Friday, December 16, 2011

Secret Post #19: First Prenatal Appointment

NOTE: This post is part of a series that I wrote in secret during the months before I announced my pregnancy. The series chronicles my pregnancy journey: from weaning off my RA meds, to trying to conceive, to searching for helpful advice and information, to discovering I was pregnant, to the ups and downs of my first trimester. You can read all the posts in this series here.

 This Post Written November 15, 2011

TMI Warning: This post contains details about pregnancy that you may consider to be too much information. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Yesterday we had our first prenatal appointment! The morning started out a little bit rough (I barfed in the driveway before we even left the house) but the appointment ended up going really well, though it took almost three hours.

First we met with a nurse who asked us a ton of questions about my health history and the health histories of our families. She answered a bunch of our questions too. Then I peed in a cup. Then we met one of the OBs (the clinic we chose has 5 practitioners who rotate during your prenatal care so that you are familiar with whoever is on call when you deliver.) The OB did a breast exam, pap smear, and finally an ultrasound - with ultrasound technology I didn't even know existed until it was literally inside of me (yes, you did in fact read that right, see below). Then I had to get quite a bit of blood drawn. Then we finally got to go home, where I went immediately back to bed for most of the rest of the day because I was seriously exhausted!!
Technology lesson: (a.k.a. Things No One Tells You!) Transvaginal ultrasound is not at all like the abdominal ultrasound you see on TV. Instead of doing the ultrasound through the woman's abdomen, a (rather large) probe is placed inside the vagina. Our doctor said it can be used in pregnancy when the fetus is too small to be seen via abdominal ultrasound. So there you go. You learn something new every day.
The slight awkwardness of the necessary technology was totally forgotten when we saw our baby on the monitor. The baby was looking right at us, its tiny eyes and arm buds glowing and its heart visibly beating in a circuit. But despite the, ahem, very intrusive technology and the fact that we were both standing right there looking at the monitor, both APL and I had the same thought: "look at that. Someone is having a baby." It still feels slightly surreal that it's us!

In slightly less great news, my SI joint is still misbehaving. My OB thought it would be a good idea for me to check in with my rheumatologist, so I have an appointment to see my rheumatologist's assistant tomorrow afternoon. I don't know whether they will be able to offer me any sort of relief from the pain, but probably best to keep my RA team in the loop with my pregnancy anyhow.


~kelly marie~ said...

I am so loving your secret posts! I have, unfortunately, experienced that lovely US wand. I had abdominal pain. Talk about a shock! Why don't people ever mention that that thing exists! Ha!

When I first had my autoimmune disease it attacked my SI joint. The best things were heat (especially with those heavy heat up rice pack thingies, the slight weight felt good), sitting with my legs crossed instead of hanging down, sleeping on the "good SI" side, and doing this stretch:

I hope that helps some! :)

~Mariah~ said...

KELLY MARIE: Why didn't the DOCTOR mention that thing exists before using it on me?!?! ~:o)

I've been doing PT for the SI joint, and that seems to be helping some. I will try that stretch too - thanks!

Hope all is well with you!!

~kelly marie~ said...

I KNOW! Why doesn't anyone talk about it?! I was horrified because they said they were doing an ultrasound and they came in with that thing! Ha!

~Mariah~ said...

KELLY MARIE: Dude, they had just done pap smear so I literally did not even see the thing until afterwards. Some warning would have been nice!!! ~;o)

~kelly marie~ said...

HAHA! This is making me laugh so much! Hehe!

Stephanie Kay said...

LOL! I had a vaginal ultrasound with baby #2 and #3. I'm surprised your doctor didn't explain what he was doing beforehand. I love ultrasounds!! Seeing their tiny hearts quickly beating is always fun! The best ultrasound experience I had was for my last baby when we learned the sex. We took the other 3 kids with us (about 18 months to 5 yrs) and they saw the baby on the monitor. Everyone was very excited. :)

Christina said...

I was lucky enough that my friend warned me about the "vaggie wand" when she was pregnant with her first baby, but I was still shocked the first time my doc used it on me. Until he told me that my uterus and ovaries were as healthy as a 25 year olds...then the wand and I became good friends. At least something about me has stayed young and healthy. hee hee Now it's become a regular in our quest to get pregnant.

~Mariah~ said...

STEPHANIE: That's awesome that your other kids got to see their new sibling. ~;o)

CHRISTINA: Hahahah! Vaggie wand! Hilarious. ~;o)