32 weeks

I had my 32-week OB appointment this afternoon, also known as Round 2 of this game I’m playing called “Let’s See How Much I Can Freak Out My OB With My Bizarre Gastro-Intestinal System.”

The good news is that my stomach is gradually starting to get better. The drugs definitely seem to be helping in that regard, and I’m starting to get a shred of energy back, which I think is probably the best sign of all. I don’t quite feel up to my old workout regimen yet, but I managed to get myself out of bed, dressed, to the doctor’s office and back without feeling like I was going to collapse – and I even stopped for gas on the way home! And I didn’t fall over! So that’s optimistic. 

However, I’ve also lost four more pounds in the past two weeks. This means that I now weigh the exact same amount that I weighed at my very first 8-week pregnancy checkup. I’d be lying if I said that a tiny part of me wasn’t a little bit happy about this news, because at this rate, I’m going to have virtually no pregnancy weight to lose. But the part of me that’s excited about it is the same part of me that finds fashion magazines interesting, so really, we should just ignore her because she’s a very shallow, superficial girl. 

My OB said that she’d ideally like to see me gain ten pounds in the next 8 weeks, but she admitted that it’s probably going to be impossible at the rate that I’ve been going. I haven’t done the “1-2 pounds per week” weight gain yet, so there’s no reason to think I’m going to start anytime soon. Although I wasn’t anywhere close to being underweight when I got pregnant, the doctor is a bit concerned that if I give birth and end up weighing far less than my starting weight, I might be too weak to take care of the baby. So that’s no good. I’ve been drinking protein shakes and taking vitamins all along (because that’s just what we post-op gastric bypass folks do), but I’m going to start drinking more shakes (i.e., three a day instead of my usual two) and increasing my vitamin intake, just to be safe.

(And again, that tiny superficial part of me is happy to note that this is the first time in my entire life that a medical professional has ever encouraged me to gain weight rather than lose it. Silly, I know.)

My doctor also measured my belly and said that it’s totally in the normal ranges, so we have no reason to think that Baby Girl is suffering at all during this. However, just to be safe, she wants to do another ultrasound to make sure the baby’s growth is all progressing smoothly and according to schedule. I guess the idea is that if there’s a problem, it’d be easier to fix while she’s still in the womb, rather than after she’s born.

So I’ll be having another ultrasound next Wednesday (the 20th). I imagine that it’ll be kind of weird, since she’ll probably look a lot more like an actual baby now than she did back in September. If there are pictures to post, you know I will.

As for the childbirth class: it was a long day, and I slept horribly the night before, which made it that much worse. But the class itself was fine, I suppose. I’m always irritated by the judgmental undertones toward epidurals and other forms of pain medication, but I think that’s just part of living in the Northwest with all the hippies. The instructors did a pretty good job of staying neutral on the topic – one of the teachers had four kids, only one of them born without drugs. The anti-medication vibe was from the other women in the room. There’s such a huge trend here in favor of natural childbirth – or as they now call it, “unmedicated” birth. Whatever.

And yes, of course I’m well aware of the risks that come with an epidural. But I also don’t understand women who seem to need to prove something to themselves by enduring the highest degree of pain that a human being can possibly experience. I’m secure enough with myself to know that whether or not I use pain medication during childbirth is no reflection whatsoever on what type of mother I’ll be. Besides, it isn’t like the baby is really going to care one way or the other.

As for the birth video, which is when I thought I’d be splashing cold water on Dave’s face and slapping him back into consciousness, he watched the whole thing with rapt interest and afterward said, “that was pretty cool.” Shocked the hell out of me. (His reaction, that is, not the video.) Who knows, maybe he’ll be of some use when I go into labor after all.

7 thoughts on “32 weeks

  1. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! Many of the women in my work group area have given birth recently. They were clucking their tongues at “non-natural” childbirth during a staff function, which annoyed the hell out of me. Is “non-natural” giving birth out of your ear? Please. This Northwest lady plans to give birth here drugged to the gills and then some.

  2. Hmm… I’m glad your energy is starting to come back at least. I hope this all gets figured out soon, you know, so you can enjoy the holidays and the rest of your pregnancy as much as you were at the start of the second trimester with your SuperEnergy.

    May I ask… what exactly is the Dreaded Moment in the birth video? Is it worse than, say, an episode of Maternity Ward on the Discovery Channel? Do you see a close up of an episiotomy or the requisite “accidental pooping from pushing” or something?

    And since we don’t get to play “Name That Parasite,” may I kindly ask what names you guys are kicking around for Baby Girl? Unless you’re not telling anyone and want it to be a surprise, in which case, hey you’re growing someone’s lungs, I’ll just go wrap some more presents and mind my own beeswax. 🙂

    But seriosuly? The baby girl in the party photos I’m posting over on Idiosyncratic Life? Her name is Tallulah. Her brother is Romany. My God, they named their son after one of the most impoverished, oppressed, and ill-regarded nomadic ethnic groups in Europe.

    Unless Tallulah Romany Wilkinson is your top baby name, in which case… um… Wow! That sounds special! And awesome! Presents to wrap! Worky work! Busy bee!

  3. The Dreaded Moment is basically exactly the same as what you see on Discovery Health, only the woman’s bits aren’t blurred out at all. But Dave hadn’t watched any of those shows, so I wasn’t really sure how he’d handle seeing the whole thing. Turns out, he was fine, and I was the one going “oh god, I don’t wanna do that…”

    As for the name, we actually aren’t 100% decided. We’ve had a #1 candidate for several months, but there are a couple of others we’ve been kicking around. I kind of need to see her first to make up my mind which of our top 3 names best suits her. And we aren’t telling the top choices, because I really don’t want to hear everyone and their grandma’s opinion. (A lesson I’ve learned from other mommy bloggers.)

    Also, I know it’s weird, but I have this strange superstition that it just feels wrong to give a name to someone who isn’t technically here yet.

    But fear not: she will not be named Tallulah, that’s for sure.

  4. I’m wondering if the other mothers in the room were first-timers. My guess is they were, because most second-time moms don’t bother with the class (they figure they know what childbirth is like). In that case, I think plenty of women (myself included) want a drugs-free birth for a variety of women — for me, it was being terrified of that damn long needle.
    But a lot of women opt for drugs once labor actually starts. I did. They’re just a bunch of talk right now. The moms I know who have had kids both ways, say after the epidural, they don’t know why they had one without before.
    I hope you start putting on some weight soon. (which sounds sort of weird to say, but you know what I mean)

  5. Drugs good. Pain bad.

    The classes we did also kept bringing up the concept that you shouldn’t feel like a failure if you have to have a esarean. Um, what? It all sounds like the type of things a bunch of burly guys in a locker room would brag about.

    Do new mother’s siut around an brag, “The pain was unbearable, and I lost a few pints of blood and nearly died to avoid a cesarean, so I’m better than you.”

    Right. Get the drugs.

  6. Err…”variety of reasons,” not women.
    Man, I’m tired.

    As an aside, I actually love the name Tallulah. Not that I’m advocating it for Baby Girl, but I do love it for some reason.

  7. I could totally see myself naming my next cat Tallulah. Not my baby.

    Shannon: yes, I think everyone there was a first-timer. And several of them were what might be described as “advanced maternal age” moms. (In their 40’s, I’m guessing.) Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just wondering if that has anything to do with why they’re a bit militant.

    The women who feel like a failure because of a cesarean are the same women who talk about wanting to have a “positive birth experience.” I don’t get it. When it’s all said & done, if you have a healthy baby in your arms, I’d call that a positive experience.

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