Tuesday, September 26, 2006

16w 5d

Sorry for the dirth of posting recently. Life always gets in the way.

My discussion with the consultant, who kindly phoned me at home, was enough for me to make the decision to go ahead, and for the first time in a long time, trust my gut. (Even though the Prawn is sitting on it at the moment.) I declined the amnio and Mr. DD and I are content to wait until the 20 week anomaly scan to see what's going on.

It's been a very long time since I dared assume that anything was going to turn out for the best. We've had far to many things explode in our faces over the last 7 years or so and have adopted a "fool me once" attitude toward most major occurances. But for some reason, after all the worry about this pregnancy, I just have to let it go. I think the Prawn is fine and I think the 20 week scan will put me safely in the 1:322 bracket. Not only that, but we'll be able to find out whether the Prawn is in posession of a doo-dah or a hoo-ha.

I've started feeling little flutters down below, which is cool. If I slouch at my desk for longer than necessary, the Prawn gets antsy and jabs me to get me to stop cramping it's style. I’ve been kind of wigged out by what seems to be occurring in my lower regions recently, to be honest. Living on a boat, there is little space for a full length mirror, so when I was granted the privilege of showering in my in-laws lovely bathroom this last weekend, I was so stunned at the sight of my body I nearly squeezed half a bottle of apricot scrub all over the carpet. I’ve never been what you could define as slender, but to suddenly see this massive jutting belly appearing from beneath my pajama top was slightly unnerving. (I got big fast. And no, there aren’t two of them in there, unless one is hiding exactly behind the other at all times in the same position, chuckling to itself and waiting until my due date to surprise the hell out of both of us.)

Pregnancy is a natural state, I know, but then again, there are a lot of things that are natural, like tornados and platypus and god knows what kind of monsters that live at the bottom of the ocean. They all have extreme weirdness in common.

It’s kind of like having a roommate move into a very small apartment with you. Sometimes because you advertised for one, but often, just because you forgot to lock the door one night.

You might not notice them at first, despite the limited space. There might be an odd sock around the place that you can’t immediately identify, but nothing you can put your finger on. Then suddenly, you might start to notice strange smells emanating from the kitchen that make you violently ill; your new housemate obviously has vastly different tastes in food than you. They didn’t bring anything with them, of course, so before you know it, they’re wearing your stuff, crowding you out of your own living room, sleeping in your bed and squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube instead of from the end.

But despite all the trouble they caused moving IN, this is NOTHING compared to what happens when they move OUT.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

More Questions (updated)

Today I was hoping for some answers.

I'd been recommended to a pre-natal medicine clinic for what I believed was going to be a level II ultrasound which I hoped would adjust my maternal serum odds and make the decision about whether to have an amnio easier.

I was disappointed.

The midwife that saw me prior to the scan was odd and intense. She stared at me after every statement she made for just a few seconds too long, as if to say, "You DO understand what I'm saying, don't you?" The long and short of it was, she shattered my confidence that 1:161 was nothing to worry about.

There was a clinic held by a doctor that morning doing amnios and it was strongly recommended that I consent to one. For the first time in the history of this pregnancy, I didn't fold immediately and give in.

"Um, I was under the impression that I was just coming in today for a high level scan, not an amnio."

"We recommend amniocentesis for everyone who's had a positive test. That's anyone who's 1:250 or higher risk. We just follow a set of guidelines."

By the time the consultation was over (made worse, I might add, by a student doctor staring at us intently from about 3 feet away.) I was literally about to totally lose my shit. The waiting room was full of pregnant women now, so we stood in the corridor and I whispered to Mr. DD in hushed, hysterical tones while he tried desperately to reassure me that we didn't know anything more now than before we walked in, so I should try to be calm. There was only one other woman in the room who looked more miserable than me. She had come alone, had an IV peg in the back of her hand and was walking with a great deal of pain. I suspected she might have had a termination that she didn't feel particularly happy about and had to resist the urge to go and hug her.

The scan (which wasn't level II) was conducted by a rather brusque, but not totally unfriendly Northern Irish doctor who couldn't find any definite "Downs markers". I would have enjoyed it had I not been so rattled by my consultation with Nurse Rachet moments earlier; fingers and toes were clearly discernible and the Prawn wriggled around to avoid being Big Brother-ed.

We were forced to re-visit Nurse Rachet after the scan to discuss options. Her attitude softened remarkably when the whole lot of crazy that I thought I could keep under control till we got to the car burst out in a huge flood of tears and snot right there in her office.

"I'm so sorry," she said, "you seemed so bouncy when you came in here. I hate to send you home like this."

So now I'm left wondering what the fuck to do next. Since the beginning of this pregnancy, I've had an awful time getting two doctors to agree on anything having to do with my treatment. My GP was dead set against the progesterone, my specialist was all for it. My GP didn't think an 8 week scan was necessary. My specialist did. My specialist told me that 1:161 was really nothing to worry about. Nurse Ratchet said, "Oo, he was a bit brave saying that, I think."

My gut feeling is that there is nothing wrong with the Prawn. But this morning shattered any illusion of calm that I had about this pregnancy.

I don't know what to do.


I was determined that I wasn't going to sit around on my ass today without answers, so I phoned up Dr. Bow Tie Guy. Technically, he's not really my doctor anymore, but he told me early on if there was ever anything I wanted to chat about that I should make an appointment.

Since Mr. DD couldn't come with me due to the fact he was buried under work and trying to figure out what in the holy hell is going on with our estate agent. So, to make sure I didn't end up completely turning into a puddle of unreasonable goo in front of Dr. BTG, I wrote the entire story down as honestly as I could remember it and showed it to Mr. DD before I left. He thought it was good.

Dr. BTG was running behind, but when he finally DID see me, I handed him the letter and explained that it was probably going to be more concise than I could.

The eyebrow went up not too far into my missive.

"You didn't even SEE the consultant?" he queried.

"No, just the midwife."

As the reading continued, he truly began to get a face on like a piece of knitting. He immediately got on the phone to his secretary and asked her to get a hold of the clinic consultant's home and mobile phone numbers. In the 7 months or so that I've known him, it's the first time I've seen him get irritated.

"I'm going to have a chat with him this afternoon and I'll call you at home this evening and we'll see whether we can't come up with a better plan. Oh, and there's no charge for the consultation today."

He patted my hand as I left the office. "Fear not," he said, "I have good vibes."

Can I just say again.....LOVE HIM.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Tag! I'm it. The OneLiner says so. I'm using her words to say something interesting.

Lucky- Mr. DD and I have had a lot of discussions about luck over the past 7 years that we've been married. We've always felt somewhat under the shadow of an inauspicious cloud- if something has been able to go wrong or get in the way of us moving forward in life, count on it, it's going to happen.

The laws of probability (which I find kind of comforting in a strange way) dictate that if there are two random outcomes, there is just as much chance of one happening as the other. While the chances of a coin coming down tails 400 times in a row is slim, it is not improbable since with every flip of the coin, probability basically "resets" itself. (Anyone else a huge fan of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead?) Of course, this really can't be applied to most stuff in our lives as there are many more factors than chance affecting outcomes, but in the last few years , if we've needed the coin to come up heads, it's almost always been tails.

Until this year. :)

Frantic- I was apparently a total pain in the ass when I was a toddler. (For which I am expecting much karma) I remember numerous occasions on which I was taken to the car for a "time out" or a spanking for behaving like a wild animal in public. (Just FYI, my parents are wonderful people and didn't beat me or anything, but every time I got a spanking I TOTALLY deserved it.)

I can't imagine what a nightmare I must have been to go shopping with. On one occasion, my mom was browsing in a clothing shop and in the split second she turned her back on me, I was out of my stroller, and out the door of the shop, intently focused on one of those cheap, mall merry-go-rounds in the hallway.

Having discovered my disappearing act, my mother, totally insane with worry, ran out of the shop to look for me with two blouses in her hands, setting off the shop alarm and bringing mall security guards running. All was soon explained, however; it was fairly obvious that she was not engaging in any nefarious activity other than motherhood.

Elusive- I don't know if anyone else is guilty of this.

I take my shoes off everywhere. We get to someone's house, they're off. The minute I walk in the door at work (my in-laws house) they're gone.

This odd habit has made the end of stay Shoe Hunt a near daily occurrence. I'm convinced that they walk around by themselves when no one's looking. If the family dog was a shoe chewer, (he's not) I'd blame him for making off with them. But no, it's just me and my chronic short attention span that's to blame for my elusive footwear. I spend at least 15 minutes a day looking for my shoes. By the time I die, I probably will have spent over a year of my life in pursuit of my shoes.


I tag Meg from Journey to the Centre of the Egg, Sara from The Island and Katty from Going it Alone. Your words, ladies, are:





Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Day In, Day Out

I notice a lot of pregnancy blogs tend to go days without updating. It's now obvious why this is. What does one write?

"Today was pretty much like any other day. I went to work. Had lunch. Worked some more. Came home. Watched bad tv. Went to bed. Oh, yeah, still pregnant, swollen, running to the bathroom every 5 seconds and afflicted with heartburn. Love, Rockmama."

Pretty much jack has been going on here for the last week or so. Still waiting for our incompetent health authority to issue a recommendation for a level II ultrasound which needs to be done by 16 weeks. (I'm now 14w 6d, so as you can imagine, I'm kind of tearing my hair out) The Prawn is still beating away in there, albeit slightly louder now than before, which is always nice to hear.

Further updates as events warrant.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hey! It's An Embarassing Question!

It's not like this isn't a question that I couldn't ask Dr. Bow Tie Guy. The man who encouraged me to talk to my husband's willy before engaging in "Plan B". He's not exactly shy. But what the hell, I'm going to ask you ladies instead. Although I've found many answers on many different forums, I can't seem to find anything definitive on the matter. But I HAVE learned rather a lot about dildos in the process.


If you've had a previous history of miscarriage, do you have to lay off the good stuff for 9 months?

My inability to make up my own mind on this subject probably comes from an inability to see this as a "normal" pregnancy, even, if for all intents and purposes, it is so far.

So, how about it, girls. No big O until the kid shows?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Good News

Well, I finally managed to get my hands on a bona fide UK driver's license.

It's about bloody time.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bad News (updated)

Maternal Serum Result: Positive.

While I'm aware that this doesn't necessarily mean that the Prawn has Downs, as you know, this is not going to stop me from going to hide under the bed.

A cryptic sheet arrived at my house this morning. No explanations, no nothing. Just the knowledge that from the ultrasound stats (1:1056) to the blood stats (1:84) to the combined risk (1:161) there was a little bit of a downward spiral. Dr. Bow Tie Guy is calling me this afternoon.

More waiting. More worrying.


Dr. BTG called me soon after we arrived home in the evening. It turned out that he'd spent a good deal of the day with an emergency ectopic surgery. This sort of immediately put things into a little bit of perspective- somewhere out there, there was another woman who was feeling a hell of a lot worse than me.

"Right," he said, "if you were my wife, I would recommend you forget about it and enjoy your pregnancy. The odds are clearly in your favor. I know I wouldn't back a horse at 1:161."

"But I know you'll want to be sure, I've contacted a very talented genetics specialist friend of mine who will give you a super-high res scan in Oxford and conduct the quadruple serum test."

Can I just say that I love this man? And also, my insurance company, who's about to throw up a little bit when they see my claim?

Since yesterday, I've had some time to calm down a little bit. I think the initial shock of receiving the results that we expected to be totally normal was what really knocked me for six. I've also done a fair amount of reading on the internet about this particular test and the high rate of false positives; one of the rare occasions that almost every site I visited was unanimous in it's opinion on the subject- HEY! DON'T FREAK OUT! THIS HAPPENS A LOT! I know the odds favor me. But I'd like it better if I could find out by how much without having to stick a huge fucking needle through my abdomen.

I'm convinced that someday, this kid is going to be writing a book about me and how I managed to stunt them emotionally. My Mother And Other Neuroses.

Midwife Report

After having a minor admin nightmare with the NHS, I've finally been assigned a midwife.

She came to visit Wednesday morning for my booking-in. It was a typical morning in the in-laws house; since we run 2 seperate businesses out of it, there was the usual chaos happening everywhere. The dog was barking. The accountant had to bring his two kids because he has them this week. The power went off, so no one could DO anything- the consequence being lots of people hanging out in the kitchen while I was talking in the next room about my private ladyplace.

The midwife was very nice, pretty much what you'd expect. Older, mumsy type, soft spoken. Gave me a bunch of literature that I've already read, took 5 rather large vials of my blood, (I have a needle thing and according to Mr. DD there was quite the fountain when she first stuck me. Lucky we were sitting on the white leather couch.) and just made sure I was feeling okay.

My next appointment isn't until 16 weeks (3 weeks away) so I'll have some time to just twiddle my thumbs and play Hunt the Prawn with the doppler.