With as much time as I use to spend at the doctor's office for fertility treatments and pre-surgery appointments and the like, I use to tease my doctor that I needed a special parking spot. Or, at the very least, some kind of frequent buyer program: buy 3 visits-get the next 1 free. Well, apparently that was just the tip of the iceberg. This week has been full of appointments.
We went to another 'big' ultrasound at the hospital. This one was our third so far this pregnancy. Our tech was a student who was getting set to graduate. It was a great experience because she was so informative and interested in what she was doing. She gave us a great tour of the baby and all of its parts. While we were there we even got to see the hiccups! Amazing!
It is very surprising to me just how much bigger the baby is via ultrasound. I would have thought that I couldn't tell the difference but even my untrained eyes can! The main purpose of this exam was measuring baby for growth. The first measurement the tech took of the head indicated the baby was about 39 weeks. She didn't seemed bothered by that but I quickly did the math: 5 weeks ahead... that's a HUGE head that will need to exit from me! She tried again several more times and then got an estimate of 36 weeks. Whew! Much better! Apparently the tech can be slightly off and it can make a substantial difference. All of the measurements indicated a baby at 36 weeks of growth: about 2 weeks ahead of now. However, there is an error of +/-3 weeks at this point.
After the tour the tech gave us a rough estimate of baby's weight: 6 lbs, 3 oz. This also has an error rate of +/- 1 lb. So that means that as of this date baby is anywhere from 5-7 lbs. Considering I have 5 weeks to go and babies typically grow 1/2 lb/week at this point in pregnancy I quickly did the math. That means delivering a baby that is 7.5-9.5 lbs. Sometimes knowledge can be a bad thing! Makenna was 6 lbs, 10 oz at 40w5d and Livia was 8 lbs, 11 oz at 40w5d. Thank you very much... I'd like to stay under the 9 pound mark if possible!!
4/22 First Scheduled Fetal Monitoring
The next day was a regularly scheduled OB appointment with a doctor in the practice that I don't particularly care for. In addition, this was the start of the once-a-week fetal monitoring that we will be doing for the rest of pregnancy. The 20-minute monitoring session showed that baby was doing just fine: heart accelerations with movement that return to normal appropriately.
The doctor reviewed the ultrasound results and indicated that the fluid levels for the baby were back to normal, which was a nice change from earlier in the week. I'll keep resting more (hooray!) and keep drinking large amounts of water to ensure they stay this way.
I expressed concern to this doctor that the baby still wasn't moving as much as normal. There has been a noticeable change over the past week in the activity level. She didn't have any explanation except that maybe the baby was facing toward my back rather than toward my belly button. Well, since baby is still spinning around and changes position quite a bit, this wasn't a good enough answer for me. I can easily tell when baby is facing forward versus backward.
I was growing frustrated so the doctor did a quick ultrasound to check the baby's position. Baby was facing forward so there should have been plenty of movement from arms, legs, knees, and elbows. Her suggestion was that I do "kick counts" (where you lay still and assess how long it takes for baby to do 10 movements) once a day. I assured her that I am doing this multiple times a day and am probably much more aware of my baby's movements than most moms. I was so frustrated at her lack of understanding about my situation. Once you've have a stillborn baby you become much, much more aware of what is going on. This baby is being checked constantly and I'm very aware of movement patterns.
I left very angry and frustrated that she would just suggest I occasionally check for the health of my baby. I know that until you've had the experience that I've had it might be hard to understand just how much time I spend checking on my baby but I would expect someone in the medical profession to have more appreciation than the average person.
4/26 0B Appointment with Dr. F.
Errol joined me for this appointment, as we wanted to discuss with Dr. F. plans for induction. We are, in fact, still scheduled to induce on Saturday, May 28th, assuming my cervix is favorable. The goal of inducing is to prevent me from going into labor on my own because we'd all like to have the baby's heart monitored continuously during labor to insure all is well.
I am a bit nervous about induction because typical methods of induction which we will be using (rupture of membranes and Pitocin) both can cause fetal distress: just what we are trying to prevent. Dr. F. has ensured me that she will be very gently inducing and watching very, very closely to make sure the baby is fine. I also expressed concern about needing a c-section if the baby is in distress. She feels it is unlikely, given my past labor patterns and that this is my third baby that I would need a c-section. And she'd also rather avoid that as well.
It is both reassuring and strange to have a date set. Of course, any change with the baby's condition or, going into labor spontaneously could change that. But my sights are set for an end-of-May baby.