We hit 32 weeks on Tuesday. Given how long this pregnancy has seemed, that milestone felt remarkable to me. By no means does it mean we are out of the woods—and of course, I won’t really feel out of the woods until this baby is placed on my chest, every screaming, slimy inch of him—but somehow it feels big, important. I wish I could say it has decreased my anxiety level, but alas, that is just not to be. We had another follow-up ultrasound on Monday, and the kid is still measuring big, but now only his weight appears to be above the 97th percentile—he’s estimated to weigh 5lb 5oz, when most babies weigh about 4lbs at 32 weeks. Everything else seems to have dropped below the 90th percentile—still big, but not alarmingly so. A second gestational diabetes screen was negative, so I guess I am just growing a big baby. As of Monday, he had also turned back into the vertex position, which was good news—I was sure with the hiccups I’d been feeling under my ribs, he was still head up. The amniotic fluid index dropped, too, so no danger of polyhydramnios anymore, although of course, I’m worried that it dropped rather far—from 21.6 cm to 16.5 cm in only 4 weeks. The perinatologist seemed unconcerned, but I’m not totally sure that she understood what I was saying when I mentioned that it had dropped—I don’t think she had the 28 week results in front of her. I asked her if we could start doing the weekly biophysical profiles (basically a series of noninvasive tests to help assess the health of the baby and his current abode) next week instead of at 36 weeks—she agreed to start at 35 weeks and I had no grounds to argue with her except for pure paranoia on my part.
As for the paranoia, it continues unabated, unfortunately. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve become obsessed with Jackson’s movements. This week, I started keep the most ridiculously detailed kick counts chart you have ever seen (I created it myself) where I do a kick count during every 2-hour block of the day and make notes where necessary (he had hiccups at this time, he was quiet for a while after this time, etc.). It’s certainly good for helping me recognize patterns, but of course, this morning when it took him 52 minutes to get to 10 kicks first thing in the morning when the last two days, it only took up to 20 minutes, I started to panic a bit, but I managed to keep it together and wait, and wouldn’t you know that he picked up the pace later in the morning. I guess even babies in utero have sleepier days sometimes. Maybe he was still tired from last night, when I was up for almost two hours in the middle of the night. I’ve been so paranoid about cord problems and of course have been reading things I shouldn’t be reading on the internet. (And if you’re pregnant right now, I might skip the rest of this paragraph if you are better about this habit than I am and don’t want to read any crazy internet research.) I woke up as usual, needing to get comfortable again, and noticed he had hiccups. I immediately looked at the clock so I could see how long they lasted—there is some research, although I can’t figure out how conclusive it is, that prolonged hiccups at night can be one indicator of cord compression or knotting problems. Then once they stopped, he had a fairly long period of really active movements, like he was running on a little treadmill in there. Hyperactivity, especially at night, is apparently another possible warning sign of cord problems. So an unusual decrease in movement is a problem, but an unusual increase can be, too? Great. That helps a lot. (And of course, hiccups are also totally normal, as is increased activity in the middle of the night at this gestational age. It’s enough to drive much saner people than I totally insane). As I laid there feeling him jostling around, I just couldn’t get the image out of my head of him in there struggling to breathe. I got up and went to lay down in the TV room to see if changing position and walking around helped at all. Not much changed, but he finally settled down again. When I got back in bed, Ed asked if I was OK, and I said yes, that I was just worried about Jackson. He asked if I wanted to go to labor and delivery, and I said no, and added that it wasn’t that he was moving too little, but that he was moving like crazy, which can also be a sign of a problem. Following our childbirth instructor’s suggestion to try and visualize success, he said, “You are good at delivering live babies.” (Bless him, as always). And I said, “I know, but we have to get there first” and then started to cry from the stress of the previous hour or so. I’m telling you, the weight of this responsibility is just more than I can bear at times.
Again, it drives me batty not having a hard and fast rule for knowing when to worry and when to call. My trigger finger is way too twitchy and I just don’t know which end is up most of the time. I have a regular OB appointment tomorrow, and hopefully this doc (a different doc in the practice whom I haven’t seen before) can give me some explicit instructions, like “If X happens or does not happen, come in right away, no matter what.” Relying on my instinct is just not going to cut it.
In the meantime, maybe some of you could share some good reassuring stories for me about your baby’s hiccups or crazy antics while in utero. Next time I start freaking out, maybe I can come here and read some of those rather than checking with evil Dr. Google.
Oh, for my life to be so different right now.