I'm not used to being a patient, and I suppose at this point in time in the pregnancy, I'm not much of a patient... but I did have my first prenatal visit with my doctor last week. Sitting on the exam table and being -on the other side- certainly is something that takes getting used to. My doctor is awesome, though, and makes me feel totally comfortable. We talk through everything together. I had some questions for her, all of which I have answers conjured up in my own head for my patients, but I wanted to be an unassuming patient and ask her opinion. I asked how she felt about prenatal massage, how late into the pregnancy she thought I could travel, and her opinion about some screening tests and returning to work after maternity leave. She's a great clinician, but also gives a very personal perspective having just come off of maternity leave herself - that's why I had to wait until 13 1/2 weeks to see her! But she's well worth waiting for.
So far, since I've entered the second trimester, I've felt great! This is such a relief, because I wasn't a big fan of not having any energy to do anything during the first trimester. I can eat pretty much all things now, which makes my taste buds very happy. A couple of things I was bummed about, however, came up at my doctor's visit:
1. I found out my blood type was AB negative. No one should really be upset by this, but I was, because I know that it means I'll need Rhogam shots at 28 weeks in the pregnancy, and possibly again after the baby is born, depending on the baby's blood type. I'm not a fan of extra blood draws and shots - I just don't like needles! I actually was absolutely sure that the lab must have made a mistake, because of course I would remember if my blood type were negative, so I had my doctor order a blood type again (speaking of subjecting myself to more needles). Apparently I really am Rh negative! So be it - but I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to end up with such a rare blood type and be Rh negative all at the same time. My mom is AB positive and my dad A positive, so they both must have a recessive (negative) allele, that got together to make me who I am today. Tim is O positive, so we have a 50/50 chance of having a baby that is Rh negative. A little lesson in genetics... I actually got pretty nerdy and started drawing all sorts of Punnett squares to figure out what all the options were, and how I turned out this way! I know - I'm a bit of a geek! Anyways, this really shouldn't have any implications, but if the baby has a different blood type from me, I'll need a Rhogam shot and the baby might be at higher risk for jaundice. I'm sure it will all be fine... but I really didn't want to believe or accept this. This is definitely one of those things that confirms that I can't totally let go of being a clinician myself, and I need to try to do so... if I were a normal patient, I would have just accepted the news the doctor told me and moved on... so now, several days later after lots of return to college biology, I'm moving on! I'm sure my family and friends are thankful!
2. I'm anemic :(. The second piece of news that my my doctor shared with me that I wasn't so excited about was that my blood count was low. It wasn't horribly low, but I started taking "GI friendly" iron supplements. Anyone who's taken iron knows how important it is to take friendly iron! I've often been a little anemic, and my hemoglobin wasn't terribly low, but my doctor thought it was a good idea to be proactive in building up my stores, so I'll be ready at the time of delivery. I'm pretty sure that this time around my counts were low, because all I ate were carbohydrates for about 8 weeks during the first trimester. I don't eat red meat to begin with, and my regular doses of leafy green veggies were out for a long time. So now I'm taking my iron and eating my normal diet, and hoping that the extra pills will soon be history.
I'm starting to get a little pooch in my belly, which is kinda fun, but kinda not at the same time. The baby is about the size of my fist now, but big enough to make things push up and out a tad. It's very cool to think about why my belly is starting to bulge, but I'm definitely not ready for maternity clothes. So, I'm rotating through about 4-5 pairs of pants that still feel comfortable enough to wear... I'm not interested in walking around like some of my patients with my zipper undone! I'll have to do some shopping soon... cuz I can't wear my PJs to work!
It's fun to start thinking about things for the baby, likes diapers, back packs, strollers, a crib, etc. I found a really neat thing online called Wishpot, where we can make a wish list from all different stores online, which is like a registry. It's a great idea, so everything can be streamlined all on the same web page. Someone was a smartie who came up with this idea! Fun!
So that's the wrap up for now of me from the patient's point of view... I don't have any photos yet, but we'll have to start doing that in the next few weeks. It's still incredibly amazing to think that there's a human life growing inside of me! We definitely need some photo documentation of this miracle!