Pregnancy – Week 35

Week 35! We’re almost there! I felt like adding a few additional pictures from different angles this time around, since this is one of my last pregnancy blog posts. I can’t say I’m sad to be nearing the end. The first thing I’m looking forward to right after birth – besides meeting my baby, obviously – is drinking a nice cup of caffeinated tea. I’ve been sticking to water only for the past 9 months, and I will also be happy to be able to eat sushi and soft boiled eggs, as well as drink a martini, a glass of white wine, and a piƱa colada every once in a while! If this birth goes well, I’ll be enjoying a beautiful Summer at home like no other.

We had to get up early this morning to go to the hospital. I’m scheduled for a weekly follow up from now on, and they’re checking things more and more in depth (unlike the impression I got several weeks ago). I was hooked up to the baby monitor for about an hour. His heart went up and down a lot, like it should. And he was kicking those belly straps like he did last time.

Once the monitoring was done, they made us wait outside the room because the doctor wanted to see me. We waited and waited … I should specify that every baby monitoring happens at the delivery ward. So we were sitting there in the hallway facing about 10 closed doors, behind which women were in the middle of labor. Lovely … I’m guessing they had an unexpected peak this morning, because doctors were running back and forth between rooms. Within the one hour span we waited there, we heard 2 babies being born. One of which I’m assuming was premature, because the poor little one was wheeled away in an oxygenated cot within minutes after birth. The brand new dad followed anxiously. I looked at the big time and date display on the wall, and realized that in exactly 20 days from now, I’ll be in one of those rooms meeting my baby for the first time. It sure puts things into perspective; in case it still felt somewhat abstract in my head, it no longer does! I also saw one of the midwives who took care of me when Sam was born. She was the one who carried him away after we’d held him for several hours and felt it was time to say goodbye. I think she recognized me. But in this morning’s chaos, no word was said. Then one nurse came and stuck a note on the door right in front of us, which requested to call the lab and a professor to analyze the placenta from the moment the patient has given birth. I noticed every doctor who walked in there was very quiet, and didn’t say any enthusiastic “hello” like they did in the other rooms. I wondered if this was a case of stillbirth right in front of us. It was room #2 and I actually think that’s the very same room they put me in to deliver Sam. I have no idea if there was a note on my door with special instructions. But I do know that a professor and some specific staff members came in at some key moments and that everything was sent to the lab right away. Of course I could be wrong about what was going on behind that door this morning, but it caught my attention and struck me as odd. And if that wasn’t weird enough, a lady then walked by us with a 2 year old in her arms carrying the exact same brown bunny blankie we had bought for Sam, and which is still preciously kept inside his glass display here at home. I’d been looking everywhere to buy a second one, but it was completely sold out right after he was born. I never did manage to get anything similar for his future sibling. Oh well. I don’t know if those were all signs of some sort. I started wondering if I should take the bunny blankie out of Sam’s glass display, and pack it in my hospital bag for his little brother. I’m not sure how Gert would feel about it though. I looked down at my belly and realized I was wearing that silly old tshirt I had randomly grabbed this morning, and which shows angel wings right on my belly. *sigh*

Anyway, after things calmed down in the delivery ward, I finally met the one professor who supervises all my appointments. I had never met her face to face. I think she’ll be the one taking care of this delivery. As soon as we shook hands, she decided to do an ultrasound and measure everything in detail again like they did last week. I was surprised. I thought for sure they’d be like “oh, no big deal, everything looks fine but if you want to calm your nerves, we’ll quickly do an ultrasound and rush through everything just so we can tell you again that everything looks great.” Instead, she did take her time to look and measure everything meticulously. The blood flow through everything, the amniotic fluid, the placenta, baby’s brain, and his overall size … which is now apparently under the 50th percentile. This caught me off guard. She said it was fine. But what a difference with Sam. He was a big baby. I was expecting the same, or at least something similar with this one. And while I was happy to hear about him being around the 51st percentile recently, I’m now worried about him having gone below 50. They didn’t seem concerned and said those measurements can be inaccurate this late in pregnancy, and that we’ll just have to wait and see how tall and heavy he is when he’s born. But the fact alone that they have now measured this 3 times in a row makes me wonder. Was Sam too big? Is this one too small? So many questions that only hit me later on when we got home.

He’s still extremely active though and reacts to absolutely everything, so he is a very alert little boy already. I like the fact that she didn’t sugarcoat the situation and basically told me that while they can’t possibly see me every single day of the week, we will continue with weekly checkups and she wants to add an extra monitoring during next week’s appointment. She told me I’m basically the one who has to stay focused and keep an eye on everything in between appointments, and if I have any doubts or notice anything suspicious, to get in the car and come right away. I kind of appreciated to hear someone finally validating the approach I’ve been having about it all for a while now. I don’t want people to tell me that everything’s great and will be fine. Unless they have a crystal ball, there’s no way anyone could ever promise me that. So I’m glad she didn’t and is now taking these next few weeks very seriously.

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Other than that, besides the fact that I am now tired all the time and have no energy to do much anymore at this point, I am feeling quite alright. No swollen feet or hands, no stomach acid, no shortness of breath, no real pain or discomfort. My hips still bother me around 5AM in the morning and basically force me out of bed earlier than I would normally get up. But once I’m up on my feet, the pain is gone. And although I waddle around like a duck, I really can’t say that it hurts. Eighteen days left until I get induced! I’m so excited!