It’s getting to that part of the pregnancy; the part where I feel like I might as well just move into the doctor’s office considering the number of appointments I’ll have. This week’s checkup included an ultrasound to check the baby’s size. The good news is that he’s not measuring 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule like Jack did at this point in the pregnancy. Most of his measurements were within a day or two of his calculated due date. Only his belly measurement was big, and that was within a week (and with a baby bladder that looked awfully full in Mommy’s highly-trained, medical opinion), so it seems like we’re talking big baby, but not freakishly large like big brother Jack. Hopefully that trend will continue.
As for my size, I went from a supposed seven pound weight gain between my 28- and 30-week checkups to a three pound weight loss between 30 and 32 weeks. According to my cheap drugstore scale at home, it’s just been a slow-and-steady gain for those four weeks, so I think something screwy happened at the 30-week checkup, and I just gained roughly four pounds over those four weeks, which is acceptable. I’ve always had an issue with the scales at the doctor’s office, since they consistently weigh me in at 5-6 pounds heavier than my cheapie one at home…yes, I’m in denial, but the one at home is right, and the medically calibrated one is wrong. Every time. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Everything looked good in the ultrasound, and it was fun to get another sneak peak at the little guy. We missed out on a super-cute profile shot, because as the nurse practitioner said, “He’s settled in there pretty low.” No kidding. For the past few weeks, I’ve had pretty much constant pressure and discomfort down there. Apparently my “pelvic floor” ain’t what it used to be after 3.8 pregnancies, and those muscles just can’t hold the kid up where he belongs. This should make for an interesting 7-8 weeks.
To be honest, I left my appointment feeling a little discouraged, because I was basically told that my Braxton-Hicks contractions will increase in frequency and intensity (and they’re already knocking me out 2-3 afternoons a week). The pelvic pressure will also increase as baby continues to grow. Then, despite the fact that this little guy seems smaller than Jack at this stage of the game, I got a pep talk from the nurse practitioner about why a C-section may be necessary for a larger baby. It’s scary to hear things like “shoulder distocia,” and “broken collar bone,” but I’ve also had a successful vaginal delivery of a 10 lb, 5 oz. baby, and I think that should count for something.
My recovery was so good after Jack’s delivery that I really feel strongly about not being an automatic C-section. So many of my friends have had them and have done fine, but I know in those first few weeks of recovery, they had it worse than me. Even with a 10+ pounder. I don’t want to be selfish, and I certainly don’t want to put the baby or myself at risk, but I also know that a big motivation toward the push for a C-section is the risk of the doctors getting sued; that’s a big part of why they put numbers and limits on things. So we’ll just see how things go, but at least with it being my fourth time around, I’m more vocal about being my own advocate with things.
I get three weeks off before my next appointment, but after that things will really pick up. I’ll have another ultrasound at my 35-week checkup, then starting at 36 weeks, they want to see me twice a week for an anatomy check (ultrasound) and a non-stress test. This is more than I had with any of the other kids, and I’m not sure why it’s all needed this time around. I’ll be talking to the doctor about it at my 35-week appointment.
I felt a little guilty that my first thought when the nurse practitioner brought up the proposed schedule wasn’t anything to do with the baby; it was more like “What a childcare nightmare!” thinking about finding sitters for the boys two times a week, because it doesn’t sound wise to bring tag-alongs to those appointments. They do well for tummy checks, but I don’t want to push it bringing them for anything long where I have to be on the table, like an ultrasound, non-stress test, or God forbid, a pelvic exam (“Mommy, why is that man looking at your privates?” Nope…don’t want to go there!).
So, that’s where we stand…eight weeks to go, feeling uncomfortable, and starting to gain that “get this kid out of here” motivation you need to push a kid out of you. We still haven’t settled on a name, and still aren’t sure what the four kids’ sleeping arrangements will be once the little guy comes. Maybe that makes us slackers, or maybe it’s to be expected when the three that are already on the outside consume so much time and energy. Either way, I’m starting to see the faint light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m also realizing there’s still a lot to do before I get there. Hopefully my Braxton-Hicks contractions allow me enough time off the couch to get it all done!