Baby Update – 39+ Weeks

by Kim on March 19, 2012

I’m so grateful right now for two things:

  • The shockingly summer-like weather
  • March Madness

I would appreciate these things anyway, but right now, they’re the only two things helping to keep my mind off the fact that I haven’t had this baby yet. I know it’s a little ridiculous, since I haven’t even reached my due date yet, but I’ve secretly had my eye on this weekend the whole time, just crossing my fingers that he’d come a little early and put me out of my misery. It’s not that I’m that uncomfortable, but the anticipation is killing me, and I was really hoping that Friday would be my last day at work. Plus, my stretch marks are getting scary looking and I really don’t want to see how much worse they can get! :(

I know baby will come when he’s ready, but I’d really like to avoid an induction if at all possible (which isn’t a concern yet, but becomes more of one the longer I go). Plus, I’m just ready — everything is squared away at work, all the baby stuff is assembled/washed/in place, my hospital bag is ready to go, and the freezer is stocked with easy-to-prepare meals. Our part is done — it’s all up to baby now!

I’ve been doing a lot of walking, and I cleaned the crap out of the house on Saturday, hoping to put myself into labor. I’ve also been eating a lot of spicy food, per the Spicy Meal Spree — which was delicious, but ultimately unhelpful (not a huge surprise there). I’m getting to that “it’s NEVER gonna happen” point, where you anticipate something for so long that you can’t even imagine it actually happening anymore. I feel like I’ll be pregnant forever. Ughh.

In other news, we actually had a weird little scare last week. I was in for my 39 week appointment, and the nurse was having a really hard time finding the heartbeat. Usually, she places the doppler on my stomach and I instantly hear the WOMP, WOMP, WOMP, but this time, she prodded around for quite awhile, making concerned/confused faces at my stomach while my own heart dropped. Nothing but static.

When she FINALLY found the heartbeat, it was super faint, just a whisper of the sound it usually was. Then, the heart rate was lower than it’d ever been (in the past few months, it’s been steadily in the mid-130s, but this time it was 122).  I couldn’t help being a little unnerved by all this, but she seemed happy with the results and left the room without saying a word. When the doctor came in, I told him what had happened, and his response was, “So did she find it?” …!! What do you mean, did she find it? Would we be talking this calmly if she hadn’t? Would she not have told you that herself?

Then, I reported I’d noticed some decreased fetal movement in the last week or two. I’d read that this was perfectly normal as you approached labor, and hadn’t thought much of it, but the doctor seemed really unnerved by it and asked me to return the next day for an ultrasound.

By the end of the appointment, I was pretty shaken. My doctors are so good at looking calm, to avoid alarming their patients, that it’s hard to tell when something actually is serious. I had no idea what any of this meant, so naturally, I consulted Google. I read that a quiet heartbeat was nothing to worry about (phew), but got mixed messages about the decreased movement. There were about an equal number of sources saying it was normal for late pregnancy and possibly a reason for concern. The word “stillbirth” appeared a few times, making me sick to my stomach.

I was a little uncomfortable waiting until the next day to find out what was going on, but we finally made it to the ultrasound the following morning. The ultrasound tech checked for several things, including fluid levels, diaphragm activity, and fetal movement. Baby passed all of the tests in the first few minutes…except fetal movement. The baby needed to move at least 3 times in half an hour to pass. Trying to speed things along, the tech turned me onto each side, reclined the chair, and jiggled my stomach. Nothing. Eventually, she left to get me a Diet Coke, hoping the caffeine would help, and to let the doctor know what was going on (!!). Finally, after a solid 10-15 minutes of this, we saw a few sluggish movements on the screen. Apparently he’s just one lazy baby!

Having passed all of his tests, baby was deemed healthy and we were sent on our way (with some ultrasound pics of his fully developed, chubby 39-week face!).

Since then, fetal movement has been pretty sporadic, but definitely there. With the assurance that everything’s ok, I’ve been trying not to think about it. (But of course, what else can I do??)

And so, we wait. And back to work I go tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’m watching a lot of basketball, with the doors and windows wide open. The breeze through the house is amazing! We also had our first grill-out of the year tonight — in March, who would have thought?? The only drawback of the unexpected warm weather is that I feel like I have to redo the baby’s whole wardrobe — I bought him all these warm, fuzzy sleepers, thinking it would still be the dead of winter when he showed up, but now I’m scrambling to get a few extra onesies and short overall sets so he doesn’t roast!

Hopefully we’ll get to meet the little guy sometime this week!

~Kim

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