Well, I just got back from my doctor and she gave me lots of information so I thought that I'd share it with you. :) Especially since it's still fresh in my mind!
My doctor is currently pregnant with her 5th child in four years, which I believe must be some kind of crazy record. But she seems to enjoy it! And certainly is a font of information, so here goes...
Me: How do I know when my fertile period is?
Elaine: Have a couple periods first (off birth control) and then you'll have a better idea of when your fertile period actually is. Always mark down when your period STARTS. Your fertile period is 14 days before that. However, say that your period isn't perfect, as most women's aren't, and that you're starting at a different day every month - sometimes your periods are 28 days apart and sometimes they're 40 days apart. Well, your fertile period is sometime between 14 days before your period should start and 28 days.
(It all made sense when she said it, but I'm not sure how good I'm doing at explaining it.)
Also, your egg only lives for about 24 hours, but sperm can live in the body for up to 3 days. So, you should actually start trying about 3 days before your fertile period starts, that way there is sperm in there to help achieve conception.
(I found this all very interesting.)
Me: What OTC medicines can't I take when I'm pregnant?
Elaine: No Advil. Tylenol only. Be cautious with Sudafed. Really, if you have any questions, call me, call your doctor, whatever!
Me: I used to have horrible cramps before I was on birth control. What if I go off birth control and they come back? What medicine is it best for me to take?
Elaine: Well, Tylenol is the best, but let's face it, it doesn't work that well on cramps. If you need something stronger, call back here and we'll get you a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine.
(I found this to be incredibly good information) Also, when your egg is being implanted in your uterus, it can feel like you're having horrible cramps, or even like your period is coming. You can get breast tenderness, a little spotting, all the symptoms of PMS. So if you're not sure what medicine to take, or whether or not it's cramps, take a pregnancy test before taking any medication. If your period has started, go ahead and take Advil. But a lot of the symptoms of early pregnancy mimic PMS.
Me: When should I take the pre-natal vitamin?
Elaine: Take it at night. The things that are really good in it, iron and calcium, are also things that can really upset your stomach or even cause nausea, something that's easier to deal with at night than during the day.
Me: What are the odds that I get pregnant the first month that I go off birth control?
Elaine: We call that first month the Super Egg. The odds are pretty good that you'll get pregnant right away, but there have been some cases documented where multiple eggs are produced that first month as well. Just something to think about. But once you go off birth control, the hormones immediately flush out of your system and you could get pregnant right away.
Me: What exactly are my odds for multiples? We have several cases on each side - mine and John's.
Elaine: Well, studies haven't exactly given a clear picture of why cases of multiples occur. But they usually do occur within the same family. But just because they're in your family doesn't mean that you will or even have a higher chance of having multiples.
Me: My mother had me 3 weeks early and my sister came about 3 months early? What are my odds that this happens to me too?
Elaine: Typically what happens to your parents isn't indicative that this will happen to you, at least in this case. Your mother most likely may have had an issue with her cervix, her babies, you name it, but most likely, it was a case of her and only her. But it is something to mention to your OBGYN as well. Also, once you have one baby that comes early, usually each subsequent pregnancy the odds are higher that it will happen again.
She also told me that once you start trying, it really is best to stop taking all drugs, all alcohol, and anything else that will adversely harm the baby. Studies haven't conclusively proven that having a glass of wine a night will hurt the baby, but why take the chance? And I agree with that.
Overall, she said to eat healthy, exercise like I was before, and just be cautious about what goes into body, also goes into baby. :)
She also recommended that I get some blood work done - to check and see if I'm actually immune to the rubella disease. I said, but I've been vaccinated against it. She said that some people still aren't immune to it and that they have to do three months of immunizations again before you have the baby if you're not immune. Rubella can cause all sorts of problems with the baby - including deafness.
Has anyone else been tested for rubella? I've never even heard of anyone having it, so I'm up in the air about having the blood work (especially since the stupid blood work company can never get our insurance right and I have to deal with them AGAIN and ARGH!)