Apparently, it is not only normal to faint during pregnancy, it is the most common "scare call" that they get at my doctor's office. They always have people come in, to be on the safe side, so I didn't feel stupid at all for going in.
Dr. S said that it is a normal pregnancy side effect, due to a variety of issues: increased blood volume, blood flow being redirected, increasing pressure on major arteries in the body, progesterone dialates the blood vessels, etc. Sometimes, it can be a more serious indication of an underlying illness, but a brief medical exam seemed to rule out any of the more worrisome culprits, like cardiac illness or a seizure disorder.
He recommended that I continue my increased fluid intake, but instead of water, I use a sports drink to rehydrate for about half of the fluids. He advised that if I ever feel the onset of another spell to lie down immediately, even if it's in public. If I am sitting, he said that I could put my head between my knees - at least until my belly interferes with such!
He did notice that my heart rate was accelerated, and since I didn't feel nervous at all and my blood pressure was normal, that can be a sign of dehydration or a thryroid issue. He did run a blood panel, complete with a thryroid check, complete blood count, and to check for anemia. Those results should be in by tomorow, but he really didn't seem concerned that they would show any abnormalities.
My one remaining concern is that I am on my feet. A lot. My job requires me to walk and move around quite a bit. I fear fainting in front of a customer, but since I work in hospitals, it would be the best place possible, if not a tad bit embarrassing. Also, I drive constantly, but he said that it would be really rare to happen while I was sitting down. Let's keep our fingers crossed on that score.
I have a nice bruise on my noggin from last night's fall, but the scratch is barely visible and my bangs hide the damage. I did have another near faint at the grocery store this afternoon, so I took his advice and crouched down by the cart, head between my knees. I am going to be really popular in grocery stores!
I left with an appointment to follow up in three weeks - at that appointment, we will get to hear the heartbeat for the very first time. That will be really exciting!