Friday, April 24, 2009

The baby

There's no babe in my arms yet, still pregnant, but wanted to update on that. I see so many bloggers give a week-by-week update. If you want that, sorry. Didn't happen.
I am now 37 weeks and 5 days. That is full term. Yay! For someone who stated this journey in complete and udder shock, expecting this to not last, this is a trremendous milestone. There have been lots of milestones, really. First time hearing the heartbeat, feeling the first movement, making to 28 weeks, all that. It's been quite a ride. I haven't focused as much on the pregnancy as much as I always thought I would. We were too caught up in the house. Then there are the 3 other kids to raise. Somehow that takes a bit of energy!
It has been a pretty healthy pregnancy, like I've said before. I have had aches and pains, and I can always find something to complain about--just ask C! LOL For the most part though, it's been a dream pregnancy.
I can already tell that tthis babe is lots different from M. M was a kicker. And big. This one rolls and stretches like crazy, but no kicking. As for size, this one is definitely smaller. There is actually a bit of concern on that front. For those of you not familiar with pregnancy, the dr/midwife measures the "fundal height" at each appt. From the 20th week of pregnancy on, the measurement from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus should be 1 cm per week of gestation, roughly. Obviously, there is variation. However, I seem to be measuring a bit too far behind. My midwife estimates the babe to be about 5.5-6 pounds at this point. BUT, my fundal height was only 31-32 cm at 37 weeks. Anything more than 4 cm behind is a flag for IUGR, or Intrauterine Growth Restriction.
Now, if I were getting care from an ob or similarly medically minded birth professional, I would be subjected to a battery of tests from here on out. Ending in either an induction or a c-section. It would start with weekly ultrasounds to measure baby's head and abdomen, as well as amniotic fluid levels. Then there would be the NSTs or non-stress tests--some of the most innacurate tests out there, not that ultrasound has any validity for determining size at this point! There would also probably be bedrest, more dr's appts and a possible referral to a perinatologist. I love having a midwife who is a direct entry midwife. She told me to do my own research. Offered me her library if I want, but I mostly looked online at the medical resources. I'lll get to HER prescription in a minute.
She offered me an ultrasound which I have declined. I need to finish up my letter outlining my refusal and understanding of the risks. What I learned is that I am not really at huge risk. By definition, 10% of pregnancies can be classified as IUGR, sinice it is defined as a baby who is in the bottom 10th percentile for growth for gestational age. Risk factors/causes include drug use, smoking, malnutrition, infection, and chromosomal abnormalities. I don't fit any of the former, and the latter would result in growth delays early on. At 20-25 weeks I was measuring right on, so I'm not worried. Most likely, this baby is just small. In may favor are the following--I have no protein in my urine, I have low blood pressure, and no swelling. The baby's heart rate is maintaining at 140-ish and is always moving. So I don't have really ANY flags for worry. Which is why I am declining further testing. An ultrasound would not give an accurate weight on baby, and all the testing would just contribute to stress which I totally do NOT need right now.
So, my midwife gave a very simple prescription. One that I will never again have in my LIFE! She said to eat. Eat like I may never eat again. Ice cream especially. Fatten up the baby. From now until birth, I have to consume massive amounts of calories.
Now, to be honest, when she called I was gleeful. Who woudn''t want such a prescription. I was smiling like a goob all through the grocery store, stocking up on carbs and sugar. Ice cream, ravioli, bread, cream puffs, pizza, juice (water makes me feel full with no calorie benefit).
2 days into it though, it started to get a little old. I have to give my mom credit. She did a great job letting us learn our body cues regarding hunger and satiety. Turns out I am really good at that. I have a terrible time eating when I'm not hungry. I seriously just want to eat a nice light salad and STOP. 4 days into this, I'm getting a little better. I am learning what I can eat without noticing as much (toast and chips) and what makes me feel full really fast (ice cream). Trouble is, ice cream is supposed to be so great for fattening babies. I'll keep trying!


Kathy said...

I like that prescription. :) Ice cream doesn't usually make me full. In fact, if I get rocky road ice cream I have to use all my willpower to stop eating it! It's so exciting you're so close now!

GinaG said...

Perhaps milk shakes would be less filling? Are the boys getting excited now that the time is so close?

RasJane said...

Milkshakes are working a little better. Jennifer said yesterday (sunday) that I did look bigger--so maybe I'm accomplishing something!
Gina, the boys are super excited. G keeps asking when the baby is coming. He's a little antsy I think. M understands a little better that these things happen when they happen. I know I'm ready!

Shady Lady said...

What about adding some healthy VCO to anything you can? You can even blend it into a shake! I have to admit, I am quite jealous of this prescription. I wish my eating as much ice cream as I could would help you out. Have you tried Stonyfield Double Chocolate...SOooo goood!

MMM&M said...

waiting for an update