A visit to Clinic One.

I woke up to the sound of our alarm clock, early enough on a fall morning that our room was still completely in the dark.  I squinted as I rooted through the laundry basket of clean, unfolded clothes: hoping desperately that the clothes I grabbed would both fit and vaguely match.  Then I stepped out into the cold and headed downtown to Clinic One.

Yes, this was this morning.

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Fruits and vegetables.

(Alternate title: “There’s an app for that.”)

When I found out that Bingo was working on cell division, one of my first acts was to download every free pregnancy app that I could find.  I then moved on to websites and e-mail lists, signing up for updates with abandon.  Sea did her part as well, creating a series of tickers that would make even the most avid blogger green with envy.   Though I’ve pared down on the electronic stalking of our fetus quite a bit as the months have passed, I still receive several updates every week.

One of the primary features of most of these pregnancy tracking tools is a weekly size update.  As well as giving length and weight (which mean nothing to me), the tools provide a handy visual by comparing the zygote/embryo/fetus size to the size of a fruit or vegetable.  At first I found these comparisons charming: “Bingo is a blueberry! Now a raspberry!”  I would wander the aisles of the grocery store, smiling indulgently at the fruit or vegetable of the week.  Unfortunately, the comparisons quickly moved out of the aisles of my grocery store and into the realm of the obscure: “How big is a persimmon?  What is a persimmon, again?”  Now the comparisons have become completely illogical.  Take, for example, the past couple of weeks:

-Two weeks ago, a cheerful e-mail update informed me that Bingo was now the size of a loaf of bread.  I looked down at my stomach, totally unable to imagine how a full loaf of bread could be stored in there.  A small loaf, I decided, might fit.  I moved on.

-A week later, an app told me that Bingo had grown to the size of bok choy.  I happened to have some bok choy sitting at the back of my fridge, so I took it out and looked.  It was, as I suspected, smaller than any available loaf of bread.  It was barely the size of a reasonable sandwich.  Bingo had shrunk?

-This week, the apps and the e-mails agree: Bingo is the size of a pineapple.   Smaller than many loaves of bread, still, but bigger than the bok choy.   It seems that Bingo grew, shrunk, and grew again.

Despite my disillusionment with the size comparisons, I find something really great about the idea of Bingo as a pineapple– all prickly skin and sharp spears. So I’m holding on to the idea of Bingo the pineapple at 33 weeks, just hoping that next week’s updates don’t downgrade the kid to some flimsy melon or hairy coconut.

Heads up, Bingo!

Yesterday I went to visit my friend, Diet Coke.  The visit marked the beginning of appointments every two weeks, as Bingo creeps closer to graduation.

Having seen Herbal Tea just two weeks ago, and the most interesting feature of that appointment  having been HT’s enthusiasm for Orange is the New Black, I naively wondered what there would possibly be to talk about only two weeks later.

As I sat in the waiting room, I heard the student midwife being prepped by Diet Coke in the background, “This is the patient with very low iron levels.”.  Notoriety, oh good!  The student appeared moments later, smiling nervously and grasping a clipboard with paperwork that– no doubt– referred to my hemoglobin.  I was ushered back into an office that I hadn’t been into before, the exam table made up to look like the bed in a slightly worn, but warm, B&B and pictures of babies and nursing women on the walls.  The student asked me about blood tests, iron supplements, and birth plans before asking me to lie down on the table/B&B bed for the physical exam.

I reminded myself of the fact that she was a student as she measured my fundal height beginning somewhere near my vagina, and again as she struggled to find Bingo’s heartbeat (I wasn’t worried, having felt Bingo kicking minutes earlier).  In general she was nice, competent, and she had warm hands: all things that I appreciate.

I suspect Diet Coke had been listening through the door: she appeared moments after the student had finished her exam.  She asked the same questions, repeated the fundal measurement from a more comfortable location, and found Bingo’s heartbeat within seconds.  Then, feeling at my belly, she paused.  “Huh”, she said.   She poked at my belly some more, bouncing both hands just below my ribcage.  “Huh”, she repeated: “I feel a nice, bouncy head here.”.  Turning to the student she directed, “Feel this.”  Four hands were now pushing on my stomach: “No, here.  Over here.  Feel that?  That’s the head.  Up here.”  Diet Coke looked at me over my belly, “Thanks for being a teachable moment.”

Apparently, Bingo’s head is somewhere around my rib cage and Bingo’s feet are somewhere around my pelvis*.  As Sea explained it later, Bingo is upside down. Upside down in fetus-land means that Bingo is right side up.  At 30 weeks, this isn’t totally uncommon, but it isn’t typical either.  Bingo has four weeks to do a headstand before we’re sent in for an ultrasound to confirm the upside down/right side up position.  If Bingo refuses to turn (please don’t be a jerk, Bingo), then they start trying to move Bingo manually.  I’m not totally sure what this involves, but it doesn’t sound terribly comfortable.  So get to work and put your head down, Bingo!

*I’m a little confused about this positioning, as I feel Bingo’s movements the most on my right side under my ribs.  Either Bingo’s bum feels like a head and the midwife is wrong, or the kid is just really into fist pumping.

A conversation with two ten year olds.

Kid 1: Wait, you’re pregnant?

Me: Yes.

Kid 1: How?

Me:  I just am.

Kid 1: What did you get pregnant with?

Me: A baby, I hope.

Kid 1: No, with what man?  What man did you get pregnant with?

Me: I didn’t get pregnant with any man.

Kid 2:  (leaping up, in great excitement) I know!  I know!  She got pregnant with insemination!  That’s how my sister and I were made!  With insemination!

Lists.

Expect an increase in posts as I spend the next two weeks visiting with my family.

Within minutes of stepping off the plane, I had been barraged with advice and concern (“Don’t lift that bag!”, “Did the flight attendants give you a pillow to hold over your stomach?”).  Soon after, my mother handed me a list of suggested/approved names.

Yes, an actual list.  The names are written in single file on one side of the lined paper.  On the other side she’s begun a list– titled RIP– of songs to be played at her funeral.

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Weird.

Not long ago, I realized that there were 99 posts on this blog.  The enormity of a hundredth post overwhelmed me, and I refused to update again until Sea had written.  Now that she has taken care of posts 100 and 101, I can go back to posting without worrying whether the topic at hand is substantial enough for such a momentous occasion.   Topics that were deemed not worthy of the final position in the top one hundred:

– My strained relationship with the soft serve ice cream truck that meanders down our street every evening.  I had always heard its repetitive song as whimsical, but now—as the truck slows in front of our house— the tune seems melancholy.  I’ve nicknamed the truck “listeria truck”, and wave sadly as it goes by.

– How Bingo’s gentle twitches are transforming into more insistent kicks.  And how last week Bingo discovered the ability to deliver a precise kick to my bladder.

– The complexities of creating a baby shower guest list: the politics of who to invite and who to strike from the list.

– Connected to the above point, my mistaken idea that a baby shower is a good opportunity to reconnect with people from earlier in my life.  Such as my high school best friend.  Though we live in the same city, I haven’t seen her in over five years.  Her immediate response to my request for her address was “why?”  When I told her it was to send her a baby shower invite she replied: “baby shower…for a cat?”

But I can’t devote this post to any of those topics either, because this blog post commemorates another momentous occasion: a year of blogging.  In a year, Sea and I have blogged our way through five months of TTC, four IUIs, 34 ultrasounds and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

A year ago, my insides were deemed photogenic by a brusque technician.   I started this blog the same day.   Today, we’re one day away from what is officially considered “viability”.  This morning I sat on the couch and, for the first time, saw Bingo move from the outside.  This afternoon, Sea and I lay next to each other on a beach.  Bingo began to kick, and I told Sea to watch.  As she saw Bingo move for the first time, she smiled.  “Weird”, she said.

Weird, indeed.