21 November 2006

the TLAs of pregnancy

Pregnancy is filled with those lovely TLAs, or Three-Letter Acronyms. For me it all started with an OPK, or "ovulation predictor kit", and an HPT, "home pregnancy test", and goes downhill rapidly from there.

My first doctor visit resulted in the letters AMA being printed large, and in red, on my chart. That's "Advanced Maternal Age", not "against medical advice"! They also asked for my LMP, which was July 11, so they could calculate my due date. This is used as the first day you're pregnant, though conception really happens about two weeks later. I would probably have to go to med school to figure that one out. Since I was charting my temp and other factors, I can tell you exactly when I ovulated, when any associated baby dancing was done, and thus can pinpoint conception within about 24 hours.

Around eleven or twelve weeks, we had the CVS, which we've talked about before. This told us baby v2.0 is a girl and she seems to be okay, from a chromosomal standpoint.

Last week, I had my AFP test done, another one that looks for birth defects. Thought I would hear something by Friday but didn't, and didn't remember to call my OB's office until 4:15pm, or 15 minutes after they closed. I called yesterday and they said they would call back. When they did call it was only to tell me they needed a consult with the genetics department but they'd call me again later on. Nope. No call. By this morning I was a wreck. I know the rate of false positives for the AFP is high, and a positive result only leads to more tests, but still, I was worried. I called again today and they assured me they had not forgotten me and they would call back when they knew something.

Finally, around 1:30pm, the call came that the test was "basically ok". Note to medical students out there: choose your words CAREFULLY!!!! I had to ask what she meant by "basically" and the doc said, "It's fine. All the x's are right in the middle." Whatever that means.... I think it means there is no increased risk of Down's or any of the other birth defects that can be linked to high AFP levels. That's my story and I'll be clinging to it for the next 20 or so weeks.

I was hoping we were now done with the TLAs for this pregnancy, but no, in about six weeks I need to have my GTT. Drink the nasty sprite-like liquid. Sit around the waiting room for a very long time. Give yet another blood sample. Hope mightily they don't decide to make you come back for the three hour version of the test.

And come next April, I hope to have a VBG and no PPD.

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