I'm now in the midst of my 16th week - and I think I've lost about 16% of my brain capacity. I can hardly formulate a sentence without looking like a complete idiot. Yup you guessed it... I have preggy brain!! Those who have experienced this know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. The lack of concentration, the inability to recall information (like when I was asked for my postal code and for the life of me, couldn't remember it). Or names... God forbid anyone who introduces themself to me. I just sit there thinking "Oh I won't remember who you are until some time next year you poor sap!" It's an actual REAL phenomenon for those of you unaware. Your brain actually SHRINKS during pregnancy. Must be the hormone thing I guess. Your brain shrinks and your ass widens. Seems like a fair trade off. I know my husband doesn't mind other assets of my pregnancy. Namely my illustrious bosom. Can't blame him - they are pretty spectacular. Too bad they hurt so much all the time.
As in any pregnancy, I had my first OB visit (I should clarify and say it wasn't the first time I saw a doctor; it was just until now I was seeing my family practitioner who kept making me pee on pregnancy tests and asking why I thought I was pregnant). See... there is a reason why he doesn't care for maternity patients. Nevertheless... where I live (Canada), or should I clarify WHERE I live (Alberta), there is a very uneven ratio of pregnant women to OB's. Like for every 100 pregnant women, there is 1 OB. Therefore you see doctors that practice maternal medicine, who aren't TECHNICALLY OBGYN's, but do delivery babies vaginally. As such, I'm considered low-risk and don't warrant the high-risk OBGYNS. Unless my baby has two heads, I'm going to the maternity clinic like all the other knocked up ladies.
So I FINALLY get my referral from crazy pregnancy-test GP to this nice clinic they just opened about five months ago. I meet the doctor's nurse, who is super sweet! Just the kind of person you feel instantly at ease with. We talk a few minutes and I casually mention I'll require a c-section because of my prior births. She looks at me and says, "Well you shouldn't have been referred here, you should have been directly referred to the high-risk clinic at the hospital with the actual OBGYN". *Sigh* - and then she tells me that they don't even take care of mandatory c-section patients. She excuses herself to talk to the doctor quickly, to see if he'll even see me. GREAT! I'm 16 weeks pregnant and no one wants to take care of me and my baby! She comes back in, and says Dr. B feels badly I've been run around the city and between people, and that he'd like to personally take me on as his patient until I'm 36 weeks, and he'll book me directly for the c-section and take care of the consultation with the surgeon for me!! WELL THAT'S BETTER! We pre-booked all my appointments with him until the end of January.
So feeling pretty special the nurse asks me to lift up my top so we can listen to the baby's heartbeat. I haven't heard it yet, so I happily whip out my belly for a listen. She tries for 10 minutes to find it, and can't. By that time I'm feeling a little worried. She's pretty quiet and I know what she's thinking "Where the heck are you?" She says she'll let Dr. B take a looksie (I hate when people say that; it's just their way of downplaying a potentially serious situation), and hopefully he'll find it. She leaves for about 5 minutes and he comes in all smiles. Says he heard the nurse couldn't find baby, and that sometimes that happens, but in some cases, the baby has died. GREAT!! Of course I was worrying the same thing, and he asks me if I felt it moving. I said I thought I had actually, but now I'm second-guessing fetal movement being gas. He said if he can't find it, I'll have to have a stat ultrasound to see if the baby is still viable. By this time I'm almost ready to burst into tears, fully anticipating he won't find the baby. He plops his Doppler down and IMMEDIATELY I hear the comforting "woosh woosh" of this little baby who was so shy 15 minutes earlier! I think I yelled "THERE YOU ARE!"... almost adding "you little shit!" It was in the 150's, and sounding great!! Once that was over with, he said I was looking good weight and blood pressure wise, and he'd see me in October!!
Now I know a lot of people have had the same experience where they had a baby that was shy and hiding about, not making it easy to hear the heartbeat. I don't think there is anyone that is rational though when this happens. I think we ALL fear the worst possible scenario. Thank God mine didn't come to fruition. But I will admit to anyone reading that when the nurse first left to get the doctor, I prayed to God that this baby was fine, and the doctor would be able to find the heartbeat right away. Isn't that what we do for any of our children though? Ask God for those little miracles all along the way? And I know that not all prayers are answered. But I'm thankful that He saw fit to answer that one.
I know I'm going to have a lot more of these little experiences before I meet this little one. I'll be praying that the AFP/triple screen comes out negative. I'll be praying that the ultrasound in October shows a healthy, wonderful baby. I'll be praying that the GD test comes back negative. I'll be praying like crazy before the c-section. It's a wonder that I'll get to enjoy any of this pregnancy the way I fret like a complete neurotic. And the funniest part is when you hold that baby in your arms, all the worries and the prayers are worth it. And you are just thankful to finally be in that moment. Months of morning sickness, forgetfulness, constipation, braxton hicks, worrying.... it all boils down to one single moment. And isn't it worth it?