One of my problems is that I am physically incapable of writing a short blog entry. I want to update EVERYTHING, everytime I sit down to blog. And therefore I just don't do it, and my pregnancy is passing me by without proper documentation!
A few days ago I joined a "Pregnancy Buddy Group" on the Ovusoft website. I was watching this group from the beginning (May) but I was too scared to join at that point. One other IVF person was in the group, and then she miscarried her baby. I just didn't feel ready to chat with people who had gotten pregnant the traditional way, and afraid for what the future might bring. On the other hand, my own April/May IVF buddy group had pretty disappointing outcomes and it fell apart. I could have joined a post-IVF buddy group for another month, but I felt like an outsider (and too far ahead or behind, AND one of the only people with a singleton rather than twins) so I never did.
By the time I felt "ready" to join, the women started talking about closing the group to new members, so I never did ask to join. The reason that groups do this is because otherwise they can get so large that it is hard to remember who is who and reply to everyone on a regular basis. However, the other day I decided to ask if I could them if/when they formed a parenting group. Basically they welcomed me to start posting now, so I did. I love this blog and this community, too, but I do appreciate some of the solidarity of swapping symptoms with women whose due dates are within a week or two of my own.
See what I mean by longwindedness! Jeesh! The whole point of all of that was to say that I'm going to cut, paste, and edit a few of my recent Ovusoft posts to document what has been going on with me in recent days.
at 37w2d (1/1/09):
This week, I have definitely had some scattered Braxton-Hicks, but nothing consistent. Still, it's progress, right? Then again, I had a lot of B-H's back in the mid-20 week range, but for some reason they had stopped completely in recent weeks. I have another OB appointment tomorrow (again, with an NP due to holiday scheduling). Also, today two friends told me that I have dropped. Personally, I can't tell any difference (by appearance or feel), but I'm glad to hear that they think so.
I am Group B Strep positive. The doctor hasn't talked to me about it yet. I work in the same healthcare system, so I check my own labs sometimes. I won't have any internal exams til 38 weeks (ie next week) at this practice. I tried to do my own internal exam yesterday. I was pretty good at feeling my cervix while TTC, so I sorta feel like I know what I'm doing. Strangely, my cervix felt super super soft to the point where I wasn't even 100% sure that it was the cervix rather than the vaginal wall or something.
I need to start packing my hospital bag. Any opinions re: duffel-bag versus little suitcase? I was originally thinking duffle, but maybe I need extra space of a small suitcase.
at 37w4d (1/3/09):
I had a regular OB appointment yesterday. Due to the holiday schedule, I was seen by a midwife rather than my usual OB. As usual, I was scolded a bit for not doing my kick counts every single day. I told her that the baby's kicks are still regular, but definitely diminished in strength compared to a few weeks ago. I also told her that doing "formal" kick counts makes me anxious, that I'm monitoring for movement very very frequently anyway, etc etc. She then alluded to a recent "tragic event" with another patient. Ugh! I'm sure that I had a horrified look on my face.
Based on all of this, and probably also the fact that she doesn't know me, she then offered to order a non-stress test. I jumped at the chance (I haven't had any formal testing since 19 weeks, so I welcomed any opportunity to check on the baby). At first the receptionist told me that the first available in that office was 1/22/09 (ie, after the due date)! I was therefore given the phone number for another location (ie, at the hospital). However, the woman in scheduling over there said that she would get back to me ASAP as she was sure that my office could squeeze me in somehow. (Incidentally, I work just across the parking lot from my OB/GYN office, whereas the hospital is ~10 miles away).
A few minutes later, the hospital scheduler called me back with an appointment at 2:30 yesterday in my OB/GYN office. I love how schedules can change when someone pushes some buttons. I hadn't even tried the whole "I'm a doctor and I work here; accomodate me" type thing (makes me feel too obnoxious), but the hospital scheduler got that info out of me (by noticing that I was calling from an inside line, finding out that I work here, etc etc) and apparently used it! My doctor and the medical assistants know, but I don't think that the front desk staff is aware.
The biophysical profile/NST went well. BabyGirl got 8/8 points for practice breathing, fluid (9 point-something AFI), movement, tone, and something else. She started out sluggish on the NST (heart rate flat in the 130s without any movement for the first 5 minutes), but then she apparently woke up, started moving a bit, and had some accelerations into the 150s. Yay! 10/10 score overall. The nurse who administered the test told me that this is an indication of fetal well being for the next 5 days or so. I doubt I will have any more NSTs, but it was nice just to make sure that things look good.
OH, by the way, the midwife also said that I have dropped (lower fundal height than another midwife had measured last week) but I am feeling NO kinda of pressure or increased need to urinate (it was worse a month or so ago). I am getting more Braxton Hicks this week, though. Last night I had a few within an hour... then nothing! Next week will be my first internal exam.
At 37w6d (1/5/09):
Today at work, I saw patients all day and by the end of the day I was feeling some contraction type sensations. It was similar to what I've been calling Braxton Hicks, but more uncomfortable. Almost like menstrual cramps, I guess. At one point I decided to time them and I felt 3 in a row, 10 minutes apart. I got a little bit excited, but after that, they completely stopped. Still, this did seem like a subtle change. In reality, though, I guess I am hoping to go to the middle of next week to tie up a few loose ends at work. Also, I have baby shower #2 -- thrown by my work friends -- on this upcoming Saturday.
We do still have a few last minute things to buy. Specifically, we need a changing table pad and cover (a friend gave us the changing table recently), and we also need some sort of sheet for the pack-n-play. We are going to use the pack-n-play's bassinette function for the first few months. I just don't think that we can bear for her to be in another room (the nursery) so far from mommy and daddy! We do want her to get used to her crib, though, so our current thought is naps in the crib and bassinette at night. I wonder how many of our plans will fly out the window once she is born.
38w0d (1/6/09 = Today!):
After those 3 or more "contractions" yesterday, I didn't feel anything unusual today. Hmph! I will have an OB appointment on Thursday 1/8 and will be having my first internal exam at that time.
I am up 32+ lbs at this point. Egads! I was hoping to stay under 30, 35 lbs max. I hope I squeak by. I definitely have my work cut out for me in the months ahead!
Speaking of which, some random guy in the VA today (a patient, I believe, but could have been an employee...) asked me if I was expecting twins! Ummmmm, NO, bud. I honestly think he was just trying to be friendly and make a little joke, but jeesh! I kinda smiled and shook my head and said something like, "Hey, you better watch it, or you're going to get yourself in big trouble... No it is NOT twins, but this baby is due any day now." Well, not quite, but the time is definitely counting down.