The finish line is in sight. Four weeks away, probably less. And even though I have so much to get done before this baby comes, the fact that I’m this close has considerably helped my attitude about all the discomfort that’s become part of my daily life. My contractions continue to come frequently and sometimes pretty strong, in addition to lower back pain, pelvic pain, and shooting pains down my legs. But soon enough I’ll be done, holding my sweet little boy, and I’ll be reminded again why it’s all worth it.
I had my 35-week checkup at the beginning of my 36th week, and had an ultrasound to estimate the weight of the baby. At a day over 35 weeks’ pregnant, my baby weighed an estimated 7 pounds, 11 ounces. This is not what I wanted to hear after 31 weeks of limiting carbohydrates, testing my blood sugar, and being fairly disciplined in my diet due to gestational diabetes. In fact, it was pretty darn frustrating, considering I still had five weeks till my due date, and babies can gain about a half pound a week during this home stretch. Looks like we may be in for another freakishly large baby.
At this checkup, I also had my group B step test, and while she was in the neighborhood, the doctor checked my cervix. Turns out I’m 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced already, so maybe all those contractions are slowly but surely doing something. Of course, it doesn’t mean much of anything about when the baby will come, but at least I’m already 1/5 of the way dilated whenever he’s ready.
Aside from my doctor appointment, this week has been completely insane for us. I’ve mentioned that we help with the youth group at our church, and this weekend was our big fundraising dinner, auction, and concert. It’s been a time-consuming project for the past few weeks, and took a ton of time and energy this weekend. We were thankful for a big turnout and a successful event, but I’m also incredibly thankful to have it done and over with. It made for a 13-hour day at church on Sunday, much of it on my feet, and by Monday afternoon I was completely exhausted.
Alas, no rest for the weary, because I had the privilege of starting my twice-weekly appointments on Monday. One day each week, I have my “long” visit, which consists of a non-stress test, ultrasound to check fetal movement and amniotic fluid, then a visit with the doctor. The second visit each week is just a non-stress test, which is reviewed by the doctor, but I don’t have to wait and see him unless there’s a problem.
Three separate things on the agenda makes for lots of waiting at the doctor’s office, but at least my long wait meant my husband could join me after work for the ultrasound and meeting with the doctor. We discussed the results of the non-stress test, which were good, and the situation involving the baby’s size and what that might mean for my chances of a vaginal delivery versus a c-section. My husband was smart enough to ask some good questions in the discussion that I probably would have been too tired to think of, and the doctor took his time reviewing my history and reassured us that, unless there were reasons to think the baby wasn’t making progress during delivery, he would feel comfortable with attempting a vaginal delivery.
The doctor also suggested that we stick with him through the remainder of the pregnancy, so rather than rotating through the other doctors in the practice, we’ll have some extra consistency, and he can keep a closer eye on my NSTs, ultrasounds, and other testing, so we can make an educated decision closer to my due date. I’ll have my “big” ultrasound, where they do another biophysical profile (meaning they take all the measurements again to come up with an approximate weight of the baby) at 38 weeks. After that ultrasound, we’ll talk with the doctor again and decide whether to just let nature take its course or discuss the possibility of a c-section or induction.
So not only is the finish line in sight, after my second appointment, I feel like it’s moved closer. Not that I’ll deliver any earlier, but now I have that 38-week checkup stuck in my head as the big decision day. I still have so much to do before this kiddo comes…not the least of which is choosing a name! We still have no idea what to call this kid, and I don’t think “New Baby” will cut it once he’s born. But one thing at a time. Now that I’m recovering from our crazy week, I feel a little more ready to tackle some of the jobs on my agenda. Wish me luck!