Thursday, May 10, 2012

35 Weeks Pregnant: OB appointment

This week, I've continued with my pattern of many braxton hicks contractions an hour, for a few days in a row.  On Saturday, we go car shopping yet again (we have been maybe 4 times in the past month or so).  Our toddler, D, is a great sport.  He loves being able to sit in the driver's seat and "push all the buttons."  This time, with the automatic key sensor, D almost decks the poor salesman when, from the driver's seat, he opens the automatic trunk of a Toyota Highlander, as the man is standing there.  Automatic sensor-based keys (i.e. the dealer has the key, but it is close to the car, so it allows some of the buttons to actually work) are not always a good thing.

There seems to be something about visiting car dealerships that brings out my BH contractions.  This particular day, I am having them every few minutes.  I drink as much water as I have with me, and when we return home, I dedicate myself to resting.  It's hard as my list of things to do pre-baby is extensive, but I'm grateful it's a weekend and Mike is around to help.  I am drinking at least 32 oz of water an hour, probably more, but they are still coming every few minutes.  At my 31 week OB appointment, my doctor told me that if I have more than 5 an hour, to rest, and drink water.  If I continue to have more at that rate for the next hour, to call to get checked out.  There is no way I can get them to under 5 an hour, try as I might.  But they do seem to be getting perhaps a little less frequent.  But by the next day, they are just as often, as strong, so I finally break down and call my OB.  I don't want to do the wrong thing by waiting too long, but I also do not want to go to the hospital.

However, when I speak with my doctor, I'm relieved that he tells me that at 34 1/2 weeks, they would not stop my contractions anyway, so to continue to rest, but not to worry about getting checked out.  "If it starts to feel like labor, then call, of course, but otherwise, just rest for the day, and call me if it gets more intense."  I am utterly relieved.  I'm so glad I called because now I can rest, knowing there is no need to go to the hospital even though I'm having so many BHCs. I take his advice, and thankfully, by the next morning, they are back under control (i.e. still more than 5 an hour sometimes, but not as frequently as before).

So when I have my 35 week doctor's appointment toward the end of the week, I am curious to hear his thoughts.  I explain how my BH contractions did subside somewhat, although I still get them frequently.  I've had a few that have also had a little pain with them, and some that have lasted a few minutes, making it even difficult to walk.  He doesn't seem too concerned, and says this sometimes happens.  He doesn't check to see if I'm dilated this time either, as he says, again, it won't make a difference at this point.  I mention my history of "symptoms" this pregnancy (more pressure, feeling the baby push against my cervix, all the contractions from 16 weeks on) and say I've felt like I've been a month ahead of my pregnancy from last time.  "But that doesn't mean necessarily that I'll have the baby early, right?"  He nods hesitantly.  "Nooo....not necessarily."

The realization that, wow, I'm probably less than a month away starts to hit home.  It seems everyone I meet--from friends to doulas to my chiropractor--thinks that I will have this baby by 38 weeks.  Of course, time will tell, but with time marching on, my having too many things to do, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Of course, this constant state of doing-doing-doing probably does not help keep my body relaxed and rested.  But.  We do what we can!  And I am grateful that no matter when the baby comes, from this point on, his body is developed enough that he should not have any major health problems.  We are almost to the 36 week mark, and this is a relief.

My appointment goes well otherwise.  D is a champ again, attending with me, asking questions.  He has been wondering how one machine/light turns on for the last several appointments.  I've told him where I think the on/off button is, but he asks me again in front of Dr. T.  I tell him quickly to the side, but then he clearly doesn't believe me, so he asks the doctor.  My OB doesn't respond, as he's talking to me, and then I say, "Would you mind answering his question?  I don't think he believes me and he's going to keep asking it."

And finally, D gets some nice attention from the doctor.  Dr. T. turns to him and suddenly changes his demeanor from the gentle OB to his patient, to a smiling man with a toddler.  "Sure!  What did you want to know, buddy?"  D asks him about the light, and not only does he tell him, but he says, "Do you want me to turn it on?"  Does he ever!  Dr. T. tries to turn it on; it doesn't work at first.  He is a bit stumped, then figures it out.  D asks, "Why doesn't it turn all the way around?"  "That's just because there's too much stuff in the way."  "What stuff is in the way?"  "Oh, like the walls."

D is clearly pleased that he got a response, and got to see the machine turned on, lights and all.  When we get home, he tells Mike almost word-for-word the conversation he has with the doctor.

I also ask his opinion on cord blood banking for a 2nd child.  His response is thoughtful, mixed, and in the end, doesn't necessarily sway me one way or another.  He does, however, talk about delayed cord clamping, and the associated benefits they have found for the baby.  This delay somehow makes it more difficult to bank the blood, but he says they can delay it some, but not quite as long, if we choose to bank.  If the baby were born early, say, at 35 weeks (or certainly earlier than that), there should be no question to delay the clamping so the baby receives the iron etc.  But if the baby is born full term, it is not as crucial.  Mike and I need to think about this more, although we also know we need to decide soon (have to fill out lots of paperwork, pay for it, have them ship the kit).

It's an informative appointment that leaves me with some thought.  And leaves me, again, appreciating my awesome supportive toddler, and excited to meet the next child my husband and I have created.

1 comment:

grandma berta said...

More BHC when car shopping-- yep, you're on your feet, running around, stressing out about making that decision, etc. You need some sit down and rest time as soon as you can after that shopping! Glad the Dr. was able to work out the light problem for D.