The other day, I had my 28-week appointment.
FINALLY! You see, I’ve waited 4-weeks to drink that dayglo orange space juice in a bottle that they gave me at the last appointment. Pure dextrose. Or sugar. Something hyper like that.
According to the instructions, I had to consume it 30 minutes before my appointment. 30 minutes before my appointment I was lifting weights after ellipticizing. Good timing! I need loads of sugar after ellipticzing like a madwoman at 9 mph. Oprah got me all fired up today. Not really but sometimes it’s better to pretend when you’re on a machine that goes NOWHERE.
I drank it. Then I waited for something magical to happen.
I was expecting to run crazy laps at 9 mph around the indoor track. I think I made it 5 minutes at an 11:30 pace. This was NOT the effect I was hoping for!
I headed to the office. My blood pressure keeps getting lower. I’m not sure what that means but I suspect my body has adapted to pregnancy as its now natural habitat. Eviction notice comes 2-weeks post July 28th, body, so get ready to change habitats.
Then I got weighed….
Yikes! I never thought I would see a scale say THAT!
I headed off to the ultrasound technician next. The technician commented that Max was very active and crammed up by my ribs. Which explains why I’ve been feeling something there for the past few days! Get out of my ribs, kid! I can’t swim with you up there.
Max’s head measures 2 weeks bigger than his gestational age. I suspect that means nothing but get a little scared because that big head has to come through my small pelvis. And it’s a one way street – once it starts coming out, there’s no turning back. I hope he grows into his head.
She measured and pointed out everything else – kidneys, bladder, stomach, brain, heart. Is there anything more amazing than watching the four chambers of the heart pulse with the life of your child inside of you? The answer, I think, is no. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been in the world, what you’ve seen. Life living and growing inside of you is something that cannot be matched.
Apparently Max is kicking me like crazy. The tech asks if I can feel it. Honestly, no. Then he gives me a massive dolphin kick to the stomach.
Did you feel that big one?
And just as he kicked, she snapped a shot of both feet.
Perfect feet and perfect little profile. Of course, even my baby’s poo will be perfect because that’s just how parents feel.
Today Max’s heart rate is high – 162 bpm. Maybe it was all the sugar. Maybe Oprah got him all riled up too. He was then measured for weight. He comes in at 2 pounds and 8 ounces, in the 49th percentile.
This means I am not birthing a gorilla. What I have is a very averaged sized baby.
A few profile pictures and he even sticks out his tongue. He’s busy as can be inside. Flipping all over the place. I have a feeling we’re going to have to put Max out in the backyard with Boss to run crazy laps every night. Sitting still already does not seem to be in his vocabulary.
At 28 weeks, you also give blood for a few things. To test the presence of antibodies. Since I already have them, that’s one less vial of blood to give! A gestational diabetes screening. A test for anemia and a blood cell count. As the nurse draws blood, I make myself look at the needle. It’s time to get used to all things bloody, needly and painful. Face it, Liz. In 12 weeks you’re going to have all sorts of things sticking into you and coming out of you.
The doctor came in and talked with me. Remember the depression screening I had to do in week 12? I had to take another one – just in case pregnancy was getting me depressed. Why, there’s nothing depressing about being 25 pound heavier, wearing elastic pants and wondering if you’ll ever run below 10 minute mile again.
I passed the test.
I’m all healthy. I heard the baby’s heart beat, my uterus was 3 inches above my belly button (GO UTERUS!), and my urine is clean. I’m not sure what they were looking for but clean urine, as an athlete, is always a good thing.
The third trimester certainly is a lot of doctor’s visits. I have to go back every 2 weeks to go through this all again? Can’t I just call when my water breaks or something? No. I go back every 2 weeks. As an added bonus, because I am having a geriatric pregnancy (I will be 35 on the due date, good timing), I get to go in weekly starting at week 36 for a stress test. Apparently I get to sit in a big chair while they put a monitor on me for 30 minutes every week to monitor fetal stress. This is something us geriatrics get to look forward to.
Now, who’s going to help an old woman out of the big chair?
At dinner, Chris and I talked about the appointment and all things pregnancy over chicken and waffles:
I’m getting annoyed with people asking me how I feel. How am I supposed to feel other than pregnant?
I’m getting really annoyed with people asking me how you feel, he said.
Tell them I feel pregnant.
We talked about all of the advice people give about parenting and pregnancy, the comments, the questions. I told him try wearing this costume and see what people say. People see a pregnant belly and feel compelled to say something. Like your life will never be the same. Really? Huh. You think that might be why I’m having a geriatric pregnancy, because I waited all those years I didn’t want life to change. Or how about how do you think your dog will react to the baby. Let me send in the pet psychic to find out. How the hell should I know! It’s a freakin’ dog – he doesn’t talk to me about his feelings!
I know people mean well and that it’s only begun. The real free advice begins after the baby is born when everyone tells me how to care for and raise my baby.
And I don’t have to wait much longer. Less than 12 weeks! In the meantime, I’m thinking of administering a depression screening to my dog to see how he feels about the baby. Maybe talk about his true feelings.
Enter: Boss (depressed)
Clearly, I need to send him to doggie psychotherapy to work any issues out. Do a little role play. Ok, Boss, pretend I’m the baby. And then it hits me – like Boss marks everything else in his little doggie world, he will probably mark the baby and say, very clearly…
Boss also can’t wait.