Saturday, January 8, 2011

Unwanted Excitement

Yesterday we had a little unwanted excitement.

About a week ago, I had a tiny bit of spotting. Just a little very light brown on my pantyliner. I didn't call the doctor because I know that happened at least once when I was pregnant with Natalie. Then, Thursday night around Natalie's bath time, I wiped several times and had dime sized spots of very dark brown. (I continued to have some more mixed it with stringy discharge for the couple days, too). So, early Friday morning, I called the doctor's office because I didn't feel quite comfortable. They ask me if I have cramps (I said just small ones that could be from gas or constipation, which are both also pregnancy symptoms). The woman on the phone says the nurse will call me back. When the nurse calls me back, I go over it all again with a different woman. She says that brown spotting is normal, but that she is going to tell the doctor on call about it and call me back. I'm feeling reassured then, mostly because I wasn't that concerned in the first place.

A little later, the woman calls back and says the doctor wants me to get my blood work done that day and that they've scheduled my ultrasound for 2 o'clock, and that's the only time they have. She insists that I get the blood work done first. She doesn't say why the doctor said for me to have these things done today, but I figure it must be because something could be wrong. I call Mike and leave a message because he's in a meeting. I call him back an hour later and get him and tell him the story. I'd like him to come home so I'm not alone in case there is a problem, but I'm not sure if he can come home because he was just on vacation all last week.

Natalie and I continue about our morning as normally as we can. We got to story time at 1030, and are pretty much on time for once. Natalie has a good time and then runs around children's room a bit. Pretty normal library trip excepting that the parking meter almost ate my quarter.

I know that I'm going to have to get Natalie up from her nap by 130 to get to the hospital to registrar and get blood work done to make the 2 o'clock appointment. I hoped Natalie would fall asleep in the car. But she doesn't. So, she plays for a bit and I give her lunch. I hoped she'd fall asleep in her chair for once. But she doesn't. So, I put her down for nap right after lunch anyway. It takes her a bit to fall asleep, but she does.

While Natalie is napping, Mike calls back to say he is coming home and he'll meet us there. I start drinking the ton of water you are supposed to drink (that the woman on the phone reminded me to drink, too). I wake Natalie up at 130 on the dot. She wakes up pleasantly. By the time we are in the car, its 137. I hit almost every light. We get to the parking lot at 142. I park in the first space I can find, get Natalie in the stroller, and practicality run across the freezing parking lot with her to get into the building. By the time we zig zag through the building and get taken at registration, its 152. The woman at registration says she'll call ultrasound and tell them I'm in the lab, because I tell her that the woman on the phone said I should go there first.

Natalie and I get to the lab and are next to go, but have to wait a couple minutes, during which Natalie chats with a little old lady and I talk to Mike on my phone with a horrible connection. I'm taken in to get my blood drawn. Natalie starts to look concerned when the nurse puts on gloves, but cheers up when she realizes nothing is being done to her. She then gets a little upset when she realizes that Mommy is the one something is being done too, but she doesn't freak out. The first vein the nurse tries is too narrow and she can't get enough blood out, so she has to start over. In the meantime, I mention that Mike's in the waiting room and he comes in to get Natalie. The nurse tries a different vein in my other arm, but it is far more sensitive. Today, I have a large bruise on one side and a small bruise on the other and the second arm hurt for the rest of that day.

After the blood work is done, we rush over to the ultrasound. When we get there, we're told that we aren't supposed to go there, but to my doctor's usual office. So, we head over that way. When we get there, the woman who is preforming the ultrasound almost immediately starts giving me a hard time about being late. (We are 15 minutes late). I tell her that I didn't pick this time and that I was told (more than once) to go to the lab first. She says never listen to that (like I"m supposed to know that there isn't a reason they sent me there first). Then she says that they are going to do an internal ultrasound because I'm so early, so I have to go pee. So, I drank all that water and have needed to pee for a half an hour for nothing. The woman comes back and says she spoke to the woman I talked to who told me to go to the lab first and that woman assumed I would be coming in earlier. This bothers Mike and I because I wasn't given a choice in the time of the appointment and was just told what to do. She could have asked me if I could make it there earlier to go to the lab first and it would have saved several people a lot of annoyance.

Finally, we get into the room for the ultrasound and get started. An internal ultrasound isn't as bad as it sounds and was only mildly uncomfortable. Mike tries to keep Natalie happy, but she has had it with the stroller and we can't let her walk in the cramped room. So he tries to hold her, but she wants to be with me. We let her sit with me a bit during the exam. During the exam, the woman preforming doesn't say anything. When she is done, she says that its too early to see anything. She can see a yolk sac (which I just learned from Wikipedia is: "It is a critical landmark, identifying a true gestation sac." Why she doesn't tell us this, I don't know.) and that its measuring 5 weeks 6 days (which scares me at first because in my worry I forget that a week has only 7 days, not 10). She says she can't see the fetal pole or the heartbeat, probably just because it is just too early. She says basically that what she sees now is normal for where we are in the pregnancy, but doesn't yet indicate that they're won't be problems later. She says that we will get another ultrasound in two weeks, and probably everything will be fine then. She leaves.

Mike and I are frustrated. The doctor rushed is in there and put us through all this stress just for it to be too early. Mike is wishing he hadn't come home and I'm wishing I hadn't bothered calling the doctor in the first place. I'm feeling bummed out because I'm going to worry for the next two weeks that something is wrong. When we get home, Natalie is being fussy which isn't gelling well with me being down. Mike goes into the office to log on to work to see if he can get anything more done for the day. After a little bit, he comes out the living room where Natalie's calmed down and we talk about things. We realize that having the ultrasound has proved that nothing seriously wrong has occurred. Here is where I wish the nurse has actually said that seeing the yolk sac (and telling us what it was) was a great sign at this point. I'm still feeling a little upset because What to Expect When You're Expecting made it sound like at 6 weeks you should hear a heart beat and that all this other crazy awesome stuff is going on, so why couldn't they see it? Why are we behind? Even though I have unanswered questions, I feel much better after we talk it through. I figure that they rushed the blood work results (the woman taking my blood told me that), so that must mean that they want to get me the results before the end of the day because its a Friday. So, I figure I'll ask some questions when we get a call with the results.

At 415, the doctor's office calls. The nurse on the phone tells me that I was spotting because I am a negative blood type. I am relieved. She says that I need to get a shot of RhoGAM. I immediately recognize the name of this from getting it twice with Natalie, once later in the pregnancy, and once after the birth. She tells me that I can come in right now to get the shot or wait until Monday. I figure why wait and head over there. Of course, this time, I hit no red lights. This nurse helps explain things much better. I tell her that I'm a little uneasy because I thought from what I read they'd be able to see more. She explains that they almost never do ultrasounds this early because it is so likely to not be able to see the fetal pole and heartbeat. She gives me an example of a woman from that day who four days made the difference of seeing it and not. She also confirms that the tests were rushed to make sure there wasn't a serious problem.

I feel better. But, Mike and I are still frustrated. I went to this same office and hospital for Natalie's whole pregnancy and birth. It should be in my file that I'm Rh negative. There shouldn't have been need for a blood test to prove it. Someone should have said that it was a distinct possibility that the spotting was because of the Rh factor and I could have gotten the shot while we were there the first time saving everyone trouble yet again. However, it is possible that the doctor saw the Rh negative and spotting and it being my second pregnancy, and ordered the blood work that day to test for the antigens (discussed more below), but if so, why didn't anyone explain that to us?

Also, I am now feeling a little uneasy about the Rh. The nurse talked about it like it wasn't anything to be worried about. But, when I looked it up on line to refresh my memory, it was a bit scary. With a first pregnancy, there isn't much to worry about. But, after you've already had a child with Rh positive blood, there is a chance you could have mixed blood and created antigens. Natalie must have positive blood, or they wouldn't have proceeded with the shot of RhoGAM after her birth. If the RhoGAM did its job, then there isn't anything to worry about. But, if it didn't, my body could be fighting against our little embryo. What I read on line said that they will test my blood for the antigens. What I'm hoping is that they did that on Friday, saw none, and gave me RhoGAM. Because RhoGAM, from what I understand, is prevention, not treatment. I also read that if I had the antigens, it could cause jaundice, which explains why the pediatrician at the hospital when Natalie was born said that the Rh negative was one of the reasons he wanted us to stay. This adds to my concern that I do have these antigens.

So, I was feeling better. I am feeling better about the fact that the pregnancy is progressing as it should. But I am left with a big concern about if we have a pontentially big problem on the horizon. Its scary because this is the same reason Mike was born two months early. Luckily, I'm going for my intake appointment on Tuesday and I'm sure this is a question I can ask then, if not on Monday when my normal doctor's nurse is supposed to call me to set up our second ultrasound. (Yeah, MY doctor who I love was not in on Friday and neither was her nurse, so we were working with all people we'd never met before).

As the day has worn on, I've seen less and less of the dark brown mixed in my discharge. I still feel like my symptoms are confusing. I feel like I felt different when pregnant with Natalie. Last night, I turned away from doing a crossword puzzel with Mike at 730, I went right to sleep. Mike always teases me for falling asleep early, especially when we watch TV or movies, but today he said that I really have been falling asleep earlier, like I did with Natalie. My nausea feels like its been less, but maybe that is because I'm home and can handle it more. Or maybe its because it was new and I noticed it more. But, I feel like I have had more gas and less regularity in my bowel movements (which was not a problem until the vary end with Natalie). So, maybe those are some of my symptoms this time around. When we see a heartbeat, I will be relieved and happy beyond words. I'm finding it funny that this time around, I'm having more trouble believing I'm pregnant than the first time. But the two pregnancy test, blood test, and now this ultrasound aren't really helping me feel sure either!

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