Archive for March, 2009

Introducing…Baby Ottenhoff!

We decided to tell the families last weekend and this weekend, as we were having large family birthday gatherings where we could tell multiple people at once. We decided to handle it the same way at each party…Give a birthday card from Baby Ottenhoff to one of the birthday guests, announcing his near arrival. At Wally’s family, the card was for Bops (his grandpa) and at mine it was for Liz and Earl (sis and bro-in-law). Memorable moments from the events:

  • Bops read the card to himself first, then hushed the table of 14 and read aloud.
  • Wally’s dad, Walter III, nudged me the whole time, asking who the card was from?
  • Liz read the card, and freaked out mid-way through to stop reading. She thought it was a lie (I had poured myself a glass of wine just before to throw them off).
  • My mom hugged me for a good 3 full minutes, then offered to provide full time daycare, then couldn’t taste her food the whole meal.
  • A minute or so after being told they couldn’t tell anyone yet, Jane (Wally’s sister) pulled out  her  phone to call her friends and let them know.
  • Mary (Wally’s cousin) was the first person to ask me, “So, when are you due?” That made it feel real!
  • The whole family is still on a bit of a high from the news!

1st Doc Visit: 9 Weeks! I mean 6 weeks! Yay!

Wally and I went to the doc for the first full checkup. It included:

  • Waiting. And peeing in a cup.
  • Weight and blood pressure taking.
  • Waiting. (No peeing this time.)
  • Check up. (Wally’s first experience at an OB checkup. New world for him!)
  • Waiting.
  • Ultrasound. More on this later.
  • Waiting.
  • Blood-taking.
  • Waiting.
  • Ask the doc time.
  • Done!

So during the exam, the doctor told us we were 9 weeks (based on the last cycle time) and our due date was October 14. Woo hoo! This meant we were almost done with the 1st trimester, which supposedly means I’m almost done with the mental stomach monster!

Then we went to the ultrasound. The doc said we’d have to do an internal one (which means through the privates). Ew. I told Wally, This is not how I pictured the first ultrasound. But when we went into the Ultrasound Tech’s room, she said she’d be doing an “unofficial” ultrasound, so the normal on the belly kind you see in the movies. Much better.

First the jelly, then the searching. Then more searching. She couldn’t find our baby! She asked if my cycles were normally 28 days, and while I was telling her they’re much longer, she found it. Heart beat. Little blips on the little radar screen. We couldn’t hear it, but she said those blips were it.

And she told us we’re only 6 weeks along, due October 30! Yay to our little Halloween baby! But boo to waiting longer. Oh well, I’m just glad the guy has a heart (a new heart, actually, new this week), and that we finally know when to expect to meet the little guy face to face.

Food…ugh, blah, ick, gag

In normal real life I love food. It’s my favorite. I like to plan out what I’m eating for dinner at least in the morning, if not sooner. And it’s not because I love to plan, but because I love to think about what I will be eating, and look forward to it.

Okay, writing that paragraph made me gag. Because this week, my latest “symptom” is what the wonderful fluffy definition people call “food aversion.” I would call it “food repulsion” or the “mental stomach monster.”

It’s not that I actually get sick. Or that food actually tastes bad when I’m eating it. It’s that the thought of food is disgusting. Thinking about what I might eat for lunch or dinner or breakfast puts a bad taste in my mouth. Especially all the things that are part of my “Best Odds Diet,” which is the healthiest balance of food I can eat for my little guy for the next 9 months. Grapefruit juice…shudder. Tomato juice…blarb.

I have to psych myself up to make a plate of food. Sit down with it, and take bites. And seriously, the taste is fine. I don’t mind the taste. It’s the swallowing. Swallowing is hard.

Since this seems so mental, I’m hoping it will pass. Soon. So I can get back to loving…you know what (gag).

Two Phone Calls, One Good, One Bad

The first weekday after taking the positive test, I was ready to call the OBGYN first thing to schedule our appointment. I wanted to hear the little guy’s heart beat. So all morning I thought about the “proper” way to tell the doc’s office I was pregnant. Does it sound silly if I claim I am, with absolute certainty? Shouldn’t they be the ones telling me I’m pregnant? Should I show my excitement when I say it? Should I tell them it was on purpose? Should I request the appointment, then say why? Or should I casually try to work it into the conversation? I practiced. Not in the mirror or anything, but I practiced.

So much fretting. All of it unnecessary. When I got through, I mustered up the most casual tone I could, and said, “I know I’m not due to come in until May for my annual appointment, but I took a positive pregnancy test and needed to come in sooner…I think…er…right?” So they said the earliest I could come in would be in two weeks, when I would be 9 weeks along. March 10! And that was it.

Then a few days later another phone call, but this one not so fun. I had some “spotting.” So of course, I was worried. It sounds so simple…just a little spotting, pish posh. But when it’s happening to you, believe me, it is not pish posh. My mind and Wally’s immediately turned toward doom. We tried comforting each other by looking online (Dr. Wally, studying at WebMD) and in books (my 479-page Dr. What to Expect), but while my at-home diagnosis made it sound okay, his made it sound terrible. Then I started finding bad possibilities, and so we decided to just call the actual doctor. The one who who went to medical school. And has years of experience diagnosing these things.

I got through to the on-call midwife, and held it together (barely) while I explained the situation. She sounded comforting and grandma-ish, and said it’s probably fine. As long as I wasn’t cramping or having what was like a menstrual cycle, we shouldn’t worry. She said I should increase my water (WHAT? I was already drinking 2 quarts or more a day, but okay), and that it could last a few days. As long as it wasn’t too much, it was okay.

So we sighed (sort of) and felt better (sort of) and waited. I haven’t written the past few days because we’ve been a little more tempered with our thrill. Light spotting lasted. A little here and there. We prayed a lot. One day I was mid-thought about something else entirely (a rare moment), when a thought that was not my own said, “Don’t diagnose it, Mollie, you are not a doctor.” That, I believe, was to help me stop running through all the negative possibilities in my head. It was still lasting yesterday. So we still were worried, and I decided to call again today if it still was worrisome. But to our happiness, no need. Today, it seems to have let up.

The most difficult part about all of this is not knowing, even with all the info available in books and online, what for sure is happening. I want to know with certainty that our little baby is okay. My only “signs” are a few pregnancy symptoms, which I assume mean that everything is coming along. But that is not enough right now, as it’s not the baby communicating. So I can’t wait for the first doctor visit, the ultrasound, where I hope to hear that little heart beating, our baby’s little tin can, sending up a message, “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay.”

March 2009
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