On Monday I saw my OB who was very happy with how everything is going. My blood pressure was normal and everything else seems relatively normal too. (I'm not crazy about the heartburn I keep getting, or how my feet keep swelling, BUT it is like the hottest July ever and I'm chasing around Luke all day who is not exactly sedate. And I had plenty of heartburn when I was pregnant with Luke. This is definitely *not* upper right quadrant pain, so I am not going to let it stress me out.)
Tuesday I had my growth ultrasound. I was 22 weeks and 4 days. Most of the baby's measurements were around 23 weeks and a few days. Even almost 3 years later, I still hold my breath a little as they do each measurement. I was 22 weeks and 3 days when I had my last growth ultrasound with Olivia. Her measurements were in the 18 and 19 week range. Since I haven't had an ultrasound in a month, I knew it was all too possible that this baby had slowed down growing too.
I didn't *really* think his growth is an issue at least for now, because I've gotten bigger, and I'm feeling his movements more strongly. I never really felt Olivia move very well, and I hardly even looked pregnant with her. (In fact, one day shortly before I delivered, one of my co-workers commented on it. "I was just walking down the hall and seeing you standing there and was thinking, "I can't even tell she's pregnant".) But still, I remember going into that last ultrasound by myself with her, expecting everything to be normal, and even though the tech didn't/couldn't say anything except had me wait for the doctor, I could tell it wasn't good, that all of the measurements were way behind where they should have been. In some ways, that feels like a lifetime ago. And in some moments, especially when I am sitting there on the ultrasound table irrationally waiting to see if the baby is still alive (considering he had just kicked me) and if he was going to be big "enough", even in a different place with a different ultrasound tech almost 3 years later, it can seem so deja vu. Nothing like a pregnancy to remember some of the worst moments of your life.
ANYWAY, like I already mentioned, his growth is just fine. Almost everything is slightly ahead. There was one measurement that was *slightly* behind, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the heck they were measuring. It had the acronym/abbreviation of CER and it looked like they were measuring bumps on his head. (Which initially freaked me out a bit because I was thinking they were cysts or something). I have decided that there must not have been cysts because A) the tech didn't say anything looked abnormal. B) Everything looked so normal that the doctor didn't even stop in to talk to me. (We had Luke with us who was getting antsy, so I was more than happy to not wait for the doctor if they were just gonna say "looks good, see ya in a month." A quick google search tells me the "cer" may have been a measurement of the cerebellum but that doesn't seem right to be either except for that it was in his head. Anyway, that only measured 22 weeks and 1 day, but I've never even seen that measured before, and from having an extremely growth restricted baby, I know that's nothing to worry about. (I would NOT have been that laidback about it with Luke, probably, but luckily he never measured behind at all. In fact by this point he was a good 2 weeks ahead for almost everything.) The baby's estimated weight was 1 lb 7 oz, pretty good for 22 weeks, almost double Olivia's birth weight of 10.5 oz a week later. (And while I know ultrasounds can be notoriously inaccurate for growth, they were pretty accurate with both my pregnancies. Olivia was estimated to be 11 or 12 ounces. )
So here we go. Another week of normal, I will take it. We are getting very close to "viability". By this time with Olivia, so much was going wrong..her growth, the pain, the quad screen. All still normal, so I feel pretty confident we'll at least make it another month.
My OB wanted to get our repeat c-section on the schedule. I know my MFM was leaning towards skipping an amnio this time and delivering at 37 weeks exactly. Either option has it's risks. The amnio last time made my water break and it was not exactly very fun either. I am not that crazy about waiting an entire extra week and risking uterine rupture, but I know I will be closely monitored, and I know the risks of rupture are pretty low, and most importantly, my OB was really really happy with how the scar looked when she delivered Luke. (They aren't really worried about the normal c-section scar I had with Luke opening, they are more worried about vertical incision from Olivia-which will have had 3 years to heal by late September.) Plus, I am hoping that maybe breastfeeding will be a little easier and maybe we can avoid jaundice or at least limit it more by waiting a week to deliver. Delivering at 37 weeks with no amnio to make sure his lungs are ready makes me a little nervous too, and I am probably going to try to talk them into giving me steroids for the baby's lungs for "just in case". 37 weeks is the limit either way, so there's no point in doing an amnio if we wait till then, baby has to come out. So anyway, right now my OB has me on the schedule for the day I am 37 weeks exactly, October 26th. (Which would be cool if it worked out, Olivia was born on the 28th, Luke the 27th, this baby the 26th--all different months though hopefully.) If anything starts acting up medically or labor-wise (MFM does not want me to have contractions *at all*, OB is more mellow about that as long as there aren't more than one an hour), we'll deliver sooner. We are 0 for 2 with babies arriving on schedule (although Luke was only 5 hours early), so we will see how it goes.
I am also scheduled at a different hospital this time. With Luke, I was too nervous to deliver anywhere BUT the "Baby Factory" with a Level III NICU. With Olivia, I started out at a different hospital, and was transferred to the Baby Factory in an ambulance. Delivering Luke there and delivering Olivia there were totally different experiences. With Luke, I walked in the door and headed up the elevators while Joe parked (I didn't feel like waiting for him in the lobby with my water leaking, somehow he beat me there anyway). Even though there was something redeeming and healing about leaving the same hospital with Luke, that we didn't get to leave with Olivia, I didn't like a lot of the baby doctors or crap that they did. Like take 2 floors worth of babies to the nursery when the pediatrician was due in, undress them and let them scream their faces off while they waited for the pediatrician to check them over, assembly-line style. Luke was gone to be "checked over" by the pediatrician for easily 2 hours. Then the (in house) pediatrician would eventually come to our room and be a jerk about breastfeeding and jaundice.(I am still contemplating getting a new pediatrician who does hospital rounds, too.) I know those are not big things compared to how it would have been if we had had NICU time, but still, if I make it 34+ weeks, I would rather my baby be one of a few in a smaller NICU where they have pretty minor issues, than one of many with micropreemies and everything. I think it's going to be a little hard, somewhat of a trigger, to go back to that hospital where we started oh so naively with Olivia. I have only been back there once since (unlike the Baby Factory where I go ALL.THE.TIME). But I think this place will be better and it will be nice to have one nurse for both me and the baby, little stuff like that. So, that's the tentative plan. Fingers crossed that it actually happens this way, this time, all normal and scheduled-like.