Saturday, July 5, 2014

19 Weeks

I've actually had a couple doctor's appointments since my last post. If you haven't been pregnant, you may not realize just how quick and uneventful prenatal visits are. They weigh you, measure your stomach, take your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level. You pee in a cup, have an quick but invasive internal exam (where they may actually POKE at your cervix, or take samples of it. Sounds like a great idea, right?). Then, you are rewarded for your patience by getting to hear the baby's heart beat for 5 - 10 seconds. At some point during the pregnancy, some other tests are often run, but that's the standard visit....and I don't even do all that. (I'll explain below) I suppose I could come on and post "Another visit. Everything's good." but I really prefer not to post unless I have some content to convey.

Everything is pretty standard at my visits.
- WEIGHT. My weight doesn't actually change much. At 19 weeks, I've gained about 8 lbs. That's more than is recommended for someone that started overweight, but even my doctor thinks the recommendations are ridiculous. How realistic is it to tell a pregnant woman to gain less that the total weight that the pregnancy alone causes? Most guides say I should have gained less than 4 lbs. by now. That's baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, 50% increase in blood volume in my body, constipation (which seriously accounts for more than 4lbs at this point in most pregnancies, alone!), etc. I don't see it, but my husband insists I'm actually losing roundness in my face and such, even with the fluid retention. He's convinced I'm actually going to lose weight, all said and done, from this pregnancy. lol (It's his first baby. I'll just take the compliment and let him enjoy his delusions.) ;)
- FUNDAL HEIGHT. I have no issue with this, but my doctor did it once, was massively confused, and hasn't bothered since. I don't measure anywhere near accurately until I'm like 8 months. The last 2 pregnancies, the doctors were months off in their estimates until the ultrasound. Even then, they went with an extreme end of the date range that gave, when right in the middle would have been correct. This pregnancy seems consistent. We know the exact date of conception, so anything that conflicts with that info is being considered inaccurate. 
BLOOD PRESSURE. Mine is consistently a bit low, with the occasional really low spike. (I think 85/47 or some such is my record. Most of the time it's around 110/70 or so) High blood pressure is a worry. Low blood pressure is normal and healthy in pregnancy. The changes in blood volume and such usually causes a slight decrease in blood pressure. Up to 15 points lower than normal (and my normal is about 120/80) is common, but even my sudden drops are only a cause for concern if they cause concerning symptoms. Mostly they just make me really run down and fatigued. Loss of appetite when it drops low. Intense craving for strong coffee (which I've never actually liked, even when I drank the stuff all the time) right before a sudden drop. And, of course, if I'm in any kind of social setting I'm likely to have an autistic shut down. Trying to process all that communication (talking, body language, vocal tones, whatever) is beyond my ability and my mind just shuts it all out.
HEART RATE. That's always spot on. Even when my blood pressure drops, my heart rate is always dead in the middle of healthy.
OXYGEN. That's always really high. That's a good thing. Super super healthy levels.
URINE TESTS. Sugar and protein are always very healthy. That in particular is always a comfort, since my pcos makes me statistically more likely to develop gestational diabetes. 
INTERNAL EXAM. This one I skip. Every time I've ever had one of these while pregnant, it's triggered contractions. Just braxton hicks early on, but that's what triggered both of my previous labors. I've always assumed this is due to my sensory processing issues. My experiences with these kind of exams do not match up with other women's descriptions of their experiences. I have had a single exam this pregnancy because of some light spotting. We ran a PAP as long as we were at it. That came back normal, as expected. The spotting was super light (though the first time I've ever had spotting during pregnancy, aside from the days before miscarriage), and likely caused by a very mild infection as I had a slightly inflamed cervix. I had painful cramping and braxton hicks for hours following it....so, that's consistent in this pregnancy too...still not having those without a good reason.
BABY'S HEART BEAT. We don't actually do this one every time. The purpose is really more to calm my miscarriage fears, more than anything. There's no reason to expect it to be anything but normal. The heart beat has been consistently at the high end of normal. Some people think this indicates gender, but both my boy and girl were the same....so mainly I think that just means it's my kid. Phew! Good to know! =)

We hemmed and hawed a bit about doing another ultrasound. The first one looked good. It wasn't technically connected to the pregnancy though, so another is part of the standard pregnancy package if we want it. We're going to go through a few months without insurance, though. Not to worry....insurance will be back before I'm due. But, we decided that we'd feel better going into that period of self care with as much information as possible. So, the ultrasound is next week. Neither +Jason Shepherd nor myself really wants to know the gender ahead of time....but we keep going back and forth on it anyway. We're going to be moving into a place with less than half the sq ft of the one we're in now. Which furniture even comes with, let alone which kid goes into which room, would be a much easier decision if we knew the gender. We'll probably find out the gender, put I still feel quite torn. 

Well, that's long enough for today....
Until next time....