A Real-Life Pregnancy: Week 9
Doctor's Appointments and Tests, Oh My!
“Seeing” Baby for the First Time
Finally I have my first doctor’s appointment! I have been patiently waiting for this and have felt excited and nervous all at the same time. The first part was an ultrasound and I had my husband come with me. We both spent an anxious day awaiting the late-afternoon appointment. This would be the first “real” interaction we’d have with our future bambino—the first moment of contact with the little mystery baby inside me!
Love at First Sight
Driving to the appointment we were both pretty quiet and unsure of what was going to happen. We checked in, feigned interest in magazines, and waited. Finally we were called and led into a small room, and the tech asked me to disrobe. She explained that this first ultrasound is internal. My heart started beating a little faster, but she was out of the room before I could ask any questions. My husband and I exchanged questioning looks, but I got undressed and jumped up on the table. She was back in a flash and before I could even blink, there was my baby on the screen—our baby! I couldn’t believe it. We watched our baby floating and moving for a second. The tech snapped a couple of stills, then she told us everything looked great, and handed me a printout. It was over within five minutes.
We walked out, rushed home, and then scanned that little baby ultrasound and sent it off to anyone and everyone we could think of! Here is the proof—the documentation of the amazing little thing that we have created and we want to share it with everyone! We were emotional and excited and spent the rest of the night thinking about baby names and the fun times to come.
A Return Visit
Later in the week I had my next appointment, which was with my OB-GYN. I’ll be having these appointments every four weeks for the rest of my pregnancy. It started with a do-it-yourself urine test to check various levels, and then a moment with the friendly scale. I followed on back to the little room and then disrobed and put on the gown. I waited patiently until my doctor came in.
She greeted me with a huge folder of information about dos and don’ts during pregnancy and took the time to go over them with me and answer all of my questions—like, “Can you really not eat lunch meat?” (Not that I like lunch meat, but I was sure craving it for some reason.) I learned that hot dogs and lunch meats aren’t recommended for expectant moms because of the Listeria risk. She also did a Pap smear and explained that it’s routine and she wouldn’t be going anywhere near the baby. She examined my very sore breasts and took my basic vitals. Everything checked out fine, so we talked a little about what comes next.
More Tests to Come
Next up are blood tests. I needed to do an HIV test and then have my thyroid functions checked along with a prenatal screen. The other test was a prenatal diagnostic test—an integrated screening, which is a blood test and ultrasound that checks the fetus for potential genetic problems. I tried to keep up my neutral face and continue listening, but inside my heart was starting to constrict and I could feel my stomach turning. It’s so early in this wonderful journey—I’m not ready to start thinking of the potential problems.
At home I explained to my husband the basics of my appointment and told him about the next steps. Unlike me, he didn’t even skip a beat, but suggested setting up the appointments and getting on with it. As he put it, there are going to be a lot of challenging moments; this is just the beginning.
Oh, the joys to come!
Waist measurement: 33 inches
Weekly weigh-in: 153 pounds
Pregnancy “first” of the week: We got to see Baby!
Doctor’s visits: Two this week! The first ultrasound and the first visit with the OB-GYN.
About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her ninth week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week 10
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