I’m writing this message on an flight from San Diego to Denver (will get online and post it later, obviously). For the next week, I’ll be attending the ASCO/AACR Meth.ods in Clinical Cancer Research workshop in Vail, Colorado. S, unfortunately, is staying home to work, etc. There is almost no free time at this conference, so we didn’t think it would be worth it for him to come along. I hope we can do some small trips together sometime soon, though. On the other hand, I’m trying to save up any vacation time that I may earn for maternity leave. Did I just say that? Wow!!
In my last real entry, I mentioned my nervousness about telling my boss, Dr. P, about the pregnancy. After all, I just started this job on July 1st . (On the other hand, when I interviewed an got hired, I hadn’t started the IVF process yet, although I knew we were going to do it, and soon.) Anyway, last Friday (July 25th), I asked if I could meet with her for a few minutes after weekly conference. I said something like, “I know the timing is not optimal since I just started working here. I would have liked to have a baby last year during fellowship, but it didn’t work out that way.” I didn’t mention IVF, though, because it seems to make the timing a bit more deliberate on my part. I mean, it was deliberate, but we had no idea whether it was going to work on the first try, or whether it would take a year or more.
Well, I am happy to report that the conversation actually went very well! She even made some coments along the lines of “Well, we as a society need to find ways to make these situations work if we want to have women in the workplace.” Yay, Dr P!! She may try to see if Dr. C (who just retired) would return for a short stint, or she may divide up my patients among several people to distribute the load during that period. I told her that I would like to take a 3 month maternity leave. I don’t know if I will be paid for the entire thing, but we’ll deal with it either way. I also told her that I wanted to work up until the end, if possible (to use all of my time with the baby), and that there was no chance of me leaving the job entirely to be a stay-at-home mom. I could tell that she was definitely relieved to hear that! Considering that I had heard that a previous (also female) director had said, "Everyone needs to get sterilized," when someone announced their pregnancy a few years ago, I feel very lucky to have my boss's support.
In other news, I am definitely getting pudgier, mostly in the belly. I still wear “normal” clothes to work and its not obvious, but on weekends I am wearing flow-y shirts and a lot of people (who know about the pregnancy) are commenting that they can see a little something there! Last night we hung out with some friends with daughters aged 2 and 5, and the 5-year-old was hugging me and even gave my tummy a few kisses! It was very sweet. As of yesterday, I was up by 3 lbs total, but for some reason this morning I jumped to 5.6 lbs gained. I am fine with gaining, but I better not start gaining too quickly!!
I have read about a lot of you wearing Bella Bands, etc. I don’t need those at all, but I think it is due to my general shape. I carry weight mostly in my hips, butt, and thighs, so most of my pants have a lot of extra room in the waist. Thus, I am stil wearing my normal pants, although I haven’t tried my “tight jeans” since before IVF. It also happens that I own a lot of clothes that are 1-2 sizes up from the time period before I lost weight in 2003-2004. So…who knows, I may be able to wear ‘non-maternity’ pants for a long time still. I knew I kept those clothes for something! On the other hand, they may just look stupid through the butt area, so who knows.
Yesterday, I had to go to the OB/GYN’s office for my AFP blood test. It is usually done duirng week 16, but in my case I will be away (or it will be the weekend) until 16w6d, so they told me that it was OK to get it drawn at 15w3d. Plus, I figured that maybe the results will be back in time for my next OB appointment (August 14th). Anyway, the appointment yesterday was a “nurses’ visit” in which the nurse merely filled out paperwork for the blood test (confirming my due date, smoking status, that it is a singleton pregnancy, etc). Yesterday morning (before the appointment), it suddenly occurred to me that since I would be right there in the office, maybe I could ask them to check the baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler… Well, my sneaky plan worked perfectly!! I went into an exam room with the nurse to fill out the paperwork, and the handheld Doppler was sitting right there on the desk. So I was able to casually say, "Oooh, any chance that I could hear the baby's heartbeat today??" She sounded a little unsure, but she asked another nurse if we could, and that one said that we could go ahead, and that she would help out. Nurse #2 said that she usually works with women in their 3rd trimester, so she would need a minute or two to find the heartbeat. At first we heard a slower heart beat (mine, I guess) that she said was coming from the placenta. She then moved around a bit until we heard the baby’s heartbeat. It was pretty muffled, (due to the positioning, I think), but it was there. So now I have a fresh the-baby-is-still-OK fix that has to last until my next appointment!
I still haven’t felt any movements, but I’m guessing that it will still be 4-6 more weeks until I do. Well, my plane is now about to land, so I gotta go! I hope you all are doing well.