Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm Not a Hypochondriac

November 23, 2009
The hospital emailed me today in regards to my lab tests. Based on my results, I am slightly anemic and will be receiving a call from a diabetes counselor fairly soon (See, I am so not a hypochondriac!).

The doctor suggested I increase my intake of iron to help with the anemia. I will also be contacted to go in again to take the three hour test for my sugar. I am not looking forward to this one. Maybe if I eat really really healthy before my test, I'll be totally fine and able to have my chocolates for the holidays...

Anemia and Gestational Diabetes

November 21, 2009
I need to stop checking my lab results online. Husband calls me a hypochondriac, but I am usually right. I don't think I'm a hypochondriac, just a good researcher.

The hospital emailed me my lab results. They don't email any explanation, just the results and what the normal range would be. Usually if there is a problem a nurse will call within a few days. In the meantime I get to become crazy mother-to-be who scares Husband with her moodiness.

According to to my blood tests, I am not in the standard rage. Of course I googled what they meant. By my non-medical definition, and I could be totally wrong but I am usually right, I am anemic and have gestational diabetes. With the anemia thing I could be slightly wrong. My numbers were only off by .1 on the first part and one point something on the second part. Although the internet did say some of the symptoms of anemia are leathargy and fatigue. I definitely fit that bill. I have been really really tired lately. I just thought maybe the baby was going through a growth spurt and stealing all my energy. Not having enough iron could be another cause, though.

The glucose test I am pretty sure of. My numbers were much higher than the standard range. That means (if I'm right) I get to go back in and have a three hour sugar test done to see how I react to sugar over an extended period of time. I will also get to talk to a dietitian or nutritionist or something.

Now I'm totally bummed and worried about what this means for the baby. I heard that babies who come from mothers with gestational diabetes are larger. I don't want a big baby. Nope, I'll take a nice, healthy, little one please.

Since I was researching my blood tests, I decided to research the RhoGam shot as well. Whoever said ignorance is bliss wasn't kidding. Why do I do this to myself? Curse you, internet wealth of information. I found quite a few sites against the shot that stated it does more harm than good and may be linked to neural disorders and maybe autism. However, the second child a person has is usually fine. So it's like sacrificing the first child to have another. Now I'm filled with irrational fears that I may have unintentionally harmed my baby, although I'm pretty sure that everything will be fine, it's that little voice in the back of my head saying, well what if?

Another Appointment

November 20, 2009
Yet another doctor's appointment. With yet another doctor. I thought I chose a specific doctor? Apparently that means nothing. It means that maybe I will see her and maybe I will not. Most likely not.

I drove with Husband to the appointment (we both had the day off) and checked in. The nurse at the counter handed me a form to fill out about my mental health, which I had filled in at my last appointment, and thus informed her of such. She said we are required to fill them out three times during the pregnancy, and the second one is done around this time. I guess because I transferred in late, I got to do two in a row. No, I am not having suicidal thoughts. Yes, I feel fine. No, I do not need to speak to a psychologist. Yes, I am feeling tired lately. I'm growing a human being inside of me. It seems to suck all my energy.

I filled out my form and prepared my little urine cup, required at all appointments. Then I was called in. My blood pressure was fine, but I gained about twenty-five pounds overall so far. Twenty-five pounds! That's insane! And I still have a couple more months to go. I am going to be huge! I have never weighed this much in my whole entire life! I know, I am growing a child. It just means I will work very hard after the baby is born to lose it all.

The nurse then gave me an orange soda type drink to gulp down. It really wasn't that bad. It tasted like an actual orange soda. Gulping the whole thing down was tough, though. It's full of sugar or glucose or something to check my body's response to the amount of sugar. Blood is drawn an hour after consumption to see how I handled it.

Husband got to wait outside while the nurse reassured herself that I felt safe at home, then he was called in to wait with me. The doctor came in and introduced herself. Then she measured my stomach (once again I forgot to ask what the measurement was, they do it so fast). She spread the goo on me and we got to hear the baby's heartbeat, which sounded very healthy and rhythmic. We could also hear mine in the background, much slower. We had never been able to hear both before. It was pretty cool. She asked if I was getting the RhoGam shot today, and I asked if I had a choice. She didn't know how to respond to that. She was like, "You always have a choice. I mean, you're scheduled to get it today." Yes, I was getting the shot. I just thought it was funny that she asked it as a question and not a statement.

I asked her about my aching ribs, and she said there's really not much to do except try to get the baby to move to relieve some of the pressure. She said lying down encourages the baby to move and gives it more room. She also suggested tylenol and warm compresses, but said that was about it. Lying down works at home, but it's not like I can randomly lay down at work. That would be rather odd.

I was given a pile of paperwork to fill out while I waited to give my blood. I filled out a preadmit form into labor and delivery (what smart people! I would hate to wait when I'm in labor because I had to fill out admittance paperwork), an informational page about the epidural that I had to sign to acknowledge that I got it, and a checklist for my birth plan. Yay! I was excited about this one. It was broken up into sections, such as environment, labor, etc. Did I want the lights dimmed during labor? Do I want drugs as soon as possible? Do I want anyone in particular to cut the umbilical cord? Do I want the baby cleaned in front of me? Do I want all medications and shots explained at the time (uh, yeah)? And so on. I enjoyed filling out my preferences (although they could all go out the window during the actual delivery), and Husband was not allowed to give input since I'm the one going through it. I did ask him if he would cut the cord, and he hesitantly agreed. We'll have to wait and see if he is able to go through with it. He is very squeamish.

While waiting for my hour to be up, I also visited the Health Education department. Remember how I was told by Women's Health to go there to find information about the classes I need to take because they did not have that information? Well, I went and the lady behind the desk told me to ask at Women's Health for the specific information I needed. Hmmm...

My hour was up so I went into the lab for my blood draw. The nurse asked if a student phlebotomist could draw my blood and of course I agreed. How else are they going to learn? Plus, I've had it done a million times already, and if she did a terrible job I could ask for a real nurse. The student actually did a fantastic job. She took her time finding a vein that looked capable and slowly inserted the needle. Yes, I am one of those crazy people who like to watch. Then she took about four or five vials from me and patched me up with a cotton swab and piece of medical tape. After it was done I made sure to tell her she did an excellent job. Next I had to report back to Women's Health to get my RhoGam shot.

Husband and I waited in the waiting room and watched all the other pregnant women come in and out. There was another girl who came in who was as far along as me. Yes, she was bigger. Then there was a woman who was forty-one weeks pregnant. She was complaining that she just wanted the baby out and was welcoming being induced. It didn't look like her baby was going anywhere, though.

Then I was called back by another nurse. She gave me the information about why I have to get the shot (read a previous post about that one) and commented that my blood type was extremely rare. Yep, and I'm proud of it. I had to sign something to acknowledge what I was getting, and asked her about side effects. She said it was pretty much the usual side effects that one can get with shots-soreness, redness, and potential allergic reaction. If I had an allergic reaction, it would be within the next thirty minutes and I needed to rush to the nearest hospital. Next she gave me the shot in my butt. She said the needle was too big for anywhere else, so that's where it had to go. My butt was sore for the next day, too!

I also asked her about the information for the classes. She said I should have gotten that at the beginning. I explained to her that I had transferred in later, so she went and hunted it all down for me, and then some. She was fantastic! Apparently she knew more than the other nurses and doctors I had asked previously. Thank you, kind nurse.

Now home to await the test results and hope I don't go into anaphylactic shock.

Dentist Appointment

November 20, 2009
I had a dentist appointment today. I had received information from the doctor about what I could and could not get. I could get local anesthesia, but that was it. Even if I had cavities, I decided I would just wait until I was done being pregnant to get the Novocaine and get them filled.

I showed up for my appointment and the secretary had me fill out a questionnaire. It asked a few general questions as well as if I had any new medical issues, to which I replied, "pregnancy." The secretary was so excited after that and told me all about her new grandbaby at home. Then the hygienist called me in.

Because of my pregnancy, I was not allowed to recline in the chair normally. The whole issue with being on your back and cutting off circulation. So she reclined the chair and had me lay on my left side. Then I tilted my head toward her. I remained in this position the entire time of cleaning and whatnot. It wasn't uncomfortable, just kind of awkward.

It turns out I did not have any cavities, but my gums are not very healthy. This often happens during pregnancy. Gums become swollen and bleed easily. The cure is to apparently floss more and try to toughen them up. I'll attempt to work on that. I'm not a very good flosser to begin with, although I know it is very important.

Then I was done with the appointment. I sat up and felt really dizzy. It was very weird. I also had a pain in my neck, obviously from the position I had been laying in. I didn't want to tell the hygienist that I felt dizzy because I didn't want to get a lot of attention, so I just took a few quiet, deep breaths and followed her out. The dizziness eventually subsided.

On the way out I scheduled my next appointment with the secretary. It will be in March, after the baby is born. The secretary gave me a stern look and told me I needed to bring the baby in to show off. Bring my baby to a dentist appointment? I told her that probably would not happen, so she demanded a picture at least. I guess I have to remember a picture of my child at the next appointment.