Last week was a busy one for all three of us - three doctor's appointments, one weekend trip to Oregon for a best friend's baby shower, a mass scour at most of the Goodwill stores in Eugene for maternity clothes, and a visit from Adam's parents who are staying with his brother here in San Jose.
We completed our prenatal group "class" from Kaiser, which mostly consisted of a powerpoint presentation of do's and don'ts for pregnancy. It wasn't a waste of time, but much of the information we had already gleaned from our trusty copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting." We did learn a few new things and I was just glad for Adam's company. It was nice to have someone there to squeeze my hand and write funny notes when the father-to-be in front of us asked questions such as whether or not pineapple is safe during pregnancy. (Really? Pineapple?! The list of dangerous foods during pregnancy is growing everyday, but thankfully pineapple has still not made the list.) After our class, we decided to pass the next three hours before our 12-week checkup by doing something delightfully non-baby-related and took in Thor at a nearby movie theater. It was Thor-oughly entertaining (sorry, had to do that) and helped take my mind off the anxiety of all the appointments. Actually, our next one was fairly uneventful and consisted of the standard routine: pee-in-a-cup, fill out the same intake form which asks questions such as "Have you ever had sex?" (to which I am always tempted to check no), and a visit from the doctor to talk about any questions or issues. We had another quick ultrasound which showed a strong heartbeat but no fetal movement. I was worried at first but was reassured by the doctor that we were catching the baby during a "sleep cycle." In any case, it looked very peaceful resting there and I hoped we weren't waking the baby from a good dream. If the baby is anything like me I'm sure it fully enjoys a nice, uninterrupted afternoon nap.
The next day was our scheduled Nuchal Translucency scan, which is a special ultrasound done at around 12 weeks of pregnancy used to screen risk for birth defects. It was part of an optional, non-invasive prenatal testing program administered by the state of California. This ultrasound is best done on a full bladder, to ensure the uterus is pushed up to the top of the belly for the sonographer's viewing pleasure. After a good twenty minutes of pushing the ultrasound wand against my delicate, *ahem* full abdomen, the technician found just the right angle and we got to see some great pictures of the baby. That afternoon, the baby was very active practicing its skills in swimming, bouncing, dancing, and generally looking very cute. Even though I was quite uncomfortable, I was sad when it ended because I loved seeing the baby so much. As I mentioned, however, the real purpose of the test was to measure a small pocket of fluid in the back of the baby's neck and provide a risk level to us for birth defects. I was thankful to hear we screened "negative," which means we are very low risk and thus won't be opting for more invasive tests such as amniocentesis.
In this profile photo, you can just barely see the outline of an eye, nose, and yes, a smile:
I flew up to Oregon over the weekend to attend my best friend Liz's baby shower, which was a lot of fun and a great opportunity to see some of my Eugene-based friends. Liz is due in late July, and I am excited for the possibility that our kids will be close in age and get to grow up together. One of the special things about the shower was there were actually four pregnant attendees including myself and Liz, so we posed for a line-up in order of our due date. My friend Liz is the cute one with the blond hair and purple shirt, and I'm at the end next to the painting of the unnamed Russian fellow:
Also on the agenda for my short trip was to find some pants suitable for my slightly-larger waist size. After visiting three different thrift stores, I found four pairs of maternity pants, one shirt, and some pajamas that all cost less than only one pair new in a department store. I love bargain shopping and am definitely am enjoying having some new clothes that fit better. I'm convinced that maternity pants are pretty much one of man's greatest creations, or at least in the top five with the likes of sliced bread. After straining to button my pants for weeks, it feels positively heavenly to have a nice, stretchy panel on the top of my pants. Such relief and comfort! I should say a big thank-you to my mom for helping me with this task. Just like when I was twelve, I sometimes complain about trying on clothes but am always glad in the end to have something nice to wear.
We are enjoying some nice weather here and will be seeing Adam's parents tomorrow, who are visiting Adam's brother's family in San Jose for the week. Sadly, my weekend has officially ended and I'm off to bed.