A picture of an ant
We had been trying to tell Fred's sister about the pregnancy for a few weeks, but we kept getting delayed.
I searched my brain for a good, creative way. Finally, I just came up with printing a picture of an ant and writing “Linda” under it. We were going to give it to her and ask her to help us solve a brain teaser. I printed that paper and carried in my purse a few weeks before the actual date.
We got to their house and his sister had so much to talk about, we could barely get a word in! Finally, we asked Fred's mother to go play with his niece to distract her (since we weren't ready to tell the kids yet) and we were able to get his sister alone.
Fred asked if she would help with a brain teaser and handed her the folded paper. She opened it up and screamed “I’m going to be an ant?!”. We shushed her and his niece (from the other room) said, “what?”. His sister quickly made up something about having ants in our house (which we don't, btw) and it wasn't questioned.
Here is the picture we gave her below.
First midwife appointment
Today was our first official prenatal visit with the midwife, Jo.
We scheduled our visit first thing in the morning so as to (hopefully) avoid any of our clients seeing me.
I had already done my bloodwork the week prior, which was all back for Jo to review. My Panorama test is still pending though, which is nerve wracking. I found out yesterday that the lab hadn’t even started to process my results yet, and that made me go crazy. I basically called the lab, talked to whoever I could and even reached out to the lab rep, about it. It’s still pending without a result date. I completely understand the feelings people have about this test now (and we aren’t even finding out the sex).
Midwife note: Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) or cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) is a test done as early as 9-10 weeks. This test screens for Trisomy 21 (Down's syndrome), Trisomy 18 and a few other chromosomal abnormalities. This test is quite accurate as a screening (NOT diagnostic as it doesn't test for everything), with 98-99% accuracy. Many people like it because you can also find out the sex of the baby.
This test is relatively new (within the last 5-10 years) and was originally offered to only to high risk women (those over 35, family history of abnormalities, etc). Now it's becoming more of the standard of care. It is similar to the sequential screen, which tests for abnormalities and is also not as accurate. In our practice, we pretty much offer this test to everyone.
Our visit was a pretty standard first prenatal visit. We talked about my medical history, medications/supplements and what to expect for the pregnancy. Jo catered a lot of the visit toward Fred and focused on what he didn’t know.
We then attempted to listen to the heartbeat. Since we were able to hear it already last week at home, I felt confident we would find it. It sounded normal.
We did see one of my clients on the way out. I had attempted to have Fred leave first, but it was probably kind of obvious what was going on. Luckily, our clients probably won’t ask questions.
Even though I’m still really early (just over 9 weeks), I brought home the good doppler from the office today so we could try to listen to the heartbeat.
After some searching, I was able to find it! It was so exciting to hear the heartbeat for the very first time.
Nausea (or lack thereof)
Before I got pregnant, I prepared myself for the worst nausea and vomiting (N/V). As a midwife, I’ve obviously seen varying levels of N/V. For myself, I expected the worst because I have such terrible motion sickness. Anytime I get on a boat with serious waves, I lose my lunch. So I thought that would transfer over to pregnancy.
I was wrong.
I have not had a day of sickness. Maybe a tiny bout of nausea here and there, but mostly that’s associated with not eating or being on the subway. So yeah, no morning sickness for this girl.
Of course in the early stages, I was actually nervous about this lack. Most people attribute N/V to surging levels of HCG and healthy pregnancy. I think there is one study that actually says N/V is related to intelligence in children. Many people feel that nausea is a good sign because it reminds them they are still pregnant and things are okay. So when you don’t have that (or really anything besides some breast tenderness/swelling), you kind of start to think about it.
Most of the time, I felt fine about it and often would forget I was pregnant (kind of). But occasionally I’d have moments of panic being like, “is it in there?”. Once, at about 7.5 weeks, I was at the hospital and actually snuck a sonogram machine into an empty triage room and checked to see the heartbeat (yes I found it and it was there). I can’t wait til I’m “out” at the hospital and I can ask that nurse if she remembers that night and wondered what I was up to.
As I moved through the first trimester acting quite normally (exercise routine the same, etc), I frequently reminded myself that no sickness was a blessing. I am happy to report I was able to continue to exercise at least 4-5 times per week with very little change to my routine. I was able to eat normally and healthy (as healthy as I usually am which I’ll admit could be better).
So many people can’t exercise or eat like that in their first trimesters and really beat themselves up for it. I am grateful for the easy first trimester that I was blessed with having. As a midwife who can often work long hours and overnight, it was especially helpful to not be sick all the time. I can’t even imagine having to throw up during the day at our tiny office, with people definitely starting to wonder. I am pretty sure none of our patients suspects a thing.
Midwife note: N/V in pregnancy is quite common, even though I didn’t have it. So many (the majority actually) of women do have some degree of nausea and many have some vomiting.
What can you do to keep it at bay? Well, there’s lots of suggestions out there and here’s some top choices.
If your N/V is getting severe or you can’t keep food/liquid down for prolonged periods of time, please contact your provider to discuss options that are best for you.
A pregnant midwife living and working in New York City