way. She did an outside exam, pushing around and squeezing the last bit of pee out of my bladder (not really, that’s gross, but that’s what it felt like at the time) and offered to break out the doppler to see if we could hear the baby’s heartbeat. My husband and daughter both accompanied me to the first appointment and were just as excited at the possibility of hearing the baby’s heart. To make a story about a ten-minute process that rendered zero results short, I have a a ticklish stomach, a very short humor fuse and a daughter that likes to whisper extra-loud comical quips like “Daddy… is the baby swimming in there?” Have you ever laughed during a doppler exam? It’s loud and abrupt to say the least. At this point, I think I’d really ticked the midwife off, because she brusquely said something like “Well, apparently that’s not going to work today,” and left the room to get my paperwork. I shrugged, still chuckling at my daughter’s comment and sat up. Before we left, she thrust a bag of leaflets into my hand and directed me to the check-out desk. She didn’t say goodbye.
My next appointment – for an ultrasound – was a few days later at a different facility. I’d worried that my reputation as an uncooperative laugher would have preceded me, but I’d found I was being paranoid (surprise surprise). I eased myself up onto the table, my ever-present husband and daughter took a seat next to it and the lights dimmed as we turned our eyes to the large-screen monitor up on the wall. My daughter took the opportunity to ask at that moment if Cars 2 was going to be shown, and the hysteria ensued once again. I was lucky this time, however, as transvaginal ultrasounds don’t sputter and spit when you laugh, unlike me. And doppler scans by militant midwives.
As it turned out, the baby is healthy and sweet and did a little jig with her head and shoulders while we examined her tiny profile to prove she’s got rhythm. (I say “she” for now. Call it intuition. Or delusion, you know.)
Right now she’s itching for a vanilla milkshake. Or at least, that’s what I’m going to tell myself when I hop on the scale at the mid-point of my pregnancy so that I won’t be surprised to see forty-five pounds of weight gain. You know how it goes.