February 27th, 2012 by Kel

37 Weeks: Making Life Interesting

I keep being told by people that I am “so small,” “too small to be so close,” and variations along that line. Even my doctor has said it! And I’ll admit, while a part of me feels good about that…I know it’s a total sham. Granted, I am not an “all belly” carrier of babies; I gain it pretty much everywhere. But truthfully, I’m feeling huge! I bump into stuff all the time because I don’t give myself enough room, I can’t get comfortable, and I’ve gained 50 pounds. Yes, 50. When I tell people that, they ask me where I’ve gained it, and to be honest I have no idea. It’s pretty much everywhere!

I’m on weekly appointments now until this baby chooses to arrive – or until 41 weeks, when he’ll be forced to make an appearance either way. My doctor scoffs at the idea of my still being pregnant at that point, and I pretty much have to agree. That, of course, means that it’s less than a month before this baby shows up! I’m ready to be done, but I’m also not at all ready; to me, 37 weeks is just a little too early! I had that belief tested last week, too, when I went to get up off the couch and suddenly found my pants (and couch) soaked. Um? I was the exact same gestation as when Danny started leaking on me – 36 weeks 4 days – but this was no slow leak, it was more of a gush. Suddenly, images from TV of women flailing around screaming “my water broke! my water broke!” were flying through my head, though there wasn’t really much panic involved. I wandered around a bit packing up a bag, ate something (it was right before supper time), and we headed down the road for the hospital. I was having contractions, but they weren’t the real deal type of thing – they were the uncomfortable-but-not-painful ones I’ve been having off and on anyway as my body gets ready for the main event.

Once we got there, they took my blood pressure, hooked me up to some monitors, and we sat. And sat. And sat. I got to go through the ten million questions they ask at check in (isn’t that the point of pre-registration – not having to do that mumbo jumbo?), and a midwife checked me out to see if she saw any more fluid, since I wasn’t still leaking. They kept asking how much it was, and I’m sitting there thinking, what, I was supposed to catch it and measure it? It was enough to soak my jeans from crotch to knees, and it left a wet spot on my couch the size of my hand. Somehow, I think they all got the impression it was a lot less, no matter how much I stressed it. Whatever. An ultrasound showed my fluid levels were still fine (though a good bit lower than they’d been for my ultrasound a couple days earlier), there was no break or leak to be found, and baby was head down but not acting as a plug and holding it all in. So, in essence, it was “just normal discharge.”

Right then. “Normal.”

Of course, being the same gestation as when Danny’s water leaked and he was brought into the world in a whirl of surprise and excitement, my blood pressure was on the higher side. It wasn’t super high, but it was high enough that they wanted to run blood work if it didn’t come down. Now, telling me you need to draw my blood is not a good way to get my blood pressure to lower. In fact, it has the opposite effect, so sure enough they ran blood work and we got to sit there even longer as they got it to the lab and ran a bunch of tests to make sure I didn’t have an infection or something.

Of course, once the needle was past, and I had been assured the baby was not making an appearance, my blood pressure went back to normal. Yep. I could’ve told them that.

And so we went home, with them basically telling us that there was no reason for us to come in if it happened again. (Seriously? My doctor, at my next appointment, told me you “never know” and shouldn’t take that amount of fluid for granted.)

The side effect of the excitement is that, along with the 36 week ultrasound, we know this baby is totally rocking in there. The nurses and midwife all commented how strong and great he looks on the monitors. The ultrasound showed him head down, with growth perfect on the charts – his curve couldn’t look more textbook – and plenty of fluid as he does lots of practice breathing. It’s a rough estimate, give or take a pound, but at 36 weeks he measured at 6lb 6oz; with the “roughly half a pound a week” they say babies gain at the end, he’ll probably be around an 8lb baby. He did continue to measure a week ahead on the last ultrasound, so even though I’m not showing much progress toward labor, the doctor thoroughly expects me to go around 39 weeks.

That’s…soon.

Like, really soon.

But then, I suppose next week is March, isn’t it?

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