Saturday, March 22, 2008

OB appointment #6: 28 weeks 1 day

wait: Arrived 10 minutes late because the doctor was running "close to on time." The receptionist confirmed that he was only a few minutes behind. Thirty-five minutes later we were called back, weighed and bp checked. "The doctor will be in in just a few minutes. We read the only magazine that wasn't titled Pregnancy or Parenting. We stared out the window. We chatted about what it has taken to get this far. Forty minutes after that Dr. Wonderful walked in. Yes, we still think it is worth the wait.

The appointment: We talked about my labs being fine. He added that white blood cell counts being high were normal and although my red blood cell count was a little low, that was ok, because I had good levels of iron in each cell. I suspect he guessed that I would have already looked at the results. (In fact, I had already called my midwife to get her thoughts while we waited - she had said it was normal too). BTW, we did not do the glucose test, but I am cutting out the junk food just in case. Dr. W said my weight gain was ok and my pb was fine.

I lay back on the table and he measured me - measuring on time-ish. Then Dr. W. said, "Let's take a listen!" Brad looked up and with a look and a grin like a little kid who was hoping for some ice-cream said, "Or maybe take a look?" "Sure. Let's take a look," replied Dr. Wonderful so off to the u/s room we went.

I felt a little guilty being the don't-do-it-if-you-don't-need-it kind of person, but I recognize that feeling the baby move all the time makes it all seem so real to me. "Looking" may be just what Brad needs to feel that connection. And it was pretty neat. We saw several views of the face, a yawn, and something that looked like he was sucking. Brad was just thrilled. The doc checked out the baby physically and it all still looked good.

As we walked out, Dr. Wonderful handed us the picture of LB's face, looked between Brad and I and asked, "Which one of you has such a distinctive chin?" I thought about it for a moment and said, "It must be Brad, because Belinda's chin doesn't look like that." Brad was so excited to hear that. He laughed and gave me a high-five. I asked Brad if it was nice to see that kind of connection. Of course, he knew I was a little bit sad that we all knew it wasn't my chin we saw on the ultrasound - and I didn't mean to take away from his joy. I was genuinely curious about how that felt. I wanted to understand what it might have been like had things worked out differently. It was too late; he had softened his enthusiasm and his answer. I don't remember now what he said, but it was fairly neutral - something like, "Eh, it is what it is." or he might have redirected and said, "Whatever . . . it is our baby."

I keep trying to get an answer to that question. When people talk about family resemblances - "You can sure tell he takes after the Williams' side of the family", "She gets those green eyes from my Mother" or "He's go my hands, that's for sure!" - I asked them to tell me what it's like. Does it make them feel more connected? Is there a pleasure in seeing your genes - or your family's genes - expressed in your children/grandchildren? What is it like?!

The answer is always the same: There is a short pause as they realize who they are talking to, then the enthusiasm dissipates as they explain that it "really doesn't matter" and "Oh, it's not a big deal" or "Just something I noticed." I hope someday someone will tell me what it is like. I don't need to live that experience, as much as I would like to. I do want to understand what it is I am missing out on. I think eventually Brad will tell me. He has always been honest with me and maybe as time goes on - as those occurrences become common place for him and he feels the time is right - he will tell me what it feels like to see your own features mirrored in those of your child.

In the meantime, we are both thrilled that we have made it to 28 weeks and no reason - other than past experience that tells us there are never any guarantees - to believe that this child won't make it to term. We still dream of June and can't wait to hold LB in our arms.

14 comments:

Smiling said...

I've been doing a lot of thinking about the resemblence thing as well. We just filled out a donor recepient profile for our clinic this weekend, and it made me do a lot of thinking. Thank you for sharing your experience, I can't even begin to express how helpful it is to me just starting out on this journey.

I think that resemblence must matter if everyone is so chatty about it (and so quiet when they they realize they are talking with someone who probably won't experience it directly), but its only a sliver of what makes 'family.' Verbal and facial mannerisms get passed down just as much, even with there is no 'geneline.' I know a few of us cousins do this random thing with our face that our aunt does, and she married inot the family. Plus there are all those family traditions -- the 'in our family we do _____ for birthdays/on new years/before meals etc.'

Anyway, thanks for sharing and congrats on a good appointment!

Fertilized said...

congrats on 28 weeks and a great caring dr taking good care of you

Geohde said...

Kami, that all sounds just wonderful- it's great to hear of such a good visit.

J

Jill said...

I'm glad things are going so well, and I'm glad you got a peek at your little baby. I loved seeing the u/s all the time. :)

FWIW, I really don't think Ben looks like either of us. He's got blue eyes like Steve, but he's just so much cuter than either of us! I think he must really be the "best of" to the point where we don't look alike!

Furthermore, my sister, brother and I all look like each ohter, but don't look like either of our parents. Email me and I'll send you some links to pics to prove it!

Not sure if that helps at all... but I really don't feel less attached because he doesn't have my nose or anything...

Sara said...

Hi Kami,

I remember you from FF, but hadn't realized that you had a blog until now. I'm so pleased to see that you're pregnant! What wonderful news.

As for the resemblance thing, I have no idea. My baby is (in theory at least) my genetic offspring, but she doesn't have a single feature that is definitively mine. Strangers sometimes assume that she's adopted.

Mijk said...

It is confusing in that it is all bundled up.. Other people keep teling me girl is like me but she really does look more like dad SOn looks like me but somehow he is supposed to look like dad. Soemtimes they look just like their cousins but with my children it all just are flashes she bblinks and the resmblances goes away. Funny thing is my children don't look like eachother at all and they are more closely related to eachother then to anybody else... I try to answert you question but I can not really answer it because I don't know how it is to have a child not geneticly related...

stacyb said...

resemblance is only part of it. your future little one may never physically look like you, but he or she will look like you in expression intonation, and movement.

i have a friend with two kids and neither looks like her. she is dark with almost black hair her son look like a nordic prince, when she walks down the street with him people think she is the nanny...so even bio children don't always look like their parents.

so glad the visit went well, great news. very happy for you.

MrsSpock said...

I admit I am curious to see what, if any, features of myself and Mr S Peanut has. Of course, I have a sister who looks nothing like either of my parents. We had no idea where she got her features, which were distinctly different from the other 4 of us, until we saw a picture of my maternal grandfather, who died when mom was 11. She is an exact carbon copy. You may be surprised to find the little one doesn't resemble Belinda that much either...

Drowned Girl said...

I can't SEE anything in my DS that looks like me.

But I've noticed he ACTS like me. He loves to be in the water. He has an interested in caves and castles and spooky corridors.

I am so sure our DE twins are going to be the same in that respect..

So think, what character traits, habits and interests are you going to pass on?

xx

Freyja said...

I obviously don't have any kids so I can't answer your question about genetic connectivity from that standpoint. But I do have a niece and a nephew. I DO see myself in my niece in many ways. She looks a little like me and she talks too much just like me. I often look at her and and proclaim that "She's a ***** woman!" There is some sort of bizarre pride that comes with seeing her be like me. That said, I don't see any part of myself in my nephew and never thought twice about it until delving into my own psyche to try to answer your inquiry as honestly as possible. I think that maybe it is something akin to being pretty or smart - if you are you like it but if you're not you don't linger on the lack there of very often?

Ann said...

One of the parts of our son's stillbirth that gave me the most pleasure was when my mom (who's good at recognizing things like this) exclaimed that Zach had long fingers, just like my husband. That little detail made him seem so much more real to us--even if we couldn't get to know him better.

singletracey said...

I always love the honesty in your posts and the way you seem to be able to touch on things that cross my mind so many times.

I know I am lucky because I have my sister as a donor, but I have freckles and my sister doesn't, I have curly hair and my sister doesn't. It is those sort of things that make me sad.

I'm glad Brad got to see the baby and feel that connection. Your always in my thoughts....

hope548 said...

The biological link is something I often struggle with. I've been told and do believe that once you hold your baby for the first time, it won't matter. Glad all is well!

Patti said...

Just found your blog via Pam & V.

My 2 cents when it comes to family resemblance: my nephew is adopted and people would constantly tell us how much he looked like my sister-in-law (his adoptive mom). Now that said nephew has a daughter of his own, people always tell us that his daughter looks just like me. People see what they want to see. I cannot imagine how it will be for you but I can tell you that not one of us ever cared on iota that Ryan's family resemblance was illusory. He is family. Period.

I hope that helps.