Saturday, February 03, 2007

Going for the Gold

I did it.

I asked a question at the doc's office that hadn't been asked before.

Since I tend to ask a lot of questions (and it was even documented in my chart, I learned yesterday), I often say things to reassure myself that I'm not the only crazy one.

"Surely I'm not the (craziest person you've seen/only person who's worried about this/the worst you've dealt with)?"

Yesterday, I was.

Week 28 appointments all jumbled together on a Friday morning: Kind Endo, the ATU unit, and the High Risk OB.

For the second time, High Risk OB was in the middle of an emergency procedure, so I saw the nurse practitioner, who I've seen many times before and like a lot. NP confirmed for us that the c-section is officially scheduled, and that things seem to be moving along. I piped up with something I've been concerned about since day one of this pregnancy.

"Since this is an IVF baby, is there a way to find out, right away, that this kid is genetically ours?" I asked. "I mean, I know the fertility clinic is renowned and all that, and if the kid comes out a different color or race, it'll be obvious. But really, even if the kid sort of looks like us, how do we really know? Is there DNA testing we can do right there?"

Nurse Practitioner paused, talked about paternity tests and insurance not covering such things, and that we'd have to look into such testing ourselves, and that if there was a problem, we'd have to approach the fertility clinic and take it up with them. Then she gave me a look.

"Surely others have asked this, right?"

"Actually, no. You're the first."

"But you hear about this stuff happening," I countered. It was a storyline on Desperate Housewives last fall.

Nurse Practitioner is a great nurse--reassuring, professional, and easy to talk to. She wants to be polite.

"Oh, you can be honest," I said. "I can handle it."

No one has ever voiced this concern to her, and while I'm the clinically interesting patient with the host of issues, this one is likely to put me in the Crazy Patient Hall of Fame.

Last month, when I was having odd leg cramps, I looked it up in a common pregnancy guidebook that's been criticized for being too alarmist, and it said if pain continued, it could be a blood clot that could CAUSE BAD THINGS and to call your provider's office. Nurse Practitioner took that call, essentially told me that if I had a blood clot that went to my heart or head, I wouldn't have had time to call her, since I'd be in serious trouble. Said pain disappeared a day later.

There you go. I had been a contender for the medal, and yesterday I took home the gold.

Earlier yesterday morning, before the NP visit, I had my first visit to the hosptial's ATU unit, which apparently stands for Antepartum Testing Unit. If post-partum is after the kid arrives, though, why wouldn't it be called pre-partum beforehand?

At the ATU, I had yet another ultrasound and the kid's head, abdomen and legs were measured to determine how much it actually weighs, and I was assured that the amount of amniotic fluid in my uterus is at an acceptable level.

As of yesterday, Baby L weighed three pounds, and everything was developing on schedule. The legs and abdomen were all a few days ahead of where I am in the pregnancy, and the baby's head measured nearly two weeks ahead.

"Does this mean my diabetes is giving the kid an oversized head?"

"No, actually, everything looks great. The abdomen is what usually indicates a problem with diabetes, and it looks fine."

Kind Endo later reassured me that diabetes tends to make the kid skulls smaller than usual, and that everything looks within normal ranges.

"I have an oversize head," volunteered the Mister. "Hats never fit me right."

The ATU nurse doing the ultrasound also noted the kid's activity, saying the baby's fist was clenched up and relaxed as it moved in front of the face. "Good fine motor skills," she said.

"So that means the kid's going to be a great engineer, right?" asked the Mister, a proud engineer.

(I've countered that this baby will grow up to be a Scrabble champion and a word lover. We'll see how the left-brain/right-brain fight will play out at home).

Finishing up the trifecta of appointments, Kind Endo saw me and made the usual adjustments to my ever-creeping higher blood sugars. Last week, I topped out at an even 100 units of insulin for It wasn't even a crazy eating day. Just the insulin resistance kicking in even more.

Now that I've passed 28 weeks, I'm starting to read about the possibility of going into premature labor. With all my general nuttiness, and the reassurance that I'm scheduled to have a c-section on a specific date (at a specific time!), premature labor would shake things up but good.

I just signed up for a bunch of classes through my hospital, all about infant care and breastfeeding and CPR and a cesarean-specific class. I haven't even thought about Bradley or Lamaze or breathing techniques because I figure I can skip all that.

But premature labor? Water breaking and contractions too early?


I just gave myself something else to worry about.


Rachel said...

I think it's better to ask a lot of questions than to be complacent with what the medical professionals tell you (or books ;)).

Wow 28 weeks. :)

Kassie said...

excellent. Desperate Housewives. I love it. Having just self-diagnosed based on what I know from TV and Google, I totally see where you are coming from :)

Re the bradley / lamaze stuff - if it comes up in one of your classes give it a listen. I had c-sections but used the breathing techniques to manage my nervousness pre-op (as well as the shakes which happened at some point)

Ottoette said...

I think that's probably just a question that particular NP has never heard before. I'm sure others who saw the black baby born to Carlos and Gabby have thought the same thing. Honest, I think I would have wondered if it were me even before the DH episode.
28 weeks is very exciting! Onward through the 3rd trimester. You are leading the way for me and Flmgodog!

MileMasterSarah said...

I went into labor with my son at 36 weeks. Well my water broke and labor soon followed. It wasn’t too early, but it was earlier than we expected.

Shannon said...

Congratulations on asking an original question!! I've heard of IVF babies being implanted (correct term???) into the wrong mom....I think it would make a great Lifetime TV movie.

I love these posts, they bring back memories :)

Chrissie in Belgium said...

Basicly, even though you say you are worrying about this and that it sounds to me that you are happy - and that is what counts! It is fun for me to read your posts - I don't feel like such a nut myself. I ALWAYS have way too many questions for the time.... I have sent emails in prior to my sppointment, listing all the questions I want covered. This will allow the doc to prepare himself so that we can cover everything! No time wasted here buddy. Neither do I have time for introductory chit-chat! Sometimes my "involvement" has brough smiles at least to the eyes of the docs or else they are furious at me. Either they like me or hate me. Anyhow, in my book, questions are GOOD.

Laurie said...

This post made me laugh--it was a nice little reminder of what it is like being in my own head :) I, too, am surprised no one has asked that before, and admire your ingenuity with question-asking...

Great to hear things are moving along so well!

SaraS-P said...

Well, someone had to ask!

I am sure many couples frightened of asking such a question will stumble upon this post through a Google search now!

My hubby is an engineer too. I am sure we'll have tech nerd vs word nerd arguments about our kids' futures!

Kristine Ashcraft said...

I work at Genelex, a paternity testing lab, If amniotic fluid is available we can confirm parentage prior to birth or after birth in as fast as 1 business day from receipt of samples. We do testing for this reason at least a few times a month so you are not alone.
Feel free to call 800-TEST-DNA if you have any questions.

Julia said...

Heh. This post cracked me up. I thought I was the only crazy pregnant lady. I'm so glad I'm not alone.

Carlynn said...

I would have asked that question.

For one IUI, the nurse got my surname wrong by one letter and I lay there thinking, "I wonder if they will give me Mr. F's sample instead of my darling H's."

I can totally relate. I am always asking weird questions.

Watson said...

Your post made me have that "Hmmmmmm...she's worried about what?" reaction, closely followed by a "HEY! That's actually a fricking GOOD question and why hasn't anyone else ever asked that??" reaction.

You're not crazy. Just thorough.

Anonymous said...

your question should make you proud that you stand out from the pack. I'm amazed at all the comments about doctors "not letting me do" blah blah blah from so many women. Bottom line is we are in charge of our health care and we hire them to help guide us along the way with their knowledge and experience. (btw, I'm the dLife columnist that you wrote to...your blog is great!)

katty said...

i have exactly the same worries about IVF, which I remember blogging about a few months back (it was one of those posts that no one responded to...). Particularly as my pregnancy book says there are only three known cases of embryos being implanted in the wrong mother. As in ALL of these cases the baby was black and the parents were white, it seems obvious to me that the operative words here is 'known.' Particularly given the demographic of fertility treatments (far more white IVF patients that black, in general, at least in the UK) and given that a different colour is a real giveaway - that it, is very likely it has happened many other times to same colour parents and they simply haven't noticed. Given that I used donor sperm it's even more confusing... as any difference in looks could be down to the donor I have never seen. I have wondered myself about having such genetic tests. But also wondered if I will actually care after I have given birth...

Watson said...

Hi there!

Just wanted to say your "Vote for Pedro" suggestion was the runner up, b/c it had me laughing my ass off for days!!!


The Town Criers said...

That's so funny--and it's an excellent question!

Anna said...

Well, the question has crossed my mind, too. I just have not been saying it out loud. I'm still quite sure I got the right embies transferred, as DS looks so much like DH and his temper, too :)

Nicole P said...

I can't believe you're this far along with little baby L. I'm so excited for you.


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