Week 32: March 31 - April 6, 2005 ~ Houston, We Have a Date!
The highlight of this week was a very productive OB visit. At this practice you rotate through the 5 doctors and 2 nurse-midwives. I have two favorite doctors: Dr. F. who delivered Livia and Dr. M. With only a couple of exceptions I have scheduled myself to see these two rather than do the rotation. This appointment was with Dr. M.
The evening before and morning of the appointment the baby had been pretty quiet. I still felt movement but it wasn't as active as I'd like. So, to start the appointment, I asked if I could be put on the fetal monitor for awhile for reassurance. My poor doctor looked so concerned and scared. Although I tried to reassure her that baby was still moving she was awfully quiet until I got situated on the monitor and we could hear the heartbeat pounding away. It was nice to lie there and listen for 20 minutes to that repetitive sound of the heartbeat.
At the appointment we discussed when I would be scheduled for an induction. The practice I go to follows recommendations of the American Association of Gynecologists and doesn't schedule inductions before 39 weeks without a lung maturity test, which has to be done by amniocentesis. As I'm not very open to doing amnio that far into pregnancy, I need to wait until exactly 39 weeks or after before being induced. In my case I'll be 39 weeks on a Thursday. The first day Dr. F. is on call is on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Typically the practice doesn't induce on a weekend but they are planning on making an exception for me. As Dr. M. told me, "We will do just about anything for you." She is awfully compassionate and I really appreciate that.
I find myself explaining to nearly everyone why I am being induced. The reason is straightforward from my point of view. Livia died during labor and no cause of death could be established. If she had had a birth defect or an obvious placental malfunction there might be a different approach toward a subsequent delivery. But because we can't rule out labor as a cause of death, my doctors want me to be on a fetal heart monitor the entire time I'm in labor. That way, if the baby begins to have difficulties we can know right away and act accordingly. So, no willy-nilly going into labor at the grocery store for me. I will be induced so that the baby can be monitored closely. If it does happen that I do go into labor on my own before 39 weeks I will go straight to the hospital to be monitored.
Also at this appointment we scheduled another ultrasound for 34 weeks to check on growth. I'm feeling quite spoiled at all of these chances to see this baby. I am really looking forward to getting another peek.
Next week I don't have an appointment but from there on out I'll be having one per week. I'll be hooked to the monitor for 20 minutes to do a Non-Stress Test (where they monitor the baby's heart rate and how the baby does in reaction to movement or any contractions that happen. You know once the once-a-week appointments begin that you are really approaching the end!