15 May 2012

Knocked Up - Episode 3

Episodes 1 & 2

Having gotten the first trimester sonogram out of the way, Mon Amour asks if Doctor Consultorio mentioned anything about amniocentesis, seeing as I am "of a certain age." No, and it really didn't cross my mind either. So I go in to ask her both about the ovarian cyst they found and the amnio. She reassures me the cyst is no big deal, just something to keep an eye on, and that regarding amniocentesis, it's up to me and my partner to decide if we want to have it done. She gives me the prescription for it in any case so that we can call the regional reservation line. Seeing as I am over 35, it's free.

Head back home and call up the reservation hotline. Remember how I mentioned that there are certain exams that it seems like you should reserve before you even conceive? The operator tells me that I should have reserved the consultation for the amnio to be done at 10 weeks the minute I found out I was knocked up and at this point I will have to call the hospitals directly. Hooo-boy...

And thus starts the amnio odessy. Some hospitals just say "Sorry, no space." Others require calling between certain hours on certain days, like trying to win a prize calling into a radio station. Redial. Redial. Redial. Score! It's ringing! "Sorry, no space."


And so it goes. The people responding to the calls give use more numbers to try, and I google up a few more. In the meantime, Mon Amour calls a few private clinics. Starting costs for a private amnio begin at €650 for the equivalent of what I am exempt for through the Italian SSN, €1200 for the "amnio plus" and €1700 for the "amnio super." Jesus Harold Hopping Christ on a pogo stick...

After our phone call marathon, I end up on 4 different waiting lists and we feel out friends to see if they know anyone in the system. After some false leads, the girlfriend of one of Mon Amour's best friends talks to a ob/gyn who has breakfast at the bar she works at every morning. He tells her to have us come in with all of our test results and sonograms to date and he'll give us a hand.

And so we meet Doctor Scolds-a-lot, who we hear all the way in the waiting room on the phone asking a patient how their vaginal spotting is doing. He immediately fucks me off by commenting on my accent in Italian after hearing me speak 5 words and asks if he should speak English so I can understand.

Not even 5 minutes in and I am already biting my tongue. That should have been a sign...

So after explaining, no, I speak Italian just fine after 14 years here and it would be better to continue in such so my partner can understand as well, we watch him hem and haw over the exam results and sonogram. And it's at that point that he starts berating us for the slack work of Dr. Dippy and apparently the gyno who did the first trimester sonogram, this latter because she apparently didn't take the nuchal fold measurement; the former because thanks to her we didn't know/have bitests and tritests and CVS and whatever else one has done when having the temerity to become pregnant with with eggs that automatically become shriveled and wrinkled the minute you turn 35. He asks me who my current gyno is and promptly slams "public" healthcare when I tell him I'm being followed by Doctor Consultorio. Somewhere in there we learn he is from Israel, which just makes the prior slam on my accent even more obnoxious.

I am really, really biting my tongue at this point because not only do I not appreciate his tone, but I also don't appreciate being lambasted for what amounts to slack work by Dr. Dippy and the sonogram gyno. At this point he turns to Mon Amour and says, "Look at her. Her eyes are huge and she's as white as a sheet. She is scared! She needs to relax! Otherwise your baby won't stop crying for the first 2 years!"

No, dipshit, I am straining from the effort of remaining in this chair and biting my tongue instead of leaping up and braining you with the first handy object on your desk. And the only reason why I am doing that is because I am humouring Mon Amour because he is all antsy-pantsy about getting this amnio done since everyone has been telling him that I have to do it since I'm an old hag and my eggs might be past their expiry date.

Doctor Scolds-a-lot picks up the phone and calls a colleague of his, who tells us to come see her in two days with a prescription each for genetic counseling and she'll try to find a spot for us. We thank Doctor Scolds-a-lot, Mon Amour very sincere and heartfelt, me through gritted teeth. As we leave the building Mon amour professes admiration for Doctor Scolds-a-lot, "That's what a doctor should be, someone who tells you what to do, no hesitations. Maybe we should come here." I hedge my criticism, because he did help us out in the end, but I sure wasn't thrilled with his bedside manner and like hell am I going to be followed by some preachy fellow foreigner who has the bedside manner and tact of a flea.

We are back to a bit of a headachy problem again, though, in trying to get the 2 prescriptions for the genetic counseling since it is already 5pm and the following day is a holiday. This means that my GP is closed, the consultorio is closed, and we have a minor problem of where to get these two prescriptions before having to meet Doctor Geneticist. Gaaaaaah...We finally manage to cadge them from the doctor son of an acquaintance of Mon Amour.

That night I wake up at 3am, 4am, 5am and at 6am I give in because I am tired of dreaming about Doctor Scolds-a-lot shaking his finger at me and telling me what a horrible mother I am and how I will have a retarded deformed baby.

I am really over the medical profession at this point.

Scripts in hand, we meet Doctor Geneticist, who quizzes us on the medical histories of our families and looks over my test results and sonogram. I discover that for some reason, even though I was sure it was prescribed since I'm not immune, the latest round of blood tests skipped over the monthly citomegalovirus test. Dammit. And she gets preachy when she discovers that I hadn't been taking folic acid prior to getting to knocked up, going on about how the first 30 days are when the lack of folic acid can cause neural tube defects.

At this point I am really REALLY over the medical profession. It was this day when I first began the emo preggo purge because I was (and still am) getting really tired of being lectured at every turn. For fuck's sake, women have been birthin' babies for millennia, and most of that time sans fancy medical tests and even hygiene procedures. Not that I want to squirt my kiddo out while squatting in a mud pit, but you get the gist...It's really obnoxious when one minute you're being preached at and then the next they're going on about how preggos shouldn't stress out because it's bad for the baby. THEN STOP BREAKING MY FUCKING BALLS, PEOPLE.

She also makes a face when she discovers that we haven't been tested to see if we are carriers of Medditerannean Anemia a.k.a. thalassemia. She gives us the address of the testing center, which (again) we will need prescriptions from our GP's.

Anyways, a part from those two blips, Doctor Geneticist is very professional and reserved, and thouroughly explains the risks involved and what all the amnio tests for and what it doesn't and yadda yadda. She squeezes us in for the amnio, dependent on authorization from a higher up which should be ready the following week. In the meantime I have to get another 5 prescriptions for the various procedures, start taking magnesium supplements to help soften my uterus and begin taking antibiotics two days before the actual procedure. After which I will be in bed for 3 days. Oh joy.

Of course the authorization is not ready in a week in spite of our polite request (as per the doctor's suggestion) to ask if it can be done ASAP, and Mon Amour when tracking down the authorization the following week discovers that they stuck it in the "non-urgent" folder (literally con calma "with calm"). Which, all things considered is right up there with the way things have been going in general...

In the meantime we have been tested for thalassemia genes and neither of us are carriers, so at least that's one less thing to freak out over. Which I have been doing subconsciously apparently as I wake up sobbing one morning, freaking out Mon Amour, because I dreamt about getting bad amnio results and having a retarded deformed monstrosity with everybody surrounding me pointing fingers and wagging tongues with various I told you so's...Fun times. NOT.

I have also finally gotten the other blood test done for genetic clotting disorders prescribed by Doctor Consultorio, which entailed also much running around because my local ASL analysis center doesn't do that test, and told us to go to one of the larger hospitals to have it done. When we get there, we go to pay the ticket and discover that it's a genetic test and thus has to be scheduled with the genetics department. Whee...So that's done, but the results won't be back for another 30 days. In looking up the tests, I find that it's to see if I am predisposed to too much clotting, which is ridonkulous because I already told Doctor Consultorio that my maternal side of the family and I are predisposed to NOT clot. They should be testing me for how far removed I am from the Romanov's instead.What the fuck ever...

And this brings us to today, which is my second day of bed rest post-amnio and finds me climbing the walls. The amnio itself was fairly quick and not that painful, though I was a fucking nervous wreck internally beforehand (also not helped by the fact that Mon Amour and I had our first ever knock down drag out fight in the preceeding days over the eternal flat hunt. What was that about keeping preggos stress free again...?).

The minute they pulled out the syringe I shut my eyes and went to my happy place, which isn't that easy to do when they are sticking a needle through your belly. It hurt, but I have a high pain tolerance and was more concentrated on trying to not breathe or move lest Peanut start drifting towards the needle. Fetal nickname courtesy of Olive, though after the sonogram that they did with the amnio, we have also started using Skeletor thanks to the skull fotos. Mon Amour said it looks like me, but he's taking advantage of the fact that I can't kick his ass right now :P

Mon Amour was watching the entire time, so he saw the needle go in and on the screen, and afterwards he got a bit emotional which in turn made me almost lose it. Whee, crying is becoming old hat with me lately. Too bad I fucking hate crying...

So Mon amour has been spoiling me while playing bulldog and making sure I stay in bed and don't bounce around. The plus side of laying in bed all this time means that I notice when Peanut is moving around a bit more. Nifty, if weird.:)  Right now it's a bit like having gas, but in a place where you shouldn't have gas.Today I also had yet another milestone in preggo indignities when I sneezed really hard and a little pee came out. Afterward I felt Peanut bouncing around some more. I bet he/she was giggling, because they'll have both my and Mon Amour's quirky evil senses of humour...It's gonna be a fun 5 more months, eh?

The sonogram done with the amnio shows that at least physically thus far everything is proceeding well, so at least that's a bit of a relief. But we have 20 days to wait for the results, so ask me how calm I am in about a week.

I'm guessing not very.

A presto...

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