Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Week in Baby

Subtitled: "Vignettes pulled from Edison-Albright family life."  If you have any squeamishness about bodily functions (the word "vomit" makes you want to vomit, for example) you'll want to skip the first one.  How often in the history of writing do you think that warning has preceded a "vignette"?

It's sometime after midnight, Monday blurring into Tuesday time.  I'm sitting on the floor of the bathroom, adjacent to my good porcelain friend.  Sean is nearby ... reading to me, reminding me to breathe, trying to distract me.  We've had a long night.

The doctor on-call chides me for calling at such an hour (really? When should I call the emergency help line about going to the emergency room with non-stop vomiting and a migraine?) But then she gives some good advice: if you're still peeing, you're not dehydrated enough to need IV fluids.

I tell Sean the vomiting is never going to stop, the migraine is never going to go away, and I will probably need an ambulance.  He encourages me to focus on how overtired I clearly am and try to sleep instead. Suddenly filled with a wave of courage and determination, I announce: "I will try ... to pee!"

At this point my memory gets a little fuzzy.  I think I fell asleep for a minute or two.  I remember the bathroom floor mat felt very comfortable and my body felt impossibly heavy.  I came back to reality when Sean said (very softly, gently, lovingly):

"Are you peeing?"

I was not.  But I was laughing, and that laughter lifted me from the floor and eventually got me back to bed for a few hours of fitful-but-healing sleep.  Little known fact: if you can laugh like that, you are not dehydrated enough to need IV fluids. 

You would think that merely hearing a baby's heartbeat after actually seeing the baby jump and kick and squirm around on an ultrasound would be anticlimactic.  This is what I told myself, anyway, before our appointment with Dr. M on Wednesday.  I was trying to prepare myself for the very real possibility that we wouldn't hear anything; at this early stage, you can't really tell with the Doppler if no heartbeat is a problem or if no heartbeat means the baby is just really good at dodge ball and hide-and-go-seek.

Dr. M also tried to prepare us for this.  "Your uterus tilts to the back," he says.  I nod, sagely.  Sean gives me a look that says, "How could you possibly know that?"  A woman knows.  The good doctor continues: "Given that, and even under ideal circumstances, we often can't hear the heartbeat until 14 weeks, and you're at 12 weeks.  So you MUST NOT worry if we can't find it today."  Everyone in the room silently acknowledged that we would worry anyway.

Dr. M stared into the middle distance as he tried one spot, and then another.  The nurse did the same, and I wondered what they could see that I couldn't. Another try.  One more just in case and then ...


There's our Little Scooter!  Found you!  The doc mercifully lingers on the spot, and we all just listen.  And cry.  At one point there's a sound like a record scratching.  Dr. M's eyebrows fly up: "Your baby is KICKING!  Did you hear that?"  Yes, we did.  Two words: soccer scholarship.

More crying ensued, followed soon after by pie.  Banana cream.  Mmmmmm.

For the record, Hank also enjoys napping.
For the past three months, my interaction with Hank the Dog has mostly taken the form of napping.  I haven't had a lot of energy and I feel bad about it.  On Monday I tried to make it up to him by taking him for a beautiful walk in the early springtime.  We set out, some of us hoping to suddenly realize the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, some of us hoping to kill and eat a small woodland creature or two.  It was a day full of promise and potential--a celebration of new and renewed life.

We'd gotten about a block from our house when it started to hail.

Me: "I'm so sorry, buddy.  We gotta go home."
Hank (with his soulful eyes): "You must be joking.  It's just a little hail!  Ow, something's hailing in my soulful eyes!"

We made up for it today with a nice long morning walk.  Hank was pleased to get his nose and paws dirty in the melting snow.  I even let him look menacingly at a robin for awhile.  It must be Spring.


And that's the news from the Edison-Albright family, where all Scooters kick mightily, all the pie is gladly shared, and all the dogs are above average.


Momes said...

How fun, how awesome, to hear Little Scooter's kick even before you can feel it. WOW!

galeaudr said...

best. stories. ever.