Thursday, October 11, 2007

Measuring in weeks, not months

It's official -- I'm in the final stretch. I am now going to my doctor's office every week until I give birth. I am no longer going to be routinely measured and weighed and sent home. Now I'll be checked for progression of labor.



My last appointment was Tuesday and it couldn't have been better. We saw one of my favorite doctors and she took plenty of time to answer our questions. I hadn't really had any concerns for the past few months, but all of a sudden it seems I'm wondering about everything. Is she head down? Is she moving enough? Is it even still a she? Are those period-like cramps anything to worry about? How can I tell if she's dropped into my pelvis? Will it really be a noticeable difference? Why haven't I had any contractions yet? Braxton-Hicks or otherwise? Is this thing going to be inside me forever?

Then Jerry chimed in with his own set of inquiries.

The doctor just laughed and patiently dispensed information and advice. Then, to ease my worries, she navigated my belly with her fingertips.

"That feels like butt," she said as her hands slid over the upper right side of my torso. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's butt."

A huge sense of relief washed over me as I stifled a giggle. I have been watching my belly closely over the past few weeks and the activity in that area has been overwhelming. At times, a huge round bulge will push out of my skin and if I race to put my hands on it, it feels round and firm. Just like a head. Up by my ribcage.

It had me so worked up that she could be in the wrong position this late in the game that I started having nightmares about automatic C-sections. To me, nothing could be worse. I want to at least get the opportunity to try to deliver naturally.

Then, as if that wasn't good enough, the doctor suggested a quick free ultrasound "just to be completely sure."

"If possible, we like to rule out any potential surprises," she said.

Jerry and I high-fived in the hallway on the way to the exam room. My practice doesn't give routine ultrasounds. In fact, most pregnant women there get one at eight weeks, one at 20 weeks, and that's it. So even a quick glimpse at our daughter's progression felt like a huge treat.

As her grainy image appeared in black and white on the monitor, it was immediately apparent that she is head down. And although we didn't get to look very long, her lung development since the last ultrasound was very noticeable.

"Oh good, she's practicing her breathing, see?" the doctor said, pointing to her diaphragm.

I could see it move up and down as her lungs inflated and deflated rhythmically. That brief moment made my whole day.

It's strange, but now I'm looking forward to hearing the cry that accompanies it.

I'm sure I'll kick myself in a few weeks for saying that, but right now it's something I'm really looking forward to.


Shalini said...

OH i can't wait! I bet she will be so adorable!

I loved your previous post. I do miss the internal kicking. And even 2 years later i miss it. It was like it was a secret that only you and your baby had. Sigh, I want to have another lil one :)

julie said...

That's awesome that you got a free ultrasound!! So cool of your doc to do that.

My mom stopped by your site yesterday and emailed me and said she couldn't agree more with everything you said, other than the ultrasound. They never gave her one of those when she was pregnant with me.

Oh, and I forgot to tell you: My mom informed me earlier this week that her cats have.... you guessed it - FLEAS!!! We have to give our kitties one treatment at least 48 hours before we head to Webster for the wedding since my folks are kitty-sitting while we're on our honeymoon.

"earplugs" plainsman said...

As soon as I read "lung development...was very noticible" I began to laugh.

Still, the jokes on us as they say parents get partially imune to their kid's "lung development."

Its the rest of us in the mall who will hear it!

Ps. this column should be edited 'fore the little one ever reads it as you will never live down confusing her head and butt!

Jennifer said...

I always hated being checked for dialation. It can be a little painful... of course a couple of the times I had it done I also had my membranes stripped in the hopes of progressing things. that made is so much less fun.

I'm very excited for you guys and I can't wait to see what the baby looks like! My best advice to you (as a mom of 2) is get all the sleep in that you can now, and be sure to take at least ONE day to sleep as long as you want, hell sleep til noon or whatever... b/c its going to be a very, very, very long time until you can do that again. Savor the moment of sleeping in... you can use the memory to boost you when you are feeling down in the first few weeks after the baby is born.

For me that is the hardest part of the ordeal. Labor sucked ass, yes. Healing sucked ass, yes. BUT remember, you are expected to endure labor, (for both my girls each was over 24 hours long) and then after that, when you are the MOST exhausted you have ever been in your entire life, you have to pull a marathon of all nighters. I promise you, it will be the most sleep deprived you have ever been in your life. (But 20000% worth it)

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping she comes on November 15th. Because that's my birthday!! :-)

Hope all is well, I know this month is going to fly by for you and before you know it . . . your little princess will be here! :-)

<3 Katie

gorakagaz said...

yay! you're in the home stretch! i hope everything goes well for you =]

Ray said...

Awww, that's great that you got to see her in another ultrasound. And it's beautiful to see this love that you have for her, even though you haven't meet her. Being the sentimental/emotional person that I am if I was pregnant too, I'd probably feel the same way. ;o)

Take care, Kelly.

chelsea said...

They should do ultrasounds around that time anyways, its the last time you can see her in you!

Melissa said...

Could you post some pic of the nursery now that its pretty much all ready? I am anxious to see what you've done with it!

That's neat that you got an extra ultrasound. Ultrasounds are, by far, my FAVORITE. But aren't they everyones?

Tiffany said...

The first time I heard my niece cry, I cried... I can't even imagine when that's my own child. :-)

I can't believe you have less than a month! AHH!

Emilee said...

I can't believe it's only a month until your due date! These past 8 months have completely flown by. I know you and Jerry are going to be fantastic parents! I can't wait until your little girl is born! :]

Kristin said...

That's amazing.
I don't even know what else to say, lol.


Anonymous said...

Why God Made Little Girls

God made the world with its towering trees,
Majestic mountains and restless seas.
Then stopped and said, "It needs one more thing,
Someone to laugh and dance and sing.
To walk in the woods and gather flowers,
To commune with nature in quiet hours."
So God created little girls.
With laughing eyes and bouncing curls.
With joyful hearts and infectious smiles,
Enchanting ways and feminine wiles.
And when He'd completed the task He'd begun,
He was pleased and proud of the job He'd done.
For the world when seen through a little girl's eyes,
Greatly resembles His own paradise.

- by Henry Alfred Dixon

Anonymous said...

Labor is awesome. Imagine trying to squeeze something the size of a watermelon through an opening the size of a lemon. Wow. I think, speaking as nursing student, the worst part about being evaluated for labor during the different stages of labor is the vaginal exams. Usually the nurse sticks her hand up the pregnant lady's lady parts every few hours to see how the baby is progressing down the birth canal. I've never had a baby, but that vaginal exam sure looks like it hurts.