While she's not nearly as insuffrable and obnoxious as Isabelle's Pregnant Co-Worker, I do have my own version of one. Our phlebotomist is pregnant. I saw her exactly a year ago for her yearly Gynae visit. She was excited as she had been dating a new guy for a few months and they would be spending the President's Day Holiday weekend in Monetary as their first romantic get away. Birth control method? My notes read 'using condoms, happy with this method, does not want to re-start Nu.va Ring at this time.' My experience knows this translates to: will become pregnant soon. Sure enough in early March, she asked me to order a beta HCG for her. It was negative and I let her know my door was open if she wanted to talk any further. Later during the summer months, she asked me to "test her hormones". I explained that we couldn't just run them on the spot and reviewed testing FSH and Estradiol on Day 2 or 3 and checking a mid luteal progesterone. I realised that I was also outing the reason why I kept asking her to draw a progesterone level on me. She tried using Ovulation Predictor Kits, but was concerned as she kept getting a negative result. I enquired a little further and discovered she was only testing on one day per cycle. I suggested she test daily until she gets a positive response. You know, like they tell you when you read the instructions. About a month ago, a medical assistant asked if I would order her a beta as she just had a positive test in the office. "She's really nervous." the medical assistant informed me. "She's been trying for such a long time." I resisted rolling my eyes. When we reached the one year mark, it felt like it was a long time. I didn't know that it would take hitting the three year mark for one year to seem like nothing.
As soon as her second beta confirmed a decent rise, (although it was a little less than I would expect for four days) our entire department, and perhaps the entire office, knew she was pregnant. Of course, she wasn't using the OPKs at the time of her conception, which led her to conclude that they don't work and are a waste of money. I resisted explaining that when used correctly, in theory they do work, but the blind pig finds an acorn method sometimes works as well. Her mother came to her New OB appointment and she invited two medical assistants to stay in the room during her ultrasound, because that didn't put any additional pressure on her uterus. Fortunately, I would find she had a viable single intrauterine pregnancy at 6 weeks and 3 days (which she immediately posted as her Face.book profile picture). The next day, she announced that she went shopping for maternity scrubs that night. Yeah, I'm in my second trimester and I still am wearing my normal clothes... I thought to myself. Admittedly, I do sound smug, but I'll own it. This conversation was taking place inside my head as I still hadnt told my entire staff yet. Earlier, I took my designated medical assistant out to lunch to celebrate our anniversary together and I shared the news with her. I also disclosed to our office manager, especially to give her the heads up that I may need to go out early. Anyway, Pregnant Phlebotomist also revealed that she bought a special food processor that allows you to make organic baby food. Um, you do know that you're not going to need such an appliance until the baby is 6-8 months... It's going to occupy space in your kitchen for over a year. During that time, you could have someone give it as a gift for your baby shower, your birthday or Christmas... Or you could also realise that you can accomplish the same objective with an ordinary blender.
When she was only 7 weeks, she told my medical assistant, "I can't wait to find out if I'm having a boy or a girl! That is what is really important. Then, I can start shopping accordingly." Yes, she really said those words, and ironically it was on the same day as my anatomy scan. [At press time, she is 9 weeks plus a few days and she has asked Co-worker 3 or 4 times when she can learn gender, but she has already started buying girl clothes.] Co-worker and I privately expressed our concerns. "It seems as if she just views the baby as a living doll to dress up..." I observed. Co-worker was privy to some background information. "She's still living at home with her parents. The guy is a few years older than her and he already has three kids with three different women. She's Baby Mama #4. Why does she think that she and her baby are going to be any different? I think she just figured that she'll be turning 34 this year and now it's her time to have a baby." We collectively agreed that we hope she starts to appreciate all that is really involved with having a baby and raising a child. I thought back to my first visit with Myrtle after little Myrtle was born. We went out shopping and ran into a girl from our high school class, who is a relapsing alcoholic. "Aww, is she your little Angel?" she asked while cooing over little Myrtle in a way that made me wonder if she were drunk at that moment. "No." Myrtle replied firmly "She's a huge responsibility."
A few weeks ago, in what I warned will be the first of many Holy shit! I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing! freak-outs, Myrtle sent me a copy of the book, The Baby Gizmo buying guide. It's perfect for a novice like me. The opening chapter discusses activity mats and centres, some things I never knew even existed. Reading the chapter about baby bathtubs and accessories gave me some insight on how to bathe an infant. Then the book started to scare the shit out of me. Apparently, 12,000 children are treated for crib related injuries and an approximately 35 die each year. Most occur in second hand and hand-me-down cribs. My cousin offered us her crib as her youngest is transitioning to a big boy bed. Her son used it for two years and managed not to die. What is the expiration on a crib? How many families use the same crib for all their children? [I re-read that section of the book to verify my statistics, and they note that ten years is the approximate life span for a crib as long as it is in good condition. However, they do only recommend only accepting a crib from a family member, so you can verify its history.] I then became even more terrified while reading the chapter on car seats. Infant car seats cause 13,000 injuries and 5 deaths each year outside of the car. Am I going to kill my baby if I purchase the wrong product? I finished the book and felt more informed and organised, yet still completely overwhelmed. It has completely sucked any fun out of nesting.
I shared these thoughts with Husband in what I warned will be the first of many What the fuck did we get ourselves into? freak-outs. He quickly reminded me that I wasn't alone in this. I had someone by my side who would help with these decisions and manage our new responsibility. I acknowledged that I had been jealous of her unbridled enthusiasm and seemingly fearless approach about her pregnancy and it never dawned on me that it could be a coping mechanism. Perhaps she is just as scared and freaked out as I am, maybe even more as she'll likely be taking care of the baby on her own.