Wednesday, December 16, 2009

39 weeks, 1 day

The countdown continues...

The night before last, I began feeling some interesting cramping that resembled those of my old "friend" Aunt Flo.  They were somewhat mild and was accompanied with my abdomen tightening into a knot and a very heavy feeling.  T and I started keeping track of the regularity and length but they were very inconsistent (ranging from 5 minutes between each one to 20 or 25 minutes).  They lasted most of the evening and into the night but they didn't get more intense or keep me from sleeping.  The next day, other than a few here and there, they were pretty much gone.

However, because of this new development, T was in a whirlwind to get things done around here that was on his list.  He even packed the car for the hospital - just in case.  He was predicting that we would be spending our weekend there.  I, too, thought something was definitely happening and that we should really get ourselves prepared in a big way.

Yesterday we had a doctor's appointment - the usual weekly visit.  The office was busier than I have ever seen it with big bellies everywhere.  I was called back, weighed, blood pressured and told to pee on the all familiar stick.  Everything looked great and we moved on back to the room.  I undressed from the waist down and waited.  I was a little disappointed at this point because I was told that the nurse practitioner, Jodi, would be seeing me instead of Hutch.  If you recall, she was the one who said "it's a girl, right?" at our last visit.  And also the one that dug half way to China checking me last week.  Don't get me wrong.  She is very nice.  But, to be honest, I was really hoping I would get to see my doctor since I had a lot of questions, wanted to schedule an induction (just in case) and since I may not see Hutch again until my induction or after baby - whichever comes first.  Hutch is leaving for Christmas vacation beginning this Friday through the day after Christmas.  Right smack over my due date.  More disappointing news.

Jodi came in and made small talk.  She explained that Hutch had two deliveries that day as well as a load of other patients so she would be seeing us.  I talked to her about the "contractions" I was having the night before so she got right to examining me to see if I had progressed internally any more than my last visit.  She started with the heart doppler to check on Cashew.  Cashew was definitely excited to be there - moving all over the place - and its heartrate ranged from 148 to 160.  I was concerned at, what seemed to me, a huge flux in heartrate.  But Jodi said that it was very normal and sounded great!  She said that baby is just excited and is moving around a lot which increases the heartrate.  I guess it is good that its heart can get back to a resting beat in such good time.

Then, with a snap of the glove, we moved on to the internal exam.  Everything was going ok until she just couldn't feel what she was looking for so she moved ALONG SIDE OF ME to get a better angle and more depth.  YIKES!  I am not exaggerating when I say that I think I felt something up by my daggone belly button!  Easy lady!  She asked me if I was dilated at the last visit - I said only a fingertip.  She said that it was still the same.  But it is very soft and "mushy" in there (sorry if you are eating while reading this) so that is a good sign.  She said that it doesn't mean anything that I am not dilated and that things still could progress to labor this week or it could still be weeks off.  That's when we started talking about scheduling the induction in case I don't go into labor before Christmas.  I really want the baby here while my family is in town.  She said that wouldn't be a problem and that I could schedule it right then.

Something interesting happened while we were talking about scheduling the induction.  She looked at T and said, you are leaving on Thursday, right?  T and I looked at each other confused.  No, we said.  She was like, oh, I thought you were leaving out of town on Thursday.  T and I later talked about this and realized that she DOES have us confused with someone else so that could explain her comments last week about it being a girl.  She said it just as matter of fact as she did that comment.  No worries.  I have my head around a girl and just want a healthy baby (see how I always come back to that - it is the right thing to say).  But it did give us hope that she didn't spoil our surprise. 

On our way out of the office, we scheduled our induction.  We were hoping for the Monday after Christmas but Jodi wasn't sure what Hutch's schedule looked like that day - she already had two births scheduled, but that she would check.  In the meantime, she wanted me to schedule an appointment next week for the usual digging expedition as well as a non-stress test for Cashew.  This is a very simple procedure where I sit in a recliner with a "belt" on that monitors Cashew's heartrate to make sure its not in distress.  So we scheduled that for Tuesday.  They told us they would call us before the end of the day to let us know when our induction would be scheduled.

When we left the appointment, I talked to my Mom who is sure that I will be delivering well before any induction would take place.  She is so concerned about when I might go into labor - and whether or not she will be here for it - she has decided to come into town earlier than her scheduled arrival on the 19th.  So she is coming today!  I am so excited to see her and to start the holiday fun with my family in town!  Just a couple more days and then my Dad will be here!  I am so lucky that I will have my family here for such an important time in my life.  The only thing I worry about is that I can't control what happens when so everyone may get here and have to wait a while before anything happens. 

But something WILL happen no later than the 28th or 29th.  They were able to schedule my induction for Dec 28 - the Monday after Christmas.  I am so glad!!  And, if I do get induced, the other good news is that I will know Hutch will be there.  But there was more on the voice mail that Jodi left me.  She wants me to come in, not just once next week, but twice.  Two non-stress tests.  I am not sure why and plan on finding out more information today when I call them to set up the appointments.  I am assuming there isn't anything "wrong" at this point since she was so happy with the way Cashew's heart sounded.  But I do want to know why I have to do two of these tests.  I will post a follow up when I know more.

Last night I had a couple more of those "contractions" but slept better than I have slept in months!  And I even slept in the bed with T this time instead of the couch.  We both got up this morning before the sun (around 6 AM).  I think we are both anxious to get things done and to keep on moving until we just can't.  He is trying to get his work done and to a good place since he will be taking a vacation after this week is up.  I am just trying to get more done in order to make myself feel better about where we are when Cashew arrives.  Mom will be getting here around 2:15 or 2:30 so I will be picking her up around then and, if she is up for it, heading to Sunflower Market to pick up veggies and fruits.  I am planning on making huge things of salsa - some I will freeze and some I will refrigerate - to hold us over for the next couple of weeks.  Other than that, we have no plans.  Friday my Dad and SMom come into town and we will be taking them to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.  Saturday we are hoping to make it to Winterhaven which is a neighborhood here in town that is known for their Christmas lights.  They even have wagons that are drawn by Kleidsdale horses.  It is such a neat thing to walk through. 

My patience for this coming to an end is pretty good right now.  In a lot of ways, I am content with being pregnant since I have been for this long!  Of course I want Cashew to come but I have plenty to keep me busy until that time.  And the unknown of caring for a baby is enough to keep me ok with being pregnant a little longer.  The only thing that is huge on the priority list for me is to have my parents here when Cashew is born.  That is VERY important to me and, now that we have an induction scheduled, my mind is at ease.  I do feel a little pressure to "perform" before that time since everyone is coming into town for the big day.  But there is absolutely nothing I can do to force 'Shew out.  It will happen when it happens or we will Pitocin his tiny butt out on the 28th!

I have to remember...and so does everyone else...I am only 39 weeks as of yesterday...

Your baby's waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

At each of your now-weekly visits, your caregiver will do an abdominal exam to check your baby's growth and position. She might also do an internal exam to see whether your cervix has started ripening: softening, effacing (thinning out), and dilating (opening). But even armed with this information, there's still no way for your caregiver to predict exactly when your baby is coming. If you go past your due date, your caregiver will schedule you for fetal testing (usually a sonogram) after 40 weeks to ensure that it's safe to continue the pregnancy. If you don't go into labor on your own, most practitioners will induce labor when you're between one and two weeks overdue — or sooner if there's an indication that the risk of waiting is greater than the risks of delivering your baby without further delay.

While you're waiting, it's important to continue to pay attention to your baby's movements and let your caregiver know right away if they seem to decrease. Your baby should remain active right up to delivery, and a noticeable slowdown in activity could be a sign of a problem. Also call if you think your water may have broken. Membranes rupture before the beginning of labor in about 8 percent of term pregnancies. Sometimes there's a big gush of fluid, but sometimes there's only a small gush or a slow leak. (Don't try to make the diagnosis yourself. Call even if you only suspect you have a leak.) If you rupture your membranes and don't start contractions on your own, you'll be induced

Coming up next:
Today: Mom comes into town!!
Friday: Dad and SMom come into town!!
Saturday: Winterhaven
Monday: Appt for internal and non-stress test
Tuesday: Official estimated due date
Wednesday: Appt for non-stress test
Thursday: Christmas Eve

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