Week 28/29 ~ August 8, 2004
~ Low Iron and New Due Date
I had another midwife appointment last week, and was surprised to find out I would be starting bi-monthy visits to the office already. Where has the time gone? I really can't quite believe I will be meeting this baby in about three short months.
It was a busy appointment. I took my Glucose Tolerance Test, and it turned out fine. I also had my RhoGAM shot because I am Rh-negative, and along with the blood draw for the GTT, they checked my iron levels and tested me for hepatitis C (required for the waterbirth I am planning.)
They checked my urine at this visit, too, and later this week, the midwife I'd been seeing previously for my lost pregnancy called to tell me it looked good. (She is one of the midwives in my group. She is going to be moving to Maine soon, and it was nice to touch base with her before she goes and know that she is thinking about me!)
It does turn out my iron is low right now; it's at 10.9, and they want me at 12. My midwife suggested I try a high-iron diet, and we will retest again in two weeks. I think this happened to me with Charon, too, at this same point in the pregnancy. When I was away at the cabin at the beginning of this month, I didn't take my vitamin for about a week, so maybe that did it. Bad mama! I had forgotten how important iron is in pregnancy, and how hard it is to get enough. I did a bit of research, and found that a woman's blood volume increases 40% in pregnancy. I've read that you need to supplement your iron intake in order to really get enough. I do still feel a little queasy after taking my vitamin (supplements heavy in iron can be hard to take when you are fighting morning sickness), but I'd been really good about it up until that week.
So, we went grocery shopping today and I loaded up on iron-rich foods: lentil soup, chick peas, fixings for chili, some stew beef meat, fortified cereals, etc. I also bought some blackstrap molasses, and I'd like to make some smoothies with it. I picked up prune juice, too; we'll see if I'm brave enough to try it. Vitamin C is supposed to help with absorption, and dairy is supposed to inhibit it, so I'm going to try to drink water with supper when we have an iron-rich meal, plus add something like tomatoes to the menu.
Did you notice the heading of this entry? We are now looking at a new due date because of the ultrasound I had. I talked to my midwife about this, and she prefers we start with that due date (October 20) because it is far different from the other one they figured (November 3 or 5, depending on the wheel they use.) She reassured me that she wouldn't push induction if I am overdue, but just take things one day at a time and make sure baby and I are staying healthy. I explained to her that I'm the one with the best due date, because I know the date we conceived and the date I ovulated, which were the same day. I was temping and keeping track very carefully. So I've decided to think of my due date as the one I've figured since the start, October 28. That makes this the 29th week of pregnancy for me, hence the "week 28/29" heading.
Charon came twelve days before the due date I predicted, and I think I was pretty accurate that time, too. I am trying to tell myself that this baby is different, is its own whole person with its own timeline. I have a friend whose first baby came significantly before her due date, and her second was overdue.
But, I want to be ready for the baby to arrive. I think I just need to have a good plan in place for how I will spend those last few uncomfortable weeks, if I get them. With Charon, I remember the day I thought, "Okay, I'm ready to have this baby. I'm ready for this pregnancy to be over." My water broke that evening. I was pretty lucky to have those moments coincide! I know most women feel ready to be done a month or so before the baby comes, so I have to be ready for that possibility and not get too excited about this due date switch!