Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shake it up baby

It's amazing how emotions go back and forth and up and down and well, just all over, with this pregnancy thing. On Sunday night, I was convinced I was headed for miscarriage. Today I woke up to a lovely sunny day (the unfair advantage of living in nuts-and-fruits headquarters, aka California) and all seemed right with the world. But of course a few things went in between.

Late Sunday night, I was dishing out catfood when I suddenly felt some very odd roiling just to the right of my bellybutton. I mean, this felt weird. Something was going on. I stood stock-still for a moment, then laughed: of course! It was the babies, finally doing something! I was feeling the babies move, at last! How wonderful and cool!

Of course, in about a minute I had talked myself out of that, and decided I was having premature labor and a miscarriage was no doubt headed for me like a freight train. I abandoned the cat food and went searching for my little booklet on preventing premature labor. I followed the directions in the booklet (hands on my belly, middle fingers at the belly button) but had no clue whether I was having contractions or not. I could feel my heart racing in anxiety, but that was as much as I was sure of.

I had two more repeat bouts in the middle of the night, and each time followed the directions in the booklet: empty your bladder, then drink two big glasses of water. I became very well hydrated using this procedure, but no better informed. Finally, a few minutes before my alarm went off, I woke up from a dream in which I was having an orgasm (and do you know how long it has been since that event occurred?! Since before I was even officially pregnant, that's when! My IVF doc said no sex or orgasms during the two-week wait, then during the next ten weeks once I was pregnant, and then my pack of cautious OB's echoed her: no, no sex or orgasms for now, well, maybe sometime after the amnio, better to be safe than sorry, right? Grrrrr ... talk about a long dry spell!).

But as I woke up, I realized that what I was really feeling was not the Big O, but a very odd subterranean rippling of my abdomen. It was pronounced, though not painful, and it completely sent me into panic mode. I had to come in for my in-depth 19w ultrasound that day anyway, so I made an appointment with a doctor to find out when to expect my miscarriage.

But of course my fake Big O was pretty much the last gasp for the mysterious abdominal ripplings. I had one more little episode later that morning, and that was it.

The ultrasound went well, though I didn't get Oscar this time, and neither D nor I were much impressed with the woman who did the u/s, compared to the CPMC tech. She didn't seem to know or care that it's nice if the tech can give a bit of a tour, as in explaining, "This is what I'm doing now...." Also, it was pretty much a repeat of what the CPMC tech had done just the week before. Same measuring of the tiny brains, measuring of the femur, oh, yawn ... except for seeing the beating hearts. That wasn't a yawn. And seeing the little folks squiggling around in there. That part never gets old.

This tech said that the computer said that the babies weighed in at 10 oz and 13 oz. Last week, the CPMC tech said they were 8 oz each. It seemed odd to me that the one could have gained five ounces since just last week, so that was one of the questions I asked the doc when I saw him. He seemed to think the CPMC report had been wrong, since 8 oz was rather light for 18w.

The nice part about seeing the doc was that it was Dr. Empathetic! Who did the abdominal myomectomy for me that made all this happy nonsense possible. I had originally wanted him for my OB, but he ended up taking extended family leave because one of his children was diagnosed with cancer (which just kills me when I think of that -- I can't imagine how horrible that must be). At any rate, he was back in the office, and it was very nice seeing him, not only because he's a terrific doctor who actually listens to you, but you know, I wanted to show off my immensely pregnant belly to him and say thank you in person. He seemed touched by that. I guess it's not every day you see such concrete evidence that your work makes a difference for people.

And he set my mind at rest. I told him the tale of my belly wrigglings (including my fake Big O), and he told me that localized movement of that kind was definitely not a contraction. Contractions are apparently much more global in nature -- you feel them through the whole belly, or the whole lower back, or your whole cooter ... and then just to illustrate, he put one hand on either side of my belly and pushed. I was so startled that I just made kind of a wheezing noise in reply, but he made his point. I think I'll know a contraction now if I feel it!

So the kids are officially awake now. I think maybe the one to the right of my belly button (where all the activity was) perhaps was flipping himself around like a swimmer at the end of the pool, getting ready for the next lap. (Last week his head was up under my ribs; this week he was head-down.) It's an amazing and unsettling feeling, sort of like feeling snakes rustling around under your skin ... and I can't wait to feel it again.


Blogger casey said...

Movement! Yeah!

I remember having Braxton Hicks contractions the last few months of pregnancy. At first I thought it was my strong-headed baby arching her back. Everything in my belly got rock hard and it took my breath away. My sister could see it across the room from where I was sitting (maybe my face flushed). Anyway, you may not know a contraction right away, as I didn't, but the wriggling movements hopefully will make themselves well known as just babies stretching their legs (and everything else).

Glad for the happy doctor's visit.

5:55 AM  
Blogger chris said...

Yes, you'll definitely know the real thing. I think there are women who don't feel as much when they start (those little heifers go natural, right?) but for most of us, you'll know. And then some.

Before my boy twin started really moving, that's how mine felt, by the way. I didn't get that with the girl. She's always been very distinctive. But the boy often felt like some weird swirling. And of course, he likes to sit on my bladder.

How are your legs holding up? Mine are shot.

Glad to hear all is well.

5:29 AM  

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