September 25, 2013
I had my two-week follow-up appointment with Lori on Monday. Which is a bit of a misnomer in this case. It hadn’t been two weeks. It still hasn’t been two weeks. Which is hard to believe because it’s been a lifetime.
The midwives work 12-hour shifts when they’re on labor-and-delivery. I was in the hospital for three days. I saw a lot of midwives. Lori wasn’t scheduled when I was there, but she stopped by Friday evening when she was done at the clinic. She made it a point to say she’d see me for my two-week follow-up. Lydia had the Friday/Saturday night shift. She, too, made it a point to say she’d see me for my two-week follow-up. Yes, the midwives are fighting over me. (And I like them both! I’m so torn!) I did decide that I should stick with Lori through my follow-up care since she saw me through most of my pregnancy.
And it was really hard to walk into the office. I started to tear up as I was walking down the hall from the elevator. And I did tear up when I checked in with the receptionist. My appointment was at 7:50 a.m., before any other patients arrived, before most of the staff arrived. I was expecting to see a nurse or medical assistant, but Lori came to get me. I started to cry almost immediately.
I knew this first appointment would be hard. And Lori said she wouldn’t be hurt if I decided to go somewhere else. And I’d already thought about that. But as painful as it was to go into that space, it is a place where everyone already knows what happened. If I go somewhere else, I will have to tell and retell my story. Staying at Borgess means I don’t; it means I’m my care providers are grieving with me.
And mostly we just talked. She asked if there was anything she could do, other than build a time machine, which she’d already thought of. I said that I wished she could make me be magically pregnant at my six-week appointment so that I wouldn’t have to make a decision about trying again. She offered her husband. (This is why I like her! She gets my sense of humor!) Six tissues later, she said she did need to get my blood pressure. Yes, she waited until after I’d been crying for however long it had been. (I really have no clue how long we talked.) But my blood pressure was fine. Elevated for me, but not so elevated that it would have set off the alarm back when I was still in the hospital. And I scored a 9 on the mental health check. (The lower the score, the better.) Lori said she would have scored a 21. And that was pretty much it. She didn’t check my stitches. I didn’t have to take off any of my clothes. (Okay, I did take off my hoodie so that she could take my blood pressure, but I didn’t have to take off my shirt.) All of that will wait until my six-week follow-up.
We talked a little about trying to conceive again. And we agreed that revisiting the topic in February (which is when I think my insurance will think my next annual should be) was okay. But she also said she’d talk to one of the OB/GYNs before my next appointment so that I’d at least know whether or not I’ll be able to see someone locally. In the meanwhile, she said to just keep taking my prenatal vitamins. That did mean there was something she could do for me: my prescription expired today, so I needed a new one.
The one somewhat disappointing thing is that I didn’t get weighed. I wanted to see what their scale said. According to my bathroom scale, I’ve lost 20 pounds since delivering Sofia. Yes, I’m already at my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m well below my pre-pregnancy weight. (But to quote my friend Joanna, “I have no muscle tone.”) Remember how sick I was during the first trimester? Yeah, I may have gained back the weight I lost then, but I didn’t gain much more on top of that. By the time I delivered, I was back up to my pre-pregnancy weight. And now… well, grief does affect your appetite. Enough so that Theresa, the midwife who was on Saturday during the day, told me to eat whatever sounds good. That’s right. No advice on nutrition. Just make sure to eat something. And yes, I am eating. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And fairly healthfully, too. But I’m definitely consuming fewer calories than I’m burning.
So that’s one more thing done. I’m taking things moment by moment. The first trip to Meijer’s. The first visit to the midwife. The ice has been broken. The next visit will probably be difficult, but it won’t be as difficult as the one on Monday.