Sunday, October 17, 2004

Poop talk
Moms are full of poop talk, but pregnant women? (I'll attempt to ignore the fact that I come from a family of poop talkers--I don't think we've ever gotten through a family meal without some scatalogical reference.) But pregnancy has one thing in common with chemo for me--the requirement that I monitor output. Chemo is constipating for most--I recall (and you may too) my disagreement over what constitutes diarrhea with my doctors and nurses on several occasions. But with chemo, the potential outcome of no output is bad. Very bad. I don't have anything specific, after I was told that if I was "blocked" there was nothing they could do for me I decided against asking what they could do for someone normally.

But I digress.

Not really, its all poop!

One of my long term side effects is output problems during my period. I swear its new--is this the bloating Midol purports to fix? I've been told it's not uncommon, given the proximity of the digestive and reproductive systems. Pregnancy just means it lasts longer. Like the entire pregnancy. I would think that my body would figure out that this is counterproductive--I mean, there isn't enough room for the two of us in there, let alone anything else. With pregnancy, though, the major consequence is hemmorhoids. Now I have another class of people to stop mocking. Another blogger writes frequently and hilariously about her and her family's problems pooping, and I laughed out loud, but that's not mocking, is it?

Non-poop talk
Well, I did it again. Another haircut, entirely too short. I was ambushed! All was going well, just a trim, and then my stylist started talking about stress, spirituality, and life-changing experiences. She likened my cancer to her issues, and when her issues came out in a story about her suicide attempt and subsequent three-day coma, my hair got cut quite short. I am never going to cut my hair again. (That is the sound of Kevin rejoicing.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Guess where I am now? Yes, in the exam room waiting for my oncology appointment. Online access makes this much more tolerable. Waiting in the general waiting room is *very* tedious now, what with the flat screen televisions playing some supposedly relaxing tape loop of nature scenes, complete with sound, so that every time it rains I need to pee.

I really should have stuck a sonogram in my file just to see what she says. But I told the PA and asked if there was anything my OB should know. She mentioned radiation damage to my eggs. Hmmm, thinks I, NOT WHAT I WANTED TO HEAR. As far as I know, there's not much to do about that at this point, but thanks for bringing it up!

My doctor was much more effusive--and practical. She congratulated me and had my latest blood test results sent up to my OB. She'll see me again in February, and we'll do a scan-o-rama in June.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I went out with some lady friends last night, and wore my new leather skirt. Why, you may ask yourself, would a pregnant woman buy a leather skirt? First, because the last time I was pregnant I bought many non-maternity clothes (you should have seen the look on the saleswoman's face at Ann Taylor when I said that I needed this dress for a wedding, and, by the way, I'd be 6 months pregnant). Second, because it was in a consignment/thrift shop in a ritzy part of town (where I was looking for Halloween costume for Conor) and when you find the perfect chocolate brown leather skirt that has never been worn for $38, you are back in the market for a leather skirt.

The other moms were impressed. Those that had two talked of how early they'd been in maternity clothes, but they all had two in about two years. One said she never lost the weight from the first before getting pregnant with the second. I have had five years and chemo in between, so not much of an excuse for me.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

It's been five years since I was pregnant with Conor. Five years exactly--my due date is the same as the last time, the end of April. (Guess what you're getting for your birthday, Conor!) Because it's been five years, there are things that are new since then and things that are new to me because I am old. Yes, I suffer from "advanced maternal age", which means I'm delivering after the age of 35. So every visit/test/whatever, I try to figure out if it's new or I'm old.

I had my first sonogram, and that's new. Last time they had a Doppler device to hear the heartbeat at 8 weeks, but this time it's a sonogram. I won't go into details as to how they get a sonogram of something that's the size of a bean, but let me just say I now know why they have condoms next to the sonogram machine. So we have a picture of our little bean, who's got a normal heartbeat and is just the size of an 8 week, 3 day fetus.

Our doctor is the same one who delivered Conor. She's very direct and quiet--we are bound and determined to get her to crack a smile this time around. Kevin failed to take the opportunity this time when they were both peering at the sonogram screen and the umbilical cord was curled between the 'legs'--he was supposed to point and say, "IT'S A BOY!".

And I had a CVS. This is because I am old. They do, or give you the option to do, a lot more testing because of the age of your eggs. We decided to do it (more on that later) and there was some preparation about the horribleness of the proposed intravaginal route, and I'm all like, well, I've had a bone biopsy, a bone marrow biopsy, and a fine needle biopsy. If you're not going to stick needles in me and then send me through the CT machine to see if they're in the right place, climb on the table to jam the needle into my bone marrow, or shoot my armpit full of Lidocaine, then I think I'll be fine. Bring it on!

But placenta-wise, we weren't in position for the intravaginal route. No flexible tube for me! It's the needle. But even with that, I'm still in my, "Bring it on!" mood. But that didn't last because it's not just about me anymore, there's someone (pro-lifers everywhere are cheering at that term) else to think about. During the procedure we saw an ultrasound of the little one where he/she stretched out and kicked his/her little feet, then they stuck a needle through my abdomen and uterus to get some of the placenta.

This didn't make me feel like a good mommy. It's one thing to be cavalier about your own body, but the needle was bigger than she was. I started to have some serious doubts about having the test in the first place, so I decided that I must take the post-test instructions seriously. (It didn't help that the first parenting magazine I picked up after the test also questioned the wisdom of blindly following the age cutoff and having such an invasive test.) I wasn't on bedrest, but I was supposed to stay off my feet. Could anything be better for me in the first trimester? I'm so tired all the time, that a nap is always a good idea. Laying down for two days was not a problem at all.

And then we got the results--no visit, they called us. I'm guessing that if "normal" isn't part of the conversation, it would be in person, but it was normal and if you want to know whether we're having a boy or a girl, you can see for yourself, below. Remembering ninth grade biology will help.

Extra credit--make your own karyotype here.

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