We have an appointment with Maternal Fetal Medicine next Friday. The upside to this is that MFM does an ultrasound on all of their incoming patients, so we get an unplanned peek at Baby G. This makes me smile because s/he has grown so much since our eight-week glance. I want to see fingers and legs and a tiny, but fully formed baby face. I love this little being so much.
We were hoping our appointment would be with Dr. H. – who is female and who has been advising our midwife on our case – but she’s out of town, so we’re seeing a doctor from another practice who fills in at MFM sometimes. He’s been practicing for 40 years. So far, this journey has been sort of a sisterhood. We worked with a female-owned sperm bank, the nurse practitioner who helped us inseminate is female (as is her wonderful assistant), and the nurses and midwives we’ve seen have all been women. We’ve also never seen a doctor, which I have found tremendously empowering. Now we’re seeing a presumably straight, white, older, male doctor, which is okay, but I have to admit I’m a little disappointed. I like this pregnancy being completely in the hands of smart women. I’m also worried. This is all based on unfair assumptions, but it seems more likely that a person in this demographic will treat us differently from straight patients. I’ve never once felt discriminated against in this entire process, and that’s important to me. This thyroid stuff – hell, this pregnancy – makes me feel so vulnerable already; I’m not sure I have it in me to withstand any level of bigotry. So my job this week: stop putting these assumptive fears on this doctor. I have no reason to believe that this man won’t treat J and me with respect, and I will work to remember that.
Our hope is that my thyroid numbers have already started to drop. This seems likely, as I’ve been off of the progesterone for four days now, and the HcG numbers should be dropping since we’re in the second trimester. As both of these hormones are known to increase thyroid hormones, my prayer is that this doctor will give my numbers some time to come down and not just medicate me right away. I mean, once I go on thyroid medicine (which is fairly safe for the baby, but not wholly so), how will we know if my body could get by without it? It’s not a cycle I want to begin, so, unless the doctor has a solid reason why I need to be medicated immediately, we’ll ask for time and monitoring instead.
God willing, this won’t make me a high-risk patient. We did find out, though, that there’s a female midwife with an amazing reputation who works out of the MFM practice. This means that even if we’re high-risk, we might be able to have a midwife delivery. This is a comforting back-up plan.
In the meantime, I’m just dealing with the extra exhaustion, insomnia, hair loss, nervousness, hunger, and overheatedness that hyperthyroidism causes. I assumed all of that was just pregnancy related, but apparently, my high numbers are doing their part to bring on or worsen these symptoms. The only worrisome part is the hunger. I’m starving all the time, and I do my best to eat, but I’m losing weight everywhere expect my belly. That’s fine for a little while, but I don’t have much to lose before I’ll be concerned. I’m not good at eating a high fat diet – it just doesn’t taste good to me – but I am trying. A few minutes ago, I had a baked potato with mounds of butter, sour cream, and cheese. And it was about an hour before lunch. It would be easier if this nausea would subside, but it is improving, for which I’m beyond grateful.
This is kind of an anxious little post, huh? I’m sorry about that. My hope is that Friday’s visit will bring a non-aggressive action plan and a little emotional relief. And other than this small glitch, things are going so well. I am in love with my family and my life. All I want to do is protect those things.