Archive for the ‘doctors’ Category

of note

today begins clomid challenge 2009! whee!

i have a new ob/gyn who was recommended by my midwife as being “midwife-friendly”. i don’t know that she is especially friendly towards them, as much as less hostile. she reiterated the party line about taking my unborn child’s life into my own hands by choosing to work with a midwife, etc. i nodded and said i understood.

the thing about this new doctor is that she seems to be a rather crunchy, braid-to-her-butt type. she held eye contact with me for a long time. her eyes are deeply green. after quizzing my knowledge of my own reproduction system and its issues, she agreed with me that if i want to have a child sooner than later, clomid is a good idea. after an ultrasound, which i had. aside from some follicular cysts, all looks well in there. i’m having a big ass blood panel done whenever i finish procrastinating, which will include a test for toxoplasmosis. anyone listen to radiolab? after the episode about the genius of parasites, i have a whole new respect and mortal fear of toxo.

back to the un-nicknamed doctor, at the end of our visit, she advised that, should i have an emergency transport when it comes time for me to give birth again, she would not be willing to be the doctor on call. fair enough. however, and at this point she gave me the green-eyed stare again, she did say that if my pregnancy ended up high risk for whatever reason, she would be happy to be my doctor. well okay then.

all this to say, i’m ambivalent about my new ob/gyn, but my gut says to trust her. so she will remain my ob/gyn for the foreseeable future.

let the challenge begin!

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it’s a sweltering saturday afternoon, pushing 100 degrees, and i am nauseated and lounging in bed and tempted to get all nekked. we’ll see.

sparky is very active today, after being eerily quiet yesterday. i even had some contraband iced tea to see if that would stir her. it didn’t. she only came around as i floated on my side in the bathtub last night.

my charleydog–the alphabitch, as well as mama to 2 litters before being rescued and spayed and adopted by me–has been by my side more than usual, with a worried look on her face. h is convinced this means sparky will be coming soon. i just shrug. i have no idea. reading into signs get so exhausting.

and so i’ve resorted to taunting my fetus. at 3:00 today, i announced that if she wanted to be a may baby, she had 9 hours to get herself out of my womb. this was followed by some poking on my belly and “i’ll bet you don’t have it in you…” “i dare you to try…” “nah nah nah nah nah…” comments. she simply kicked me and ground her head into my pelvis until my cervix ached. i apologized.


in other news, i think we have found our pediatrician. he is a jolly guy, nathan lane’s straight brother, who was a (“responsible, because [he] was in medical school”) hippie with midwife michele in the 60s, as well as the pediatrician for her kids.

reasons why we dig him:

  • he accepts our insurance
  • if we should ever find ourselves without insurance, he generously works with self-pay patients
  • he is completely supportive of “families like ours”, and actually got rid of a pediatrician in his practice who had issues with same sex parents
  • there is a lab at his practice
  • he is not antibiotic happy.
  • he is very flexible with vaccine choices and schedules. he trusts parents to do their homework and make informed decisions about their children’s health.

i didn’t know how relieved i would be to have found a pediatrician. we’d interviewed one previously, who was very honest about not having much experience with “families like ours” but had nothing against us either. she was pretty rigid about sticking to the vaccine schedules, and had nothing but horror stories when we asked her thoughts about, oh say, co-sleeping? (she herself slept with her mother as a child, interestingly enough.) i just didn’t feel comfortable with her overall. dr hippie was so nice, and had the answers to our questions ready before we asked them.

also, i had an appointment with h’s psychiatrist yesterday. i’ve met him a few times when i’ve accompanied her to her appointments, and he’s a quirky ADD OCD kind of guy. boxes of files are strewn about his office, and he never wears shoes. he has a fantastic potty mouth, and tells the most bizarre stories. all of his appointments notoriously run late by an hour at least. and he’s fabulous. he actually assesses more than the symptoms he has the power to medicate. he asks for your whole story (hence the lateness of all appointments). yesterday was a baseline assessment of how i’m doing without meds for depression and anxiety. i am officially doing “enviably well”. after sparky comes, i will check in with him once a month to make sure i am maintaining my mental health.

i can’t tell you how good it felt to walk out of a psychiatrist’s office without a prescription.

ok, i’m out of steam. but before i go, i must recommend you go buy the new record, shotgun singer, by my dear friend, kris delmhorst. she’s good people, and such a fabulous artist. AND she is due with her first bebe one day after sparky is estimated to arrive. privately, i am competing with her. my baby will come first. i will win.

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it’s the end of another nauseated day here in austin, texass. i worked a full day yesterday, and was consequently nothing but a useless lump all day today.  and so i spent another day in bed.  it’s hard not to feel defeated. luckily, i’m too exhausted to feel defeated. so i win. i guess.

tomorrow is our next appointment with midwife michele. yesterday, i went to dr c’s office to sign the medical records release form, and ms no social skills receptionist who clearly does not like me since i’m leaving the fold told me they’d “probably” be able to fax them before my appt. are you kidding me? my bets are on no records being in michele’s hands tomorrow. what say you?

we get to hear the heartbeat tomorrow. i can’t articulate how excited i am to hear sparky for the first time. and i don’t think i can articulate just how scared i am that we won’t hear a heartbeat, that something will have gone wrong. even though i’m growing. even though i’m so effing sick. i’ve tried to temper my fear with a whole lot of hope, but i’m so afraid.

maybe, after hearing that strong, fast heartbeat, i will feel relief, and more confidence that i will actually be giving birth in six months. i could use a little relief.

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i’m so sorry for the silence here. i haven’t posted because i knew it would be boring. kind of like this post will be. the sick has continued to be really bad, with smells and textures sending me over the edge. last night i had my first actual hurl of the dinner, and i cannot express just how tired i am of forcing myself to eat. something. anything. i’m about halfway through week 10 (9w2d), and i am hoping against hope that relief comes soon.

i want to love being pregnant. and i am so excited to meet sparky. but right now, pregnancy has completely stolen my life. i feel terrible saying that out loud. but i’m frustrated and sick and hormonal and tired. and these potato chips aren’t fixing anything.

anyway, quick update: my doctor finally faxed the required forms a day after the deadline (which was extended to accommodate her tardiness). of course, the forms were incomplete. so now, i’ve been given a 15 day extension so that she can fix a very easy mistake and fax the forms again. i don’t have the energy to get on their ass again. i really hope they simply follow through.

had my first midwife appt last thursday. i got to stretch out on the big comfy bed. we went over the myriad health questions again, which was boring, and then michele tried to find sparky’s heartbeat with the doppler. unfortunately, we only found my heartbeat. she made no promises that we’d hear it, since i was only 8w4d, but she’s confident we’ll get it at my next appt in december. i’m not worrying about not hearing sparky. i’ve been so sick, i’m not spotting, and my belly is pooching. i’ve got to trust my instincts and believe sparky is okay.
oh, and my uterus is measuring spot on.

that’s all i gots for today. hopefully a more positive, less piqued post will come soon.

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remember the fmla intermittent leave i was praising so excitedly? yeah, well, the paperwork was faxed to dr c on 10/24, with a deadline of 11/7 to return it. my insurance company has called me every day to advise they haven’t received the forms. in turn, i have called dr c’s office, and have told the nurse: please. fax. forms. my job depends on it. nurse’s reply: we are short staffed, but it’s on my desk and i’ll have dr c sign it “tomorrow”.

today, of course, is 11/7. i called dr c’s office once again to confirm that everything had been signed and faxed back. the nurse just called me: dr c refuses to sign the intermittent fmla form. we can give you a dr note for any days you’ve missed, though, she says. dr c won’t sign fmla leave until after the delivery.

fuck fuck fuck. debbie the nurse just got a fucking mouthful from me. i tried to calmly explain that pregnancy leave and post-pregnancy leave (ie maternity/bonding leave) are separate. one does not affect the other. and unless dr c approves pregnancy fmla, i am fucked. i will lose my job. because i have already missed days of work that were promised to be covered under fmla.

i told nurse debbie to call the insurance company and get the paperwork down to a language that ensures me the freedom to stay home from work when i feel like shit during this first trimester and still makes dr c feel comfortable…whatever the fuck that means.

i cannot even fathom the level of unprofessionalism happening right now.
i can’t wait to call and ask for my records to be sent to the midwife.

oh god, though. i’m worried about my job.

hopefully, this will all be resolved within the next two hours.

in the meantime, here’s an 8 week 3 day belly shot. (what i was doing when nurse debbie called.)

8 weeks 3 days.

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a few things.

i’ve been meaning to post for the past few days, but have been so tired, and so sick, and i didn’t want to write a whinefest. so, let me get it over with quickly: i feel crappier every day, pretty much. when i am not sleeping, all i can think about is sleeping. also, potato chips are awesome. the saltier, the better. mmmmm.


my birthday was so. much. fun. we had a fire in our backyard, and friends came over for s’mores and chocolate cake. i made some hot mulled cider as well. there was very little alcohol (just a wee nip of whiskey for a few folks), which is unheard of with our group of friends. and yet, we were all tipsy as we warmed ourselves against the fire. and we watched the full moon rise over our house.  i was even blessed with an evening-long reprieve from the morning sickness.  i was so very grateful.

my friends were very generous with their love and gifts. i was given a signed madeleine l’engle book, prenatal vitamins, gorgeous barrettes, a pink bat tshirt, and one must not forget the st otto–patron saint of parking–air freshener. sweet h got me mama bee belly butter and a baby book. just this evening, i received a card from her mum. along with her generous gift, she signed her card, “granny b”. she is so excited about sparky.

my doctor appointment on friday. i haven’t really talked much about it other than the amazing ultrasound, because i’m still processing everything. it was a routine first prenatal appointment for the most part. they gave me lots of free literature about pregnancy and baby care. my dr was happy with the growth of my uterus. everything was puppies and kittens until we said the m word. yep. midwife. when we brought up the possibility of the midwife, dr c’s eyes narrowed and she said: “i don’t recommend it. this is your first baby, and it is simply unsafe. what the midwives won’t tell you is how many of their messes are brought into the hospital where i deliver. i don’t recommend the midwife, but i’m not going to talk you out of it.”

now i know that to some extent, dr c has to say that. however, it was a side to her i’ve never seen. she has been so wonderful and respectful up until now. maybe she is taking it personally that we would rather have a midwife deliver than her. it’s not about her at all. it’s about hospitals and interventions and bullying. on friday, i felt bullied. i felt like my wishes were naive.

when i paid my copay, the receptionist gave me the rundown on how they’d be billing from here on out–from the next appointment until sparky’s birth–and it freaked me out a bit. my next appointment is 11/21. i need to make a decision about a midwife before then, before the insurance ball gets rolling.

you may remember my email exchange with this midwife back in april. well, i got in touch with her, and we have our free consult on thursday at 2 pm. she lives less than 10 minutes away from us, and just a block away from the coach, which is entertaining. from all the stories i’ve read about her, as well as her credentials, i think she may be a perfect fit. seriously, she’s done seminars with ina may gaskin…

i confess that i feel like i’m cheating on my doctor by leaving her for a midwife. i feel guilty! after all, she played a huge role in getting me pregnant. and now i’m saying thanks, but no thanks. i’ll get over it, but she seemed genuinely upset on friday. sigh. is this scenario familiar to anyone?

ok. enough of my ramblings tonight. i leave you with belly picture, round one! 7 weeks, 1 day.

pooching belly.
and here i am in a hormonal moment, as i’m already feeling fat and frumpy:
hormonal pregnant woman.

i am no skinny girl, but most of that paunch is baby. already. as h patted my belly this morning, she said, “oh my god, honey. you’re going to be huge!” um. wow.

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we just got home from the doctor’s office. today was the first big prenatal appointment. lot of bloodgiving and peeing in cups. a surprise pap.

nurse: you’re not due till april. i’m sure we can give you the annual after you give birth in june.
dr: i’m not going to say anything. i’ll let you figure it out as i clamp the speculum and start swabbing.
me: woo! that’s cold! i’m getting a pap right now?

when it was finally time for the ultrasound, my bladder was full and my suzy hurt inside and out. however, dr c quickly found the one! sac, and a sparky snuggled within it, complete with a strong flickering heartbeat. h squeezed my hand.

sparky is measuring 6w4d, which is maybe a day behind, but fine. today, i am healthy. the baby is healthy. there is no better birthday gift.

without further ado, here is sparky.


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today, we went to the dr for my first ultrasound. h wore a tshirt that says ‘i love mom’. for all the months of clomid checks and other proddings, we’ve always been in small, ultrasoundless rooms. today, that all changed. pregnancy has graduated me into the baby room. seriously. this vast exam room was filled with hundreds of baby’s pictures, mostly featuring my doctor in various stages of bad hairdos.

dr c walked in, sat down and said, ‘so i hear we’re having a baby!’ and the room was all smiles.

before inserting the lovely dildocam, she advised that because of sparky’s small size, we may not see him/her yet…and not to be freaked out.

however, immediately upon insertion, the sparky sac was clear and evident and the perfect size, right around 6-10mm if i remember correctly. and look, only one! sparky. relief. i don’t know how we’d afford multiple sparkies. and sparky is implanted in just the right spot. thank god. initial worries = alleviated.

i had another beta done today, and i’ll find out the numbers later today, i think. 2nd ultrasound is scheduled for 10.26, which happens to be my 29th birthday.

without further ado, may i present: sparky the sparkplug.sfp2.jpg

fyi, i’m measuring myself at 4wk 5d, based on when i ovulated.  dr c, naturally, is measuring me by my last period: hence 5wk 1 d.  at least we’re only 2 days off, instead a week, right?

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beta results.

edit: this was friday’s test. 12 dpo.

progesterone looks great. (i forgot to even ask for the number.)

hcg is 56 mIU/ml. dr. c wants me to have another beta today because she thought my levels were a little low.

i’ve read that the normal range for week 4 of pregnancy is 5-426 mlU/ml. what say yous guys?

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dr c. versus ff

this morning, i took my temperature like a good little girl. as i expected, it was up for the 3rd day in a row, therefore graduating me officially into my luteal phase. i was surprised and a little crestfallen to see that fertility friend estimated my ovulation day as saturday…the only day i got a +opk, and the day before we insemmed.

my chart and i had a clomid check appointment with dr c this morning. i explained my concern about our timing. she took one look at my chart and said, “no way you ovulated saturday. it happened on sunday. your timing couldn’t have been more perfect.” my ovaries look good and healthy, and she’s mostly happy with my cd18 ovulation. “if we need to prescribe clomid next month, we’ll keep the dose the same,” she said. “however, i fully expect a call letting me know that you got a positive test in 2 weeks.”

trying not to get my hopes up, but when your doctor is so positive, it’s hard not to. i will be a hopeful girl, and try not to wander over into obsessive land.

question: for those of you who use ff, does it always estimate your ovulation that doesn’t gibe with what your body is telling you?

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