Wednesday, September 26, 2007

35w2d: Doing well

Just a quick update about the check-up today. My doctor was satisfied with all the measurements.
The Insider has grown some and appears to be doing well in there.

I was asked to keep a chart with fetal movements, which was also in order. I have to count kicks until I get to 10 and then note down the hour when I reach that number (counting starts at 9 AM). So far, I've gotten to 10 fairly quickly. If it suddenly takes all day to get to 10, I need to go in for monitoring.

Sitting back and relaxing is not as easy as I would have thought. Not going in to work is easy, as is not cleaning up the house. The nursery to be is calling me to put everything in order though. Right now, it's like a store room with a whole lot of baby stuff thrown in. But I must ignore it.

Next check in ten days.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

34w5d: Caution, yes. Panic, no.

In brief: no more work, doctor's orders. Breech, c-section, epidural no longer top concern.

Yesterday we had another check-up with our ob/gyn. She measured the Insider on all sides during the echo and wasn't entirely satisfied with the baby's growth. Head measures right on track, but the belly and limbs measure behind. This is a sign that the baby has to prioritize where it spends the energy and nutrients it gets. Also, the Insider is a rather quiet baby, though of course I can't compare.

Basically, the doctor ordered me to stop working immediately and take lots of rest. Hopefully, this will help the Insider grow as much as possible in the coming weeks.
She also wants to see me twice a week for monitoring and keep a kick diary.

I hadn't expected that, which made me react somewhat flustered. Drop everything at work, just like that?

Then big words were spoken, like 'risk pregnancy' and 'placenta insufficiency'.  The doctor wants to monitor the Insider closely. For now he or she is better off in the womb than outside. Depending on how things develop, this might change, though right now there's no reason to think it would.

In two weeks, the baby will be 'normal term' and that's what we're aiming for. Apparently, in cases like these, leaving the baby in longer (to week 38, 39 or 40) doesn't help much. Once born - and well fed - we have every reason to expect the baby to thrive, our doctor reassured us.

As we were driving to the appointment, I was thinking that fretting about epidurals and c-sections isn't so bad as worries go. Premonition? Just coincidence, I'm sure.

In a way, being ordered to quit working is a bit of a relief. Work was starting to weigh rather heavy on me, but pulling the plug early without 'just cause' wasn't something I was considering. After all, I feel fine. So fine in fact, that I'll have to watch myself not to overdo it at home either.

This morning, I went to the clinic for a long monitoring session, as requested by the doctor. Thankfully, everything looked fine. Insider's heartbeat was good, activity level sufficient and my blood pressure is good too. Next check-up is on Tuesday.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

33w3d: The guided tour

In brief: Insider still in breech, pondering C-sections and my irrational fear for an epidural.

Today we had the guided tour of the maternity ward, followed by a graphical movie and slide show about the birth process.
The midwife demonstrated all of the positions of the delivery contraption, I mean bed, the bath tub, birthing ball, ...
All fine and dandy, but it's unlikely I'll be needing any of those in the near future, since the Insider is still firmly lodged in the head up position. All that reading up on (semi-)natural birthing for nothing, not to mention sparring with the ob/gyn! I can pretend it doesn't matter to me all I want, it does. But yes, I will get over it and yes, it's a minor bump in the road compared with a lot of things.

The movie and slide show were accompanied by an ob/gyn who claimed that the hospital supports natural birthing. Perhaps, but I'm sure independent midwives would beg to differ.

After the movie and slide show, it was question time. I asked about epidural versus general anesthetic in C-section procedures. 99% of C-sections involve epidurals. General anesthetic is only done when absolutely necessary because the medication reaches the baby through the placenta. This means the surgeon has to perform the surgery as quickly as possible. With an epidural, the anesthetic doesn't go into the mother's blood stream and thus shouldn't affect the baby.
Should be a no-brainer in my situation, but I have an irrational fear of the epidural. The risks of complications are very, very small and the anesthesiologists get lots of practice (75% of women have an epidural). The ob/gyn said they'd never had any serious complications in their hospital.
That said, 'the odds are low' has long lost it's soothing effect on me. I've heard it before. Only recently, someone told me that the odds of a baby staying in breech until delivery are 3%. One guess what my money is on. Fortunately, the odds of serious complications with an epidural are much, much lower than that.

What can I do about an irrational fear? Inform myself to a certain point. When push comes to shove, I'll grit my teeth and find a way through. When it's over, I'll probably be ashamed for making such a big deal out of it.

The good news is, as long as I'm fretting over the epidural, I don't have time for that other irrational fear that something will go wrong during delivery.

Work is still crazy hectic. Can't wait to start my maternity leave!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

32w2d: Small delusions

In brief: Am slammed at work, Insider still in breech.

Work is crazy busy, and for some reason stuff keeps getting added to my todo list. Only 5 weeks to go.

I'm pretty sure the Insider is still in breech. I get headbuts under my ribs and feel tap dancing on my pelvic floor. The tickles to my side are the work of little hands, I reckon. Sometimes I feel larger movements, which always gets my hopes up that he or she will start to flip, alas.

To answer Hadjare's question, last time the doctor did confirm the breech position with u/s. Since then, all I have to go on is the movements I feel (which are somewhat limited with the anterior placenta). Next appointment with the doctor is in three weeks, but I'll be seeing a midwife sooner.

To continue about showing/not showing, casual observers will disagree it seems. The very next day, another business contact I hadn't seen in a long time asked me more or less right away whether I "was or wasn't ...". Wearing a more fitting top works. :-)
Also, a number of people have told me - without prompting - there is no mistaking the belly. So, clearly I must be delusional when I think I'm not showing.

Nina was kind enough to nominate me as a "Rockin' Girl Blogger". I don't know what to say, except that she's pretty rockin' herself. :-)  I ought to nominate 5 others, but it will have to wait a little while.