Wednesday, September 10, 2008

All's well in PeanutLand

Week 17

Had my 4-month baby visit today and got to meet my new OB, Dr. Owens. She's really great, and I'll be sticking with her for the next few months until the last trimester, then I'll rotate through the rest of the docs so I can meet them all.

Pretty routine today, talked for a while so she could get to know me and my history. Listened to the heartbeat - always goofily exciting. Plus there was all this background noise which Dr. O said was the baby moving and kicking. I can't believe there's something that big in there that I can't even feel! She said not to get too impatient because most first time moms won't feel anything until 20 weeks.

They also took some blood and are doing something called an AFP test which is routine and checks for defects. I think they told me we'd have results in like 48 hours. Am scheduled for my anataomy scan next time at the 20 week visit, which is when they look at all the parts and hopefully tell us if it's a boy or a girl, as long as Peanut is cooperating.

Dr. O also said it was okay for us to use our heated mattress pad when it gets colder, thank goodness. I was worried about that because one of my books (my least favorite and most alarming) said I should never use a heating pad or electric blanket, take a hot bath or use a hot tub. So far only the hot tub is verboten. Anyway, the doctor chuckled when I asked, saying, "Yeah, sometimes the books can be a little..." and she did this head waggle eye-rolly thing to indicate the panic-inducing, apocalyptic tone of voice some of the books take in instructing you what not to do.

So this one book I have has a section each week called HOW YOUR ACTIONS AFFECT THE BABY. And basically it tells you that every little thing you do (or do not do) can cause untold catastrophic harm to your little one. The dire warnings about everything are very disconcerting and make you worriedly think back over the past month about what you ate and did and how you slept and everything and wonder if you were doing it wrong. Oy. Also, there are warnings in practically every chapter about how my alcohol use/recreational drug use/promiscuity is BAD FOR THE BABY and I really ought to consider quitting. Last chapter was almost entirely dedicated to how to get myself out of a domestic violence situation. I mean, these are all good things to know, but I am clearly not the demographic this book was aimed at. How about you tell me to take a prenatal yoga class or get a massage or something?

My cousin has the same book, only an earlier edition. She called me a couple months ago freaked out because of the ominous section saying sleeping on your back would deprive the baby of all the vital things it needs, such as blood supply. H3 is a back sleeper and was having trouble transitioning to side sleeping and when she went to check the book became suitably alarmed. She had me check my later edition of the book which had the same dire warning against back sleeping verbatim. Right then I decided to take this book with a grain of salt and appreciate it for the excellent pictures of WHAT YOUR BABY LOOKS LIKE THIS WEEK and use my copy of What to Expect for real answers to stuff.

This week Peanut has fingernails, toenails, fingerprints and footprints. Sizewise, he's about five inches long and more than three and a half ounces, about the size of my open hand. I still can't believe there's something that big in there and I can't even tell. I'm really not looking pregnant yet, although my lower belly is getting firmer and some pants are feeling a little tight. Also, my boobs are the size of Alaska but at least they stopped hurting. Skin seems to be pretty much cleared up except for the ocassional spot, and I'm in general feeling pretty good.