Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Bizarre World of the OB's Office

First of all, thank you all for your comments on my super-long, somewhat maudlin, melodramatic previous post. Some posts cause "posting regret" afterwards, and I worried about that one. As always, you all provided me with wonderful empathy and support.

We had our first OB appointment on Monday, and what a strange experience that was. Husband and I felt like that episode of Grey's Anatomy in which Christina discovered the heaven-like dermatology floor. After the tense, worried, unsmiling atomosphere of RE offices over the years, we didn't know what to think to be in a doctor's office where people were (mostly, usually) happy to be there and smiling. Husband said he needed a drink afterwards because he was so stressed out and unused to such a happy atmosphere LOL. We met with the nurse first, and it was amusing as she tried to figure out how to approach the patient history. She finally asked both F and I to answer each question since a certain answer from either of us might be important.

The actual doctor visit was ok. She couldn't find the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler, which coworkers had thankfully warned me would likely happen at least once early on. That meant we got another ultrasound! We were able to see the baby swim from one side to the other and move around. The baby's legs seemed incredibly long. It has morphed from an alien to something resembling Anne Rice's Taltos in the Mayfair Witches series. However, we have our own name for it :-) The doctor was a bit terse, but thankfully after our experience with our last RE (AKA Dr. Sticks-Foot-In-Mouth), we could handle it. Distressingly, the clinic had NOT sent F's records over despite her having signed the release form. I'm not surprised, though. Front office organization was not one of the clinic's strong points. My only concern about the records is that they seem reluctant to use the due date we gave them (June 3) because they typically date from transfer not retrieval and want to see the u/s reports. I'm sure it will all be worked out.

We also ran into people we know in the waiting room. They are casual friends from Husband's high school days. They were at our wedding, but we're Christmas card friends mainly. Anyway, they are 8 weeks with baby #2...and #3. Yes, twins (likely naturally). That was a bit of a slap in the face. I still can't encounter twins without feeling a pang for our vanished twin. I hadn't expected to encounter anyone we knew, so I was caught off guard. I figured that I couldn't pretend to be there for a routine gyn visit with Husband there, so we told them our news, and to their credit, they didn't bat an eye when we mentioned surrogacy. It's not that I don't think people will say awful things, but I expect a few double takes. Or maybe I shouldn't? Anyway, it was a good practice. Maybe it was serendipity after my friend worries of the last week. She and I have been emailing a bit since, and it feels pretty natural.

Because I am who I am, I have a new worry: the quad screen. We will have that test at our next appointment in December, and I am petrified. I know that the odds are very good that everything will be fine, but suddenly, that test is all I can think about. And it's a month away. Ugh. I'm trying to talk myself down, but it's not working so far. I think my anxiety is exacerbated by this being the last major work week of the semester as well as sinus issues. I'm feeling tired and not entirely well. We decided not to have the first trimester screening, and now I wonder if that was smart. However, Husband and I had a good talk about it tonight, and I'm hoping that our talk has helped me to push my anxiety about that test from the front burner on high to the back burner on a low simmer.

My next project will be trying not to hyperventilate when I talk to my mother and she blithely talks about baby stuff. I kid you not. The past two times I've talked to her, she has chatted about cribs and happy baby stuff, and I've felt a full blown panic attack threatening. I think she gets to me because she glosses over my worries and fears like they are nothing, which is one reason why I withdrew from her over the past 3 years. I didn't and still don't need platitudes.

Book sale was wonderful: 59 books for $32. Can't beat that! I even bought two books to read to the baby. We're going to make a podcast for F to use. I also ventured to the parenting section and didn't freak out. It's interesting to me to plot our fertility journey with the book sale over the years: November 2005: I whispered to K that we were trying. She was somewhat dismayed thinking that I wouldn't be able to enjoy our upcoming sloshy trip to Biltmore. Ha ha. November 2006: Friend J is pg after 1 cycle of Clomid and I have a painful endometrioma after 5 Clomid and one injectable cycle. I shyly and painfully pick out a baby book for J at the book sale. November 2007: I attend the book sale on Friday night with pg K and return to the book sale alone on Saturday. I glance at the parenting section and wonder if 2008 will be different. We meet F and her husband in person for the first time that afternoon and like them a lot.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. We are 13 weeks today, and I am trying very, very, very hard to count my blessings because I have so much for which to be thankful. Eat and drink lots! I know I will be :-)


N said...

Ah yes, the OB's office. :) It really is such a different atmosphere, and they treat their patients differently. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. I think the RE is much better equipped to understand and deal with the emotional aspect of infertility. Like, the RE understands if you flip out over small things and the OB, not so much. But you're right, it's such a happier place, and it's great to feel like you are in a different environment than when you were struggling.

I feel for you in running into the friends. I'm always happy to tell people of the situation on my timeline (e.g., through email) but I haven't liked being forced into the awkward situation where someone knows we are expecting, doesn't know the situation, then we run into each other. This has happened a few times and it always made me frustrated. Most of the time people will try really hard to not bat an eye, even if they are taken abat. They try to be PC. :)

As for the quad screen, we did the same thing and passed up nuchal. I would have done it but the timing didn't work because we waited too long to transition to the OB. I thought a lot about it too. It's just another stress point you have to cross I guess!

Wewurtskihit said...

Happy Thanksgiving!!! :-)

I have to admit: I never went to the OB office but your entry sure helped me understand a few things :-)


JourneyofHope said...

Happy 13 weeks to you! That is very exciting! I am glad that you have now experienced what life is like when you are expecting outside of the fertility clinic. How neat that you got to have more screen time with baby too. It sounds like telling your friends about your expecting went extrememly well. I think that you will get to a point (I did) where you just don't care anymore about expecting in a different way. We opted out of the nuchal too and for a while we had regrets about doing so BUT with there being so many false positives, I just couldn't take that chance - the first trimester was stressful enough. And soon, you will take that leap to crib shopping. Baby steps. xox

Duck said...

Glad the appointment went well and happy thanksgiving!

Sue said...

Congratulations on making it to your first OB appointment and to 13 weeks. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

niobe said...

I am so sympathetic to your feelings about your acquaintances' twin pregnancy. Even now, two years after I lost my twins and just a few weeks before we're desparately hoping to welcome a new baby, I feel like I've been punched in the stomach whenever I hear about a twin pregnancy. I think there are very few people who understand ... but, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, I think I do have some idea of what you're feeling.

Thinking of you.

Ellen K. said...

Hope you had a great holiday. Congrats on "graduating" to the OB's practice. Often we had a hard time getting a heartbeat, especially early on. BTW, my OB dated the pregnancy from egg retrieval date. The ultrasound computer screen was set up for either LMP or ER date.

Susanna said...

I read this article in the NY Times this morning and thought you might like it-- I thought it was very well written. As for the succession of worries-- you sound like a normal pregnant mama. Happy Second Trimester!

nutmeg96 said...

Congratulations on making it to 13 weeks!