Well, I've had two OB appointments this week plus one ultrasound. I guess an update is in order.
Non-stress tests: apparently I will be getting one of these at every single appointment from here on out. Baby boy is very cooperative and kicks up a storm and I really do love hearing his heartbeat fill the room. They say as long as he moves twice during this 20 minute assessment they are happy and he's always moved more like 15-20 times, with his heart rates fluctuating from 130s-160s. Oh, and apparently this test also measures any uterine contractions and guess what? Today the nurse walked in and said, 'He looks really good....and what is going on with that uterus of yours? Feeling anything?' I glanced down at the paper and saw that there were definite peaks and valleys there, signifying light contractions. I mean, I knew I have been having Braxton Hicks a lot more often lately but it's pretty cool to see them on paper! I hope that is a good sign that my body is getting ready.
Blood Pressures: ah, the drama of my BP. I still take it every day, three times a day, while at work and honestly the numbers have been pretty good. Not any worse, usually hanging right under the 'red line' mark of 140/90. But then again, I've been having some of my favorite nurses take my pressure manually thinking that was most accurate (and secretly, I noted that manual BPs lended towards much lower readings instead of those pesky automatic cuffs, so I vowed to always use manual readings). Well, the doc today caught on to my love for manual readings and wasn't so sure they are more accurate because every person can hear a BP differently and they might miss a higher number. They used an automatic cuff on me at my appointment and it was 144/90, I begged them to try manual and it was 138/88. Still not great, but whatever. I returned to work and at the very end of the day my last pressure taken automatically was up to 150/92. Gulp. Not good. See why I hate the automatic machines at work?
Labs: Guess who gets to pee in a jug for another 24 hours? Me!! Third time for this go around and let me tell you, I'm getting to be a pro. Last week my protein stayed under the 'danger zone' mark but my doc wants to keep checking to make sure pre-eclampsia isn't creeping up on me. And here is the kicker: if my labs ARE worse my doctor would consider inducing me NEXT WEEK since I will be 37 weeks and 'full term' on Sunday.
Breathe. Read that again. NEXT WEEK!!
Before we all freak out here (what, is it just me?), let's remember that it totally depends on my labs, on my pressures, and on how my cervix is ripening up at my appointment on Monday. She would like for me to be dilated before she induces me because she knows I want to avoid a C-section. And no, she didn't check me at all this week because she's waiting until Monday's appointment for my next internal. I, of course, am dying to know if my body is doing anything productive down there besides having random contractions.
I really REALLY don't want to be induced at only 37 weeks unless it's absolutely necessary. It just sounds so early to me and I know of tons of girls who had worse BP and labs than me that were induced at 38-39 weeks. It's not like my doctor promised me a date with induction next week but I can't stop thinking about that possibility. I have a gut feeling that she'll let me go longer unless things get really bad with my situation so I should probably just stop worrying right now and go back to my 'taking it a day at a time' attitude. But I'm just trying to pump myself up to put up a fight for an extra week or so if she does push the issue. Only time will tell...
Growth Ultrasound: on Tuesday, I had the ultrasound and it was not nearly as cool as the 20 week US we had. They had me drink a ton of water again and hold it for entirely too long which is basically cruel and unusual punishment when nine months pregnant (and I thought it was bad at 5 months? HA. That was nothing!). The other thing that made this time not as amazing was that little boy is so BIG now that I could barely tell what we were looking at most of the time. His entire head took up the whole screen and then some, when at 20 weeks we could see his full little body in one shot.
The tech this time didn't tell me much and referred me back to the doctor for final stats but don't worry... I snuck a peek and saw that they measured his head circumference at 38 weeks and 4 days! GULP. That is 2 weeks ahead if you are keeping track. Then the belly measurement was only at 35 weeks or so, which made me immediately freak out. But today my doctor informed me that little man is right at the 51st percentile for size, my fluid level is great and my placenta is 'perfect' ---whatever that means. Guess he will just have a bigger head like his daddy and it's obviously a good thing for him to be right at the average mark for overall size.
The pictures weren't wonderful but here is a profile shot just for fun:
So besides all of that, I've been hanging in there. Still working full days and then crashing on the couch for at least a one hour nap each night. I wouldn't be surprised if my doctor puts me on bedrest next week but who knows. Yesterday was the first day that my ring didn't fit on my finger and I'm pretty sure my ankles are a little more swollen, too. Not only that but I had a little bit of a headache yesterday, too, which combined with the swelling is not a good thing at this point. Especially since my pressure was so high at the end of the day today---I'm really hoping that I'm not turning the corner towards full blown pre-eclampsia. Ugh. Not fun.
I know that I'm very lucky to be this far along right now, since Baby Carlos is basically full term. I have read, and re-read all of your awesome comments about induction and success stories--which still really help me to chill out a bit. Now my new thing is worrying about my doctor pushing early induction when I really want to wait it out so 'Los can incubate as long as possible. (Hannah gave Carlos the nickname 'Los and I dig it). Obviously, if my body is inhospitable for the baby and she needs him out to avoid harming him then I'm all for it. I trust her decision making skills and vow not to freak out too much over the next few days. But I would just feel a lot better about the whole thing if I could make it until 38-39 weeks. Maybe that is exactly what will happen anyway or maybe I'll go into labor on my own before it becomes an issue.
My goals: to make it through the work day on Friday, have an awesomely relaxing weekend including my last baby shower on Sunday, spending lots of quality time with Nate (who suggested we have a date night this weekend, just in case 'Los makes his appearance next week....isn't he cute?), and chilling out. Yes, the last one is important, I know:)
Sorry for the rambling, yet again. It just feels so good to get out all of my thoughts on this screen and I know a lot of you have had experience with pregnancy issues and survived to tell the tale:) Who would like to put bets on the outcome of my situation??