Friday, November 15, 2013

Seven Not So Quick Baby Takes: 36 weeks

I had my 36-week OB appointment yesterday morning. I still weigh 211-point-something (gain of less than 1 pound since 34 weeks, about 28 pounds overall), so maybe I won't gain half my pregnancy weight in the last 2 months. Of course, for all I know I could have been gaining in 5-pound bursts all along and I just never knew because I was only weighed once every 4 weeks. I don't own a scale because I can't behave moderately around scales. Or chocolate, but at least I'm happy when I'm being immoderate with chocolate.

My blood pressure was 116/68, or something like that. I think I might be dead, because I sure haven't had any reduction in my overall stress level.

After being weighed and sphygmomanometered, I had blood drawn for a repeat iron check. (This is routine; I don't get specially stabbed because I was anemic before.) I have a nice purply-red bruise now, even though I let the MA use my good arm and everything. (My right arm, in addition to being more adept at writing and other fine motor skills, is better at surrendering its blood.)

After having my veins mutilated, I was taken to an exam room and given the opportunity to change into a super flattering paper skirt. Then I sat and read a book until Dr. B showed up, at which point I had my Group B strep test. It was much better than I anticipated, and I'm glad I declined the cervical check. (I had the passing thought that if I was going to be practicing my abdominal breathing anyway, I might as well get a cervical check, but I did not have to practice anything.)

Then Dr. B stepped out so I could get re-dressed and came back and did the usual finding the position and heartbeat on the baby. (Side note: They always give me something like 10 minutes to get dressed at this OB office. How long do they think it takes to put on some pants? It's not like I'm redoing my hair and makeup before they come back in.) Tad is head-down still, and "low". I'm not sure if that means the same as "engaged" or if he's still floating but just less so. Anyway, let's hope my little gymnast doesn't figure out how to get his giant noggin out of my pelvis and flip over; that would make me a bit nervous at this stage of things.

It took probably a full minute to find Tad's heartbeat, which of course bothered me even though I pretended it didn't. Dr. B checked on the right side first and didn't find anything, and then checked on the left and found the umbilical cord (you can tell the difference because the cord is whooshier, apparently) but nothing else, and then finally went back to a different spot on the right side and was successful. Even when we found it, the heart rate was only in the 140s, but it jumped into the 150s during the minute or so we were listening. Yes, I have spent the last day and a half reminding myself that everybody sleeps sometimes and a resting heart rate in the 140s is excellent for a fetus, why do you ask? (He had been doing his very best bag-o-snakes impersonation just an hour before the appointment, so probably he was sleeping extra-deeply to recover. And he's been as hyperactive as usual since.)

After that we talked about different things, including my Birth Plan O' Doom. At one point I was talking about immediate skin-to-skin contact (which seems to be promoted pretty hard at the hospital where I'm giving birth, but I wanted to make sure that Dr. B and I were clear on the meaning of the word "immediate.") Him: "Well, I delay cord clamping, so the nurses can't take the baby away because he's still attached." Me: "That was the next question on my list." Seriously, I geek out so much at these appointments. I'm dragging Scott along to meet Dr. B at my next appointment, which is on Tuesday. (Scott claims that he's met Dr. B before, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't.) Though I probably should keep the geekery to a minimum since Scott gets paid by the hour and all. (I apparently don't care that Dr. B gets paid the same whether I have a 3-minute appointment or a 30-minute one.)

I'm going to a chiropractor for the first time ever on Monday morning. I feel like such a hippie. (I'm also taking probiotics and my mother has promised to give me some Vitamin E for my itchy skin.) Liza Jane tried to talk me into it ages ago, but I was busy with other things and anyway only wimpy people seek medical attention because they're 8 months pregnant and everything hurts. (That's just how it works, right?) Plus why bother if I'm not going to be pregnant that much longer?

Then I started taking Tylenol several times a week so I'd be able to sleep, and figured that yeah, even four more weeks of that is not okay. Hence the chiropractor. I will make sure to report back. Remember to hold your breath in anticipation.

(I made sure to run it by Dr. B first and he says he generally trusts chiropractors who specialize in pregnancy because they can't order fancy X-rays and stuff so you know they're not in it for the money.)

Scott and I started our weekly "unmedicated childbirth" classes last Tuesday. I was worried that everybody in the class was going to be due in March or something and I'd be the cautionary whale, but of the 8 pregnant women in the class, 4 are due in December and 4 in January. (The class ends December 10.) So everybody procrastinates just as hard as I do in signing up for these things.

I really enjoyed the first class. The instructor is Dr. B's next door neighbor (she says that he's nice and they talk about childbirth while raking leaves). I discovered that birth balls are the most comfortable thing on the planet. Really, y'all should try them. I am large and have poor coordination/bodily awareness, and I did not fall off or anything. After about 2 minutes I was threatening to steal mine and take it home just to use as an everyday sit-upon-thingy. (And if Scott sits on a chair behind me, he is just the right height to rub my back. Everybody knows Scott's sole purpose on this earth is rubbing my back whenever I want it, so that's convenient.)

The second class was not as fun, since we had a guest lecturer telling us about "nutrition." Nutrition apparently involves having super-detailed information about portion size and how to lose weight as fast as possible after you give birth. I ate blueberry muffins (we're allowed to bring food to class) and ignored most everything. (Remember, I chose not to own a scale because I decided being fat and happy was better than being fat and hating myself.) Anyway, that's supposed to be our only guest lecture, so next week should be fun again.

We also had our hospital tour last night, which was fine. I learned some stuff, but I also got tired and cranky walking around so much. And there was a video that I just could not take seriously because they used dolls as stand-ins for actual babies. I know, babies are not good actors, but I still found the dolls too funny.

I apparently spoke too soon when, in my last update, I talked about how we have a crib that's "close enough" to being ready for a baby. Scott had the day off on Monday, so we started assembling the crib and promptly discovered that two of the pieces don't actually fit together. Manufacturing fail. So now we're in the middle of wrangling customer service to try to get a replacement or a refund or something.

I also still haven't installed the car seat. I should probably do that just in case it turns out to not fit in our car or something.

I did order some diapers (from here--supporting missionaries while saving money ftw), but they're not supposed to arrive for another 1-5 weeks, so I am maintaining an air of detachment.

I also impulse-bought this car seat cover (except in tan) for my not-yet-installed car seat. Scott wants to know how the baby is supposed to breathe with the flap closed. I told him I'm pretty sure that the cover isn't completely airtight; it just keeps the wind off a little.

Our biggest accomplishment of the week was making progress on the baptism front. (Who needs a crib when you have sacramental grace, right?) Our godmother says she checked with her calendar and her husband and can definitely come, and the godfather says that he doesn't have anything going on in January and would reschedule even if he did. (Awww.) (You can say those things when you're young and single.) I called the parish secretary today and got us penciled in for January 12 and then sent out an email to the godparents and grandparents so they can object if that date doesn't work for them. Hopefully it'll work for everybody. And I'm pretty sure we won't have to return the godparents to the manufacturer for defective parts. :)

(Edited to add: Since I wrote this take both grandmothers have emailed me back and indicated that they have no objections to the date, so things are looking good.)

November 9 was my last day with my Saturday babysitting gig, and yet somehow the prospect of free weekends has not materialized. Scott and I have a new patient orientation at a pediatrician's office tomorrow afternoon, and then next week I am attending Liza Jane's baby shower. (She is expecting a little boy in January. She never blogs, but I'm pretty sure that's public information by now.)

I miss Saturday afternoon naps.

And here's the obligatory belly shot, at 36 weeks. I wonder if I am going to look back in another month and think, "I was so tiny!" I thought I was huge when I first wore this shirt at 24 weeks, and now I look at that picture and think I was pretty svelte back then. I am seriously surprised every time I do a belly shot, because I apparently have no concept of how big I really am. (For example, I periodically hit myself with the fridge door. I feel like that summarizes the entire third trimester in one awkward moment.)

(P.S. The belly button is gone for good now. I forgot to report that when it happened, which is certainly a failure of proper bloggerly navel-gazing.)

When Liza Jane saw me on Sunday (a few hours before this picture was taken), she said it looks like her guess of a 10-pound baby is going to be correct. I told her she's looking nice and fat herself. (That bag in the corner contains her baby's present. If she's mean to me I might just keep it, though. :))

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


The Kibbes! said...

Good for you for being on top of the baptism checklist. Our baby was born about 2 weeks ago and we FINALLY decided on godparents yesterday. Hang in there on the last few weeks of pregnancy... They can be rough!

The Sojourner said...

Trust me, I'm not so much on top of other things. For example, I think I was supposed to have packed my hospital bag a month ago. HAHAHA. That's what early labor is for, right?

Emily G. said...

Those balls? They are the same thing as a "yoga ball" or "exercise ball" only when you call them a "birth ball" you can charge like 5x as much money for one.

You can buy one at Meijer in the fitness section for like $10 if memory serves me correctly. I loved mine for 3 years until my son stuck a knitting needle into it. They are also great for soothing colicky babies-you can get some good bouncing going, and it's nice that they're not useless once your pregnancy is over.

The Sojourner said...

Thanks for the tip. :)