Week 18: The prenatal waiting game

By Published On: May 27th, 2016

This morning I had another one of my monthly OB/GYN […]

Week 18 Sam DobsonThis morning I had another one of my monthly OB/GYN visits. Never a fan of doctor visits, dental check-ups or any other sort of medical appointment, I find it funny how much I look forward to each and every prenatal appointment. Of course, my nerves are a bit on edge while waiting for the doctor in the exam room, but as soon as he tells me that everything is moving along as it should, a sweet relief washes over me. That blissfulness is usually short lived, though, because just like that my appointment is over, the doc is off to see another patient, and I’m stuck waiting around for what feels like an eternity to hear that little heartbeat again.
I mean, how can doctors expect us to calmly wait for an entire month in between visits? I’m sure it’s different for pregnant mamas on their second or third go, but for us first-time preggos the wait is seriously stressful. I’ve always been a bit of a worry wart, so four weeks is plenty of time for me to overanalyze every little feeling until I end up wide awake in bed for hours reading hundreds of posts on a dozen different pregnancy websites. This is where my husband does his best to try to wrangle in the crazy, but there is only so much he can do.
At this point in my pregnancy, it all feels like a big waiting game. Waiting for the next appointment, waiting for blood test results, waiting to find out what the sex is, and of course, waiting for the big delivery. During all this waiting, my mind races with uncertainty. What will my doctor say at the next appointment? Will my blood pressure be normal? Will the heartbeat remain steady? What will the blood tests show? It goes on and on for four weeks, until my next appointment.
To make matters worse, by the time I see the doctor I forget every concern or question I had in the last month. My doctor must think that I’m the mellowest, most easy-going first-time pregnant woman to ever waddle into his office. In all actuality, in between appointments I’m doing my best to stay calm and relaxed, reassuring myself that little aches and pains are totally normal and eagerly awaiting a comforting kick from my baby. Then, I step into the doctors office and almost immediately he pulls out the fetal doppler and plays the sweet sound of our baby’s heartbeat—all of the sudden, I can’t remember a single a worry I had before.
I’m learning, though. During the long wait between appointments, if I have a concern or question I intend to ask the doctor, I write it down and take it with me to the next appointment. I actually remembered to ask him about my back pain today, even after the bliss of hearing the little heartbeat. Now I won’t have to go Googling for answers, a relief to my husband, I’m sure. And the wait this time around won’t be so bad because next week is my second trimester screening. The excitement I feel can only be compared to that of a kid on Christmas Eve. I can’t wait to prop up on the exam table and see my baby wiggling around on the big screen.