I didn't know I could smile this much.
7:09 p.m. - 2005-06-23

#2 today

I'm in love with my new doctor. With the entire place, really.

It's absolutely perfect. Wonderful. I haven't stopped grinning since I walked out of there this afternoon.

We were hit with the scent of candles as soon as we walked back from the waiting room. The nurse spoke sweetly to both of us as she led the way to the exam room. Unlike the stark, sterile rooms at the other clinic, these host a large folding screen and ornate sitting bench in addition to the standard table and wash area. The walls were adorned with pictures of babies that my new doctor has delivered, and it was impossible not to note how much friendlier and inviting this place is compared to where I was before.

She chatted and laughed with me while taking my family and medical history. She assured me that the doctor was very kind and accomodating, and I noted that my blood pressure was a good twenty points lower than it has been since I got pregnant.

She took us back to the doctor's office after she was done with her portion of writing. He met us at the door with a smile, shaking our hands and asking us to come in and have a seat. He went over the information we had provided, and then I was given the chance to voice any concerns or questions I had. And then, the most fascinating thing happened. He LISTENED very carefully to what I had to say without interrupting me or telling me that my worries were completely unfounded.

I told him about feeling uncomfortable at the other place, about the spotting I'd had, and about the problems they had noticed but failed to thoroughly discuss with me. I mentioned that for the past couple of months, my blood pressure has been elevated more than I thought was normal; and that while my headaches have improved a little, they're not actually gone. I told him that the medicine they'd prescribed made me feel woozy and sleep for twelve straight hours, and that I worried about how it might be affecting the baby. I spoke of the sciatic pain I've been having recently, and the dull, aching feeling that I get in my lower back whenever I stand for an extended period of time.

When I was through, he responded. Not in medical terms that I couldn't understand, but in regular language that didn't make me feel like a complete dumbass. He told me that if I ever had bleeding again, I was to come in immediately, and not to even bother with calling. He said that I should let him know if I ever felt uncomfortable or bothered by anything he or his staff did or said, and not to be scared to ask any questions that were on my mind. He said that a good doctor-patient relationship is the most important thing to him, and I knew he was telling the truth. He told me that the migraine medicine they had me on was way too strong, and that while it wouldn't hurt the baby, it's normally only prescribed for people who've had major surgery. He also promised to write me a prescription for something milder that should work better. The sciatic and back pain is normal, he said, but that he could give me something for it if it gets too bad.

And then he asked about my concerns regarding the birth. The other doctors never even MENTIONED the birth, even when I specifically asked. He was all ears, though, telling me that he didn't have any preference between a completely natural birth or one with an epidural, and that I was free to make either choice for myself. He was completely receptive to me wanting to wait as long as possible before getting the meds, and told me that just because he might tell me that it's now an option, it certainly doesn't mean that I have to get it right then. I can stay up and mobile for as long as I want before the epidural goes in, which is something else I wouldn't have been able to do at the other place. I still have more questions to ask about things like fetal monitoring, lactation consultants, and my birth plan, but I have plenty of time left to do that.

He told me that he'll be doing an ultrasound at every visit, and though I'm used to it at this point, I finally know WHY it's being done. I'm displaying signs of early (and minimal) placental abruption. My placenta is detached from the uterine wall in one place, and there's a spot of blood that shouldn't there in another. He told me that though he's a little concerned about it, careful monitoring should be an effective treatment. 95% of pregnancies with this symptom go to term and result in healthy babies, though bed rest and early hospital stays are fairly common.

And even though I know this--that my baby and I are both in a small amount of danger--I'm not worried. In just one visit, I'm already more certain that things are going to be fine than I have been the entire first half of my pregnancy. She's looking great, very active, and her heart rate is a strong and stable 142. The ultrasound was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I always liked the technicians at the other place, but this woman is even friendlier and more accomodating than they were. They had a small, separate screen positioned right by my head, so I didn't have to try to crane my neck around just to get a glimpse of my baby. Unlike the other women who've done my ulstrasounds, she took the time to point out and explain everything we were seeing on the screen. Their machine gives an audible heart beat along with the picture, and I was a little surprised when I realized that this is only the second time I've heard it. She was completely shocked when I told her, and assured me that I'd get to hear it every time from now on.

The baby was positioned head down with her feet up above my belly button, and from the look of her en pointe position, it seems that we may have a future ballerina on our hands! We could clearly see her mouth opening and closing as she took big gulps of the amniotic fluid (that's right, baby, practice that breathing), though she later bent both arms in front of her face.

They're giving me a due date of Nov. 3, though I know that doesn't really mean anything. That's only a couple of days different than I'd been told before, so it seems that we're well within normal range.

I'm thrilled--so much happier than I've been in the last six months--and even Alan remarked on the way home that I'm glowing. I know without a doubt that I've found the right place for us, and I'm so filled with love that I think I might burst.

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I am: so very many things. A mother, a wife, a dreamer, a lover of animals and babies, a friend. I've been called a bitch, but if that's what you call someone who stands up for what they believe in and refuses to settle, then I guess the title fits.

loves: my family, horses, a full night's sleep, puppy breath, my daughter's laughter, thunderstorms, bubble baths, makeup, soft sheets, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, wine, massages, the written word, and sour straws.

dislikes: closed minds, depression, pimples, extreme heat, math, panic attacks, black licorice, doing laundry, white chocolate, gin, Bush.