Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Second Trimester

Medically speaking, the second trimester was of no consequence for me. My thyroid was under control and there were no new drugs to take. However, for the pregnancy, the greatest things happen in the second trimester.

Once we hit week 14, Brian and I had accepted that I had a viable pregnancy and we began to tell people. We knew we wanted to find out the sex (we are two extremely impatient people) but we had to wait until the 20 week ultrasound. So, from week 14 to week 20 we waited. The only thing that happened in those weeks is that I started to go to the doctor twice a month and the exhaustion of the first trimester disappeared. From the outside view, I didn’t look pregnant at all.

Brian had more anxiety around the pregnancy than I did. Probably because 1) the pregnancy was physically happening to me, and 2) he is a worst-case scenario man. Because of this, our lives settled into a nice pattern of anxiety in between visits as shown by the picture below.

We would go to an OB visit, Brian would hear the heartbeat and his anxiety level would be extremely low. Then, over the next 2 weeks, his anxiety would spike until the next visit when it plummeted back down when he heard the heartbeat again. He talked about getting a home Doppler but I adamantly was against this because I knew he would want to do it every 5 minutes and I had other things to do, and I knew that if we couldn’t find it right away, we would be at the ER – me so they could find the heartbeat, and him so they could give him some anti-anxiety medication and get him breathing normally.

The 20th week came and we were ready to find out the sex. Loopy ultrasound lady was showing us all the different parts of the baby (to this day is she hadn’t labeled the pictures I would have no idea what I was looking at) and she was telling us about the DVD she as making (yes, we have a DVD, that is pretty cool). All the sudden she said she couldn’t want anymore because she is sure we saw that it is definitely a boy. Brian claims that he did see but I had to take her word for it. At this point Whoosha Pupo became Evan Brian.

We had already picked out names for either sex. We couldn’t decide on any family names (because let’s face it, “Tom” and “Joe” were all played out on my side and even though we had thought about “Ydolo” from his side, it didn’t seem to play as well in Texas) so Brian recommended we look at the pregnancy. He mentioned that the earliest sign of the pregnancy was on Christmas Eve so if it was a girl it would be “Eve.” The only male equivalent we could think of was “Evan.” It felt weird to start calling him Evan, but we did immediately.

There was one thing left for the second trimester that hadn’t happened – feeling fetal movement. I was often on the boards on reading about how and when people felt fetal movement and on to learn it was “normal” to feel it anywhere from week 18 – 22 for a first pregnancy. Everyone kept trying to explain to me what the first flutters felt like but no on really could be specific. This was the one time I started to get anxious and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t feeling him. Then, one night as we were watching TV, my stomach felt like it had been on a roller coaster… there was a light fluttering and I knew it was Evan. I was 22 weeks – he was pushing it to the very end. And soon after the first movement, he was moving all the time – bouncing around in there. I’ve been told that fetal movement is not an indicator for the activity level of the baby once he is born… but if there is even a small correlation, I’m in trouble. The boy has not stopped moving since week 22.

The rest of the second trimester came and went quickly. We bought baby furniture, registered at Babies-R-Us for anything that seemed remotely necessary (after we had our panic attack about an entire wall of bottle choices), and I continued to get blood taken monthly for the endocrinologist, go and see the nurse at the endocrinologist every other month, and saw my OB ever 2 weeks. And before I end this blog, I would like to take a minute to discuss these doctor’s appointments.

I have heard people say, mostly people in public health, that pre-natal care is important as a concept but not from a doctor’s visit point of view. There is a huge push right now for group pre-natal care. Before I got pregnant, I was against this concept. Now, I would actually go so far as to advocate virtual care.

Here is what happens every other week in the second trimester at the doctor’s office:

1. I drive 20 minutes to the office.
2. If I’m seeing the midwife, I’m called back pretty quickly. If it’s one of the physicians I could wait up to 25 minutes.
3. I get called back. The nurse takes my weight and blood pressure. I pee on a stick to check my sugars and proteins.
4. I get put in a room to wait for the midwife / doctor.
5. The midwife / doctor come in, listen to the heartbeat, measure my uterus (the measurements didn’t even start until after week 20).
6. The midwife / doctor asks if we have any questions.
7. I make another appointment for 2 weeks.
8. Drive back to wherever I need to go (work or home).

As long as the pregnancy is “normal”, here is what I would like to see:

1. At home, I pee on a stick, take my weight and blood pressure and either call in or fax in the results.
2. If there are concerns, I make an appointment ASAP.
3. Otherwise, I attend monthly (or even less often) appointments in a group to learn about something in pregnancy and ask any questions – also hear the heartbeat here.

Look at the efficiency of my way and the time savings. And, I might actually learn something. Because, even though my practitioners are amazing, being new at this, I don’t always know what to ask so having other people ask questions around me will definitely help. But, it’s healthcare, and by necessity (due to insurance companies and malpractice suits) it’s become a racket.

Beyond the constant and useless appointments, the second trimester was blissful – this definitely had to be as good as it gets.

1 comment:

  1. RE: the Babies R US wall of bottle choices...RIGHT?! I was all set on Dr. Brown's until I saw all the accoutrements...then said, "Ok, Playtex drop-ins it is". WOW.