Thursday, June 14, 2007

The (kind of) First Appointment

Today we spent the entire morning at the midwife's office. It was kind of the first appointment - it was the first official prenatal appointment. I had been 2 weeks ago to see the midwife for what turned out to be a glorified gynecological appointment in which the only real pregnancy related thing that happened was that I got a prescription for prenatal vitamins. The rest was the usual..pap smear, breast exam, and a student who evidently skipped too many classes of speculum 101 and couldn't seem to figure out how to work the damn thing. That was fun. Today, however, was a different story. And I got to keep my pants on, which is always a plus in almost any given situation...almost.

The (kind of) first appointment was very long and very uneventful. There was a lot of paperwork, a lot of questions, a lot of blood taken, and a lot of waiting. And then I got hungry. Which is never a good thing, because if I reach a certain point of hunger, which occurs about 15 minutes after I realize I'm hungry, I become a total and complete bitch. [editor's note: I tried vainly for a full 10 minutes to think of an alternative to using the word "bitch" but found I just couldn't, because really nothing else fully encompasses the state I achieve when hungry. Nothing else does it justice] And I did, oh believe me, I did. Right about the time we were forced to wait 30 minutes just to pay the damn $20 co-payment because we were sent on a wild goose chase due to a missing form. Lovely.

The practice we are with seems to be rather crowded, harried and overrun with patients. Of course, this being New York, its probably par for the course. However, how this translates into the practical mechanics of the day to day running of the place is that shortly after the office opens, all hell breaks loose and within 10 minutes it has devolved into a gigantic clusterfuck. A gigantic clusterfuck with long waits where no one can find enough labels for your blood despite there being a virtual novella printed out consisting solely of your name and date of birth cut into sticky white rectangular forms.

But I do think our midwife is really pretty cool. We ran into her as we were walking back to the waiting room after the consult with the HIV counselor - don't panic, its a mandatory consult to let you know that every pregnant woman in New York City must be tested for HIV twice during pregnancy and then you have to sign a form saying that's ok - and she recognized me and asked how things were going and what the endocrinologist had said (I am slightly hyperthyroid and had to go get my levels checked to see if it needed to be managed medicinally, as thyroid disease can cause numbers look good, by the way, and all is well metabolically for me). She also took a moment while rushing about (which seems to be the only modus operendi there) to shake hands with WB and engage in a little friendly ribbing. I like friendly ribbing, especially when its not aimed at me. Points to the midwife for that one.

I also greatly appreciated the fact that she made sure I didn't have to see the bitchy nurse that I had previously had a bit of a telephonic altercation with when I called to make them aware that I had a thyroid condition and was concerned about it and she said "Well what can I say? You weren't worried about it fours years ago [when I was misdiagnosed with Graves' disease] - now you're pregnant and all of a sudden you're worried about it? Maybe you should have been worried about it then!" Wow, what a comforting thing to tell a frightened first time mother. Well done indeed! I told the midwife about it when I saw her 2 weeks ago and asked that I not have to see the bitchy nurse for this appointment, which I knew had to be with one of the nurses, and the midwife made it happen. She scored huge points for that one.

So the appointment basically consisted of obtaining my medical history and the family histories for both WB and myself, getting about 6 thousand vials of blood drawn, a very silly meeting with an HIV counselor in which she signed many many forms while we watched her juggle papers and telephone calls, all of which could just as easily have been done without us in the room, and a lot of talk about what I can't eat, all of which made me want to eat those foods she was mentioning because I was getting hungry. That and the nice but very ditsy nurse telling me about her pregnancy with her son. Not about her 2 daughters, just the son. I think she plays favorites, not that its any of my business.

The list of forbidden contraband includes:
1. Fish with high mercury content, including shark,swordfish, mackerel, tilefish, tuna, etc.
2. Cold cuts. any and all of 'em, even fresh from a deli. If I absolutely must have cold cuts or I'll die convulsing and crying out for ham and turkey on whole grain bread, then I have to microwave them. Sounds delish.
3. Hot dogs: must be boiled extensively. Considering pre-pregnancy I was a vegetarian, you'd think this wouldn't be a problem, but actually one of my first cravings was franks and beans...what can I say? It made me think of camping!
4. No salads with mayo, like at picnics, unless they've come straight out of the fridge and are less than 2 days old. No salads with mayo like tuna salad or egg salad form the deli because you don't know how old they are. This makes my lazy ass very sad. Now I have to make my own egg salad. Damn.
5. And the worst the absolute worst is no soft cheeses and no stinky french cheeses. Just shoot me now. I'm relegated to the Swiss, Cheddar and Parmesan only corner, left alone to weep at my sad sad fate of tasteless hard cheeses. My only hope of redemption is to ask about Machego, but I'm sure its verboten as well.

The good news is that I get out of scooping kitty poop and changing litter for 9 months and WB has to do it pretty much as soon as it exits the kitty cavity, even without my nagging, so that toxoplasmosis spores don't get in the air I breathe. Yes! There is a god!

Oh, and the other best part of the really long day? We got 3 free diapers. Just 3. No more, no less. Clearly 3 is the exact number every new parent needs.

I think we should hang them on the wall as art.


vixanne wigg said...

Whoa. That's a big list. No Mayo? I haven't heard of that.

I think you can eat soft cheeses. They just have to be pasteurized, and most imported cheeses aren't. You can bet I found a brand of feta that was. 8 1/2 months of no feta? No way!

Glad the appt. went well. Your blog is fun to read!

JB said...

Hang in there!! Call me soon. I love you so much! XO - JB
PS - The Rebbe and Kitty are so excited and they say Mozel Tov!

hoosier steve said...

not to worry there will be plenty of other free diapers on the way. Of course all of the free diapers you get will last you all of one day.

I began to suspect that the kitty litter thing is some vast consipiracy to make men take care of it for at least a few months. Usually of course this is something that the man should help with these things anyway, but well you know how men are. Of course that does not take into account the man hating cat in question.

I will never smell microwaved cold cuts without thinking of pregnancy again. You think this list of what not to eat is bad, just wait till you start to get the list of what your baby can eat, I would pass you on what we have been told, but it will ahve completely changed by next year.

Sarah said...

Yeah, Vix ix right. As long as cheese is made from pasteurized milk, it's fine. Just check the label in the grocery store and you'll see there are lots of options (more are pasteurized than not, in fact).

FWIW, my midwife said deli meat cut from a real hunk of animal was okay, it was the processed stuff that is not. So if you go to the deli counter and get a slice of turkey off a turkey breast, it's fine, you just can't get the prechewed prepackaged Healthy Choice kind. But you should do what you're comfortable with.

And have you seen Knocked up yet? You forgot the most important rule: no smoking crack while jumping on a trampoline!

Remind me to tell you about how you can get out of doing anything ever again if you can fake some nice B-H contractions! Getting out of scooping kitty litter will be the least of your triumphs! ;)

Mim said...

Aw, I missed out on all the fun way back list of don't eats like that, that I can remember anyway. Maybe it was no chocolate, nah. Oh, things that could give me heartburn, that was it. I got heartburn anyway. Baby oh baby pushing up on the diaphragm. Nitrates are the bad thing, avoid those, we all should avoid those. There's a good recipe for vegan mayonnaise in How it all Vegan. It tastes great. And how about making greek yogurt, it's kind of soft cheese like. yum, I'm getting hungry. Sorry we'll be there and you'll be here. Happy pre-father's day to the man!

hoosier steve said...

By the 3rd kid the B-H contractions won't get too much notice anymore. The true fear comes from other pains.
Mind you, there is nothing that my wife asked of me that I would not do for her while pregnant. Especially after seeing her give birth to James (4 years ago yesterday), she is too amazing for words.
Eating all those French cheeses is what got you into this situation in the first place, no condoms you know.