Today I am 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant with baby number 4 and it’s been another emotional week.
It started well. I was determined to be positive, to enjoy what is left of this pregnancy as much as I could. Despite the growing aches in my pelvis and the lack of sleep, I was really feeling it too. Then Thursday rolled around and I found myself sitting in the waiting room ready to see my midwife and being unable to remember when I last felt baby move. That icy finger of fear crept it’s way up my spine as I sat there, prodding and poking and willing baby to move.
By the time my name was called, the fact that my appointment was being taken by yet another two midwives I’d never met before was of no concern. I asked them to please find the heartbeat before we did anything else. And they were wonderful. One held my hand while the other quickly found baby’s heartbeat and allowed me to listen for as long as I needed to. She gave me tissues for my tears and they both spent a long time talking to me about this pregnancy so far.
I felt huge relief at being able to talk to someone, at last. To tell them that I had been so scared, and not for the first time. To explain that the all the monitoring was wonderful but exhausting, frightening and terribly draining. It was amazing to talk to someone who was able to listen.
Both midwives measured my bump and found it to be 30 cm- 1.5 less than two weeks previously. They called the hospital and advised them that I would be coming in for monitoring. And so off we went, The Toddler and I.
And for 30 minutes on the monitor, baby did not move at all. At least, I did not feel movements. Looking at the trace, the midwife and I were able to see that baby’s heart rate was acting as though movements were being made, but I was unable to feel them. Most probably this was due to the anterior placenta. In any case, after around 30 minutes, baby woke up and kicked for England. Phew.
We were allowed to leave, with the midwives happy that I would be scanned the next day and a decision would be made about further care then.
And so another sleepless night. Convinced that baby had stopped growing. Convinced the section date would be brought forward. So scared each time baby falls quiet. So tired of holding my breath and waiting for signs that all is ok in there…
The scan was lengthy. Baby was not in the best position for being measured and monitored. Incidentally, we were told that baby’s position was perfect for a vaginal birth, with head firmly down and spine to the front. The sonographer witnessed breathing too. So after much prodding and lying on my side, all measurements were taken and baby’s estimated weight is a whopping 4lb! Head and abdomen measurements have fallen slightly from last time, but fluid and blood flow is once again ok.
And we are all set for the original section date at 37 weeks.
I am to return for two doses of steroids and the pre-op.
There is no reason to expect baby to need to visit special care at all.
We may even be home THE NEXT DAY.
I am to ask the surgeon to lower the screen so that baby can be delivered straight to me for skin to skin. I am to say that my doctor has recommended it.
I am almost there.
WE are almost there.
And this week, baby is the size of a honeydew melon and weight gain is now steady. The average baby will weigh around 5 and a half pounds and will continue to stock up on fat until birth. Fetal brain development is also speeding along right now too. And me? I am still here. The bump is still here. And today it feels good.