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Robin's pregnancy journal

Week 32
Lots of Tests

On a note from last week, I never got the pinworms that my son had which was good because I am not sure if I could have dealt with that. It was bad enough that Ryan had them. Oh well. I guess it is one of those childhood things that you get from time to time. I remember having them and they were no fun. :(

Lots to report this week. I saw my OB yesterday for a routine appointment and another non-stress test (NST). I am not sure if I explained what this was last time, but basically you lay on your back (or preferably your side), and they strap 2 cords around you. The first one is placed at the top of your uterus, and it measures any contractions that you may be having, which at this point in my pregnancy should say none. The second band goes around your belly wherever they locate the heartbeat. The bands are attached to a small box that shows (and also sounds) the heartrate. It prints all the info out onto paper as it reads the heartbeat and contraction belts. You also have a little "buzzer" device that you need to push whenever you feel a movement. Basically a reactive (good) stress test would show a rise and fall in heartrate when the baby moves and when the baby rests. You are looking for movement as well (which you could tell by the rise in heartrate and also when you push the buzzer).

Well, my NST came out reactive which is good. I was quite concerned a couple times because the babies heartrate would drop to 117-125, and I did not think that was normal. At the same time, it would rise to 150-160, which is fine. Her heartrate has been in the 140-150 range most of the time and so such a drop indicated to me that there may be a problem. All I could think of was the moments before I lost Rachel when her heartrate dropped to 110 and then 90 and etc . . . It was one of those panic moments for me. The OB assured me that the stress test was fine and that the baby reacted quite well to the movements and that the change in heartrate was normal. He said that a normal heartrate was 120-180 and that I should not be concerned. It is hard to do that when you are talking about the life of a child. There are so many things that can go wrong. One of this nice things about having a support group after you lose a child is that you can talk with other parents and realize that your fears and your joys are normal. The downfall to such a support group is that you realize just how many things can go wrong with a pregnancy, and it makes you worry even more. I would say that about half of my friends are from such support networks and therefore, pregnancy loss is a very real idea to me. Anything could go wrong, and it does. While an average person may know 1 or 2 people out of 100 that have lost a pregnancy, I know triple that many. It is an everyday thing to me. So, when something like this comes up, all I can do is worry about WHAT is going to go wrong. I think that this concept is more true for any women that has lost a child, more so than to a women that has never had such an incident occur in her life. Anyway, I will get back on track here . . .

The rest of my visit was uneventful. My OB tells me that I have gained 25 pounds up to this point and feels that is fine. My blood pressure was a bit elevated at 154/92. He was not real concerned, but he felt that he should mess with my medicine again. It made me upset because I already had told him that taking too much would make me feel sick. He told me to talk to my perinatologist about this and let him know what he says. I did do that, and I will get into that later. Anyway, I measure fine, although forgot to ask what the measurement was this week. I see him again next week for another appointment.

Good news!! I was able to schedule my c-section for January 22nd at 8:00am!!! This is exactly one week from my actual due date. So, unless I have any problems, it looks like this may be the day. I go for all my blood work on the 20th, and I need to be at the hospital by 6:30am on the 22nd. So that was all yesterday.

Today I saw my perinatologist for a Level II sonogram. This is another one of those precautionary things to make sure that the baby is growing and that development is where it should be. Again, very important to check for in a women with high blood pressure since high blood pressure can cause a delay in growth and development. The baby still looks like a girl, first of all. <G> The nurse that started the sonogram said that she never promises anything, but it still looks "girlish" she says. :) The baby weighs 3.5 pounds at this point which means that if she gains about 1/2 pound each week (which is what the books say), she will be about 6 1/2 pounds when she is born. Sounds tiny to me since Ryan was 8 pounds and 7 ounces at 39 weeks. Her femur still measures on the small end which concerned the nurse at first but since it is still on the scales as normal, the perinatologist thinks that all is well . . . she will just have short legs! We did a biophysical profile which checks the baby for 4 things: breathing movement, fine movement like hands and feet, movement in general (preferably of the spine and head), and heartrate. Each of those items rates her 2 points. She scored a perfect 8, but it took a long time. We had a lot of trouble getting her to move. She seems very sluggish today. When I heard that, I mentioned to the nurse that I had not felt her last night either. She seemed a bit concerned, and we talked to the perinatologist about that. He wants me to check for 10 movements from the time of appointment to 10pm tonight. If I do not get at least 10 movements, I need to go and have an NST done. He said that it could indicate that the baby is getting sick. I am hoping for 10 movememts!! He did see good blood flow in the cord and plenty of fluid for the baby to take in. He said that she seems to be very healthy as well and would like to think that the sluggishness is a false alarm. I did test between 1-2+ protein in my urine so I need to have a 24 hour urine test done and some blood work done tomorrow to make sure that the pre-eclampsia is not coming on. I have had a good number of headaches and blurry spots lately. My OB wants me to call my eye doctor about that and just check it out. I had them with Rachel and Ryan so I am not expecting him to tell me anything that I do not know. So, just to be sure, he wants to see me again in two weeks for another sonogram. Another thing is that I mentioned the OB wanting to raise my dosage of Aldomet and he did not feel that would be necessary. He wants me to stay on as low of a dose as possible and he said that the only reason to raise it would be if my pressure reached 100 or higher diastolically. So, looks like my twice a day regiment is sticking.

Here's hoping that the baby starts to get active again . . .

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