Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Status Report - 209 Days to Go!

OK, so I was suffering a little from the fear of the unknown. I had no idea how my baby was doing and there was nothing I could do about it. Given that I am a Control Freak by nature, this made me fucking crazy. Alright, fine, more crazy than usual.

The risk of miscarriage in the first trimester is very high. However, with proper prenatal care, once you have reached double digit weeks and the presence of a strong heartbeat has been confirmed, that risk drops to 3%. So I talked my midwife into letting me have an ultrasound far, far earlier than I normally would.

Today, I saw my baby's heartbeat. It was, without a doubt, the coolest thing I have ever seen. He/she has a healthy 163 bpm heart rate and is swimming around with a distinguishable head and eyes and little arm and leg buds. The sonographer assures us that everything looks like it should at this time. He/she is 3.2cm long right now, on track with my dates and due to join us in April.

Now I know for sure that a baby is developing normally, and it's on the way. Now I have a whole new set of reasons to be terrified!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Status Report - 215 Days to Go!

Yeah, yeah. Exhaustion this, nausea that. It's getting to be the same old, same old. I've got 3 weeks left of the first trimester, and it can't be over soon enough. You'd think that's because the symptoms generally abate after 13 weeks, and sure that's part of it. But mostly it's because after the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage drops significantly.

There is a tremendous fear involved in growing a person. The stats are out there, and they're scary. 15-25% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. While half of you is incredibly excited, mentally mapping out the nursery and window shopping for the coolest stroller money can buy ($1000, thank you very much), the other half is terrified that something is wrong with the baby, that at any moment you're going to have a telltale cramp that signals the end.

This is not helped by seemingly well-meaning (yet completely stupid) people pointing out that "it's early", as though any couple expecting a baby isn't already painfully aware of that. Here's a tip for those well-meaning (yet completely stupid) folks out there: Miscarriage is a real fear, and it's very sad, and any couple expecting a baby knows that "it's early" because they were both there at conception - they do NOT need your reminder.

If they choose to share their news earlier than you did or would if it were you, it's because they are happy and they want to share that joy. Should something bad happen, they will be sad and they would like some help coping with their sadness. Ya' know, like help them through it by saying a kind word or something crazy like that, rather than hiding in a cave like fucking lepers in a time of personal tragedy. The woman in particular will already feel like it's all her fault, and making it sound like they're jinxing it is particularly cruel to her.

When a couple shares the news that they're expecting a baby, the appropriate response is "Congratulations! That is wonderful news!" If they later have to un-tell the news, the appropriate response is "I'm sorry to hear that, do you need anything at this time?" Saying anything idiotic like "Why did you tell people so early?" is totally inappropriate, and also none of your business. If they tell you to go fuck yourself, either in person or in a blog post because they heard about your ever-so-unhelpful commentary after the fact, suck it up. You deserve it.

And seriously. Go fuck yourself.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Status Report - 225 Days to Go!

Allergies aren't fun. They're even less fun when sneezing actually HURTS. Yup, PAIN with every achoo. It's called Round Ligament Pain, and it's really, really annoying. The exhaustion is still here, and I get afternoon sickness. At about 3:00, an overwhelming wave of nausea takes over and stays with me all through the subway ride home. Now that I actually AM knocked up, I'm reading all the shit they don't tell you about before you've got your positive pee stick, like round ligament pain.

I have regressed to the eating habits of your average 5 year old. Friday night, I had my first real, honest to goodness, no basis in rationality, completely insatiable food craving. The lovely planned dinner of a small steak, potato and asparagus? Out the window. I *NEEDED* nasty, greasy, salty, terrible for me but oh so tasty Chinese food. Nothing else would do. In fact, the thought of eating anything else made me nauseous.

At the grocery store, I bought chocolate-dipped granola bars and string cheese. String cheese! Today, it was KD. Salty, mushy, fake-cheese nastiness and again, the thought of eating anything else was more than my stomach could take. I never eat this shit. Remind me to thank this kid with brussel sprouts when he or she is here.