Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Checkup - 9 weeks

This afternoon's appointment was a simple checkup, of the sort that I will no doubt become very accustomed to receiving. The nurse takes my blood pressure, weighs me, and conducts a simple urine test. The urine test looks at glucose and electrolyte levels etc. and uses an indicator strip. All my results were normal. I have gained a small amount of weight since my last appointment, but this comes as no surprise. The rest of the appointment was a review of familial medical history, and discussion on genetic testing. We are not interested in genetic testing, so that was fairly straightforward. Our baby is considered to have a very high likelihood of being allergic ("atopic"). With my food allergies and eczema, and Greg's asthma and pet lergies, this was also not a shocker. She made sure to remind me that I am off peanuts for the duration of my pregnancy (which makes me wish I had a peanut butter sandwich), and that I should be very careful when the baby is born, to check the ingredients of any cremes I use on the baby's skin. Supposedly, there is a new hypothesis that allergens in skin cremes might contribute to the allergic disposition of the child. I already avoid almond-oil based cremes, so this is no problem. (As an interesting side note - I had a bad crick in my neck before my trip to the Thousand Islands, so I went in for a massage at Mom's spa. Apparently, they only stock almond massage oils. My masseur was surprised and miffed and went hunting for an alternative. Eventually he found a creme that was coconut oil based. I am not pregnant enough for the special pregnant woman massage tables, but I will admit that lying on my chest was somewhat uncomfortable). My GP ensured that I am taking my folate, and that I am not exposing myself to nasties. When I first became pregnant I read about the risks posed to pregnant women by kitty litter. Cats can excrete the Toxoplasmosis gondii parasite, which is bad news. Anyway - no risk of that with my cat-free lifestyle, but I will avoid petting the animals of strangers from now on. My next appointment is at 12 weeks - which is about 3/4 of the way through June. At that time I get a full physical (plus the usual weighing, peeing and blood pressure testing). The lab is going to run a urine culture test on today's sample, and I have requisitions for blood testing in mid June. These blood tests look at Hep B, HIV, parvovirus, syphillis, hemoglobin, hemocrit, white blood cells, blood type and rubella . I have no worries. I made sure that all my vaccines were up to date before I became pregnant, and I had a flu shot in the fall. Because we are not doing genetic screening, my next ultrasound is at week 18, at which point the anatomy of the baby is examined. At this point they can often determine the gender. I now know that while the heartbeat was measured at my last U/S, it was not possible to get the audio. However, this will be possible at 18 weeks. I think Greg will want to attend that particular appointment.

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