Set a Date (34w4d)

Good appointment today. Little man was lazy again and had to be buzzed several times to move while being monitored. His heartrate was in the 170’s for a while, but no one seemed to think anything about it.

My BP was in the same range of high, but not as scary as it has been. They always take it twice now, so today’s readings were 156/97 and 150/99. The response to this is: “meh”. Oh, and I lost three pounds since last week – that also didn’t really elicit a response. (But hey, my a1c is 5.7 – so HOORAY for excellent diabetes control!)

Amniotic fluid was even less today though. The nurse worked and worked to find pockets of fluid to measure, couldn’t find the required number of pockets for the full measurement, but calculated it at 6 based on the largest pocket she could find, down from 9.6 on Monday. And again, they wanna see 14. So yeah, I’ve been put on notice for that. I’m drinking. I really am. But now I’m chugging. If it’s lower on Friday, I get sent to the hospital for more intensive monitoring. I’m chugging, cuz I don’t want that. I want another weekend at home.

Dr. Schwartz entered the monitoring room asking “What are you doing still pregnant? I thought you weren’t gonna get this far!” So yay for levity. He’s impressed as hell that I’m still doing my Easy-Bake thing but thinks the end is getting close. My labs from Monday were all good, but things in general are just continuing on a not-good vector, so he wants to have a plan in place. To that end:

NEXT Monday (not this coming Monday, but the one after that) June 21 will put me at 36w2d. 36 weeks is the magic number for pulling the baby with essentially no guilt – the beginning of diminishing returns to my health for keeping the baby inside. On the morning of the 21st, Dr. Schwartz will do an amniocentesis to measure the maturity of the little man’s lungs. The results will be back that afternoon (fast, right?) and assuming everything looks good (which we expect it to because of the steroid injections I got last week) Paul and I will arrive at the hospital at 8:00pm that night to start the induction.

The induction process will take a while. Like overnight for sure. In the morning they’ll check me, hopefully find me 4cm dilated or better and they can start the pitocin. If I’m not dilated 4cm on Tuesday morning, they’ll give me a 2nd dose of Cervadil and let me go another 12 hours. So that part alone just to get me dilated a bit could take 24 hours. The pitocin could take 24 hours on it’s own too before things really get going – although we hope it won’t. (Cuz let’s not forget that I’m not allowed to have anything to eat or drink anything once I arrive at the hospital to start the induction. Ice chips: that’s it. Glucose and insulin IVs. yum.) I’m planning on getting an epidural, so there’s a hope that my being relaxed and pain-free will help the pitocin work quickly and get labor moving. Where it goes from there, we have no idea. Go with the flow will be the rule of the day.

So we’re looking at probably at June 22 or June 23 birthday for our little man. This of course assumes that things stay copacetic for another week. I’m still being monitored three times a week and at any time Dr. Schwartz says he could send me across the street to the hospital for more in-depth monitoring is something goes pear-shaped.

A bit of good news though: our little guy won’t be a preemie. Now that we’re past 34 weeks, he’ll be pre-term, but not a preemie. And at 36 weeks or later, there’s at least a chance that he won’t have to go to the NICU, meaning he can come home with us when I’m discharged! No way to know how things will go until he gets here, but we’re thrilled with our chances of our little guy not going to the NICU.

So that’s where we stand now. One more week of holding on, hoping to keep my BP where it is and keep my labs steady. But OMG, in like a week and a half, we’ll have a baby!!!

(NTS: figure out a dang name! and find a pediatrician!)

To recap BP over the last few weeks for perspective:


Busy Week Ahead! (32w2d)

This week is gonna be a busy one, but I’m excited for it all!

Last week was our final “Prepared Childbirth” class. I think we both learned a lot about exactly what to expect at the hospital. I know I feel a lot more empowered about some things (like my right to refuse *any* intervention I don’t want used on the baby – like the vacuum or forceps) and more alarmed about other things (like how much of a crapshoot it will be as to whether I can prevent the hospital from giving my son a bottle of formula, or whether I’ll be able to have him and breastfeed immediately after birth.) I think Paul learned A LOT about what really goes on before, during and after labor. His comment to me after class last week (which focused on delivery and aftercare) was “There really is no way that this isn’t going to suck for you, is there?” Nice to know I have his full support and understanding. Ha!

Edited to add: The formula/BF thing is mostly a factor of whether I end up with a C-section. It’s just not possible for them to let me have the gooey baby on my chest try to BF when my lower half is still open to the world. The formula part (which honestly is what I’m most worried about) is a diabetic thing. They’ll test his blood sugar once he comes out and if they don’t like it, he’ll get a bottle. I was under the impression that maybe they’d give him a bottle of glucose water, but apparently St. Rose Hospitals doesn’t do glucose water – only formula. I’m very concerned about this because of the whole “Open Gut” thing, but there doesn’t appear to be much I can do about it. Not much I can do to control the baby’s blood sugar during the rigors of labor, but Paul and I will make sure that everyone on my delivery team knows that I want to avoid giving our son formula (or any other nipple but the ones attached to me) at ALL COSTS. We’ll just pray that I don’t end up with a C-section and hope for the best.

So tonight is our hospital tour and registration. We’ll tour the labor and delivery ward, hopefully seeing an unused room and meeting some of the nurses. (Actually, our Prepared Childbirth class was taught by 3 different nurses from our hospital, so here’s hoping that we might get one of them when the time comes!) I don’t know what the registration process entails, I’m assuming just sitting there and filling out a bunch of paperwork and letting them photocopy my entire wallet. I’m HUGELY looking forward to it though. Knowing exactly *where* to go and where I’ll be helps me visualize things better and makes it a lot easier for me to be calm about how the event will shake out – whenever it happens.

Wednesday is a big day too. I have my first weekly appointment with Dr. Schwartz for fetal monitoring. Non-Stress tests start this week – so I’ve gotta get used to longer appointments based on how cooperative the little man feels like being. Dr. Schwartz has been up front about these appointments, so while I’m concerned (as usual) about using too much paid leave to go to them – I knew they were coming, which helps in being prepared. I’m hoping we can keep these appointments down to once a week, but they might move to twice a week as I get further along. We’ll see. So that fetal monitoring appointment is as 2:30.

Then at 6:00 on Wednesday is our “Baby Basics” class, wherein we learn (refresher for me, 1st time for Paul) how to take care of our little bundle of joy. Feeding, diapering, dressing, washing… I assume this will all be covered. Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a 3 hour, one-time class. I think it will be a good place to start at least. Paul is convinced that the knowledge will just come to him when he’s presented with the baby. I’d like him to have at least a little instruction to build on. :) (Fortunately, there’s a lot of YouTube videos on how to properly apply a cloth diaper – complete with the various folds used. So that will be a help.)

In between all of these classes, there’s lots to do at home in the nursery with washing and sorting baby clothes. I need to get over to Paul’s parent’s house with the unwashed stack of diapers to borrow Jeanne’s sewing machine. I want to run a zig-zag stitch of color down the serged edges of the diapers to make the sizes easier to tell apart at a glance. And I figure this will be easier to do while they’re still very flat, before washing & drying them multiple times quilts them up nicely.

Work is busy this week too. My Executive Director is in the office this week, so that’s always exciting. But the official meeting to discuss my maternity leave duties while I’m gone will happen this week at some point. That’s a little stressful, just to have it all laid out. My boss and I have talked at length about it, and we’re both comfortable with what we’ve concluded about the work that I’ll do while I’m out. (My key duties are best continued by me so an outside person doesn’t need to be brought in, and I can not burn as much paid leave since I’ll be doing Accounts Payable and Payroll twice a month each while I’m out. Telecommuting is a beautiful thing.) I’m glad to be able to work somewhere that is as flexible as my agency is. They don’t have to be – FMLA doesn’t apply here because we’re so small. So I’m appreciative that management is willing to work with me to find an acceptable solution for both sides.

OK, lunchtime is over so I should wrap this up! I PROMISE that sorting through pictures and building a Nursery gallery is very very high on my priorities list. I’ll have it done before the end of the week, I promise – but I’ll aim for sooner than that. Your patience is appreciated. :)

Inducing (19w5d)

In response to a question posed in a comment, here’s a little about what is currently planned –

Dr. Schwartz has suggested that I be induced a week before my due date for a couple of reasons:

  • Diabetics tend to have very large babies (10lb+ isn’t uncommon.) The baby is full term anytime after 38 weeks, so pulling it a little early just means the baby is smaller. Smaller babies have an easier time being delivered vaginally, and have fewer blood sugar issues after they’re born. It’s common for large babies of diabetic women to have higher than normal blood sugars for a few days after delivery. The smaller the baby is at birth, the less this is a problem. We’re still expecting the baby to be ~8lb on delivery.
  • Dr. Schwartz really wants me to have a vaginal delivery. He feels that at my size, recovery from a c-section would be harder than average. Also, there’s a lot of benefit to the baby by being delivered vaginally. It releases hormones that finish maturing the lungs and helps to ‘wring out’ junk and fluids from the lungs and sinuses. Neither of us are opposed to a c-section if it becomes necessary, but a vaginal delivery would be preferred.

At this point, I have no problems going along with Dr. Schwartz’s plan. Whatever he feels will be best for the baby (and me) is what I want. I trust my OB to guide me in this. (Gotta say, I really LOVE Dr. Schwartz. I can’t imagine going through this process without such a great doctor.)