The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Lime is in the Coconut!

Rounding out week 11, the baby is key lime-size! I can't believe how fast the cub is growing in there! The uterus is about like a grapefruit-size...or a coconut maybe?? Hence all the singing in my head about how I'm going to relieve my "flipper ache!" (See the link in the title if you have no idea what I'm talking about!) Of course, the baby doesn't have flippers any more...(I hope!)

Today's visit to the doctor was quick, but extraordinary!

We got there on time, (though it was raining like mad), got brought right back, the nurse checked my weight and bp (thankfully back to 110/70!) and we were put right in the exam room.

Then another nurse came in with the hand-held Doppler that looked for all the world like a walkie-talkie with a microphone attached. She said, "I'm going to try to hear the heartbeat, but it's kind of early and we may not be able to find it, but we'll try! If we can't find it, the doctor will do a pelvic..." So I hopped up on the table and she said, "Okay, since it's early I'm going to have to go low, like near the hair line. You're going to think I'm listening to your bladder!" Luckily, in anticipation of this (hopefully) being what they were going to do today, I wore the stretchy pants!

So I laid back, and lowered trou, she squirted on the (cold!) ultrasound gel, and started with the transducer kind of low. It sounded at first like one of those white-noise-generator ("sleep machine") rainstorms, and she apologized for there being a lot of static on her device today. Then there was a slow heartbeat at my right pelvis near the femoral artery/vein, which she said, "There's you..." and she kept squishing around...

Then somewhere near the middle-right was THE distinctive, faster, wush-wush-wush sound, and the nurse nodded her head and said, "There. You hear it?" And then I laughed out loud, which messed the whole thing up, but the nurse laughed too, (and I'm sure that's not the first time that's happened!) So she said, "Let's see if we can find it again!" A little more squishing and she found it again more to the left, and I could see her nodding out of the corner of my eye.

I was grinning like a fool, but I tried to hold still. She found it in one more spot, and seemed pleased, so she stopped. She wiped me off and grabbed my hand to help me up (which I thought was cool -- obviously not her first day with preggos!) gave me a big smile, and said, "Good! It should be even easier next time..."

As the nurse walked out, the doctor walked in and said in a loud voice, "CONGRATULATIONS!" and shook our hands. He could tell we were thrilled, and he seemed pleased that everything was going well. I said we were fine NOW, of course, because I really needed that confirmation that everything was okay. I had been cramping kind of badly the last couple of days, but there was no blood, so they had told me not to worry when I called the office. But of course telling me not to worry, and me actually not worrying are two entirely different things.

He told me it's very normal after a loss to feel anxious about everything, and be worried about the progress the whole way. I confessed that I had been dealing with a lot of depression and anxiety and guilt still over the last pregnancy, and he asked me why I feel guilty. I had trouble articulating it. Finally I managed to get out that I feel like if I had only done something better, or more right, or tried harder that baby would have made it.

And he looked me dead-on serious and said there was nothing I could have done to have that baby come out okay. He said 99% of the time, it's just a chromosomal abnormality that is incompatible with life, and no amount of anything I could have done would have fixed that. There is no reason at all for me to feel guilty. And I told him I know that in my head, it's just a matter of convincing myself. I admitted that I tend to be hard on myself, and he said I have nothing to feel guilty about.

And then he reminded me of something, which I thought it was very sweet of him to say. He said:
"It is not man who gives life."

And I found that very comforting. He said that part is not up to us. But then he also said, "By the same token that means if everything goes well, you can't take credit for that either!!!" Being reminded that it's not up to me, and that I have to give up some of that control sometimes, somehow just made me feel a lot better...

With that, he said, "Great! Let's see you again in four weeks, and then four more weeks after that is the BIG ultrasound!" (meaning we get to see the much bigger baby, and possibly find out gender!)

They repeated my prenatal blood work before I left, because they hadn't taken any since the last pregnancy and it's time to start checking up again (which I hoped they were going to do) and happily we split back out into the rain!

I've been on a high all day because that visit was very quick, but somehow very satisfying. I feel like I can relax a lot more now, because here we are nigh on week 12, and everything seems to be going like it should! We're feeling safe, and happy, and I think we're ready to start telling people. Craig told everyone at his job today, and I think I will bring it up on my next team call at work too. The next person I think we should collectively tell would be Kevin (Smith) because, well, without that guy, we wouldn't even be at this point today. I'm just trying to think of the right way to tell him...

To celebrate, we went out for a very delicious and well-deserved dinner at 131 Main. And now we're looking forward to a nice getaway in Atlanta next week with no worries. I'm sure at this point, being the holiday season, the time will fly by until the next appointment on Jan 12th!

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