We are cruisin' along here and now we're halfway done.
It's been an exciting few weeks since my last update. As you all know, we had an ultrasound and not only found out that the baby is healthy, growing, and has all of it's necessary body parts, it also has the extra parts that indicate it is a boy. We are still ecstatic over this news and have slowly calmed ourselves down, mostly because maintaining that excitement level was exhausting.
I had a checkup with the midwife, who had returned to work that day from her own maternity leave with her first child, and got the very soothing news that all my bloodwork came back normal, including the screening tests for Down's and other birth defects. I was also pleased to learn I don't have syphilis. Whew.
I am getting bigger in the tummy area and Jenna is somewhat fascinated with this. She is convinced that if she looks VERY DEEPLY into my bellybutton, she can see the baby. I am still not so big that I am uncomfortable or anything, so this truly is the honeymoon period of the pregnancy. Some people still don't realize I am preggers if I am not wearing a maternity top.
I have started feeling the baby move and that is one of the most blessed sensations a woman can feel. Every little kick is a little message from him, saying, Hello, out there! All's okay in here! How about a snack? Of course, this is all sweet and precious now, since since he has little strength and plenty of room. I seem to remember being less enchanted with this moving around at the end of my previous pregnancies, when the baby is squished and strong and loops it's legs around your bladder, and is all, Uhh, hello! Do you have any more ROOM in here? Is it almost time to get out or what, 'cause I'm ROASTING in here... I need some AIR.
I enrolled a few weeks ago in a program sponsored by my health insurance company called Healthy Start, which involves a nurse to call me every six weeks or so and check in on how things are going and prevent problems that would lead to premature labor and delivery. Our insurance is out of Minnesota (it's a long story) so this very sweet woman who sounded like she was straight out of the movie Fargo called and asked me a bunch of questions. I'm not sure I'm really in their risk pool, since I have regular prenatal care and have had to be induced both times I was pregnant, once 15 days after my due date. An early bird I'm not. But they promised me a $50 gift card after delivery and let's be honest: $50 buys a lot of cute outfits. And formula. And wine for Mommy.
Anyway, the intake interview, done over the phone, was very interesting. She asked me standard questions about my previous pregnancies, labor and deliveries, and of course I went on and on about them. (Because that's really women's equivalent of war stories, isn't it? If you want any mother's guaranteed attention for a half hour, ask her to tell you all about her labor and delivery experience. Women just love to tell every little detail about it.) She asked about my general health, my living situation, and then got into some very detailed socio-economic questions. She asked if I felt safe in my neighborhood. If I have regular, reliable transportation to my "clinic appointments". She asked if anyone at home was hurting me in any way. When she asked if anyone in the home was yelling at me or trying to control my life, I resisted the overwhelming urge to say, "Only my seven year old," because it was clear that my nurse Penny had a scripted, super-efficient and helpful response to all of my responses and she'd have a policeman at my front door before I'd hung up the phone. She then explained that she had some written material that she'd like to send out to me and asked me, "How comfortable are you with reading?" which I think was code for "Are you literate?" And I assured her that I was indeed very comfortable with reading and to send it right along to me.
These questions were a little stilted, sure, but the social worker in me just beamed with their lack of assumptions and attention to detail and sensitivity. No one has asked me straight out since grad school (when I went to the university's infirmary for some little medical issue) if I was being hurt by anyone. Sometimes one can have lots of assumptions about life in middle class white suburbia and I like it when people or organizations are bold enough to question assumptions and ask tough questions. Go, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota! I salute your thoroughness!!
So that's where I'm at. Feeling good, looking pregnant, and not getting beaten. It's a good place to be.