Monday, May 23, 2005

Ethan Part 2: Getting Ready

Once I had taken the home test, I knew I had to schedule an OB-GYN visit. But - unprepared girl that I am - I didn't even have an OB-GYN. I hadn't needed one so far; my PCP had always handled Paps and other girly things. So my first step would be to find a doctor.

Luckily, Sete had a doctor that she really liked. She was a woman, which I prefer and is usually hard to find. I called her office first thing the next day. Sete's doctor wasn't available, but they could make the appointment with S, the nurse-midwife. Was I interested? Since I had no other prospects, I accepted.

Jete came with me to the first visit and we met S. She was in her mid-thirties and very down to earth. We liked her right away. She put our mind at ease as she asked all the typical questions. Which pregnancy was this? Any prior problems? Was it planned? Were we happy? We went through the interview to determine if we had any risk factors. The only issue that could potentially be a problem was my weight. Because I am overweight, I was at higher risk for complications such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. But those were all things they could treat and would worry about when the time came.

Because I wasn't sure of the when, we had an early ultrasound to confirm dates. We saw the heartbeat and the baby was dated at about 9 weeks along. It was official. We were going to be parents.

The first few months of my pregnancy, I was very sick. I had not morning but all-day sickness and it showed no sign of letting up. I was still working at a job I hated, and I didn't want to tell my employers right away for fear they would make things worse for me. Somehow I made multiple trips to the bathroom every day to throw up in silence. No one caught on.

I had been actively looking for a new job over a year without much luck. I suddenly got an interview for my current job when I was 3 months pregnant. I didn't want to give them any reason not to consider me other than my poor interviewing skills, so I didn't mention my pregnancy. When I was offered the job after a month of additional interviews and waiting, I told the manager my situation. She was very understanding and wished me well. And yes, they still wanted to hire me.

Somehow I had just completed four of life's most stressful changes in less than a year. Married, bought a house, pregnant, and starting a new job, all in 10 months.

My new job was heaven compared to the one I had just left. They offered partially paid maternity leave and disability pay when needed. My manager was flexible as I went to my monthly visits. Luckily, other than the all-day sickness that pursued, I was having a perfect pregancy. But even with all the positives, I couldn't shake the feeling that something could still go wrong.

At my 20 week visit, we were scheduled for a second ultrasound. This would be the last ultrasound unless a problem was found. We could also learn the sex of the baby if we wanted to. Of course, Jete and I had to know. We couldn't stand the wondering any more. The ultrasound tech said everything looked great. The baby was healthy, growing on track, and - surprise! - it was a boy. We were both very excited.

We went right home and started to look at our baby name book more seriously. Somehow we kept going back to the name "Ethan". We didn't know any "Ethan"s in either of our families - which was rare with the number of close relatives we both have. It was common, but not too common. It didn't have an obvious nickname, which we wanted to avoid. Plus, we loved the meaning: Firm and strong. We decided he would definitely be Ethan, with Jete's middle name passed on.

Somehow "the baby" started to seem more real...


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