31 weeks…

31 weeks!

9 more weeks to go! Although, as the old British song goes, it is not ‘9 more weeks of sorrow’, as generally, I am loving being pregnant. Weight gain is minimal (18 lbs exactly), and I have almost no discomfort. My nails are thick and strong for the first time in my life, and for almost the first time, I don’t look at my belly and scowl, but grin 🙂 Sure, I have days where I feel like a whale, but they pass. Pregnancy suits me, I think.

30 weeks and a cheesy grin

Medical update: So, a biophysical profile revealed that I still have a lot of amniotic fluid. 93rd percentile. So, as my high-risk OB put it “It’s not OFF the charts… it’s just not in a great position ON the charts’. What does this mean? Who knows? It can mean a birth defect, but they cannot for the life of them find one, although I did feel my OB’s bedside manner left something to be desired when he said ‘sometimes there is a birth defect that you don’t see until the baby comes out’. Ouch. It can mean that I have gestational diabetes, but my pancreas passed the test with flying colours (my sugar should return to 130 within an hour, and mine was 107), plus I have no other symptoms. It can just be ‘idiopathic’ which I hope is the case. But… it requires monitoring. Because a sudden increase in fluid (to off the charts level) could be very bad, and it can affect fetal growth negatively. So, they want to ultrasound me weekly.

Yeah… not so happy about that. Not so happy about the effects of WEEKLY ultrasounds on Firework, and honestly? Not so happy about missing – effectively – 1/2 day of work a week on top of my regular appointments. Sigh. And not happy, because I do honestly believe that this is a US medical system fail. Extra amniotic fluid = increased risk of breech, which = increased risk of C-section, which = increased risk to mother and baby. It also can = increased risk of chord prolapse (as the chord gets pushed out by the force of all the fluid) which = increased risk to baby and an emergency, panicked C-section. Now, ultrasounds do not prevent this, AT ALL. They give no indication, of whether these will happen. What they do allow (IMHO) is high risk OBs to make a heck of a lot of money if something does go wrong, the OB to say ‘well we did everything we could beforehand’. Sigh. At least Wes comes with me, and at least I get to have cute pics of Firework (except this time I didn’t because he kept turning his butt towards the ultrasound, and when when they did finally get his face, he put his hands up in front of it).

Ultrasound

I also found out Firework is still breech! My OB will NOT do breech for a first-time Mum, and with my teeny-tiny pelvic arch i.e. vaginal canal (which I not only wish OBs would stop commenting on, but especially wish they would stop commenting on to my HUSBAND, and asking for verification. HOW PERSONAL). I am told not to worry until 36 weeks, but as it is rather late by then, I have put into place, a plan-of-action a lot based around ‘spinning babies‘:

Breech tilt. FYI – ACOG recommends you only do this 12″ off the ground. This is for illustrative purposes only. I actually use a much lower surface.

-A week of daily breech tilt inversions (20 mins twice a day).

-A week of almost daily rebozo sifting

-Sitting on a balance ball at work

-Occasional knee-to-chest positions

-As much cross-legged sitting as I can be bothered with.

I don’t have a great chance, to be honest. Risk factors for breech include: small pelvic arch, septum in uterus, excess amniotic fluid and an anterior placenta. I have all four! My OB doesn’t do ECV, but if I decide to go for it, my high risk OB (based at Baylor) does. He says there is an ~80% success rate, which can drop to ~50% in my case. Worth a shot I say! Before that: if it doesn’t work by Tuesday, I am actually going to try daily moxibustion for a week. YES. Actually. And frozen peas on my fundus. Fingers crossed for me guys.

Wes preparing for Moxibustion. He is ridiculous.

NB: We have checked everything with my OB for safety. Even the rebozo sifting. He thinks it is all quite bizarre, but quite safe 🙂
The only other upshot of all the fluid, according to my OB is that my body is working extra hard to create / replace it (which normally is stopping by about now) and extra hard to carry it around. Which equals tiredness. Really, I feel OK, but this has hit at a time when work is crazy, with me aiming to write four grants in a month (some are small, and some have some cross-over). I think that, more than anything, is wearing me out. especially as my work hours are generally 8.30-8 at the moment. Suffice to say, I come home tired. Actually, generally, too tired to even wash my hair (it was a WEEK until Wes rescued me and did it tonight – yuck) and can rarely do much more than eat a few bites of dinner and collapse on the sofa. Which is not terrible, but not great or general productivity. Hence why I owe many friends many emails. It’s also odd for me: I am not a morning person EVER, but I have always been able to pull out emergency stretches of night owl behavior for grant time: working 10am-2/3 am for a few weeks was not a problem. Now, it is just not an option.

Sharing one of my duvet-evenings, Walter says he is very tired by pregnancy and grants too.

But, a reduced work schedule, without compromising results, and makeup-free / yesterday’s clothing days and unwashed hair is just something I am going to have to get used to in Mummyhood right? It’s all good practice.

More fun update: My Ma sent us a crib! She has already sent us the stroller of our dreams. But then found out that we were planning on getting a pack n play for sleeping as we are trying to save money. So, Mum found an awesome crib and shipped it to us 🙂 Now we get to go bedding shopping – that’s when I will upload a picture. Then, I think we have everything we NEED…. which basically only amounts to: crib, changing table, stroller, infant bouncer, blankets, babygros and hats and socks. We think. 🙂

Wes’ Mum didn’t want me to have ZERO baby shower (new place… no long term friends etc) so she also sent us a very cool and stylish baby bouncer. It has got a solid wooden base, and we got the brown and light green one which works really well with our decor. I read wonderful reports about kids absolutely loving it as soon as they are able to support their head, but in the meantime:

Bobby says it is amazing 🙂

Dinah also says the infant bouncer is great.

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