This week has been a bit more eventful than I would have liked.
On Tuesday, Luke had another crappy nonstress test, complete with two big variable decelerations and two smaller ones. But then he went on to pass the biophysical profile/ultrasound with good movement, muscle tone, practiced breathing, and good fluid levels, so they patted my back, muttered something about it maybe being the cord for his nonstress test, and sent me on my way.
On Wednesday, I saw my high risk doctor. She agreed to give me steroids at 31 weeks and ordered them at the pharmacy so I actually have the medicine right now, I'm supposed to bring it to my next appointment so the nurses can give me the shots. (Honestly, between fertility treatments and lovenox, I've given myself enough injections and Joe's given me injections that I figure we could probably manage it on our own. But that's fine by me.) When I brought up the NST's and asked about the cord, she said, "Honestly, it could be because the cord is in his way and getting pushed/compressed sometimes or it could be wrapped around him." Then she hastily added that they won't deliver for it, unless there are other signs of issues or distress. I kind of understand that, but it doesn't mean I like it. I don't want a 29-30 weeker unnecessarily, but I'd take that over having a stillborn baby any freaking day. They weren't all that worried about how things were going with Olivia (or at least they weren't *acting* worried), until it was too far downhill and too late to save her. This all feels a bit deja vu. Different symptoms and issues, but I'm petrified that we are headed towards the same bad ending.
Everything else seems to be going okay, I think pre-eclampsia might be on the way in within a few more weeks. My heartburn is back. My blood pressure is randomly suspiciously higher than normal for me. (And a couple weeks ago even when I was really stressed about the first bad NST, my blood pressure was still really good.) Joe thinks my face and hands are looking a bit puffier and my mom thought so too maybe (but I haven't gained weight which would indicate swelling). And I wake up every morning with both of my hands numb, which my high risk doctor said is definitely swelling and "she's watching". At this point, pre-eclampsia (especially in another couple weeks if these NST's don't get better) would be okay with me, because I know my doctors aren't going to wait around watching and seeing how bad it gets for very long (especially with a big baby whose already had steroids) before just delivering. And at this point, I just want him safely out on the outside. I wish we could keep him in utero up till 36 weeks, but right now, I like the risks of him staying in a lot less than the risks for 30 weekers. (Obviously my doctors don't feel the same way. So short of me going into labor, getting suddenly sick very quickly, or the baby actually showing signs of distress or worse, it looks like he's staying put until something else changes or until Joe learns how to perform a c-section. I'll pass on the amateur home c-section.) Also, they aren't interested in doing a blood flow study because the baby's growth is good and my blood pressure as of Wednesday was normal, so they don't think it's related.
Friday's monitoring was more of the same. He passed everything with the biophysical profile (though it took every second of those 30 minutes before he finally decided to breath for a full 30 seconds, in the meantime put on a show wiggling and moving around rather than breathing, or he'd take two breaths for 5 seconds and then stop and move.) Then we did the nonstress test and this time he had 3 variable decelerations but reasonably okay accelerations. With the decelerations, his heart rate dropped to 110 for about 20 seconds (I think that's how many seconds, I haven't figured out how to tell seconds/minutes on the test strip yet, but it was looking like a u, staying lower for longer before bouncing back up, rather than a v), while his baseline was at 140 beats per minute. Because of the variable decelerations, they deemed it another bad NST, but since he passed the biophysical profile and otherwise showed no signs of distress, sent me on my way. In the meantime, their advice was to keep an eye on my blood sugar and to make sure I feel movement. So extremely helpful.
I found a different place that does 3d/4d ultrasounds and they have a Monday "quick peak" special. I'm doing that on Monday because I want to have a good look at where this cord is and what's going on with it. Getting to see the baby in 3d/4d early doesn't hurt, either. We're still going to do a longer 3d/4d ultrasound at my ob's office at the end of March, but that's forever away, and I'm hoping that it *might* give me a little extra peace of mind. I'm prepared that it might totally backfire if we see the cord around his neck or something, but I think I'd rather know than not, even if that is causing it. (And I know that a lot of babies are born with cords around their necks and are just fine. I'm a little too used to ending up on the crappy side of statistics, though.) And I'm aware that the cord could be around him sometimes and sometimes not, so seeing it or not seeing it Monday doesn't necessarily mean anything. I'm always up for another ultrasound, though, and it's been forever since we've gotten good pictures of him. (Plus, in the back of my mind, I think, if this baby dies too, I'll forever regret not doing this.) And! Considering he's probably definitely over 4 lbs now and likely headed towards the 5 lb mark, by the time we do the regular length 3d/4d ultrasound, it might not be as great quality because he'll have a lot less room in a couple weeks. Joe just sighs and goes along with it.
The crib mattress has arrived. I haven't decided if we're keeping it because I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the way it fits in the crib, I can almost fit 2 fingers, though I'm convinced there's no way the baby could fit his head in between the crib frame and mattress and when he's little he won't be sleeping in the crib anyway, so that's probably okay. But I'm not sure that I'm happy with the firmness of it, either. "Firm mattress" to me means slightly less firm than sleeping on the floor, so I'm not sure any mattress would fit that bill. I bought it from Amazon and I have a year to return it for free, (we kept the plastic on it) so I'm thinking it over. It is sort of organic (a lot of mattresses that call themselves organic aren't really, I went with something I thought I could live with. It does have some of the fire proofing chemicals-namely boric acid- but at least no PVC/vinyl.) And I figure if we splurge on a truly organic mattress cover, that will matter less.
And the stroller is here and assembled too. And not to mention about 10 cases of diapers of all sizes. I was excited about all of the stuff, now, it's a bit harder to get excited because all of the stuff is a gigantic reminder of how much we have to lose...again. I thought I was kind of over that but apparently not so much. Instead of being like, "Hooray, I love this stroller", it's more like, "God, I really really hope we get to use this stroller." It suddenly feels like I'm 21 or 22 weeks pregnant again and holding my breath to see what happens next and hoping that it will turn out okay this time.
On the brighter side, I'm looking forward to getting a sneak peek at the baby on Monday, when I'll be 30 weeks. And we're down to just almost 6 weeks or less to go. (Although if the next 6 weeks go like this past week has been, I may make Charlie Sheen look mentally stable in comparison by the time we deliver.)