I am a piece of work right now.

The dozen stitches on my right knee are sore and ugly under a fresh bandage and a splint that is rapidly getting old. I’ve abandoned the cane as excessively theatrical, but am keeping the splint on, lest I accidentally flex and disrupt all of the careful quilting that’s holding the flesh of my knee in place. I walk with a comical hobble-waddle, and can’t go to the bathroom without straddling the toilet in a position kind of like this:

Imagine peeing in this position.

The splint makes it difficult to sleep on either my left or my right side, and my twenty-six-week-old Pregnant Tummeh makes it impossible to sleep on my stomach or my back. Even when I can get comfortable on a side, my arm soon falls asleep. But rolling over to the other side isn’t the no-brainer it used to be, back when I had both abdominal and leg flexibility. Now it’s a feat of engineering that wakes up the whole family — Mayhem, me, &, and even the cat, who used to love curling up in the crook of my knees back when I could bend them.

I feel vaguely guilty complaining, though, because everything is going so well. I got to see Mayhem. It was a gift to spend even two minutes watching her heart beat and hearing her kick the strap-on monitor. The surprise bloodwork on Wednesday was followed by my regularly-scheduled gestational diabetes test on Thursday, and all seems fine there too. (At least, no news is good news. I shall continue to enjoy my daily dose of spicy chocolate sorbet until somebody bothers to call me and tell me not to.)

I’m surprised at what a gratifying relief it is to be treated like a patient, to have actual M.D.’s actually examining my child. It drives me crazy to go a month between appointments which consist of little more than a quick pass with the fetal doppler, a tape measure across my bump, some other brief observations, and a “do you have any questions” to me. I crave the kind of attention to Mayhem that the residents kindly paid her on my emergency visit. There, I can say to the persistent mistrustful murmur at the back of my mind, she’s fine. She’s not cultivating some scary condition that’s flown under their radar. No worries, she’s all good.

When the splint gets itchy or the stitches get sore or I wake up at 2 am with pins and needles shooting through my arm, I think of this. She’s fine. I saw her. All of these silly discomforts are there for a reason. I got to see her, and that was worth the price of admission, stitches and all.

Nonetheless, I’m thinking it may be time to schedule one of those elective nonmedical 4D ultrasounds. Because it sure would be nice to have the confidence, relief, and delight of seeing her without having to visit the emergency room afterward.