*clarification* This is not my human.
I am 24 weeks in this journey of growing a person. I don't think of this as having a baby. I truly think of it as growing a human. It may sound strange, but that is after all what we mothers do. We grow humans. It sounds a little more complex than "having a baby". Anyone can "have a baby". It takes a real woman to "grow a human". Obviously, I think that growing a human is more than getting pregnant, waiting 9 months (which is really 10, but I'll get into that later) and then heading off to the hospital for drugs and surgery and wham-o, there's a baby. Growing a human is about taking your vitamins, exercising, getting enough sleep, using lotion to prevent stretch marks (seriously, that's an important one), going to your doctors appointments, getting your testing done... it seems to go on and on. Therefore, I say, it takes a woman to grow a human.
Yesterday was my 24 week appointment. I'm still in that stage where you go in for your checkups every 4 weeks. Although, with this pregnancy there have been so many extra visits and blood tests and phone calls in between these 4 week checkups that I feel like the ob office should have me on speed dial. You see, I'm old. I'll admit it. I am no longer a spring chicken. (Do people say spring chicken in relation to age because spring chickens lay more eggs and older women have a harder time growing their humans just like older chickens don't lay as many or any eggs? Hmmm, I never really thought about that before.) I am 35 (yipes) and have reached that magic number where everything that revolves around age and pregnancy flips me automatically into "high risk pregnancy" category. Strike 1. I don't feel old. In fact, there are quite a few days where I don't feel like I have much more than the mental capacity of a 14 year old. (I pick 14 because my mother likes to tell me that when I was 14 I was the world's worst person... and she was right. Hormones, high school, new friends, just having parents. It was not pretty. Sorry, Mom).
While I have the mental capacity of a 14 year old and sometimes feel like the comprehension skills of a 14 year old, it should be known that because Lexy was born prematurely that I am, again, automatically flipped over into that "high risk pregnancy" category again. Strike 2. The doctors told me that her delivery and the complications surrounding it were a one in a million type of deal. But, when I became pregnant this go round, they were nice enough to tell me that what happened before could happen again (in 10% of the cases). And that because I have had one premature child that there is a good chance that every child I have will be born prematurely. Gee, thanks for telling me that before people. I mean, if I hit the 1 in a million lottery, maybe I'll fall neatly into the 10%.
And, the kicker. There's that whole rH negative fiasco. I'm not sure as to all the medical interactions and terminology, but basically I have a negative blood type, Josh has a positive blood type and when the two mix, if there is any blood crossing over to the baby my body could possibly reject the baby thinking that it's a foreign entity. Strike 3. I have plenty of rH antigens floating around in my blood stream to make more go from high risk to, as my doctor put it, even HIGHER risk. I had a lot of spotting early on and for about 3 months with this kid. Blood potentially crossing over to the baby. And there were other complications. I mean, geez. If this kid wasn't trying to break severely of my ribs on the right side of my body on a regular basis, I'm not sure I would be thinking that this was an actual pregnancy and not just some figment of my imagination.
So, fast forward to 24 weeks. 6 months along (which is really 5 months because you don't really count those first 4 weeks or something). Counting the months is confusing for me. I'm not sure how they get 9 months from a 40 week pregnancy. This appointment seems a bit silly. Listen for the heartbeat, see how much weight mommy has gained, chat with the doctor. Only this time my doctor measured my growing soccer ball of a stomach. And I'm small. Who knew that carrying small could be a problem? Apparently, my doctor does, which is a good thing. But, I don't feel small. I mean, I feel like I'm walking around with that soccer ball with that feisty Barbie stuffed into it. But, I guess that I am actually small. And that could mean that on top of everything else that this little person has been through, it could be underweight. After all my exercise, watching my diet to eat healthy food and fish and not limiting my chocolate intake, resting and all the other things I'm supposed to do, my little person, the one I feel like I'm working very hard at doing a good job to grow, may be a tinier than normal tiny person.
Tomorrow is my 9 year anniversary. I'm off to have more tests. An ultrasound this time, just to make sure the weight is on track and that this little soul is growing in all the right ways. I suppose that's a good anniversary gift, getting to see your baby. I think I'll look at it that way. My anniversary gift is getting to see my growing human.
But, geez, can't a person get a break.