Monday, November 28, 2005

Another Monday appointment this week. Back to Wednesdays next week. Today was another speedy one, even with the non-stress test--only an hour total, though they'd said the test alone could take a full hour. I believe we can attribute this at least in part to the baby's constant activity. It did not take long to demonstrate the range of heartrate they're looking for on the non-stress test. I think the nurse said they need to see it move up and down 15 points. Little Pele (as John as taken to calling him/her) was as calm as 130 at rest and as high as about 165 while wiggling. The nurse was very impressed with the rapid results and said the baby showed excellent neuro function--a level not expected until 32 weeks, which isn't until Friday. I don't quite understand how this test is connected to measuring neuro activity, but I'm sure one of my medical siblings can explain.

My blood pressure was fine--126/78 in the office visit (sitting up) and 118/86 during the non-stress test (reclining.) The nurse said it usually goes down when you put your feet up. Hmmm...note to self...built in excuse for sloth. And apparently I did not fully indulge in Thanksgiving gluttony as my weight did not change since last week. More stuffing please!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

To counter any display of ignorance in the previous post, I share this info from my brother, the self-described (and never modest) "internationally-known, well-respected medical professional" and, incidentally, father of four:

Doppler doesn't really sound any different on the inside. The sound waves it uses are undetectable by the human ear. So Cletus-the-fetus hears what you hear, only a little more muffled since there's a layer of Mom and amniotic fluid between. What Cletus is squirming from is the moron [in Cletus' world, anyway] poking Cletus in the side, the head, or whatever.

Monday, November 21, 2005

A special Monday update for those who check early this week. The holiday schedule means I'm seeing a different doctor this week and next whose clinic days are on Mondays. Dr. Kennedy IS allowed vacation and we are VERY glad she's taking it now and not at Christmas since delivery will be imminent then.

All was normal today--blood pressure 110/80 and the baby's heartrate at 140. Again, difficult to capture the heartrate as little squirmy wiggled away from the Doppler. I wonder what that sounds like from the inside?

Our friend Erin has a great story in today's Des Moines Register about the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa, which is where I donated breastmilk when I was producing so much more than Will would ever have needed. It's such a great service they provide so I'm happy to see them get some attention in the state's largest newspaper. (I think this link will only stay live for a week.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another Wednesday and all is well with the baby and me. My blood pressure was 100/70 and the baby's heartrate was about 135, though hard to capture because this little bundle of energy would not stay in one place. That's pretty much par for the course--lots of kicking and wiggling, sometimes in such rapid succession that I feel like a punching bag. All welcome signs though.

Dr. Kennedy was very excited today about brand new research that shows that steroids are effective in enhancing lung maturity with planned c-sections like mine. I'd asked about this a few weeks ago after one of Will's doctors mentioned that his wife did this instead of an amniocentesis to check for maturity. At the time Kennedy was iffy, saying she understood the preference to avoid the amnio, but no one had demonstrated benefits of steroids after about 34 weeks. Now there is research to support this so it looks like the path we'll follow. Assuming we both stay healthy, I will get two steroid shots 24 hours apart (just like I did before Will was born--standard care for pre-term deliveries) then wait another 24 hours and deliver. It looks like we'll have a choice of whether to do this in the last week of December or first week of January, again all contingent on our health.

Also, starting the week after next I'll have a non-stress test at each appointment--precautionary only, not because of any signs of impending problems. It's basically a fetal monitoring test that measures the heartrate and uterine activity over a period of about an hour.

It's winter in Iowa--first snow this week. Typical of our weather, of course, the Tuesday/Wednesday snow came on the heels of a 70-degree Saturday. At least that means the ground is still warm enough that nothing accumulated. Also discovered this week that two winter coats--one dressy and one casual--still fit around my expanding girth. I suppose that doesn't say much for the fit and stylishness of either coat if it still fits around me at nearly 30 weeks. Oh well, 12 years of uniform-wearing ensured that I would never be a fashion maven.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fastest OB appointment ever this morning! My appt. time was 11 a.m. and I was on my way out the door by 11:12. All is well--my blood pressure was 120/64 and the baby's heartrate steady at about 150 beats per minute. Between last week's ultrasound and today the baby has shifted from head on my right side to head on the left side. I was actually able to feel the head today--cool! That also explains why my back now hurts on the left side.

John and I both had colds this last week, but nothing major. Apparently there's a three-week version in circulation--glad we didn't get that one. Perhaps obsessive hand washing really does pay off.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Today was the second ultrasound for the preeclampsia study. Everything looks good--no change since last time except for the baby's size, now estimated at 2 lbs. 7 oz. (more than twice Will's size!) To recap, the study is looking at bloodflow through the uterine arteries as a possible predictor of preeclampsia. My right artery is perfect and the left artery still shows slightly elevated pressure, as it did at 23 weeks. Not cause for alarm, but reason to continue careful close monitoring. The study doctor (one of the high risk OBs) asked how often I'm seeing Dr. Kennedy and when I said weekly, she said that's a good idea.

My blood pressure was fine--122/80 and the baby's heartrate was about 130, which is lower than the last few weeks, but it was taken in the ultrasound so that might make a difference. In the ultrasound the machine measures it. Usually in the office, the nurse just counts beats while watching the time on her watch--so possibly not as precise. Regardless, it's well within normal range.

Today was a beautiful 75 degrees--quite a treat for an Iowa November. John was distressed that I chose a short-sleeve shirt since it left my arm bruises visible. He's worried people will think he's responsible, which in a way I guess he is, since he gives the arm shots. But someone who doesn't know me at all noticed them today and said she could tell they were from shots so maybe it doesn't really look as bad as we think it does. Besides, we'll be back to long sleeves and sweaters in a day or two--this is Iowa after all!

P.S. Happy Birthday to Diana!