Week 24 Wrap-Up

New this week: I’m fat, I’ve got my first stretch mark, and I’m fabulous!

Where has this picture been all my life?

I’ve been steadily gaining more weight than the little OB curve chart tells me I should. I’m not terribly worried about this since I’ve never really fit into those growth charts quite right, but a couple of the CNMs have brought up my weight and that I should be controlling it. Right. Because I’m gonna go jog on my treadmill and shed a few. I’ve also had CNMs ignore it completely, obviously not concerned about my weight gain. I started using a calorie counter to ensure that I’m not over-eating and it turns out that even if I only wanted to maintain my current weight I’d be under-eating. But I’m still gaining significant weight weekly. When I told my most recent CNM this she suggested that I eat nothing but fruit, veggies, and proteins. I was surprised that she didn’t tell me to only eat veggies out of my home grown organic garden too.

It’s not that I don’t like eating healthy, I really do. It’s that I commute around two hours every day and cutting processed foods out of my diet is impossible at this juncture. I’m sure I’ll be able to vastly improve my diet and exercise once we’re moved and I have the space to set aside for food and exercise alike, but it’s hard to explain to a CNM that your back pain is due to sharing a twin bed with your husband and your poor diet is due to a long commute and a need to be able to rest.

I got my first “stretch mark.” It hasn’t fully developed into that long pinkish line just yet, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep it from doing so. It feels like a small line of scabbed skin, similar to how your skin feels when you get a burn and the skin on the top is already dead. I’ve been moisturizing it for a week now and it hasn’t developed further, so I’m thinking I might be able to stave these suckers off after all. Time will tell.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed during pregnancy. There is so much to do and learn and you’re always finding something you never knew before. I speculate that once you give birth it only increases: someone hands you a living human with no instructions on how to take care of it. We have better instructions for caring for our sick and elderly than we do for parents heading home from the hospital. There’s a lot to do during pregnancy and here are a few things that are coming up for me:

Selecting a Pediatrician. I’m really hoping we won’t have too much trouble with this one. I hope to select a doctor from within the primary care group of my husband and I. But there’s a lot of pressure in selecting a pediatrician since they’re your lifeline for the first years of your kid’s life. It’s important to find someone in the right vein of study with a personality you can at least endure and hopefully enjoy. There’s a lot to consider when selecting a pediatrician. Expect an upcoming post on that.

Health Insurance. Unfortunately, now health insurance is a requirement. Trying to care for a newborn without it would be financial suicide. But there are so many different kinds and providers and coverages that it’s dizzying. So while we’ll probably plop the little one on my insurance plan, it might be better to shuffle us over to my husband’s insurance plan come open enrollment in December. But then again with recent legislation those prices will shift unreasonably in the next year, possibly cutting our monthly income by a quarter. And in addition to cost there’s the when and how and how long do I have to contact my insurance company after birth? Will I need their social security number before I can register them? Does that mean I can’t pre-register? Etc. The insurance industry would really need to make a grand effort if it wanted to be more difficult and confusing.

Hospital Registry.

I’m so happy to be in labor!

Something I didn’t know you had to do: register in advance at the hospital where you intend to give birth. This strikes me as a little funny. I suppose it makes sense, but it’s like trying to tame a wave with an oar. Women rarely give birth at the time appointed. I just laughed at this one and got it out of the way.

Extra Lab Work. There’s a ton of lab work you’re required to have run during pregnancy. Everything from a vitamin D blood panel to a urine sample at every OB visit to glucose tolerance tests (and probably multipul GTTs). These tests will eat up your already precious time and since no lab works on a tight schedule when you have a time-sensitive lab you really have to harp on the staff or suffer the necessity of having the test done over. There are also tests and labs you may be scheduled for which are completely unnecessary. A doctor at the practice where my precision ultra sounds are done insisted that I would need to have an additional anatomy ultrasound monthly and then bi-monthly until birth. This practice is considered a “specialist” as it is not my primary OB and costs me $40 per visit. I made the appointment at his pressuring, but checked with my primary care before attending. Apparently he was off base and shouldn’t have ever recommended so many ultrasounds as they’re completely unnecessary. Needless to say I canceled my appointment. So if you’re recommended extra tests you believe are extraneous don’t be afraid to ask your primary care physician a lot of questions before giving in. And if someone other than your primary care or primary OB is recommending more tests or labs always check with your primary/OB first.

Soon I’ll hit trimester number 3 (at 28 weeks) and I’ll need to go to the OB more frequently. They’ll be giving me all kinds of fun tests leading up to birth to make sure I don’t have any bizarre things that the body can do normally but which can make your baby sick after birth. I’ll update you on those as they occur. I can’t say I’m eager to have to go see an OB more frequently as getting around gets more obnoxious and sticky in the heat, but if they deem these visits necessary, who am I to say I know better? Plus I don’t pay an out of pocket charge for these visits. Le Shrug.

Baby’s moving around a lot these days. Everyone asks. I know they want a free pass to touch the tummy. Unfortunately baby likes moving when mummy is trying to sleep. It’s just not a night if I don’t get up 3-5 times to pee after being repeatedly kicked in the bladder. Also, my anterior placenta and extra tummy fat makes it hard to feel what’s going on from the outside unless I were to shove hands in awkward places, like down my pants or onto my hip bones. And no one wants that, especially not me. I figure there will be plenty of touchy-feely once I’m in trimester three and as big as a beach ball.

Last, I’ve been really easily catty recently. I’d snap at anyone and their mother if they made eye contact when I’m in a terrible mood or ate the wrong thing for breakfast. I’m not sure if it’s the stress of the move, the pregnancy hormones, or a combination of many things, but It’s really easy for me to loose my cool, something I’ve been working on. I can’t wait until we move and settle a bit so I can get some of this stress off my plate.

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