Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Week 37 ~ Pregnancy/Baby Update

Your baby's the size of a winter melon!
Yay! Baby has reached full term. He likely measures around 18.9 to 20.9 inches and weighs about 6.2 to 9.2 pounds. He's gaining about 1/2 ounce each day.
Get excited. At 37 weeks, your baby has reached full term. That means he’s developed his most crucial functions. Of course, he’ll get even healthier and stronger over the next few weeks, so don’t get too impatient. Around week 37, many moms-to-be find themselves organizing cupboards and scrubbing their floors. That’s the nesting instinct kicking in as your body senses baby will be here shortly. It also might be your brain’s way of making sure you’re prepared for just about anything, so you can feel like you have an extra edge on this whole new parent

How your baby's growing:

Your baby is now considered "full term," even though your due date is three weeks away. If you go into labor now, his lungs will likely be mature enough to fully adjust to life outside the womb. (Some babies need a bit more time, though. So if you're planning to have a repeat c-section, for example, your practitioner will schedule it for no earlier than 39 weeks unless there's a medical reason to intervene earlier.)
Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

How your life's changing:

Braxton Hicks contractions may be coming more frequently now and may last longer and be more uncomfortable. You might also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. If you see some "bloody show" (mucus tinged with a tiny amount of blood) in the toilet or in your undies, labor is probably a few days away — or less. (If you have heavier spotting or bleeding, call your caregiver immediately.)

It may be harder than ever to get comfortable enough to sleep well at night. If you can, take it easy through the day — this may be your last chance to do so for quite a while. Keep monitoring your baby's movements, too, and let your caregiver know immediately if you notice a decrease. Though her quarters are getting cozy, she should still be as active as before.
While you're sleeping, you're likely to have some intense dreams. Anxiety both about labor and about becoming a parent can fuel a lot of strange flights of unconscious fancy.

Here's a long over due update on this pregnancy.  A lot has gone on over the last week that I'm not really sure where to start.
We have jumped through many hoops for doctors trying to figure out what is "wrong" with our baby only to end up with more questions than answers so far and a lot of chaos.

This baby is small.  I've know it for a few months.  My midwife has known it too.  I will admit that it did concern me that my measurements were getting more and more behind the further the pregnancy went.  We just decided the baby must be smaller than my others.

However, when i went to see my midwife's back up OB at 36 weeks for the OK to have a homebirth, she said she was concerned about the small size of the baby and sent me to get an ultrasound just to rule out a growth restriction.  If this was the case, we would need to quickly induce since the baby would thrive better outside than inside.

Thankfully, the placenta, cord, amniotic fluid levels, and baby's blood all appeared to be normal, ruling out a growth restriction or IUGR from lack of nutrition.  They did however find that they thought the baby's kidney's were enlarged and the texture was not right, indicating a possible disease called Poly-cystic Kidney Disease-PKD.  Of course we googled all of this and realized that PKD is not a treatable disease that leads to death in most cases unless a kidney transplant is possible.  Ahhh!

We were then referred to a Maternal Fetal Specialist to have a more in depth ultrasound done 3 days later.  At this appointment, the doctor quickly ruled out PKD even saying that he thought the kidneys were fine and we didn't need to worry about them.  He however, thought he saw a heart defect in the baby.  One that only affects 1 in 1000 as opposed to other heart defects affecting 8 in 1000.  Also, the baby 's weight was estimated at 5.2lbs, small for a 37 week baby (4th %).  His recommendation initially was to get us to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston (2 hours away) immediately so we could get an echo cardiogram done on the baby to confirm his suspicion and if so, induce so the baby could have a Level 3 NICU available if needed.

I will skip a few details here because plans were changed, then changed again very quickly, but in the end, we ended up going on to TCH in Houston.  It was a bit chaotic trying to shuffle my other 5 children around and line up care for them, get packed and out of the house all very quickly.  Once in the hospital, they began monitoring the baby and me.  Before the doctor came to see me, he sent a resident to do a vaginal check and to review all of the stats.  At that point i was only dilated to 1 cm and was 40% effaced.  Not a very good sign that my body was ready or near to giving birth.  After 2 hours of monitoring the baby's heartbeat, they determined that the baby was not showing any distress at all.  The resident decided that maybe my due date was off.  I know my due date is very close to accurate because i chart and keep track of my cycles.  There is no way i could be 3-4 weeks off, maybe 1 give or take, but not 3 or 4.  However, the risk of pushing a delivery of a baby that may only be 34 weeks and is showing no distress, but could result in great distress for the baby, made it unwise to induce labor.  They decided that i should go home, wait 1 week and repeat the ultrasound to see how the baby is doing and growing.

Initially we were really frustrated and annoyed because they put us through all of that circus by saying delivery was so necessary immediately, but then they just stopped everything and said to wait. Then i realized that over all, waiting was the best thing to do and I appreciated that they didn't go ahead and make something happen, putting me and the baby at risk.

So we wait....until friday, unless this baby decides to come before that.  Please join us in praying that the baby will grow and grow quickly, that the doctors suspicions are wrong about a heart defect, that the doctors will have wisdom in what they do, that we will know what the Lord's will and plans are through all of this.

We know everything is in the Lord's hands!  To Him be the glory whatever the outcome!

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