24 weeks. Yesterday. I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I woke up. Granted, my next doctor's appointment isn't until Monday, I made it to this much anticipated week. At 24 weeks, many hospitals and doctors believe this week is when the use of intensive medical intervention to attempt to save the life of a baby is possible. Not that I'm planning on having this baby anytime soon, but knowing that a NICU stay would be possible is a huge cause of relief for me. I know there are still a thousand things that can happen and go wrong, and I am terrified but relieved at the same time.
This is all helpful, especially over all the crazy/stupid stuff that's happened lately. After Thanksgiving, the school nurse approached me and wanted to share some medical information with me. A child in 3rd grade returned to school with Fifth's Disease (sounds worse than it is, who puts the word "disease" in something that isn't terribly, horribly awful???). Apparently it's not great for a pregnant woman who has never been exposed to it to now be exposed to it. We played Six Degrees to Kevin Bacon, and pretty much decided that I really don't have any contact with 3rd graders (I teach kindergarten) and that my students don't have any siblings in that grade level. I really wasn't concerned, but appreciated being told. My school operates on this weird concept where they don't share medical issues with the staff. On one hand, I understand, (the nurse never told me the name of the child, btw) but on the other hand... what if there are other teachers that are pregnant that no one knows about? My two supervisors and co-teacher knew at 12 weeks, but the staff didn't know until 14 weeks, and the school nurse found out at 18 weeks because I happened to be in the restroom talking to someone when she walked in. Anyways, I wasn't concerned for my own health or the baby's.
I was a bridesmaid in a wedding the Saturday after this conversation. I had my makeup airbrushed and then woke up Monday (which was weird that it wasn't Sunday) with red splotches on my face. I wasn't sure what was going on but decided to go bare-faced to work, where my face got progressively redder and redder. I stopped by the nurse to see if she could give me Benadryl and she said she wouldn't do it without a fax from my doctor. Luckily, Doctor Dad loves me and I text messaged him telling him I had some weird rash and could I use topical Benadryl (I was going to run to CVS to avoid the unnecessary faxing). He proceeded to tell me that there was this viral thing that kids get and asked for pictures, which I sent. He decided it was probably just an allergy, but when I mentioned a kid at school had the virus he was talking about he insisted I come in so he could see it in person and get blood work done to see if I was immune to it (it's like Chicken Pox--once you've been exposed you can't get it again). I was pretty sure I had it as a kid, but my mom only remembered my friend down the street having it (seriously, mom?!?!).
Anyways, once he saw me he decided Benadryl was the best choice. Blood work came back earlier this week saying that I had already been exposed and had the virus as a child so I was fine. Good thing, because a few days before the results were in, Fifth's Disease popped up on my daily pregnancy app as the info of the day. So, that brings us to today. When a child walked into my room this morning with rosy red cheeks. I calmly suggested that the mom take her to the nurse, who suggested she go to a pediatrician to see if she had Fifth's Disease. Of course, the rash is the sign that the contagion period is over. So basically, this child was at school when she was contagious. At least she knows now that when she is pregnant some day she won't have to deal with this!! The mom came back to school this afternoon in a panic because the doctor told her it was really only dangerous for pregnant women and she was feeling horrible for having her child around me. I tried to reassure her that I was immune and told her this whole story but she didn't seem to buy it. It was actually very sweet. And she really felt that the school should inform every parent and teacher that someone has it.
If I hadn't been in the wedding and had that weird reaction I would have been FREAKING OUT today. Like, gone to the director to explain how crazy the health policy is and then rushed to the doctor. I'm still going to discuss the health policy, but now I can do it in a much more thought out, calm manner.
So, here I am, 24 weeks and immune to Fifth's Disease. Relieved. So I decided to pick up Baby Bargains (suggested by my sister-in-law), which is like a Consumer Reports with parent input and feedback. They tell you what is recommended to buy, what's a waste of money, etc. And now I am swimming in information. Goodness gracious. Mr. Desperate and I are both so indecisive, and this book is now making it more difficult, as anything we think about getting I will now have to check here and on Consumer Reports. Why did I think we'd be able to pick furniture, create a registry, and finalize the bedding order by the first week of January?? Now I'm trying to find out if the company of bedding I love makes their sheets with elastic all the way around and debating whether I should or shouldn't get a crib bumper. Both safety/SIDS issues. Maybe I should just go look at cute, tiny baby clothes... expect there was a whole section on flame-retardant sleepwear and cotton vs. polyester.
Side note.... I am finally visibly pregnant. 21/22 weeks my clothes were tight and uncomfortable and I finally felt that I could pull off maternity pants (i.e. keep them up without looking like I was wearing clothes that were too big). 23/24 weeks it becomes more visible as the day goes on (ahem, after I eat), but when I get dressed in the morning there is definitely a bump.
However, there are no stretchmarks to be found.