Sceptimum

One sceptical mother (of two)

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

“I wish I could be pregnant forever and ever and ever…”

…said absolutely fucking no-one ever.
"Oh, see if you can get Jazz FM while you are up there?"

“Oh, see if you can get Jazz FM while you are up there?”

We went for our first scan on Monday, which was interesting. The scan was all fine and good – it looks about the right shape (like a small alien or a kidney bean, let’s face it) and has a decent heartbeat going on at 168bpm.  Even better, they were able to get a decent reading from the outside of my abdomen and we didn’t have to go with a trans-vaginal scan which is no fun whatsoever.

(A trans-vaginal scan, for those of you fortunate enough not to know, is when they get a white wand, cover it in gel and jam it right up there and give your bits a good thorough jabbing until they have a decent image of what’s going on. Or get the signal for Jazz FM, whichever comes first.)

An outside scan is still not completely pain-free, even if your cervix doesn’t get shunted about your abdomen like bumper car being driven by a boy racer. In the movies, they always show the scan gently gliding across the belly on a screen of fairy dust and sparkles. In real life the gel is fecking cold and the screen is angled away from you and the ultrasound operator has to give a good hard press down on the abdomen to get a decent pic so it’s less glide-y and more pokey pokey.

Also you have been told to drink 2 litres of water in the previous hour (I cheated and drank about 1.5ish as I am not a fecking camel and started to feel ill) and are not meant to pee for 2 hours before hand (again, cheated and peed with an hour to go) so they are effectively hammering down on your full bladder as you try desperately not to pee on them. The woman operating the scan was very reassuring; she must have used the words “normal” or “good” at least 10 times in 3 minutes so I suspect she gets a lot of very nervy patients when people are at this stage. Perhaps making them less nervous makes them less likely to pee on her?

It all went well but, according to the measurement from crown to tip, I am wee bit less preggers than I thought, so my due date is now Aug 22-ish. I had originally calculated for the 15th, then the doc said the 18th, and now we are at the 22nd. They keep pushing it back. By the time we get to the third trimester, it’s probably going to be pushed back until October sometime, probably pre-Christmas, or definitely 2014 at the outside.

I am going to be pregnant FOREVER.

Don’t ask

Forget all the stuff I said about it being sensible to keep quiet about early pregnancy until worst of the chance of miscarriage has passed. I have a new theory. I suspect the main reason that women in their first trimester are advised not to talk about being pregnant is that no one wants to hear about the most pressing thing that is on their mind all the time – what the fucking fuck has suddenly gone wrong with every single aspect of their body.

Yeah. This.

From my exhausted brain to my sluggish digestive system, everything appears to stopped working properly. The fact that few people know I am pregnant has so far spared the world from my unending stream of biological complaints. If I’d been feeling more forthcoming, my answers to a polite “how are you?” could have been:

  • Fuck off. I’m sleepy.
  • Bulgy with cranky overtones.
  • None of my pants fit and your perfume smells like catsick and I want to throw up on your shoes.
  • Nauseous but starving.
  • Really very nauseous. Pass the two minute noodles.
  • Yeah, and a second packet.
  • Fat. Knackered.
  • Ugh. Nauseous and can’t poop. Going to nap now.
  • Awake. Tired. Still can’t poop.
  • Worried that I haven’t pooped in so long I may explode in public  like the world’s worst pinata.
  • Pooping again. You have no idea how good it is. Still fat though.

Eating. Sleeping and waking rested. Crapping with ease. Putting on my pants and being able to close the zipper enough to satisfy my modesty and the restrictions of NSW’s indecent exposure laws. All things I didn’t realise I was taking for granted until that second line appeared on the pregnancy test pee stick.

So, you’ll have to forgive me – between the fatigue and the nausea – if I am a little vague at the moment. If I don’t really seem to be paying attention, and answering your questions on how I am with a vague “mmm” and change of the topic as opposed to a full answer.

Because, trust me, really? You don’t want to know.

Spitting mad

They warned me about the boobs. They warned me about the nausea. They warned me about the fatigue, and increased appetite, and the heightening of my sense of smell to the point where walking past people wearing cheap perfume is an exercise in restraining myself from shrieking, slapping them and then spraying them with a hose.

Image from GreenGypsies on Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop/GreenGypsies

Drool signs. Not just applicable to dogs, apparently.

In fact they warned me about a whole bunch of things (vomiting, heartburn, flatulence, food cravings, headaches, dizziness,  fainting, frequent urination, drooling, and more than I ever needed to know about vaginal discharge, thanks) pretty much all of which I have thankfully managed to avoid. Nothing like spending your days dribbling, belching, farting and throwing up to give you that much-mentioned “expectant glow”.

But they didn’t warn me about the worst bit of being pregnant – the endless badly-spelled new-age horseshit wankology that goes with it. It’s all over the doctor’s surgeries, and the pregnancy magazines, and the websites and the forums and the guides.

There are the usual standbys, so shite there’s no point even getting annoyed about them: chiropractors,  homeopaths and iridologists, spiritual healers and twats with magnets shilling their expensive and ineffective wares.

Some are more practical. I can see the point of massage and even aromatherapy smells nice. But do you really need to spend all that cash when there’s a small child about to arrive? There’s also endless pleas to take up meditation, which seems a little sadistic. I’m not convinced developing a reliance on a need for silence and inner calm is a great idea when you are going to have a newborn in a few months.

Some just go right off into la-la-land when you need them. There are the doulas (birth assistants) who stress they worry about your spiritual needs in labour rather than the fact that you are CURRENTLY FORCING A SMALL HUMAN OUT OF YOUR VAGINA. Or fairly sensible books like What to Expect telling us not to get our ankles rubbed because reflexologists are worried it could bring on labour. (Overdue mothers, frankly, wish it were this fucking easy.)

Others abuse the poor English language in their endless quest to extract money from the wallets of unsure pregnant women. Today I saw a flyer for an alternative pregnancy class with a “wholistic approach”. I can’t tell you how much makes me want to slap them.

I can cope with the nausea. I can cope with enormo-boobs of doom, and the fact that my pre-natal vitamins make me want to hurl them right back up every morning, and the constant urge to eat. I can even cope with dribbling, fainting and vomiting, if I really have to. I just don’t think I can cope with another 7 months of being chased by alternative therapy suppliers just as I get too fat to run fast. Maybe projectile vomiting on command may be the way to go after all.

Time-travelling theoretical Tardis babies

I’m 7 weeks pregnant but, as many women can tell you, getting from here to actually having a baby is no done deal. Depending on what I’ve read, there’s between a 15% and 35% chance that this pregnancy will end in miscarriage or another complication.

Image courtesy of Tim Hoggarth on Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/theimagefixer/6953781399/

Ladies, you have more in common with the Tardis than you think.

And I’m not actually seven weeks pregnant, not really. The official count starts from the day 1 of your last period, whereas conception usually takes places about day 12-14, so the pregnancy clock starts ticking two weeks before you have sex. Your baby is like Doctor Who and can travel back in time.

You hear that, ladies and gentlemen? You could be pregnant with a time-travelling baby right now. Even if you haven’t had sex yet. Does that seem fair to you? I am unconvinced, to be honest.

So, allowing for the likelihood the pregnancy will not continue, and the fact that I’m barely pregnant, and I am in fact so barely pregnant I have been advised not to bother telling people for a few months, I figured that worrying about hospitals and where I would give birth was a good bit in the future. First things first and all that. Survive the first trimester nausea and enormo-boobs of doom and then worry about the birth.

I was wrong. A quick google revealed that, in Sydney anyway, obstetricians and centres book up fast. Every single forum, every advice page, was saying the same thing – book as soon as you know. So I rang my local hospital – the RPAH – to enquire about their birthing centre which has limited space. I did this early, with the pregnancy test barely drying. I did this, in fact, before I had even had a chance to tell the father. I was 5 weeks and one day pregnant.

And, according to the nice lady I spoke to, I was lucky to get a spot. “August? We’re already quite full.” She made it sound as though I had managed to squeak in by a hair as opposed to calling 3 weeks after conception, at the point where many women have no idea they are pregnant and when chemical pregnancies are very likely. I mean, what are erevyone else doing? Do they have the RPAH on speed-dial and call after they have sex? Do they call while they are having sex? Is it a case of “Oh darling, oh oh darling, oh oh CALL THE BIRTHING CENTRE I’M COMING!”.

Now, I haven’t decided I definitely want to go to the RPAH birthing centre. It has a very drug-free feel and I may decide that much like the Ramones, I wanna be sedated. I may decide to go private. I may decide to share my pain and do the entire thing as a form of interpretive theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Fuck it, I may decide to go to Fiji and give birth surrounded by dolphins in the blue lagoon or some such idiocy. The world is full of terrible choices I haven’t made yet, and I’ll get to them when I am feeling slightly less like throwing up on them.

Honestly, I haven’t really thought too much about it. The theoretical baby in my uterus is less than blueberry sized at the moment and I am fighting fatigue and all-day nausea, you will have to forgive my less than total planning for something that may not happen and it if does happen will take place over 6 months in the future. I also haven’t chosen my theoretical child’s name, first school, college, marital partner and grave plot. I know, I am a bad mother-to-theoretically-be. Shoot me. Or send me some ginger biscuits and something to throw up in.

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