August 13th, 2005

Ultrasound apparently okay

I hate hospitals, and I'm not real impressed by most health care practitioners and this was no different. First thing the tech wants is me on my back. May I please be on my side? It's just for a minute. Oh, I know what their idea of a minute is; at least twenty. Can I have a pillow to prop up one side slightly? A somewhat huffy okay and a pillow materializes.

Once again, I ask you. If every freaking advice book and doc on the planet is going to tell every pregnant woman NOT to lie flat on her back when she's at home sleeping, why should she suddenly be asked to lie on her back for damn near every medical procedure done to her? Why? Just why? I just want to know. But I'm ahead of my story. I'll return to earlier.

I do love messing with the health care folks. R. and A. both came with. A. wondered aloud if it was okay to come into the room. I did not ask. I figure if I don't ask, they have to work extra hard to say no, and I believe in outnumbering the officious. The receptionists were amusing; they referred to R. and A. as my "posse", which is exactly the term I'd been using, just not around the pros.

The ultrasound tech, T., asks me to take off my shirt, which I do. She has not yet pulled the privacy curtain, so the room is open to the hall. I _love_ pulling shit like this under most circumstances (there was a particularly bad year when security cameras provided a ready excuse to flash) and pregnancy has apparently reduced my inhibitions to zero. Plus, it's August, and I feel hot all the time, so naked is just good. As I ask T. if she needs the bra off or on, she gets this great stunned look and pulls the privacy curtain closed and manages to communicate no. A moment later, she says I should put the gown on open to the back. Why? The imaging will be done from the front, this is just a stupid piece of cloth to drape over me and then pull up. Cultural taboos are inherently ludicrous. But honestly, if you're going to ask me to take my clothes off, and you have a problem with the state of the room (door/curtain open, for example), you ought to fix the room first, then make the request. I won't be held accountable for your feelings otherwise.

We are getting this ultrasound (our first picture) because our nominal due date was August 3, and it was then August 12, and while the kid kicks and I feel basically fine (just very, very, very pregnant), the midwives would like a little reassurance. A picture ultrasound with some sense of what the amniotic fluid status is like, along with some other measurements, will make the midwives feel calmer. Much clicking ensues. I ask what things mean. The tech is not very forthcoming, but I do get her to thaw out slightly and explain this is the umbilical cord blood pumping, and we'd worry if this bit went to zero, which it isn't, so that's all right. The placenta is on the front. The heart is pumping and there it is. We're looking for breathing motions and there they are. It is a boy. There's a hand. The usual drill. Off she goes to show stuff to the radiologist, then back for a few more rounds with the ultrasound to answer A.'s question about the cervix, which we think we did not get a straight answer to. A few pix are printed, and the tech wants to know if we're going to the midwives now. I say I don't think so, we're just supposed to call and check in. They want us to wait a minute while the radiologist calls the midwives, then they say we can go.

A couple hours later I call the midwife, who apparently has not yet heard from the radiologist, but is (the midwife) on the way to the birth center for another birth. She says she'll look for a faxed report there. I say they were not forthcoming with information (did not even give us a speculative weight estimate, nor a number for the amniotic fluid index, which apparently the midwife was expecting; the tech seemed to think our "doctor" wanted only a sense of things), but didn't get a sense of any problems. The midwife says she'll call back if the report suggests we should be worried. I _hate_ that kind of transaction, because failure to call back can mean either no news or a dropped link (and with these particular people, it has tended to mean a dropped link). OTOH, it's in my interest, imo, and my child's interest, to not mess with the process until I think something has gone wrong, so I'm just going to hang out and see what the weekend brings. Which so far is not much change from the unofficial pelvic (about the same on the external os, but oddly larger on the internal os). We picked up Evening Primrose Oil from Rainbow yesterday (a very nice man who used to do home births and caught all his own sons helped us find it on the shelf) and tried that last night and this morning, along with our usual, DIY efforts (a walk after dark last night and a very pleasant morning).