We had visit number two to Carol the Midwife this week. This time everyone in the room heard a strong healthy heartbeat. The baby is now too big to swim away from the doppler machine. The baby gave the machine a few kicks to let us know that he or she was doing just fine without us listening in. Carol let us know that the baby was strong, active and athletic. "Thank you," I said, clearly proud of my 15-week old prodigy.
Andrew, however, felt the need to clarify, "How much can you really tell about a baby at this stage from listening to the heartbeat?" Well, Carol smiled and blushed slightly, "About all we can really tell is that the heart rate was within what is considered to be normal. Every baby moves a few times an hour. That's really all we can know."
Sigh. Andrew has been informed that the next time our child receives a compliment, no matter how far removed from scientific veracity, he is to accept it, gladly. We will have no more of this demand for "proof" when something as obvious as our child's innate athletic prowess is recognized. He has gamely agreed to supress all further attempts to rain on our parade.
I was in need of that little bit of ego-stroking, the appointment started off with a little scare and (yes another) forced confession. Geez, I'm not getting away with much of anything these days. Every visit to the midwife requires a glucose and protein test and a weigh in. I have gained 6 pounds that accounts for my little belly and other growth. But the glucose test went a bit wonky. I turned the little strip that was supposed to stay yellow a variety of shades from lime to blue.
Now at some point during the appointment, I'm supposed to report my findings to Carol. She doesn't start off asking though, she starts by asking what I want to talk about. Well, I don't really want to rush into the fact that I've surely just acquired gestational diabetes, but I don't want to delay it either. I'm racking my brain trying to remember all I've read, Ina May (midwife, author, general good person) has some strict diets to control this, but what else will it mean? I'm thinking it means I'm no longer in the "normal" birth category. I'm far into the worst-case scenario, when I interrupt the thought train to bad places to say, "I-didn't-do-so-well-on-glucose-test-probably-a-plus-two-on-the-scale-I'm-not-really-sure."
Carol says calmly, "Oh. What did you have to eat today?"
"Today?" I say brimming with instant guilt. Andrew smiles. He realizes that I've been caught in something. He recognizes the guilty face. Today I ate fast food. Now at a normal time in my life this wouldn't be a huge confession, but I've been trying to eat healthy now - I'm growing a baby. I'm trying to bring in all the nutrients and vitamins and all that other nonsense that all the books say. But today, after having been so careful in my food log that I had to turn in, today I decided since I wasn't recording the food, and since I was in hurry, and hey, since I am almost entirely over that nauseous thing... let's pick up a sandwich from Arby's. Just a little delicious turkey sandwhich, oh and they pretty much come with curly fries and since I was there and hungry (How often had I missed that sensation!) let's add a couple of chicken tenders too.
"Oh that's fine, said the midwife, "it's those little boys that send you craving the Big Macs and bad food. But what did you have to drink?" Damn.
Now, I have kicked a few serious food habits in the past three months. Aside from the forced-sobriety-march that I've entered in, I had a distinct fondness for caffeine. I'm talking a carafe of coffee in the mornings and a Dr. Pepper later in the day type of habit. Dr. Pepper was one of my most Texan of habits; it is a key part of my cultural identity. With the help of my particularly aggressive morning sickness, I have entirely left my morning coffee and colas behind. But since I was feeling better, I thought a caffeine-free Root beer might be a nice treat.
Carol had a good laugh. "Oh that appeals to my sense of humour," she said in her lilting Scottish accent. "Next time you come to take the test, don't chug down one of those sugary drinks. They're just loaded with sugars." Right. Got it.