Thursday, August 23, 2007

30w5d: I'm discreet that way

In brief: Insider has grown appropriately, still in breech. Am still not showing to the casual observer!

Today we had another appointment with our ob/gyn to check on how well the Insider is doing in there.
The doctor was satisfied that all is as it should be and the baby has grown appropriately, and even caught up some. Sometimes they grow in spurts, she said. In any case, we're both much relieved.

Nothing has changed where the Insider's position is concerned, still firmly head up. Again, the doctor mentioned a C-section. Only this time she added that planned C-sections are generally performed at 38 weeks, not 40. Good to know, since my current planning has me working until then (though I keep telling everyone I'm not making firm commitments for the last weeks).

The doctor is very reluctant to attempt to turn the baby through external manipulation, mainly because of the anterior placenta and also because this is a first pregnancy. The uterus isn't that flexible with a first, which is probably why the baby is stuck in breech in the first place.

I'm still hoping the Insider will turn on his/her own, but if not, so be it. I will be the tiniest bit disappointed in not getting to experience a regular delivery, especially after reading up on options and preparing myself. Also, it would be nice to know my body is capable of giving birth. Of course, 'nice to know' is hardly a priority here.

Over the past weeks, I've been wondering whether or not I'm showing. As of today I need no longer wonder.
To wit this conversation I had today, with a business contact I last saw a month ago:

Me: I won't be participating in project XYZ because I will be away for some months.
BC: oh really, where are you going?
Me: I'm going on maternity leave?
BC: Really?! When?
Me: October 15th
BC (stunned): You're 7 months PG??? I had no idea!
Me: Yeah, I don't know where the baby is hiding.

To be fair, I was wearing a loose top today, which does make it harder to see. However, the fact that I can still use some of my regular pants (not buttoned, but with an elastic band) confirms my suspicions that I'm still not showing that much. Of course, I'm talking about my roomiest pants, the pre-nutritionist pants, not the post-nutritionist pants. If I remember correctly, I lost 6 kg before our ICSI cycle, and it seems I haven't quite gained them all back yet. This is good, as with my BMI, it would be good if I gain no more than 10 kg in total.
A good friend admonished me to leave the loose tops be and wear the tighter ones! It's now or never (for rubenesque girls like us). And she's right, only it makes me feel so conspicuous!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

28w5d: Sowing seeds

In brief: all is well, but the doctor sows some seeds of concern.

Last Thursday we had another appointment with our ob/gyn. My blood pressure is good and my weight gain is still good (meaning not too much). It had been over a month since we last got to take a peek at the Insider, so I was pretty curious.

The baby is in breech position, which is less than ideal. Normally, babies are already positioned head down by week 29. We still have a good chance the baby will turn of it's own accord. However, the doctor immediately started talking about doing a C-section otherwise. I'm not jumping with joy, but if that's what it takes, then so be it.

Also, the baby is a bit lighter than average (1kg, whereas 1,2 kg is average at week 29) and measuring a little bit behind. Of course, averages mean that some will be heavier and others will be lighter. The head is measuring a tiny bit behind, but that's because the shape is narrower and longer due to being in breech for a while. The important thing is that the brain has enough room to develop, which it does. The shape will correct itself after birth. The belly is measuring a bit more behind,  though not dramatically so.
The doctor says this alone is no reason for concern, as long as the baby continues to grow at a steady pace.  She told me not to worry, but she wants to see me in two weeks just to keep a close eye on the baby's progress.
I'm trying not to worry, and doing fairly well, but I'm not exactly feeling carefree either. There really isn't much I can do, though I have started to wonder if perhaps I need to adjust my diet. Can you see the slippery slope to 'what am I doing wrong' and 'it's all my fault'?

Naturally, I've been looking into things I might try to encourage the Insider to turn. Get this, I should prop my hips up. Now, where have I heard that one before?
The internet, my book on pregnancy and the prenatal counselor all agree on this one, so I'm going to try it.

I still have a few prenatal classes to look forward to. I'm glad you got a chuckle out of that conversation too, though, if things had gone different, I might have been just as naive. Or not quite, because I would probably have committed my PG book to memory before the course even started.


Friday, August 03, 2007

27w: Grab a hold of this!

Kath's comment reminded me how the rest of that conversation went at the prenatal class.

Fertile Women @ 26w: When do they start with vaginal exams? My mom said she always had vaginal exams when she was PG with me.

Me (thinking): well, they hardly did u/s  20+ years ago.

Fertile Women @ 35w: I had my first last week.

FW@26w: Does it hurt?

FW@35w: It isn't pleasant, but it doesn't hurt too much. It was a bit bizarre though, at one point my doctor said "oh, here's the head"!

FW@26w: (Eyes wide) The doctor can grab hold of the head?!

FW@35w: Ehrm.

Me (thinking): yeah, your cervix automagically opens up like a set of sliding doors for your doc. Too bad that trick doesn't work during delivery.

Me: The doctor can only feel the head through the wall of your uterus! He can't actually touch the head.

Not half an hour earlier we had been looking at a cut-through diagram of the (non-pregnant) female anatomy too!

This conversation struck me as funny. Going through ART and reading infertility blogs teaches you a thing or two about the female anatomy.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

27 weeks: Worries will bubble to the surface

In brief: Attended more prenatal classes; went to clinic for reassurance after a long bout of dozing Insider, all is fine.

Usually, the Insider has a good kicking session about 30 minutes after every meal and at night when I crawl into bed. Yesterday night, things remained pretty quiet until I poked and prodded a bit.  I woke up early this morning, about 5 am, feeling worried. After a while, I got up, and got a large glass of orange juice hoping the sugar rush would wake the Insider up. Lo and behold, 20 minutes later I felt a few nice kicks.
During the day, all was quiet again, and by mid afternoon I was worried again. So I left work and went to my clinic in the hopes of getting some reassurance - and thankfully that's exactly what I got. No sooner was the monitor hooked up and the Insider started kicking up a storm, as if the monitor were bothering him/her. The doctor said that's not the case, but the Insider could have fooled me. Anyway, I hope the Insider goes back to a regular schedule of activity in there, much better for my peace of mind.

I attended another couple of prenatal classes. One session focused on pelvic floor exercises, another on how to push during delivery. The classes are organised by the hospital, so we also get some inside information.
So far I've learned that my ob/gyn is a great fan of epidurals, while I'd rather avoid one. Also, my ob/gyn is not too keen on deliveries in a sitting position, which is exactly what I'd rather do. Sigh. Oh well, the ob/gyn only drops in at the very end, and the midwives are known to be more supportive of more natural birthing.
Besides, in the end, safe and sound is all that matters.

When I look at the other women in the class, I can't help but wonder if any of them had any trouble getting PG. That is until one women inquired somewhat anxiously about vaginal exams, when did that start and do they hurt? Obviously, the concern of a fertile (and all the better for her). I am still jealous of fertile couples, though most of the sting is gone. I don't think that will ever go away completely.