Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Weeks 37 & 38

Does it even make sense to post about weeks 37 and 38 when they were four and five weeks ago? Here goes anyway ...

37 Weeks ... October 3. I fully expected to go to our doctor appointment that day and get told that I was going to be induced that week. At our 33-week appointment, we were told that at 37 weeks, we would check Flobee's size again via ultrasound. If Flobee was getting too big, they would check the lung maturity by way of amnio and then induce within 48 hours, if the lungs were mature. If not, then we would wait another few days. At this point, I knew my pregnancy days were numbered.

My emotions were all over the place. I wasn't ready for Flobee to make its arrival that early, even though I knew that if the lungs were mature, Flobee would be a-ok. I also know that the longer Flobee could bake, the better. It helps the suck-swallow reflex and overall development. Although, clearly there are plenty of babies who are born at 37 weeks or earlier and they are fine.

Anyway, at this appointment, Flobee was measuring 8 lbs. and its head and tummy were measuring 40 weeks. While I waited for the doc to come in, I felt in my heart what was coming next ... induction date. The doctor comes in and much to my surprise ... doesn't say anything about inducing me. We were confused, as I fully expected it to go a certain way.

I will spare the details of what happened at the appointment with the confusion, but I will say this: ALWAYS BE YOUR OWN HEALTH ADVOCATE. There is a difference between going in to an appointment and telling your doctor how to do their job versus knowing what is right and what should happen. If something isn't happening or you know that your care is in jeopardy, you need to take matters into your own hands.

So ... at 37 weeks, we were sent home and will continue biweekly fetal monitoring and that was our last visit to the specialist, with the exception of the monitoring. Thirty seven weeks and still baking.

38 weeks ... I had a good pregnancy up until 32-33 weeks ... that was when things started to hurt more and at 35 weeks, the swelling started. A friend told me that by 37 weeks I would be ready to get Flobee out and I didn't believe it. Until I hit 35 weeks! At 38 weeks, I would have been fine delivering. Matter of fact, I was kind of looking forward to a 10.11.12 delivery date or 10.12.12 (My niece was born on 5.09.09 and my nephew was born on 6.11.11, so it would have been cute).

At our 38-week appointment, my midwife offered us the option of an amnio and induction if we were ready. Legally, they can't induce before 39 weeks without medical reason. In order to induce us, we would have had to do an amniocentesis test. We had to decide: Amnio and induction or stick it out for one more week or hope to go into labor on our own. We opted to wait it out. I am not a fan of needles and I also didn't want to take any unnecessary risks. My midwife also offered to sweep my membranes, but I opted for no on that too. Instead, I scheduled acupuncture for 38 weeks, 3 days.

If nothing else worked, we were scheduled for induction at 12:00 a.m. on Oct. 17. Why 12:00 a.m.? You can't induce before 39 weeks and at 12:00 a.m. on Wednesday Oct. 17, I am officially 39 weeks pregnant. 

Acupuncture was great. I enjoyed the relaxation, the needles didn't hurt and it also helped my swelling for the day. At this point, there is sooo much fluid in my body that I feel like I am floating.

What else do you do at 38 weeks pregnant with an 8+ pound baby and a fluid level of 26? Not much, but keep the feet up (I do have a photo of my swollen feet, but it is gross and I won't post it). Take your mom gambling. Yes, I was the very pregnant lady at the casino. Go to a buffet. Yes, I was the very pregnant lady in yoga pants at the buffet.

My maternity leave started on the 15th of October. I was happy to have two days off before having the baby. I was happy to have time off with my mom who had come out to be with us on Sept. 29. I was happy to have time off to myself to nap, to put my feet up and just look at chapter 1 of my life. Chapter 1 = Before Baby Flobee.

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