Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

Happy Hour Items


Greetings, internets, from a local trendy bar that turns out to be more than capable of turning out something “fun and non-alcoholic,” if requested. I thought this order might reassure the woman giving me side-eye as I, well, bellied up to the bar, but it turns out that is just how she holds her face.

Nevertheless, I am looking rather fecund at present, even in the tent-dresses that are all I can tolerate wearing at present. I haven’t had much of the stretching and cramping and so on I had in early Bean-pregnancy since the first couple of weeks, but lately anything putting even nominal pressure on my uterus makes me sore and dizzy and nauseated. An ultrasound probe, for instance. I tried a belt for twenty seconds this week and was off all afternoon, and even my maternity jeans, which felt fine at first, caused trouble after an hour. Sure hope this sorts itself out before the weather turns.

The nuchal scan went well, I’m into the lowest risk zone for miscarriage, and my body is rapidly outing itself, but Sugar is interviewing for a new position at work, so we are in the odd position of telling people in real life but not on Facebook, where Sugar’s colleagues will see it, lest the idea of her taking time off in, say, February, make another candidate look more appealing. (Her job does not give “paternity” leave — or indeed maternity leave beyond six weeks of disability (stay classy, academia) — but she took unpaid FMLA leave when the Bean was born. Besides giving them invaluable bonding time, the leave was frankly necessary for my health, as I was in no condition to be left alone with an infant, being among other things rather deficient in the hemoglobin department.)

The not-telling has me a little blue, it turns out. I don’t mind waiting a little longer, but I sure hope they hire somebody before February. That concern would not seem silly if you knew how long it’s taken them to schedule interviews. Meanwhile, why does a group email seem so much more intrusive than a social media announcement? Thank heavens for you all.

(Speaking of, have I mentioned how over the moon I am to be pregnant at the same time as our beloved May? I am in danger of leaving orbit.)

Meanwhile, the nuchal. It went well! Despite my anxiety-fueled delusions of intuition, risks of trisomy 13, 18, and 21 are as low as the statisticians are willing to concede. (I gather that in some circles it is poor form to admit happiness at this news, but I am not in those circles. I would not bear a grudge against anyone happy to find she didn’t have the diseases I have, for one thing. For another, my father’s line of work leaves me without certain protective illusions.) Because I was too deep in denial to schedule childcare and because the timing of the appointment interfered with prime toddler napping hours, the Bean joined us. He was not exactly an advertisement for bringing a toddler to such an event, but with Sugar there to wrangle his truck beads, he did okay. We have not, to answer gwinne’s long-ago question, told him the score, but he clearly suspects something, though I don’t know what. There have been several pointed questions lately along the lines of, “What’s in YOUR belly?” (I equivocate. “Lots of amazing things, just like in your belly.” “My belly!!!” Fin.)

We had the same super-nice doctor go over the results as last time. His southernness relaxes me. I find myself stifling the thought that if only I did have a high-risk pregnancy, I could see him. We talked for a while about my peculiar mix of normal and anomalous reproductive anatomy, and get this, he actually apologized at one point for asking too many personal questions! I told him that particular bar had been set rather low by the doctor who invited his receptionist in to see my vaginal septum, and he appreciated my stories about the look on the same doctor’s face when, after he told a fully-clothed me he was sure I didn’t have a septum, I replied, “I can put two fingers inside and they don’t touch.” (This diagnosis is not rocket science. Necessary equipment is two fingers and a functioning brain.)

ANYWAY, this doctor, who is not a condescending nitwit, delivered the happy news that not only were the ultrasound findings good, but this time, in contrast to last time, my blood count numbers were also all good. I find it cheering that my body or the placenta or whatever is in charge of whatever PAPP-A even is, is doing so much better this time (to the tune of about 85 percentiles higher than last time). Low PAPP-A is associated with a host of unpleasantries I was watched closely for last time, including pre-eclampsia and also IUGR, pre-term labor, and placental insufficiency, all of which also go along with mullerian anomalies.

I asked whether I should still be considered at increased risk for the MA complications, or whether my delivery of a normal-weight, full-term baby (albeit one at the low end of normal on both counts) meant my future risk was lower than MA baseline. I was pleased by the caution of his answer, which amounts to that it would mean that, if I had a more typical MA combination, but that my rara avis status means that there are no relevant statistics. (I found one case report of someone like me in the journals I searched, and the dominant theory of fetal development says I am impossible.). He is therefore recommending to my OB practice that I still have cervix-length checks and regular growth scans. I know some people find that sort of thing intrusive, but I find it very reassuring. Meanwhile, in a surprisingly decent move on my psyche’s part, I simultaneously feel much more confident than last time that things will work out, because they did once.

Yeah, I don’t know who I am anymore, either.

I am supposed to be using my time away from the house to work on another writing project, so I will have to tell you about the midwife at the OB office another time. Meanwhile, a picture, because pictures!

12 weeks 1 day

ETA: I just realized these aren’t even items. You must feel so cheated!

17 thoughts on “Happy Hour Items

  1. I like that you’re theoretically impossible. And yay for all the low risk results!
    Functioning brains may be less common than one thinks though.

  2. I do. I feel so cheated. Tee-hee.

    Yay for non-alcoholic fancy drinks!

    Yay for good nuchal results!

    And I hear you, yay for growth scans of the let’s-be-on-the-safe-side side!

  3. I believe I’d be pleased to find out that I was theoretically impossible. That is awesome.

    My goodness, the child isn’t born yet and is already adorable! I’m so happy everything is going so well. I do hope your stomach settles down so you can wear warm clothes this winter. But, YAY HEALTHY BABY!

  4. OMG. I had comments in my head, but I am completely disarmed by the picture. Absolutrly perfect!

    And yeah, the more monitoring the better. I loved the regular growth scans due to my elevated AFP from my second trimester scan last time.

  5. Yeah for good, uncomplicated results. It’s bound to happen at some point, right?

  6. Awesome news! I’m so glad that your (gorgeous!) fetus is doing well. It’s also delightful to hear that you’re impossible, yet here you are.

  7. Your fetus has a very distinguished chin! I’m glad that things are going well– both physically and in terms of non-terrible medical practitioners!

  8. Glad to hear things are going so swimmingly. It sucks that having a non-horribly-inappropriate doctor is such a pleasant surprise. But glad to hear you have one. And I, too, somehow find a southern accent comforting and cozy. Yay for a beautiful and healthy fetus!

  9. Items. Pfft. Amateur.

    That scan picture! Oh my crikey, the CONTRAST to the previous one! It’s amazing! And astonishing! And wondrous! And amazing no, wait, I already used amazing. What a beautiful chin and nose the little poppet has.

    Very glad all is well and doctor is delightful and sane. Extra extra glad all is well. Long may it stay so.

    Sheesh, why is Academia such a dick about family leave in the States? Come and work here, quickly, before the Conservatives take all our wonderful benefits away in a fit of paternalistic assholery. Best wishes to Sugar.

    And, yes, there are amazing things in OUR bellies, and now I am tearing up and feeling verklempt. Hugs.

  10. Oh my goodness, Bionic, s/he really is a baby now and not an amorphous creature. What a beautiful picture.

    Everything sounds like it’s going so well (clothing issues aside). I’m so very happy for all of you and hope you get to make official announcments soon.

  11. What? What? Bionic! You’re back from holidays? You’re pregnant and all is well? THAT IS GREAT!
    Oh, I’ve missed so much! Sadness!

    (Grr. I hate feedly for not importing your feed! Why feedly? WHY.)

    So sorry, bionic! I feel all left behind and all confused as I try to catch up.

    I did think you’d gone quiet and the holiday had become fantastically extra-long, but until I saw your comment on May’s blog no penny dropped. Duh. Sorry. Normal service is resumed forthwith!

  12. A PERSON! HELLO PERSON! *waves*

  13. Congratulations on the good ultrasound findings! This fetus is FOR REAL! And mighty fine in the face parts. Look at that wee nose! I was also very surprised by my ability to imagine a pregnancy going well after it happened the first time. It did for me, and I am very optimistic about your case.

  14. Perfection! I love the scan and that you’re feeling better this time around. I really hope you get to tell soon – it’s one thing to wait and another not knowing how long you have to wait.

  15. Proof by counterexample, that’s what. (Proof they’re all wrong, that is.)

  16. Sweet, sweet little baby! And so funny that Bean can be distracted by mentioning his belly. I find that works around here, too. And I wanted to tell you that I’m quietly changing blog homes. I hope you’ll follow me over:

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