Thursday, April 01, 2004

37 weeks (as of tomorrow)

I'm running around like crazy trying to get ready for the baby now, but I wanted to sit down and tell about my surprising doctor's appointment yesterday. But first, I have to stop and complain that I keep making typos because my fingernails are so long! Being pregnant really makes them grow, and I hate to cut them off. But of course I'll have to soon, I wouldn't want to scratch the baby. I have already scratched myself bleeding with them a couple of times because my skin has gotten so, so itchy, not just on my belly but everywhere.
Back to the point. Dr. Kamali measured me yesterday and said the monkey feels a little small, about 6 pounds, but she couldn't be sure because the baby's head was already so low in my pelvis that she wasn't sure she was measuring the whole baby. She ordered an ultrasound for Monday just to make sure that the Monkey is above the 10th percentile in size -- apparently if she's smaller than that they'll be concerned about her size and want to induce labor early. Yikes. I asked if there was anything I should be doing to help the baby grow more, or if I should continue being active. Dr. Kamali just said, "We don't even know if there's a problem yet," so there was nothing different I should be doing.
But there's more. That little thing about the baby's head being low surprised me, because she's been kicking my ribs, although come to think of it less so now than the last time I wrote. So I guess she must have dropped without my realizing it, which usually means you are 2-4 weeks from going into labor. Dr. Kamali also felt my stomach when she first came in, and said I must be having a contraction because my stomach felt hard and tight. She had to wait until it stopped to palpate the baby. I said I had been feeling some cramps but I didn't know if they were contractions or not. She asked how long I had been feeling crampy, and I said for about a week. She said she would check me for dilation when she did my group B strep test, and wanted to know if I had been leaking any fluid or had bloody show. Nope. I was surprised to hear these questions because I felt a long way from going into labor. But she didn't seem to think so.

When she did my internal, she said I was a finger dilated. Then I told her how my breasts feel lumpy, and she gave me a breast exam and said that there was no problem because they both felt kind of "ropy." "Looks like they're just preparing to make milk," she said.
So basically, with all these things, she predicted that I might go into labor early. This was totally surprising to me. I still don't feel that pregnant, and since this is my first and my mom was so late with both me and Kenny, I figured I would be late too. I know that a lot of women get told by their doctors that it could be any time and it ends up being weeks, but still. The idea that it could happen now changed my whole mindset! I was feeling like i'd have about a week after I stopped working to get really ready. Now, we're trying to prioritize what REALLY needs to be done in case she shows up soon.
Dr. Kamali just said we'd better have our car seat, which we do, and to make sure to sleep well, so i'll be rested when labor starts.
Surprisingly, I haven't been stressing that much about the baby being small. Her movements continue to be strong, so I really don't think there's anything wrong with her. Erik was only 6 pounds and change when he was born, so that doesn't sound so bad to me. But of course i will feel better after the ultrasound. I'm actually very excited about getting another ultrasound at this advanced stage -- we'll be able to confirm that it IS a girl, which i wonder about sometimes. after all she was only 18 weeks along when the first ultrasound tech told us that. and we'll be able to see if she's facing my back, ready to go.
Dr. Kamali also talked to me about eating again. I haven't gained weight in about 6 weeks, at least. 2 weeks ago Dr. Gates was not concerned about that, but this time i was 1/2 pound less than the time before, and Dr. Kamali wanted to know how much I was eating, whether I skipped breakfast, etc. I told her that my stomach had been feeling crowded so I had a smaller appetite. Today I was hungrier though -- I think the baby dropping gave me more room for eating. The strange thing is I've been craving sweets lately, and giving in to it -- from pineapple juice instead of orange, to girl scout cookies, chocolate, whatever. maybe i was craving higher calorie stuff because i didn't have room to eat much. but of course i'm feeling guilty for eating that stuff. i'm trying to do better now.

so i'm re-energized at work, after dragging my feet last week. now that i feel like i have a deadline, i want to finish my ultrasound story as soon as possible. and my to-do list is a mile long. i have to pack my bag, we need to do the final target run to get stuff we didn't get for our showers (which is only a few things!), i need to call the pediatricians a friend recommended, make mom and dad's motel reservations, get the baby bjorn, CLEAN, find the walkman for listening to my hypnosis tapes during labor, erik has to design the announcements, and on and on. yikes!

I hope i haven't gotten my body too ready for labor by listening to all these hypnosis tapes. they do have messages about your cervix opening, etc. tonight i'm downloading the "baby stay in" script. hopefully that will buy us some time!

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