After announcing to our family and a few friends from Cross-Fit, it's starting to feel that I may just be, actually pregnant. We haven't quite connected this fact with the possibility that we might really be having a baby. It still seems like an abstract concept. We'll casually speak about a baby coming into our lives, but I think we sound like one of those fertile couples who discuss plans for their future children as they believe they're guaranteed to have kids. (One of my patients is trying to conceive her third baby, her last menstrual period was 22 December, so she's still in her luteal phase, too early to test with a FREPT, but she already scheduled a new OB visit in February. Probably while smoking the post coital cigarette. Just try to imagine that.) We're still working our way past the major hurdles. Although it was a bit perfunctory, we still scored our normal NT scan and negative first trimester results as a victory. Our Panorama testing was negative for the most common microdeltions, including 22q11 deletion syndrome. Also know as DiGeorge Syndrome, most notably portrayed as 'The Bubble Boy' from Seinfeld. The next stop is the Quad marker screening, to be followed by a hopefully normal anatomy scan. If all that goes well, then we focus on reaching viability and holding off pre-eclampsia. I still haven't purchased anything baby related, and other than my cousin's offer of her bassinet, I haven't given any thought to the nursery or the million other items we'll need, but I suspect that is to be expected for anyone at this gestational age, and not just those as wary as us.
I'm still not ready to be public about the pregnancy, but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep it secret. I informed my mother that I won't have the fucking textbook perfect pregnancy that Myrtle did and I instructed her not to discuss any specific medical details with Mrs Myrtle. She later complimented me on how I looked, so I offered that she could mention to Mrs Myrtle that I was barely showing and had only gained one pound by 12 weeks. (Myrtle gained an excessive amount of weight during her pregnancy and her mother hounded her about it.) "I don't mind if you compare us in the categories where I'm WINNING!" Yet, I may have spoke too soon as my weight gain doubled by the time I officially hit my second trimester. I can still fit into my regular clothes, although I'm starting to hypothesise that work out clothes can serve as maternity wear. Fortunately, I have a lot of black dresses, so I've been relying on the slimming effects of the dark colours. I've been asking Husband to do a 'bump check' before I leave for work, although I claim that I don't have a bump yet. "Yeah... you do..." Husband counters. I argue that he's anxious for the bump's presence as he's been rubbing the space. As well as talking to it...
Concealing the bump at swimming has been easier than expected. As I tend to run a little late, by the time I'm diving in, everyone else is in the pool doing their warm up laps. I also decided to swim in the 6 PM session as it's been so cold in the morning. Thus, I get to avoid Lena and Summer and the other girls in the locker room. Actually, even pre-bump I was tempted to tell my latemates as swimming was such a struggle in the early weeks. Shortness of breath and reduced exercise tolerance are common symptoms and the high oxygen demands making swimming especially arduous. I went from being the lane leader, to barely being able to keep up with the interval. However my absence during our east coast trip and my post transfer recovery supported my claim that I was just really out of shape (kernel of truth). As an extra bonus, the swimmers in the evening session are much slower, so I'm feeling like I'm a rock star.
I don't check my blood pressure at home as often as I should, but I've been really diligent about taking my Labetalol twice a day, as well as my baby aspirin. When I went for my first OB visit, the medical assistant measured my blood pressure with the automated cuff. 166/107. Holy shit. I am going to die during this pregnancy... I asked her to check in manually and it was 130/84. While I am no longer in denial about my hypertension, I will always insist on manual readings. My mother also had a hard time accepting that I have blood pressure issues. She thought it could be attributed to my luteal phase support meds, and I ignored her advice to consider stopping the Labetalol after I went off my progesterone. Of course, this could also be her defense mechanism as I claimed that her genes were to blame. Nonetheless, I explained what is in store during my pregnancy. Frequent ultrasounds to monitor baby Jate's growth. ('Jate' was my mother's creation, as it's a combination of our intended boy name 'Jack' and girl name 'Kate'. More appealing that the other option 'Kack') Twice weekly survaliance testing starting at 32 weeks. Hopefully these aspects along with my lab work will be stable and I won't need an emergency Caesarean delivery. Otherwise, unless I spontaneously go into labour, I'll probably be induced sometime between 38-39 weeks. Yet, my mother asked me if I were planning to have a natural delivery. Twice. Bump denial comes in many forms.