Today I am 24 full weeks pregnant. Yesterday we had our usual check up with the doctor (no ultrasound) and everything went very well.
Actually before we met with the doctor, we went to check out the "Pavilion" maternity wing at the hospital where I will be giving birth to our baby. The nurse who gave us the "tour" was so nice. We saw a "standard room" - your basic private hospital room with a bathroom, TV, mini-fridge, very similar to those I've experienced in America, not bad at all; then we saw an "executive suite" - which has a more spacious hospital room, an upgraded bathroom with both a shower and a separate bath tub, and a private living room (with couch, chairs, and TV) connected by a sound-proof wall for visitors to be in there with the baby and/or Kristoffer while I could be sleeping! Both types of room have a bed for Kristoffer to stay over night with us which is great, but we will definitely be going with the suite. We also saw the nursery and asked the appropriate security questions, and we saw the labor-delivery-recovery room where we will be until after the baby is born and we are both all cleaned up and moved to our suite. Overall, we feel really good about the hospital. It was clean, the staff was very friendly, and it made us feel really good to visualize where the big show will take place.
Then we went to see my doctor. We like her so much! We think that she likes us too because we probably show more emotion than most Kenyans do(sometimes we are practically giddy!) and because we probably ask more questions than most of her patients. Kenyans are typically more diminutive in the face of doctors, lawyers, and other people of authority. Anyway, everything went well at the appointment. I gained 3 kilos in the last 4 weeks which is really good news because up until now I haven't gained too much - probably 8 or 9 lbs in total. My heart rate (a little higher than usual) and blood pressure (low but normal for me) were both fine and consistent with previous appointments. The baby's heart was also normal at 164 bpms, especially because s/he was moving around a lot yesterday. The baby is located in the right place and measuring perfectly for 24 weeks. All good news! We talked to the doctor about interviewing pediatricians, which we will do when we get back to Kenya in January, as well as scheduling our child birth class, again something we can't do until we get back in January. She confirmed that my swollen, itchy feet and my late-night calf cramps are totally normal in pregnancy. The one thing I need to continue working on is trying to eat more. Kristoffer ratted me out and told her that I eat less now than when I wasn't pregnant - but it is not for lack of wanting to eat! I honestly can't eat more than I do - it is very bizarre!
Finally, we talked a lot about our upcoming travel plans. We have 6 flights total and 4 of them are pretty long; I have to make sure to sit on the aisle and in a row with as much leg room as possible, I have to drink a lot of fluids, take small walks and stretch my legs often, and try to get a lot of rest in between flights. Nothing surprising really and most things that all people should do on long flights anyway; I just have to be more careful as a pregnant woman so that I don't get blood clots. She predicted that coming back east will be harder than going west (which is usually the case for me!) and she thought it was probably a good idea that I will not be working between our trip and my due date so that I can just get a lot of rest and be as ready for delivery as possible!
We always leave these doctor's appointments so happy and excited; unfortunately it was temporary because the food I ate for lunch yesterday made me really, really sick last night. I had horrible stomach pains for a few hours - if I didn't know better I would have thought I was having contractions! Finally I was violently ill and felt much better once my system was clean and empty. Kristoffer was so wonderful, holding my hair back and rubbing my back as needed. When I was sick early on in the prgenancy it was much quicker, not painful, less dramatic. This is the second time that I have been sick in this way in the last month and I hope it is the last time! Today I am feeling better, although a little weak and sore in the stomach, so we will take it easy this weekend.
This is what we look like these days, Simba and I. We arrive in Boston 3 weeks from today and I am sure I will look even bigger by then! (photo taken in our backyard)