The continuing adventures of Kate Kotler’s geeky pregnancy…
Week 5: My nausea is out of control! After the bush barfing incident last week, I’ve been loath to leave my house for fear of hurling in public. This has confined me to my apartment watching Netflix and Hulu Plus, while British Boy has free roam of the beautiful city of Chicago.
I have no appetite or energy. Literally, the very thought of eating makes me want to vomit. And, sometimes the very thought of eating makes me actually vomit.
I feel bloated, constipated, and extremely farty all at the same time. In my convalescence—because British Boy was not around to mock me for watching it—I ended up watching What to Expect When You’re Expecting: The Movie. I watched it with the intent of making fun of a schmappy romantic comedy in my head, but instead really ended up really identifying with the Elizabeth Banks character:
“I’m calling bullshit. I’m calling bullshit on the whole [glow] thing, making a human being is really hard! I have no control over my body or my emotions, Gare-bear I’m sorry, all I want to do is punch ya in the face. But, I love you so much, so I don’t mean it. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t get ‘the glow’ I just got back acne and hemorrhoids, have you ever seen those? Don’t do it, don’t take the mirror down there. Then I have these purple stretch marks everywhere, and pressure hanging from my uterus that makes me walk like I was kicked in the vag… too far? I didn’t know how else to put it. They say that after you give birth, you forget all of the pain and suffering… I hope so, because pregnancy SUCKS!”
(Hint: If you’re preggo, don’t watch this movie. You will end up bawling like a fool. I blame you, pregnancy hormones!)
Week 6: This week, we finally have our first appointment with our OB/GYN. We’re getting in just under the wire before the British Boy has to fly back to London to undertake the task of putting his flat on the market so we can use the cash to buy an apartment together.
Unfortunately, the only appointment available was at 8-freakin’-AM. Meaning we needed to get up and out of the house by 7:15AM in order to be there on time.
And, me with no coffee… I actually feel kind of bad for British Boy in this situation, as I am not a morning person to begin with, and with no coffee I’m an absolute pain to deal with.
We currently live in a neighborhood called Ravenswood. And, in fact, we live about two blocks from the Mayor of Chicago (Rahm Emanuel, for those of you not up on Chicago politics) and his family. We actually walk Max the dog by the Mayor’s house on a pretty regular basis, and there are always CPD and Secret Service stationed all up-and-down the block where he lives. In his mayoral campaign, Rahm was pretty famous for his visits to various CTA stops throughout Chicago (as parodied by @MayorEmanuel, AKA Dan Sinker). So as the Montrose Brown Line British Boy and I intend to take to the doc pulls up, it was not that shocking to see the Mayor bounding up the station stairs to take the train into the Loop with us.
Well, not with us, particularly. But, next to us… still, as a lifelong Democrat and political junkie, this makes my morning.
“Good morning, Mr. Mayor!” I say as he and his bodyguards come to stand next to me.
“Good morning,” he replies as he points at my Chuck Taylor low-top sneakers, “I like your shoes!”
(Upon relating this story to my other Dem-pol-junkie friends, they beg me to amend the story by saying that the Mayor said “I like your m-f’ing shoes!” As, Rahm Emanuel is noted for his potty mouth. Alas, he did not, so I cannot say that… though it would have been cool if he had.)
After sitting down, British Boy whispers to me that he had been trying to come up with a pithy statement to nail the Mayor for his evisceration of the Chicago Public Schools, but had failed. He claims that he’ll later let Max poop on the Mayor’s lawn as a political statement.
Oh and the first doctor’s visit went fine, too.
Week 7: British Boy left for London on Tuesday. Pretty much all I did was lay in bed and cry for most of Tuesday and Wednesday. I also ordered junk food (corned beef deli sandwich and deli pickles, Chinese food, and Thai soup) and bought an ice cream cone at 11AM.
You know, because I could.
Across the street from our apartment there is a cute little candy/ice cream shoppe. (I rarely think the use of “shoppe” is warranted, but in this case, it is.) All summer, British Boy and I would stop in there before taking Max on his long evening walk and get ourselves ice cream cones. So, they know us. When I walked in at 11AM, the owner behind the counter said “It’s not time for Max’s walk yet!”
I said, “I’m pregnant, I need New York Cherry ice cream, stat!”
Lovely lady she is, she gave me two scoops. (If you’re ever in Chicago, check out Margie’s Fine Candies—awesome hand-packed ice cream on a cone for $2, super score!)
Prior to leaving for the UK, British Boy and I decided that we had best get married upon his return to ensure he would be able to stay in the States to help me raise our child. And, we kind of like each other, too. Go figure.
When he returned home, he broke this news to his parents—or he might have done it via email before going home, I cannot remember, forgetfulness being one of the many symptoms of pregnancy. So, when he traveled from London to his parents’ house for a weekend visit, I had the opportunity to “meet the parents” for the first time via Skype.
Thankfully, his Mum and Dad are lovely people, and I very much look forward to meeting them in person at our wedding in January.
Week 8: This was a pretty important week in my pregnancy. At my recent doctor’s visit, the nurse practitioner gave me orders for a “dating ultrasound,” used to confirm the age of a pregnancy.
I called Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where the majority of my prenatal care and my eventual delivery will take place, and scheduled an ultrasound appointment.
The night before the ultrasound, I had all kinds of stress dreams: The truth of the matter is, that early pregnancy is pretty scary, because there are a bajillion things which could happen to cause the pregnancy not to be viable. And, despite it being unexpected, in the last two months I have come to really-really-really-REALLY want this baby with all my heart and soul. I have a freakin’ fantastic mother, and I’ve long dreamed of being able to be a freakin’ fantastic mother to some little creature of my own. I just never thought it would happen.
So to say that I was nervous for the results of the ultrasound would be a big understatement.
I arrived at the hospital and chugged about 64 oz of water in prep for my ultrasound. Within five minutes of checking in, I was called back to the exam room. The technician was very nice, and I asked her if it would be possible to hear the baby’s heartbeat during the ultrasound.
“No,” she said, “but you’ll be able to see it.”
She also was kind enough to say she’d print out multiple sets of the ultrasound pictures so I could send them to British Boy and his mum and my mom and keep a set for myself.
I am not an overly emotional person, people—I hate getting weepy and overwrought. But, when the technician pulled up the ultrasound and pointed out the little flutter of my baby’s heartbeat, I will admit, I cried openly.
This is real. There’s a baby in there. It has a heart and it’s beating and he/she is growing bigger and stronger every day. It was too much for me, I just couldn’t keep the tears back. Plus there was a really clear ultrasound picture where you could see the developing spine of the baby.
Then then not so fun part:
“Okay, sweetie, we need to to an intervaginal ultrasound to determine the placement of your fundus,” the tech said.
“What the heck is a fundus?” I asked, as I wiped gushy Mom tears from my face.
Fundus, n.—The portion of a hollow organ opposite from its’ opening.
In other words, the top of the uterus. The placement of which is measured throughout the pregnancy to determine how far along you are. By the time you’re nine months pregnant, the fundus touches the bottom of your rib cage. Yikes! I didn’t know that.
(Mental note: If this kid is a girl, I gotta foster a love of math/science/tech in her. Tech and science are so cool!)
An interesting concept, but really uncomfortable (especially after drinking 64 oz of water) procedure. Nothing has ever made me feel like I needed to pee worse than my intervaginal ultrasound, and it was not a moment too soon that the tech removed the (very big) wand from my vagina. I literally jumped up and sprinted bare-bottomed to the bathroom inside the exam room just in time to release those 64 oz of water in an appropriate place.
In whole, the appointment took less than 15 minutes. I was shocked! On my way home, I called my Mom to tell her that the baby was healthy with a beating heart. And, I texted British Boy using Facebook Messenger to relay the same.
Next time: Kate announces her pregnancy on social media, travels to NYCC, cosplays the “pregnant-est Dalek,” buys actual maternity clothes, and hears the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.