ValerieWeek 12 - Curiosity killed the cat OK, so my curiosity got the better of me. After I wrote my entry...

Week 12 - Curiosity killed the cat
OK, so my curiosity got the better of me. After I wrote my entry for last week, I got hooked by that ad on the website for the dopplers for rent. I didn't even think about it. No pros and cons to weigh. Plink, plank, plunk...enter my card number and address and I was on my way. Three days for normal delivery.

I received the unit on Tuesday via FedEx. I felt like one of the kids at Christmas, so excited. I ran up to my bedroom, read through the information, squeezed some of the doppler goo on the wand, pulled down my pants, and went to town trying to find the hearbeat. A minute went by...nothing. Two minutes...nothing. Well, not NOTHING, really. I heard the distinctive woosh-woosh of the placenta and umbilical cord, the slow beating blood flow that was undeniably MOM. But where was the baby? I could hear weird gurgles,pops, and sweeping sounds which sounded like baby movements, but, HEY, I'm not the expert, so what do I know? After about five minutes of probing my gut with that thing, I gave up.

Now, I know a lot of you are probably thinking I must've been a total wreck, especially having lost two babies previously. But for some reason, I wasn't. Maybe I was SURE those gurgles and sweeping sounds were the baby, I don't know. Of course, in the back of my mind was all the negative things floating around. I started thinking it wouldn't be THAT bad to make an appointment with the nurse-midwives I've been to previously to see what's going on. If THEY couldn't find the heartbeat, then I would get referred for an ultrasound. I rationalized with myself that if the baby HAD passed, then I could move on with things, take the right course of action. And if the baby was FINE, then I could "fire" the ladies and go back to searching for a direct-entry midwife. Sure, I wasn't in the best of moods for the rest of the day, but I wasn't a total wreck. I decided to get a pregnancy test to see if there was still hCG coursing through my system. It came back positive, so that gave me some hope.

The following morning I awoke early with the intention of researching some possibilities on the internet, mostly so I could make an informed decision if I had to visit the medical people. First what came to mind was a missed miscarriage, since I had experienced that before and knew that pregnancy tests could still be positive even though the baby was no longer alive. Next what came to mind was a molar pregnancy. I decided to research that and found out some interesting things. hCG levels will be high even in a complete molar pregnancy, but most women will have extreme nausea with a molar pregnancy and usually start some kind of bleeding/spotting by this point in the pregnancy. Based on those two things, I decided that was not what was going on. Big Relief. Then something told me to try the doppler again, just for the heck of it, before I went ahead and called for an appointment with the CNMs. Joy of joys, in less than a minute I found that glorious little heart beating away at a nice 150-ish. What a reassurance, what an even BIGGER relief.

That kind of confirmation on the pregnancy got DH and I into a discussion about the birth. I hadn't brought up the possibility of another homebirth with him until then. He was all for it. And it looks like we will be meeting with one of the other midwives who lives closer to us sometime fairly soon. She said she would give me a call to set up a time to get to know one another. I'm still not in a big hurry to start any kind of prenatal care, but the social aspect of those meetings, getting to know one another and the midwife getting to know my family is important to me. That kind of thing is more significant than peeing in a cup or getting my belly measured right now.

My close friend is pregnant with her eighth child and is due the same time I am. Unfortunately, she doesn't have easy pregnancies and is designated high risk as a result. She has run the gammut. Her first was 10 weeks premature and has some health problems, though nowhere near as bad as most babies born that early. Her other pregnancies she has had to deal with gestational diabetes, most times requiring insulin. Despite that managment, her babies are fairly large, with her last, the largest being born two weeks early at 10 lbs. something. That birth was her first cesarean and she is opting for another cesarean this time around. The one neat thing from that is she will likely know the day her baby will be born within a couple of weeks. She had her first prenatal today, heard the heartbeat, and will be heading in for an ultrasound in two weeks. If the US date and her own calculations line up, she'll deliver a week early. It's kind of cool to be pregnant at the same time as a friend, especially one who has a large family and who homeschools. I have someone to commisserate and rejoice with. Too cool.

Until next week,

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