You have no idea how many totally bloggable things have happened in my life since the last post.
My bad. I haven’t been blogging them. Sorry about that. I’ll try to cover a lot of ground without boring you too much.
Our ultrasound tech could be described in very unfavorable language. She only spoke Danish, except once when repeating the same thing three times in Danish to me wasn’t working, and she barked “MOVE TO THE EDGE OF THE BED.” After that, she said a handful of words to Thomas, like, “liver!” to point out the very much important parts of what was on the screen. I know I’d been dying to see the liver. Yeah. Well it seemed to take an eternity, probably because of the wordlessness, and then she handed over 4 pictures, all from the same angle, and started to pack up to leave.
“Well?” interrupted my husband. “Is it a boy or a girl?”
“I couldn’t really tell. It’s probably a girl.” And then she stormed off. So flippant!
Now just to be clear, it doesn’t really matter if the baby is a boy or a girl. We’re going to love the poop out of it regardless. The slight convenience of knowing ahead of time whether a pink onesie is appropriate is not of particularly great importance. A lot of people don’t even want to know before the birth, and I think that’s a great and valid decision for those people. I respect that completely. I also know you can’t always tell from the ultrasound, no matter how awesome the tech is, and I acknowledge that my little one might not have been cooperating. We wanted to know, but we’re fine not knowing.
But how can you be an ultrasound tech and not recognize that this is something that we’ve been looking forward to for a long time? We’d been itching for weeks to see our baby and experience this special moment. Yes, she has some important stuff she needs to do too, like make sure it looks healthy and appropriate. We’re elated that the baby does indeed look healthy and appropriate. But, bedside manner? Ever heard of it? It’s one thing to say, “look here, baby’s legged are crossed and I can’t tell what’s in between! Bummer!” and another to, after the scan is done, make an off-hand comment about not knowing and storm off. I’m not even sure she looked. She could have bothered to tell us what we were looking at during the scan, other than crap like the liver, which really, it’s great that the baby has one in the right place but I don’t need to see it.
We go back in the waiting room, where other couples are smiling over the 10 or 12 pictures they got from their scans. We hold our humble four and wait for bitchtech to come back out from whatever it is that they do. We saw other techs come out and tell their smiling couples, “everything looks great! Congratulations!” and then the couples happily strode away in the confidence of knowing their baby is doing well. Eventually bitchtech emerges, shoves a paper in my hands, and says, “take this to the doctor.” Very reassuring.
Several minutes of navigating the country’s largest hospital later, we find the doctor, and he scans the sheet and says everything looks fine. Thank goodness we didn’t hear that from the tech, and we had to come all this way for you to tell us. It would have been too simple otherwise.
Well, I don’t know if I can really convey to any of you who have never been pregnant and had an ultrasound how exciting we expected the day to be, and how much of a let-down the day actually was. I was practically in tears. Like I said, the sex of the baby isn’t that big a deal, but I felt robbed of an experience I should have had. My husband took a day off from work for this, for Pete’s sake. And it basically felt like we’d been crapped on and then told, “looks good.” We should have been dancing about the health of our baby, but it’s hard to dance when you have fresh crap on you.
We decided to pony up to a private clinic and pay someone to pretend they are having a good day, tell us what we’re looking at, and get higher quality scan pictures. We’re having a 4D scan on 30 May.
I told my GP back at 8 weeks that I have von Willebrand’s disease. I explained that I’d never been tested but had several family members with it, all the symptoms, etc. etc. and I was pretty darn sure I had it. He said there were some fabulous people at Herlev Hospital that would check it out for me. Fine. At the 12 week scan, they did take some blood. I kind of assumed they already looked into this bleeding disorder thing for me, but in talking to the doctor after the 20 week scan, I learned this was not so. Not only that, but they don’t even do that testing at Herlev, and the doctor didn’t really want to talk to me about what having vWD might mean for me until he knew for sure that I had it. So off to Gentofte Hospital go I.
Hospitals here send you a letter telling you when your appointment is, and then you have the opportunity to call and change it if that doesn’t work for you. So we waited for the letter, and got it on a Friday before our trip (more on the trip later). My appointment was on Tuesday. Fine. We leave for the weekend and return on Monday. We pour over all the junk Gentofte sent and find an ambiguously-worded letter about how I need to come in to have the blood taken before the appointment. How much before the appointment? Totally unclear. Well, I can’t go on Monday anymore because they’ve closed. (I need Thomas to read the stuff for me because it’s in Danish, and he was at work all day.) So in order to give them the maximum time to do whatever they need to do with my blood before the appointment, we went in several hours early on Tuesday.
They didn’t seem to like that. We told them we could leave and come back later or whatever would work best for them. Again, Thomas had taken the whole day off to be with me because he knows I hate needles. They didn’t really care that we were willing to do whatever they wanted. They just wanted to act like we were really putting them out. Oh fine, the doctor will try to squeeze you in early. SIGH. I still don’t really know if they were pissed that we didn’t go the day before or if they were pissed we didn’t show up like 10 minutes early. Maybe they should put that in their letter.
So anyway, they take five vials of my blood, and then send me to another room where a lady cuts my arm and then times it to see how long it takes to clot. To make that even more awesome that it sounds, there’s another guy in the room who is apparently learning how to do it. Fortunately he’s not at the hands-on stage of learning yet, so he just watched while she explained in Danish what was going on. My Danish isn’t that great, but I could tell what was going on. Cut. Start timer. Use little paper disc thing to soak up the blood so you can still see the cut. Occasionally squeeze the squeezey blood-pressure-machine-looking-thing so it reads at a particular number. Stop timer 8 minutes and 45 seconds later when the blood isn’t coming out anymore. Remark how that is only slightly long for a clotting time. Easy for you to say when you aren’t the one sitting there bleeding.
Then the doctor squeezes us in, and keeps talking about how her day is so full and she has to rush. She asks about my family history with bleeding. You know, all those things you talk about at the dinner table with your family like which ones of you experience bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, and how long and heavy your mother’s menstrual flow is. Gosh, doesn’t everyone know this stuff about their family? She got pissed that I didn’t. She asked if I had any bruises, and I showed her a couple which she then, without warning, poked and prodded. Funny thing about bruises: it hurts when you do that. Then she sent us away.
A few hours later she calls back. Apparently, because she was in such a rush, SIGH, she didn’t notice that they didn’t actually take enough blood. Or something. I guess when they took the blood they didn’t taken into account that I’m pregnant. I’m not sure if they did the wrong tests or if they wanted to do more tests, or what, but they want more blood because the people doing it the first time didn’t notice my bulging, pregnant belly despite my rather clingy and fashionable maternity top. Back in the next day, and handing over four more vials of blood.
Have I mentioned that every time someone takes blood from me they remark how my arms are the most difficult they’ve ever seen and it’s absolutely incredible how hard it is to find a vein on me? Well when you’ve just given blood the day before and they can’t use that same spot again, it doesn’t make it any easier, I can tell you that.
To make this even more awesome, I should have mentioned that a whole slew of health care workers started striking that day. The blood-taking people obviously didn’t, but quite possibly the blood-testing people did because it’s been a week and a half and we’ve still heard nothing. All this and I already know I have the bleeding (literally and figuritively) disorder!
We went to Berlin. It was awesome.
Scandinavia’s first Cold Stone Creamery opened 10 days ago at Tivoli Gardens, and I’m going today. I’m curious to see if they still do the thing where you tip and they ring a bell and sing. I’d love to see Danes singing their gratitude about my tip. Totally worth a couple kroner. I actually made it an event for my expat group, and I expected a few other people would join, but it looks like it may be the most popular event we’ve had since I took over. If all the maybe’s show up, we’ll totally have enough for a group discount. T and I were going to buy annual passes anyway, though, so I guess we’ll see what happens. I dunno. I’l have to report back about how it goes.
I have a cold. Well, kinda like the dying remains of one. I was pretty much out of commission on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday and Saturday have been that mostly-ok-but-kinda-sluggish-and-phlegmy thing. Today I am blowing my nose a lot but I feel great. Hopefully it will be gone soon.
I probably forgot something, but I guess I’ll just come back later if I think of it. For now, I’m going to snuggle-attack my husband.
Comment from old blog
Wow your ultrasound sounds as bad as mine. I found out at week 14 that I have gestational diabetes so the moved me to Glostrup hospital from Gentofte (it takes me 45 mins to get to Glostrup hospital grr). I waited weeks for the letter then I go there and have to insist that they need to give me a scan since I missed the 20 week scan since Gentofte cancelled all my appointments.
We basically had the same issues you did, tech not really telling us what was on the screen (i didnt even get to see the screen half the time she had me laying in some weird position). She wouldnt tell us if she could even tell if it was a boy or girl, and wouldnt even give us the option to get a picture (You apparently have to buy them at Glostrup 20kr a peice ! ) So we didnt get a picture either. This was after waiting 3 hours for a scan that was supposed to be at 11am *sighs*
I hope you have better luck next time with your scan. We cant get a private one done at the moment lol otherwise we would lol.
Wish you the best of luck, btw we are prolly due around the same time (supposed to be sept 8th for me) lol but they keep telling me to plan for august because of the diabetes. Fun!
Kat (Reminisence) | 2008-05-02 22:46