Yesterday we had our 38 week appointment with a scheduled ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid levels. Last week, the US technician calculated my levels at at 8. Yesterday, they had shot up to 16, and my baby was back to her favorite position (looking and kicking right instead of left as was described last week). Last week, we had a different technician for the first time in our entire experience, and I just don’t think she knew what she was doing as well as our regular tech.
My Monday had started out so well yesterday. I was checking off items left and right on my “Baby To-Do List.”
- Set up an appointment with a housecleaning company,
- set up new parent consultations with two pediatrician offices for later this week,
- finished addressing Thank You cards,
- washed and folded laundry, including the linens for Baby’s bassinet,
- created a Baby Watch list (names and numbers to call when it’s time to announce Baby News),
- put a list together of what to pack in our hospital bag
And then it was time for our appointment. I remember last week feeling so much better after our appointment, so I guess my expectations were too high going in, especially since I was already in a fairly good mood. The ultrasound went well. Baby was content as could be, even playing with her feet. She was very active for us, but would still stick her arms in front of her face when we would try to get a look at her chubby cheeks and blinking eyes. Then it was back to the waiting room for a good 30 minutes before getting into a room.
The nurse taking my weight and blood pressure asked the usual questions: “Any questions or concerns for the doctor today?” and then she asked me if I was getting my cervix checked. I told her it hadn’t been discussed in my last appointment, and she replied that it was fairly routine to start checking at 38 weeks. Great. Besides my routine exam at my initial appointment and being swabbed for GBS testing, they have left my lady bits alone, until this appointment. Which I would have been a-okay with, except that I was being seen by a doctor I had never met in the 9 MONTHS I’ve been visiting this office! WTF? At the start of this journey, I had voiced my wishes for all female doctors. They explained that I would rotate between four of them, so I could get to know each one in preparation for whomever would be on call when I went into labor. My entire pregnancy I’ve been rotating between three lovely lady doctors. And then, ten days before my due date, I’m now being seen by a complete stranger, who is male, and who is going to be checking my cervix. To add to my anxiety, they put me in a room and asked me to strip from the waist down and then proceeded to make me wait in there for a good 20-30 minutes, with a picture collage of Dr. Boyd and all the babies he’s delivered staring back at me immediately in front of the exam table.
Finally, Dr. Boyd comes in and immediately starts discussing birth control with us. What? How about we deliver this baby and survive postpartum before we have this discussion. He proceeds to tell us what he prefers as a contraceptive (the Mirena IUD) as though he’s had any personal experience with contraceptives. (Am I being a bit critical? Yes. But unless you are a woman who has experienced menstruating, pregnancy, labor, etc. you can’t truly know what I’m going through. I even had concerns about one of my other doctors until I learned she was pregnant herself, and then I liked her a lot more.) In the middle of our conversation, his phone rang, and he excused himself from the room and came back a couple minutes later with a nurse for the cervix check. This is another reason I don’t like male doctors because then there has to be yet another (female) person in the room simply as policy. I don’t enjoy a crowd when my hooha’s on display. (No comments about labor and delivery. That’s entirely different.) Currently I am 1 cm dilated and I think he said 75% effaced, which is normal for this stage.
The icing on my miserable cake was when we made our next appointment, they were completely booked on Monday, the 17th, so I don’t go back in until two days before my due date. In my current mental condition, that is forever from now. I left my appointment completely deflated, annoyed, and upset.
What upset me most was that by now everything should be pretty routine. I shouldn’t be meeting a brand new doctor for the first time two weeks before my delivery. I’m also scheduled to see him next week. I feel like I got the bait and switch. Surprise! We’ve completely changed caregivers on you without your consent and with no time left to seek care with another provider.
After dinner, because by the time we left our appointment it was dinner time, I came home and started working on some of Baby’s laundry. Around 8, we had a painter come out to give us an estimate on painting the nursery. He spent the first ten minutes showing us pictures of homes he had done exterior paint jobs on in an effort to get us to hire him to paint our exterior. We finally got him to the nursery and explained what we wanted: a simple, clean paint job. He of course told us all the great things he can do above and beyond what we were asking. The room itself is tiny, but he explained that he’d need to paint the ceiling, apply two coats, do this, do that, and the project would take about 2 1/2 days. We asked several times for an estimate, but he said he’d be in touch with us. He finally left, and once again I felt distressed about having some strange guy in our house and up-charging us for what should be a simple project. Also, it didn’t sound like he’d be available to complete our project anytime before Baby gets here. To top it off, I entered my latest weight into my pregnancy app, and for the first time, the number came up red and said “excessive weight gain.” I ended up crying over the Baby’s bassinet as I was attempting (and failing) to put the linens on it. Big, soggy tears and snot and runny mascara-kind of crying. In my adult life, I have cried like that only a handful of times. Then I sat there numb for about 20 minutes, got up, washed my face, and went to bed.
For me, I wish I didn’t have all this time off before baby’s due date. It sounded like a perfect situation because I’d have all this time to prep for baby, but now I’m finding that I have all this time to stress over baby. I also have no hopes that she’s going to come early (or even on time). I scheduled Alex’s teeth cleaning on our due date. It was the first available, and I’m a realist. Girl is going to be a week overdue, 9 lbs, and won’t fit into the newborn take home outfit I just washed and have laid out for her.