Congratulations! You've got what is officially considered a full-term baby, even with three weeks to go. That doesn't mean he's finished growing — in fact, he's still packing on about a half pound a week (at this age, the average fetus weighs about 6.5 pounds). That makes it a little crowded in your uterus, so he’s probably not kicking as much, though he’s probably stretching, rolling a bit, and wiggling (all of which you’ll be able to feel!). Right now, your little superstar is busy rehearsing for his big debut, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid (to get the lungs ready for that first breath), sucking his thumb (to prepare for that first suckle of milk), blinking, and turning from side to side.
|Possibly last picture|
|She had on her swimsuit for swim lessons but wanted to wear her new|
"puddle jumper" from Gigi and Pepaw
So at my doctor appointment this morning the doctor heard another "blip" on the baby's heartbeat. This happened a few weeks ago as well. This can happen due to a kink in the cord, baby pulling on the cord, low fluid levels, etc. so in and of itself is not a huge cause for alarm as it happens from time to time. But the fact that she had heard it happen twice in just the 30 seconds that she listens to the heartbeat every couple weeks was a red flag. When she checked a few weeks ago my fluid levels were ok, but when she checked following the blip today, they were very low (5-7 being low/normal, mine being 3). I am only measuring 35 weeks (and I'm 37) so likely he isn't growing at a rapid pace due to the low fluid. According to my doctor, I am "all baby" in the literal sense (not much fluid).
She sent me to the hospital for a NST (non stress test) to make sure the baby wasn't in any kind of immediate distress and with the warning that I might not be leaving the hospital today. During the 40 minutes of monitoring there was only one additional dip in his heartbeat but everything else was good (no distress, reactive, etc.). Based on those results, she let me leave. I am going back on Thursday for another NST. Unless there is a dramatic change (increase) in my fluid level I will be having my c-section Friday morning.
|Didn't want to get too comfortable-left my shoes on|
|Waiting on the results|
The only thing I can do is try to drink a lot of fluids. According to the nurse this may or may not directly effect (increase) my amniotic fluid level, but it won't hurt. Likely it will not cause a dramatic increase. Unless my fluid levels are a 6 or so on Thursday, we will be meeting him on Friday morning.
I am full term, so there are no major worries about his health should he be born this week. We definitely were not expecting this, though. With Avery trying to get me to take her to kindergarten in my uterus (my doctor's words) and having no complications thus far with this pregnancy, we didn't have any reason to think that he might be coming early.
I wasn't exactly physically or mentally ready to meet him this week (remember last week I said I was going to need every day until the 13th), but if it's best for him to be on the outside instead of the inside, then we will obviously do what is best for him. My doctor thinks he will be around 6 pounds, so those newborn sizes will come in handy.
We still have some things to do (finish up a few things in the baby room, pack hospital bags, install car seat, get last minute items, wrap up everything at work, complete all disability and FMLA paperwork, etc.) and just a few days to do them now.