Sometimes it's hard to even remember I am pregnant, since there is not a single area in my life that gives a bit of slack because of the condition, LOL. Of course then, every night I am so very, very tired at around 9:00, so I am reminded then. But I have to push on through, because that is the only time I can grade papers, work chemistry problems, plan lessons, and so on. What ends up happening is that everything takes 10 times as long, I make lots of random typing mistakes, and I have a much harder time understanding and remembering chemical concepts. Sigh. Oh well!
This week I was reminded that I am in fact pregnant because I had to go to Bethesda twice for pregnancy-related things. First, on Wednesday I went to the "OB orientation", where I mainly fill out my pregnancy records. Someone on my facebook page said their doctor just photocopies her old record--no sense in having her fill everything out each time she gets pregnant. I just laughed because that is totally not the way of the government. I have to fill out the exact same information on about 10 different forms for EACH pregnancy! I had the brilliant idea after the fact that I should have typed up a spreadsheet with all my previous birth information, printed that off, and just put that in the records. I think I'll do it anyway, because I know all the details for each birth will fade and blur together as time passes! As it is, there are only 5 spaces for previous births, but they want information on all births, so I end up writing all up and down the margins. Crazy! I did bring a cheat sheet of sorts to help me remember all the birth dates and weights, but it didn't have any extra info on it that was asked, like where each child was born, and what complications each had.
Anyway, the nurse in charge of the orientation let me go *really* early this time, since she recognized me as having been through her spiel a few other times (3!). I didn't have to listen to the genetics counselor or the nutritionist! It was still a long morning because I had to go to the lab and get blood drawn for a zillion tests, plus give a urine sample. I also got my first actual appointment scheduled--for yesterday.
So I went back to Bethesda yesterday, taking Anna and Grace with me because we were heading to the commissary afterward, and it didn't make any sense at all to go back home to get them and then head back into the city. I prepped them for what they might see--an internal exam, a pap smear, a breast exam--but it turned out it was all for naught! The doctor did a quick dating ultrasound (my due date from the internet was right--Sept. 25), so I'm about 11 1/2 weeks right now. Then we trouped next door to "fill out the rest of the paperwork". (I thought, what paperwork could there possibly be? I filled so much out on Wednesday!) He wanted to talk through my births. He was not at all concerned about genetic problems ("even at your age, it's still just a 1-2% chance"), and he didn't try to pressure me at all into any of the blood tests, etc. His big hobby horse was shoulder dystocia. He asked if I had any births with that, and I said yes, Grace had a mild case, less than a minute. They just pulled my knees to my chin, tugged and pulled, and she was out. I gave a synopsis of that birth story (paranoid doctor, induction early, Grace didn't want to descend, I think she was just not positioned well, since she was by no mean my biggest baby or anything). The doctor replied that size was not a predictor for shoulder dystocia, in fact, nothing was a predictor, and since I'd had it before, my chances were greater of having it again, blah, blah, blah. In fact, the only way I could guarantee NOT having shoulder dystocia was to schedule a c-section, and he wanted me to know that was an option. Probably not my best option, seeing as how I had now delivered 3 more babies without shoulder dystocia, but still, I had a higher risk, blah, blah. As he was going on and on, I remembered that I had seen him for one of my last appointments before Drew was born, and he had given the SAME spiel about shoulder dystocia then, even down to the c-section option! Whereas no other doctor had ever even mentioned it, LOL.
I brought up hemorrhage, since I had troubles with my uterus clamping down after Drew, and I had to have all those manual extractions, which led to that unpleasant uterine infection. Well, again he was not that concerned (even though that was the HUGE concern of the doctor for Grace, and why she induced me early--she was so sure I would hemorfhage everywhere, and she didn't want to risk me going into labor during the night, when not everyone would be around to save me). He basically said I have an old uterus that is just tired, but there are ways to be proactive. (What ways? Why wouldn't they have done them last time? I'll have to ask as it grows closer to time.)
So we just chatted for awhile about all my previous births, and about gestational diabetes, and then he told me to get a one-hour glucose test done before my next appointment in 5 weeks (blech). Oh, he did say that the one bigger risk now that I'm over 40 is of my placenta deteriorating faster, so I'll have to get some non-stress tests as I get closer to 40 weeks, and they won't let me go over 40 weeks. Since I haven't gone into labor on my own at or before 40 weeks since Faith (and not for the 3 before her either), it is *highly* unlikely I'll go into labor myself this time either (that poor tired uterus again, LOL). So once again I am looking at an induction, with a baby floating high and not really descending, since my uterus is so stretched out. Sigh. Hard to be thinking of these things now, with 28 weeks still to go! Maybe I'll finally go for that epidural after all . . .
Afterwards, the girls and I headed over to radiology to make my 20 week ultrasound appointment (May 7). Then we had lunch at the on-base McDonalds before heading to the commissary. Because it was just the 2 of them, I bought them each a Happy Meal, which they thought was quite special! The time at the commissary was long and tiring, but hey, now my pantry is resupplied (or will be once I finally finish putting all the stuff away . . . currently we have brown sacks circling the island and filling the laundry room). And the girls and I had a fun time! Unlike the boys, they actually LIKE going to the commissary and picking out all the food, talking about the meals we'll have--and of course, picking out a candy bar from the checkout lane at the end! Well, the boys like that part too, LOL. It was a super long day, though, and I was SO tired at Bible study last night. I was just glad I made it through without falling asleep!