We're back! We've been back since Sunday, actually. S and I had a wonderful time in Colorado. Last Wednesday night, we flew into Denver and picked up our rental car. We had reserved a "compact," but ended up with a Hummer(!) instead. Apparently this particular car rental place has a lot of very large vehicles (for skiers, I suppose), and few compacts. With today's gas prices, the compacts and even the full-size vehicles are being snatched up immediately. So, yes, we ended up with a Hummer for only $18/day (the compact rate). Even the gas didn't end up being too bad ($70 or so) since we used only 3/4 of a tank over the course of 4 days.
Wednesday night, we stayed at a semi-sketchy airport hotel that we had reserved via hotw.ire. Hotw.ire claimed that it was 3 stars, but failed to mention that it was undergoing major construction (especially outside) and overlooked the freeway. Oh well, it certainly beat our next accomodations...
In Estes Park, we stayed at a place called the "Tin.y To.wn Cabins," part of a larger enterprise called the "Tro.ut Have.n Lodge." We knew it would be cheezy based on the website pictures, but there was really no choice since literally everything else under $250/night was booked over the weekend. Our little cabin (nestled between a miniature golf place and a bunch of brush which hid the river, and overlooking an RV park) had very dated furniture and carpet, but we can handle that. The bad parts were: 1) we returned to the cabin on Friday to find a horrible smell. At first we thought it was a dead animal. We opened all the windows and doors immediately. Next, we noticed that we had zero hot water. Well, it turned out that the bad smell was an overwhelming amount of natural gas from a two dead pilot lights (water heater and stove). Good thing we didn't light a match or something! 2) Saturday AM, we heard the scratching sounds of what seemed to be a rather large animal in our wall, and then under the bathroom floor. Don't know what it was, but creepy.
Now that I have finished with the amusing parts, I will say that Rocky Mountain National Park is really beautiful. We saw everything from meadows with aspen and elk, rushing streams and waterfalls, high mountain lakes, snow-capped peaks, and tundra above the treeline, blooming for the few weeks of summer. We hiked every day (Thursday thru Sunday). At first I was concerned about the altitude, my personal fitness or lack thereof, and potential stress on Blueberry, but everything seemed to be OK in the end. I had a slight headache on Thursday and Friday morning, but that went away with some Tylenol and acclimation to the altitude.
S and I started an open-ended discussion about baby names. We have fairly similar tastes, but he is a bit less open to uncommon names than I am. Unfortunately the names that we both like are not favorites for either one of us. This may be difficult, but luckily we have about 7 months to figure it all out.
On our way back to the airport on Sunday, we stopped by to see my old friend and former med school classmate, R, her husband J, and their 3 children, ages 5.5, 2.5, and a 6 week old newborn. It was a lot of fun to see their home and to see how they deal with parenting 3 little ones at once. They are pretty relaxed and seem to do a great job.
Yesterday, I had my first "normal" OB appointment at 10w0d. They told me to arrive "1/2 hour early to complete paperwork." I chose to get there 15 minutes early, and completed the forms within 10 minutes. The medical assistant called me in to the exam room a few minutes later. I found it a little strange that she just asked me my weight rather than measuring it, even though there was a scale 2 feet away. I wonder if it will be that way throughout pregnancy. So far, I haven't gained anything, BTW. It's amazing, because I have been eating pretty heartily, and I usually gain very easily. I had initially gained due to fluid weight from OHSS, but I lost that plus 0.4 lbs more by late May, and the scale hasn't budged since.
My appointment yesterday was with a nurse practicioner. She does the initial visit, but then sets you up for the remainder of the visits with an OB physician. They do have nurse-midwives, but they are located at a different office, and I didn't consider that option. She had read the aforementioned paperwork and therefore knew about the fact that I had IVF. She didn't really ask me anything much about it (ie whether it was my first cycle, how many eggs, how many transferred, or anything like that). I also mentioned the OHSS and she wrote that down, but didn't have any further questions.
She then did a brief heart, lungs, and breast exam. She asked if I was sore ("no") but then said, "well you definitely have pregnancy changes in your breasts." Hmmmm... She next did my annual Pap smear (I was due) and confirmed what I already could feel -- my tiny cervical polyp has returned. I think this is the 4th time it has appeared since I was 25 years old. They won't remove it until sometime after Blueberry's appearance. Luckily, it has never bled, so I don't think it will cause any problems. As she finished the Pap, she said something like, "your pelvic outlet is nice and round, a typical female shape, and it should not be a problem to deliver vaginally." Interesting...
Next, she wanted to do the ultrasound. She said, "let's try the abdominal approach first." (To me this implied that we would eventually do both the abdominal and the vaginal approach, but that was not the case.) She said that it was fine that I had an empty bladder. She placed the probe on my suprapubic area and after just a moment of searching, Blueberry popped into view. It was definitely blurrier than the pictures at the RE's office. I'm not sure if that was due to the abdominal approach or whether it was simply a poorer-quality machine. Anyway, I was thrilled to see Blueberry again at any angle, and he/she gave a few waves and kicks to say hello. I could see the flicker of the heartbeat, but the NP said, "we don't measure that anymore because it doesn't matter what the heartrate is in the first trimester." I don't really buy that explanation, but I'll just assume that it was still OK. She did give me a bunch of printouts, but most are very blobby-looking. The best one is this:
I think you'll agree that the 9w0d ultrasound is easier to make out that this one. Oh well! The important part was that Blueberry had grown from 23 to 33 mm in just 1 week, and actually measured 2 days ahead at 10w2d. She didn't measure the sac, and honestly, I don't want to know anyway.
After the ultrasound, she let me get dressed again, and returned to the room with a packet of information. She then spent about 10 minutes showing me the various materials and brochures in the folder; it contained info about contact numbers for about childbirth and breast feeding classes, pamphlets about what not to eat, and brochures about first trimester screening and other upcoming tests. She asked if I had any questions, but really, I couldn't think of any. I guess I am hoping for someone to be really interested in chatting with me and getting to know me as a person, asking me about what kind of birth I want, etc, but I'm probably being unrealistic.
After that, the appointment was over. Oh, Dr. A from the RE office was standing there in the back hallway. He works at both offices (university clinic and private RE office), apparently. He said, "Hi, Sarah." It was nice to see a familiar face and I told him that all was well. I next chose my OB/GYN for the remainder of my prenatal visits. (I chose a woman, Dr. K, who I have seen once before in 2006. It's been a while, and I can't even remember what she looks like. However, I know I prefer her to my 2007 OB/GYN, Dr. V, who was the one who didn't know to draw CD3 labs -- like FSH -- on CD3.) However, for my next visit, Dr. K is already full and I will see an NP one more time. Other than that, I was scheduled with appointments every 4 weeks until early December. After that it will be every 2 weeks, but the schedule is not yet open that far out into the future.
I want to do the first trimester screen (bloodwork and nuchal translucency test), and they have in fact already scheduled me for the bloodwork part next Monday (June 30th), with the nuchal translucency scan to be done around July 7th. However, this stresses me out because I am starting my new job on July 1st, and I will therefore be changing insurance plans in the middle of the test. Thus, I'm afraid that neither insurance plan will want to pay for a screening test that was done half during my enrollment in their plan, and half either before or after my enrollment. I tried to sort this out today, but it seems that the majority of human resources / benefits type people on our campus are out of vacation this week, or leave their desks by about 4 PM. Argh... I could wait until after July 1 to start the screen, but it is a time sensitive test and I will be pushing the limits a bit. Also, I may not have a new insurance number for a week or so. I think it will turn out OK, but I can just foresee that I will have to make a lot of phone calls to try to sort this one out...
Anyway, I've certainly blabbed enough for now. I'm thrilled to see a few new pregnancies among the women on my blogroll recently (Alison! Jen!) and I hope that those will keep coming in the next few weeks!!