Monday, December 17, 2012

36 weeks

Spent a little time in L&D this past weekend.

Friday night I noticed some serious swelling and canklage happening (yes, I just made up that word) after an evening of doing nothing overly strenuous. Saturday morning, the swelling was still there. I had already planned to go Christmas shopping, so while I was out and about I decided to have my blood pressure checked at one of those free machines at Sam's Club.

My first reading was 152/90. Hmmm, not so great. So, I decided to do it again. 139/97. And once more for good measure: 148/94. None of these are great and none of these are my "normal". So, I talked to Buster and he told me just to come home and put my feet up. And that's what I was going to do. But after thinking about it, I decided to call my doctor. At this point, I would rather be overly cautious than irresponsible.

After talking to my doctor, he told me to come to L&D to be monitored and just to make sure everything was ok. I go in, and they have to wheel me up in a wheelchair. It's protocol. Ugh. I kept apologizing to the girl, since I was definitely able to walk myself. Oh well.

I get all checked in on the birthing floor, and head to a room. I get to put on a gown and hop in bed. They hooked up the NST monitors to my stomach and a blood pressure cuff to my arm, and monitored me for about an hour and a half. Henry looked great during this time! And apparently I also had three contractions. I only kind of felt one. It felt like really, really dull menstrual cramps. I couldn't feel the other two at all.

My blood pressure readings started out on the higher side, but then dropped down to pretty much normal by the end of the monitoring session. They drew blood for labs to check my kidney and liver function (checking for signs of pre-eclampsia), and thankfully that came back normal. They then released me and sent me home with another jug for collecting my urine for 24 hours.

The next day (Sunday), I brought my urine jug back to the hospital, and they hooked me up for another NST for about 25 minutes. Everything looked great, and I had one contraction during that time (it's just amazing to me that I can't feel them). They sent me home, and told me to follow up with my doctor by Tuesday.

Luckily, I already had my 36-week appointment scheduled for this morning. They were planning on doing an NST, but after hearing about my weekend experience, it wasn't needed. My blood pressure was great today (128/74), and my doctor said he doesn't even know if he would categorize me as having pregnancy-induced high blood pressure (PIH) at this point.

He did get the results back of my 24-hour urine catch, and my protein was 310. 300 is the cutoff for diagnosing mild pre-eclampsia, but my doctor did not seem concerned, considering my blood results were great over the weekend and my blood pressure was normal today.

I go back in for my 37-week appointment the day after Christmas, and they'll hook me up for another NST. I'm also going to request a cervical check, just to quell my own curiosity.

I did talk to my doctor about my birth plan. I told him that my goal is to go natural, and he was supportive. I also told him that I'm not going to rule out the epidural or other pain relief, but I'm just going to try to not have any. I also asked how he felt about the birthing tub, and he was just fine with me using one. And I mentioned delayed cord clamping, and he was fine with that too. So I feel good about my "plan".

How far along?
36 weeks exactly today.

How big is baby?
Not sure! I'm guessing 7 lbs, but that's my uneducated guess, based off of the average weight-gain of a 1/2 lb a week for a baby at this point in the pregnancy. They didn't do a fundal height measurement at my 35-week appointment, nor at my 36-week appointment. So, it's a mystery!

Weight gain?
Yep! Officially broke the 50 lb mark! Yikes! Really hoping that I lose 20 lbs after delivery!

Belly photos?
Here is last week's photo:

Nope. Nothing note-worthy.

Early this week, sleep was elusive. I came down with a bad cold, and the first couple nights were just brutal. The cold moved into my chest, so I was coughing a lot, and it hurt. I had major sinus pressure and pain, and was up every 45 minutes blowing my nose, coughing, readjusting, etc. But thankfully the cold is on its way out, and I am feeling closer to normal. I have slept pretty well the past couple of nights, knock on wood.

Symptoms [...of impending labor]?
It's funny how this category changes over the course of a pregnancy. I'm now going to use this category as symptoms of impending labor (hence the change in title).

I'm having some major, major pressure in my lady parts. Getting out of bed is the worst. Such pressure and a bit of pain. I mentioned it to my doctor today, and he said that it's good, and means baby boy is doing what he needs to do (assuming that means sitting nice and low so I can squeeze him out??).

Also, (TMI alert) I think I lost a dime-size amount of mucus plug. Yes, dime-sized. Can you tell I'm a first-timer? I'm excited by the littlest things.

This may not have anything at all to do with impending labor, but I've noticed that Henry is way more active recently. I tell Buster that I think he's ready to come out and play! He really goes to town kicking and moving his butt around. It causes me to wince in pain at times, but I still love every second of it!

And as you know from reading above, I've had some contractions. Last night I had some cramping that I think could have been a contraction as well, but I just don't know. I'm a noob!


Won't be long now! Four weeks exactly until Henry's due date, but I'll be considered full term on Christmas Eve. Buster thinks Henry will arrive by the 31st of December. I really don't have a feeling at all. Maybe I'll make a guess after my cervical check next week.



  1. Sounds a bit like last Friday for me! However, I'm glad that your ending turned out a bit differently. I'm hoping that I get cleared at my next appointment. Happy 36 weeks! You look great.

  2. Mucus plug? Oh honey, have your bag packed! Once you are officially full term, every day you don't have to be pregnant any more is awesome, so cross your fingers! Also, you will be at least 30 pounds down by two weeks postpartum, I promise.

  3. Oh my, I am so happy that you are so close to delivery! It is scary when you can't feel contractions, isn't it? I am the same way and the nurses tell me that when it is time I will know and the contractions will be stronger.

  4. The pressure is definitely a good thing. I had a lot of stabby like pains, and I remember getting out of bed was rough on the lady parts for me too.

    It's a total guessing game as far as "WHEN", but my (unsolicited)opinion from speaking to other moms, is that pressure and discomfort are pretty good indicators. Mucus plug is a good sign that things are moving along, but it still could be a while. You probably know this, but I did not. Keep your hospital bags in the car. Mine were at my house and we had to send someone to get them for us because we weren't home when it all went down, lol.

    Good for you for aiming to go naturally! I did it naturally and it went really well. It's hard, yes. And it hurts, yes. But it's totally doable, FOR SURE. Remember one thing: the hardest part of your labor is also going to be the shortest. It'll be when you hit "transition" around 7-10 CM. Make sure you have a lot of encouragement and support around you, and I'm sure you'll do GREAT - no matter what. :)

    If you're interested I posted my birth story in January of this year.

    SO excited for you!

  5. I'm almost pissed off that you had protein over 300 and are not getting a pre-eclampsia diagnosis while I had a protein level under 300 and ended up with a pre-e diagnosis ;-) I guess those 2 weeks made all the difference in the world when it came to a diagnosis! I'm glad to hear they aren't jumping the gun on you and making you induce yet, I hope you can keep that baby in and keep that blood pressure down!

  6. I think you look great- don't you worry about the weight! FWIW though, I gained 26lbs and lost it by about a month after having V, however my shape didn't go back for while (and even then, I had to work out to manage things) but it takes awhile for everything to rearrange itself after the baby is born- don't stress it though ;)

    It won't be much longer now! Sorry you keep having the scares about pre-e and everything though. Hope that things stay pretty "uneventful."

  7. Ahhh! So close! Glad things ended up well this weekend. And you got a practice run in l&d!

  8. Happy to hear you aren't at the Pre-e diagnosis. That is great news!
    I am feeling a lot of belly pain, pressure and stabbing pains 'down there' also. It's actually pretty miserable sometimes, but I know it means I am on my way. So I guess you must be too. And don't feel like a noob about being unsure about the contractions, I am the same. I can't tell if they are serious or just 'fake' ones.

  9. Take care of yourself lady... it is almost time! I am so glad your doctor was all on board with your birth plan! Now try to keep that blood pressure down!

  10. Glad you're still doing well, despite some speed bumps. Hoping these next few weeks go as smoothly as possible! You look awesome!

  11. I can't believe how close you are to meeting Henry! Very exciting! I'm sorry you're having to deal with the blood pressure issue, but at least it seems to be staying on the low side of high. Gah! You're so close! :)

  12. Was your glucose test borderline? My endo says GD is a major reason why women pack on the pounds in pregnancy (when it's not due to eating, that is). Average fasting glucose for pregnant women is 70+/- 8, I was horrified to discover. And I was so happy when my glucometer recently read 87, then I discovered that increased blood volume in pregnancy accounts for the drop. Any idea what your fasting level is?
    I gained 70 lbs in my 41+2 week first pregnancy. I went from a thin 5'9 142 lbs to 212 lbs on delivery day. I'vesince found out that I am mildly hypothyroid but I never had my levels checked in pregnancy. Though I am currently on 100 mcg levothyroxine (a respectable dose) my TSH just came back at 3, which is what it was before medicating. I shudder to think what it was in my first pregnancy, when on two separate weeks towards the end, I gained 10+ lbs. So please, while you are still pregnant, have your fasting glucose and thyroid function fully evaluated. It could save you having problems with milk production. Best of luck in the next few weeks!


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