Wednesday, March 25, 2009

36 Week Doctor's appointment

This week, we see the OB for our 10th visit. He is kind and reassuring, as always, and again says how everything is progressing right on track. He does a Group B Strep test, as scheduled, and I tell him about a sharp shooting pain I have been feeling at my cervix lately, mostly at night. It is quick, but usually is followed by several more of these shooting pains. I imagine it is the baby moving, and my friend who is also pregnant tells me she is experiencing the same thing, and her midwives confirmed it is probably the head of the baby moving downward at the cervix.

My OB agrees it is probably the head, but he checks to make sure everything is fine (which it is). He says he can tell the head has descended further down into the pelvis. This is good because it indicates the head is not too big for my pelvis (phew!). He says everything is continuing to measure on track. I ask if he has a guess as to how big the baby would be at delivery. He guesses between 6 and 7 pounds, but tells me we can do an ultrasound at the next visit where he will take measurements.

I ask him more questions about delivery, his thoughts on forceps and the vacuum suction (which, after seeing it at our birthing class, is not as scary as I had imagined it from the name), episiotomies etc. The doctor is very thorough and answers each question with a thoughtful response. At one point, I look over at Mike and notice it appears he is squinting, or, more likely, fighting to keep his eyes open. I give him a "what are you doing look?" and his eyes open a bit more. The OB stays focused on my eyes and doesn't follow my gaze to see Mike's lids lowering, so I'm relieved at that.

After the appointment, I ask Mike, "Were you falling asleep in there?"

"Kind of," he admits.

"Mike!" I exclaim. "Don't you want to hear what he's saying?"

"Yeah, but he's so calm and was just talking... If he had a visual demonstration, like a movie or something, I could stay awake, but just his voice..."

I encourage Mike, as always, to go to bed earlier on work nights (he often stays up until 1 or 1:30am on weeknights). He says he will try, but this is a constant battle. I sleep miserably, waking up several times a night, and recently, even getting up to eat, take a shower, go to the bathroom. So needless to say, I spend hours each night not sleeping, but wish that I could. Mike is capable of sleeping very well through the night, but chooses to go to bed at a time so he cannot get the sleep he needs, even though he sleeps solidly. Physically, he remains healthy enough not to force him to go to bed "early", but mentally, he struggles when sleep deprivation takes over (which affects not only him, but coworkers and me, as well). I feel he is squandering a gift that I wish I had--the ability to sleep soundly. Yes, I am jealous of the pregnant women who say they are sleeping 8-10 hours a night and taking 1-2 hours naps. I am lucky to get 4 hours of sleep at any one time.

In any case, all is well with the baby and the pregnancy. Our OB is going to be out of town April 6-10, so I am a bit apprehensive with his leaving so close to my due date. Most first timers deliver on time or late, but I have been hearing many stories of first time moms delivering early. Because he's a single practice doctor, this is more of a concern for me. I have not met any of his backups. He insists his backups are both "reasonable" doctors and will respect my birthing preferences, that I am in good hands, should I go into labor early. However, I have really gotten to like and feel comfortable with my OB. It would be a shame to not have him at the last minute.

Regardless, I believe that, since everything in my pregnancy has been measuring at its appropriate week, I will go into labor very close to my due date. And until then, there is nothing I can do about it, so I am not losing any of my precious sleep over it.


Monsoon Mama said...

that's great that your little boy is moving down into your pelvis! always a good thing... even if there are sharp pains involved. ouch!

i hear you about the sleep thing... it's SO hard and frustrating, and it SUCKS to see your partner squander precious sleep hours! dan was a notorious night owl and never went to bed before 1 or 1:30 before anand was born, but since becoming a dad, he goes to bed MUCH earlier (more like 11:30) and gets the sleep he needs. mike will figure it out! but i remember being HUGE at the end of my pregnancy and wanting to strangle dan every time i got up to pee and found him still awake at the computer... grrrrr...

i hope your OB will be at your birth. it's true that most first time moms don't go into labor significantly early (i.e. more than a week early), but you're right-- anything can happen. for what it's worth, i didn't really love the other docs in my OB's practice, and i ended up LOVING the woman who delivered anand... so, you never know! and also, that's what's great about having a doula-- you know she will be there even if your OB isn't. but no matter what, your little boy will come into this world healthy and happy!

Mike said...

The explanation of all this is simple: "Sympathy Insomnia" I haven't displayed sympathy weight, fluctuating emotions, or many of the other emotional or physical symptoms men sometimes demonstrate. But Tara's sleepless nights have clearly had an impact on me, and I'm subconsciously sharing her burden by not allowing myself to go to sleep earlier than 12:30 AM. Stupid, but possible.

Tara M said...

Interesting, interesting, Mike...except that you were like this years before I was

MM, I do hope that Mike ends up like Dan, and does get the sleep that he needs! It is soooo important. And today, I just came out of another horrible horrible night's sleep (tried to go to bed early, but then got up 3 times in 3 hours, then was just up for 3 more hours, before a doze, then the alarm went off)...I so want sleep!!

Yeah, I may get lucky and love a different OB, if I do go into labor early. It'll be a little weird because my OB is a single practice guy, so I've never even seen his backups or heard of them, but he assures me they're great, so hopefully they are! And in the end, as you say, I'll have our son anyway, and that is what matters! :)