I had what should be my second-to-last OB checkup today. The waiting room there always has a cross-section of society, which is something I rather like, but today the clientele seemed to be putting on a clinic of bad-parenting skills. Now, I don't know much about parenting, and it seems to me that many methods could be effective, but I'm pretty sure that the following are not among them.
A MOTHER reads a magazine while her SON (approximately four years old), holds a pen attached to a clipboard by a metal chain. SON, holding pen, proceeds to spin the clipboard around as if it is a tether ball, the chain is the tether, and he is the pole.
MOTHER: (not looking up) Stop that.
SON: (continues spinning clipboard, says nothing).
Repeat this "exchange" 9,000 times.
A MOTHER and SON sit in chairs side by side. In a reversal of stereotypical roles, the SON is reading a book. The MOTHER is playing a GameBoy.
NURSE: Anne Smith?
MOTHER and SON stand up. SON neatly tucks book beneath arm and makes polite eye contact with NURSE. MOTHER, not removing her eyes or thumbs from GameBoy, stands up and continues to play game as they follow the NURSE into the exam area.
As far as my actual appointment went, I had gained zero pounds, even though I definitely look WAY more pregnant and have been STARVING for the first time this whole pregnancy. The little guy must be getting all those calories and also stealing nutrients from my body. I am being very indulgent with all ice-cream-related impulses of mine of late. Mmmm! I took some belly shots and will aim to add them later tonight. The heartbeat was at 136, and I measured around 37 weeks, meaning I'd caught up a week from my usual. Blood pressure was something like 113 over 76.
Now, I love the hospital I go to, and, believe me, I have hypochondriacally used many, many clinics there. People are always nice, and I've found it to be very patient-focused. But get this - today, I asked for all the pre-op info that they give out before a c-section, and they DON'T HAVE ANY. The OB said the OB clinic is very disorganized relative to the IVF and other clinics. All you get is a verbal spiel when you show up for the c-section. So I grilled the OB with all of my questions instead, but come on - I am very informed (or "insane") and could do this, but what about lower-maintenance, less-neurotic patients? I worry on their behalves.
After that appointment, I met with the main anesthesiologist for OB. We discussed my propensity for puking when confronted with anesthesia or any other stimulation of the vagus nerve. The upshot of our conversation is that it is likely I will experience nausea during my c-section (since the vagus nerve gets overstimulated due to all the hijinks occurring in one's abdomen) and may well puke some afterwards, but it can be managed so that it isn't severe. He then inspected my spine and said that its weird non-curvature is actually an asset for a spinal and that it should be easier to do one on me than on a normal person. He also indulged my many queries about freak anesthesia-related accidents I have accumulated over the years, such as my friend who had an inadvertent spinal tap with her epidural and had to get four blood patches before the crushing headaches would go away, or my other friend whose delivery involved a series of mishaps that culminated in her receiving ketamine and enduring a consequent psychotic episode. He was reassuring and also made a note that, should I be the rare case where ketamine is considered, I am not to receive it.
Yesterday, I had my last pre-delivery appointment with the PPD specialist. I am glad I did some therapy with her ahead of time - I'm probably still more likely than the average person to get PPD, but I don't feel doomed to have it at all. We will keep a watchful eye on the situation, however.