bumpwatch terror alert: week 24

i am officially gestating a viable fetus! what an accomplishment.

yesterday was bittersweet. on the one hand, i achieved gestational viability, which is something i’ve been looking forward to for months. a baby born at 24 months has a pretty decent shot at being kept alive (although, obviously, the earlier a baby is born, the more long-term health issues it potentially faces, so don’t expect me to start trying to induce labor any time soon). on the other hand, jared left to do dissertation research in new england. he’ll be back in less than three weeks for our baby shower, & then we’re traveling to boston together for one last hurrah before we become parents, but i’ll be flying home to kansas alone while he stays to do research until thanksgiving. he also anticipates having to do a little more research in december, meaning he won’t be home full-time again until i am around 35 weeks pregnant. & then, only because i put my foot down & said, “no traveling out of state in the month before my due date.” just in case i go into labor a little early.

my most recent prenatal was a few days before he left (& the same day he did his master’s exams, which means he is officially all-but-dissertation at this point–go, jared!). both the baby & i appear to be in excellent health & the nurse didn’t anticipate any physical problems with me taking care of the house by myself for the next couple of months. my blood pressure was normal & i didn’t have any signs of elevated blood sugar, which were relieving developments in light of the fact that i have gained eight pounds in the last four weeks. rapid weight gain can sometimes be a harbinger of pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, but i guess in my case, it’s just a hint that i may be pregnant, & that the morning sickness that gave me such an aversion to sugar is long gone.

i was supposed to see my actual doctor, but she was called away to a delivery & i had to see the nurse practitioner instead. i do not care for the nurse practitioner. i had made a list of things i wanted to make sure i mentioned at my appointment &…i kind of feel that it didn’t go so well. for example, i said that i needed to schedule my gestational diabetes test. she looked at my chart & said, “yeah, we do that at 27 weeks so we’ll get that scheduled at your next appointment.” i pointed out that i will be over 28 weeks at my next appointment. not that it really matters, it’s just a week’s difference, but she was all, “don’t worry, it’s being scheduled, we’ll deal with it next time.” she said the same thing when i asked about referrals to pediatricians: “we’ll do that at the next appointment.” i mean, that’s cool, i can wait four weeks, but it was like she was irritated with me for planning ahead, or for being a first-time pregnant lady who is not already familiar with the time table the practice has established. it’s not like they gave me a hand-out about exactly what topics will be addressed at each prenatal. i just know i’m supposed to do a gestational diabetes test & get referrals for pediatricians at some point in the late second trimester/early third trimester. forgive me for trying to be proactive about that.

she also asked if i am experiencing any pain anywhere, & i told her about my right knee, which has giving me all kinds of trouble in the last month. maybe it is just having trouble supporting my heavier pregnant self (i have gained 25 pounds so far), maybe it’s related to my arthritis, maybe i actually injured it somehow. all i know is that it hurts A LOT. the nurse was all, “well, we can refer you to physical therapy.” i was like, “okay, sure, we can try that.” she was all, “unfortunately, we really can’t give you any medication for that because you’re pregnant. nothing stronger than tylenol. we just can’t write you a prescription for narcotics,” blah blah blah. never mind that my actual DOCTOR has already written me a prescription for something stronger than tylenol for the headaches that plagued me at the start of the second trimester. instead, let’s focus on how i never asked for narcotics & agreed to physical therapy. i really felt like she was treating me like a pill seeker, like i was trying to get hooked on oxycontin & using my baby as a fence or something. this was underscored by the fact that she obviously forgot to put anything about a physical therapy referral in my chart because i did not actually get referred to anyone. it’s like she thought i was making up the whole “knee pain” story to get drugs & when it didn’t work, she decided i didn’t need any real treatment.

there was also an awkward moment when one of the other nurses weighed me & then ducked into the hall to retrieve the “large adult” blood pressure cuff when she saw the numbers on the scale. i’ve never had trouble fitting into the regular cuff in the past. i know this is far & away the most i have ever weighed, but IT’S ‘CAUSE I’M PREGNANT. & the baby mostly stays in my abdomen. it makes very few forays into my upper arms. the “large adult” cuff was really not necessary.

anyway. our kansas baby shower is coming up in a few weeks & we specially ordered really cute invitations featuring a blue bird & a pink bird canoodling over an egg in a nest. jared was really motivated in making sure he took invitations up to school & passed them around to colleagues. & then his mom got in touch with us & asked how we would feel about having a second shower while we’re in boston! i never even expected anyone to give us one baby shower, let alone two. so i am hopeful that maybe this baby will have people that care about it, aside from jared & i, & that we’ll be all stocked up & ready for it once it is born.

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