“What anything from Starbucks?” I texted my sister J.
“Would love an Americano so much. Thank you.” she wrote.
“The directions that I got to the OB’s office are crazy so just meet me on the third floor and we can find the office together” I texted.
It was Wednesday and J had agreed to meet me for my first appointment with my OB at Mount Sinai.
I was super nervous. Why couldn’t I just stay with Dr. Jones at the Fertility Clinic? She was the nicest doctor ever. Instead, I was to meet a new doctor named Dr. Snelgrove and was about to explore a new building – the Ontario Power Generation building.
“Good morning” said Julia as she came out of the elevators to meet me.
“I am so nervous” I confessed.
What was going to happen at this appointment? The nurse on the phone suggested it would be a “long” appointment but how long was “long”?
After making twists and turns down the hall, we finally found the admin assistant in the hall.
“My name is Sarah and this is my first appointment” I said.
Celine was so lovely and explained that I could just take a seat.
Both J and I commented on how everyone we saw around us was pregnant and going to the washroom. Most pregnant women were going at a leisurely pace but I could tell that some were going to throw up. I felt like I was really among my people.
“Sarah?” asked a really cute nurse. She had the exact same style as my sister J. She was wearing a white shirt and a really pretty pastel pink flowy skirt.
“You have the exact same shoes as my sister” I said to her looking at how both she and Julia had on the same shoes.
“I also own the same skirt” Julia laughed.
The nurse’s name was Daniella and she was so lovely.
She talked about how Dr. Snelgrove was super nice and she just asked a lot of questions about my health. She talked to me about how many pregnant women crave carbs but how one should avoid eating too many carbs.
“But please note that now is not the time to go on any type of weight loss diet “she said.
That made me happy.
J and I laughed with her as we discussed many issues involving pregnancy and later even had a debate on whether Starbucks iced coffee really was worth the price.
About ten minutes later Daniella gave me an entire booklet of info and said “welcome to the low risk pregnancy program.”
“Low risk?” I asked. “I thought I’d be high risk because of my age and I think I have high blood pressure.”
“Your blood pressure is great” she said.
This made a lot of anxiety disappear.
From there, J and I waited for about an hour. We laughed through the entire hour killing time making fun of the art on the walls or various things that we were seeing.
At one moment we saw a couple who were obviously going through a lot and the man was cradling his partner’s head. They both looked as though they were crying.
“Stop staring” I said to J.
“What do you want me to do?” she asked. “I am an empath.”
J also saw someone she knew and pretended not to see her. In fact, J ran into people she wasn’t “supposed” to see because various friends were going through fertility issues/treatments and wanted to keep everything private. J respected their space and would only go up to people she knew if they seemed as though they wanted to chat.
“This is the reality” said J. “Many people are going through fertility issues around this age.”
“Sarah?” asked another nurse. “We are ready to see you.”
“Want me to come in with you?” asked J.
“Of course” I said.
J sat in the chair and I sat on the examination table.
“What is that sound?” asked Julia. “It sounds like we are in a birth canal.”
J and I still haven’t figured out where the sound was coming from. It was either a weird sound coming from the vent or the sound of someone having an ultrasound done near us that sounded like the heartbeat was on a megaphone.
“Sarah?” asked Dr. Snelgrove.
“This is my sister J” I said.
“I can see the family resemblance.”
“You can?” I asked. “I personally don’t think we look anything alike.”
I can’t possibly go into all of the things that Dr. Snelgrove said because a) it went over my head b) I didn’t write anything down c) this would be 5,000 words longer.
Some things I did note were the following:
- I haven’t gained any weight.
- My OB only works at the clinic on Wednesday’s so all appointments will be scheduled on a Wednesday.
- You don’t get to pick your appointment time. You are just handed a card that goes over the times you must attend.
- Dr. Jones was Dr. Snelgrove’s Chief Resident while he was in training so I know I am in good hands.
- You should bring something to write everything down. There is so much information that comes at you very quickly. J and I could not possibly process everything that was said to us.
- Because of my age and the fact that I have used a donor, Dr. Snelgrove suggested that I have what is called a Harmony Test. It uses one vial of blood to screen for Down Syndrome and two other genetic disorders (Dynacare). Since I was ten weeks on the exact day I saw him, he ordered the test for me. It did cost $500.00 but he said that it is a very accurate test and that my results would be ready within a week.
After saying good-bye to my OB, J and I departed ways because she had to go to work and I needed to get some blood work.
After taking a number and waiting for about five minutes in the “lab” area, a woman called my number. I recognized her right away.
“You also work at Mount Sinai Fertility” I said. “You took my blood on several occasions.”
She smiled at me and said “well it is so nice to see you here.”
She was right – I had graduated from Mount Sinai Fertility to Mount Sinai Low Risk.
“I love your nails” I said as I recognized the fact that she always had her nails done in interesting colours.
“I need gold and glitter in my life” she said in her Russian accent.
She then started plugging info into the machine and it no longer felt like Mount Sinai Fertility. It took about ten minutes for her to process info, get the right coloured vials, and get the correct stickers printed for the vials of blood. At Mount Sinai Fertility, things took seconds. This was taking a long time.
The ten minutes were excruciating. It had been over a month since I had my blood drawn and I had forgotten how anxious I became when forced to sit down and “relax” while having blood taken. She was concentrating so much that my small talk conversation that usually allowed me to focus on something else was not allowed.
“Make a fist” she said.
Eight vials later I was finally done. Through the whole process she kept looking at the needle in my arm and then would look right into my eyes. It felt like she was looking into my soul.
I wondered if she knew how nervous/anxious I was or if she could feel me shaking. I also wondered if she thought I might pass out.
Three and a half hours after my appointment time, I finally left Mount Sinai. In my purse was a giant pamphlet of info I was going to read along with a prescription for baby aspirin to be taken starting August 9th (a precaution to help avoid genetic diseases for the baby).
Every time I passed a pregnant woman or saw a baby with his/her parent/guardian, I couldn’t help but smile. Yes the third floor was full of a lot of medical information, precautions, facts, stats, testing, etc., but it was also full of so many miracles. We were all in this together and I finally felt as though everything might be okay.