Wednesday Afternoon Slap and Tickle

by Jen on April 24, 2008

in Does this baby make me look fat?

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming for a current news update. Conclusion of Monkeyboy’s birth story will come soon, I promise.

Yesterday was my weekly appointment (35 weeks), which for the last several weeks has gone past the usual wee n’ weigh to include a check under the hood. As I told the Hubster the other day, “I’m getting more action from my doctor than I am from you these days.” In the matter of good news/bad news, the good news is: I’m not progressing; the bad news is: I’m not progressing (I don’t want to be pregnant forever, okay?)

Progress is usually calculated using the Bishop Score, which is comprised of five components: cervical dilation, effacement, consistency, position and the baby’s station. Although the PA threw me a bone by saying the baby is at a -2 station (moving him ever so slightly south from the -3 where he’s been), everything else on that list was a big negative. My cervix is still long, firm, closed and posterior (so for effacement, consistency, dilation and position, that’s a big no, no, no, and no progress). The good news is that, for now, this baby isn’t going anywhere. The bad news is that, well, is he ever going anywhere?

The baby’s heart rate was around 142. My weight is at 154 1/4 which is a two pound weight gain since last week (but averages only to a pound a week since I hadn’t gained any last week. It’s only a 29 1/4 weight gain overall, so that puts me at where I was nine days before the Monkey was born (I only weigh myself at the doctor’s office). My blood pressure was somewhat elevated (for me, that is), at 138/60 (I’m usually about 110/60 max), but there’s no protein in my urine and I have no swelling going on, although, apparently swelling isn’t considered to be the significant factor it once was when diagnosing pre-eclampsia. And of course, HELLP syndrome is high on my list of things I like to obsess about during this pregnancy, so it’s always nice to have another, related concern along for the ride (especially because I’ve had low grade headaches, slight nausea, and pain under my right-hand ribs for the last few weeks — all of which I forgot to ask the PA about).

The baby is still head down, and the PA commented (for the third time now) that it was a very clear exam. She had a student with her and asked if the student could palpate my uterus to see what it felt like, because it was so obvious. They played around for a few minutes, feeling for body parts. It was interesting hearing them talk about it, because it confirmed what I’ve been thinking I could feel when I do the same thing to myself. The PA (really wish I could come up with a cool pseudonym for her) told the student that it was not always as easy to tell on some women and commented that my exam was so clear because I’m so petite and really “all baby.” This is a double-edge sword, as we will see in the next paragraph.

The most significant factor right now — and there’s always something, isn’t there? — is that I’m measuring 32 weeks at 35 weeks. For the last month or so, pretty much since I started my weekly appointments, I’ve been measuring a little behind where I should. At first, it was only by a week, which really means nothing, but then it was by a couple of weeks and now by three weeks, so tomorrow I’m going for another ultrasound. The PA said she wanted to make sure that I didn’t have low amniotic fluid and that the baby was measuring appropriate for the date. She also said not to worry, that the small measurement could be due to the fact that, as she had said before, I am very petite and “all baby.” I’m trying not to worry, but my mind goes in all sorts of unpleasant directions. I’m not the only one. After I called the Hubster to tell him I was scheduling the ultrasound, he texted me “What is she concerned about? IUGR?” ( We have a friend whose first baby was an eight-plus-pounder, but then had two IUGR babies.) I’ve said it before: In pregnancy, anything’s possible.

As I mentioned the other day, I’ve never been this pregnant before, so it’s hard to know what to expect at this point. Is it possible that I just don’t have that much room in me for a baby? I remember reading on a message board a comment by a women who had had three pre-term babies. She said they had all been born healthy and with developed lungs, even as early as 32 weeks. She said her doctor suggested that since she was petite, it was like her body got the babies ready and just said, “Five pounds and… you’re out!”

I also had the Group B Strep test done, which, if the past is any predictor of the future, will end up being some further complication I have to deal with. (Sorry for that dive back into the Sea of Pessimism.)

Edited to Add: All afternoon I felt pretty crappy, had a headache and just felt terrible. The more I thought about my blood pressure at yesterday’s appointment, the more it bothered me, so I stopped at the drugstore and took my BP this afternoon, which registered at a reassuring 118/65.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Mary Beth May 1, 2008 at 1:26 pm

I came upon your blog and thank you for sharing your pregnancy experience; I am almost 37 weeks pregnant with my first, no complications except baby is currently in breech position. I’m obsessing about what to do about it… trying different things to get her to turn. Nothing’s ever easy, is it?

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