Today, we went back to the specialist for the first time since the end of January, 10 weeks ago. Going even just seven days between appointments used to seem like an eternity, and as the week wore on, I would be more and more anxious. We are so very thankful that after all the complications we have endured with this pregnancy, things have now turned so incredibly normal that ten weeks went by in little more than the blink of an eye.
He was clearly smiling during the ultrasound - can't blame that on gas! He's a happy little boy :)
Our little baby boy once again appeared perfectly healthy today. At 35 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy based on my LMP, he measured exactly the same, 35w5d as per ultrasound, too. His weight right now is estimated at 5 lbs 13 oz, which puts him at about 50% percentile. In other words, he is perfectly average - and what a blessing that is! He passed the biophysical profile with flying colors, performing the prescribed number of movements, and showing lots of "practice breathing." Baby is head down (vertex), and has been for about 8 weeks now, which is good.
See those white stringy things in the middle of the screen? Evidently, that's the baby's hair - and the u/s tech said he has lots of it! Looks like a mullet to me.
As far as things on my end, everything was perfect, too. The placenta is healthy, fluid levels are great, and my cervix is holding like a fort - very long, and completely closed. There are no indications at all that anything is amiss, or that baby will even come soon. The doctor assured me there was no danger in letting baby continue to "bake", something I wanted to make sure of because some moms in similar situations to ours choose to deliver baby as early as possible after losing one twin. The doctor said that was more indicated in cases where it is unknown what caused the passing of one baby, in case it could affect the survivor as well. We know our twin's death was caused by issues that do not affect our survivor, so going full term until labor starts naturally is not a problem. My biggest complaint at this point is the fact that my internal "thermostat" does not work when I am pregnant, meaning I do not regulate heat and cold well. I am either freezing cold, or burning up. Well, the temperatures this week have just pushed into the 90's, and just like that, I feel like I am roasting alive - even though thanks to air conditioning, the temperature in our house has gone up by no more than a degree or two.
The doctor also said there were no contraindications for a home birth, which I always find particularly reassuring seeing as he is used to dealing with high-risk, highly-managed pregnancies. We are thankful for his care and perspective through all this. This Saturday marks the 36-week threshold for being eligible to have a home birth, and it doesn't look like we have to worry about baby coming before then.
At this point, I am seeing my midwife for weekly prenatal appointments. I am seeing my chiropractor as often as the midwife. I have used the same chiropractor for my last four pregnancies, and she truly is gifted at what she does. The regular adjustments help position the baby perfectly for birth, and also alleviate my various aches and pains at this stage. The OB I was seeing no longer wanted to also care for me when she found out last month that I had not ruled out home birth, granted everything continued to look perfect, and the specialist did not have any contraindications for a home delivery. I was a bit disappointed by such a "turf war" mentality, but it did not surprise me. She could not point to any one specific issue that she thought would put me at additional risk, she just doesn't think home birth is safe in general. Obviously, or she wouldn't be an OB. She said it's like performing on the high wire without a safety net. I have to wonder, though, if 1 in 3 acrobats performing the stunt of "birth" at the hospital winds up in the "net", how well they have their act down, or if the safety net is really more of a trap that tangles them. If I were at a circus and that happened, I'd want my money back.
I asked her if she had ever been to a home birth, and she said she had not, nor would she ever want to because she could not imagine just sitting back and watching without doing anything. She said the surgeon in her would come out, and she would want to do something, especially since she said she would be the most experienced person there. That in spite of the fact that by her own account, both of her births (one of which was "natural") were bad experiences. She also said that the reason I would not be able to deliver in the birthing tub is because for sanitary reasons, she couldn't get into the tub with me. I agree, but then again, I don't want or need anyone in the tub with me when I deliver - not like the baby needs to be pulled out. Besides, my midwife has always been able to access my belly as necessary from the side of the pool - and that in spite of how "short" she is.
Anyhow - I didn't feel the need to try and change her mind or part on unfriendly terms - I am thankful for doctors who can provide high-level hospital care - when necessary. It may not sound like it, but she is actually considered one of the more naturally minded OBs in the area. She said if I did end up going to the hospital, she would still be willing to take the call and do the birth unless it was some catastrophic home birth transfer, so it's really a win-win for me. At least this way I don't have to do double the prenatal appointments. With the OB, it was always: wait in the waiting room for 45 minutes, pee in a cup, be seen for 1 minute, repeat next time. More of a technicality and a waste of time, than a necessity.
A little foot
In other news, I am busy winding up the final preparations for the baby's arrival. My birthing room is ready, the tub has been test run and the liner for it ordered, I am collecting the necessary birth supplies, filling the freezer with lots of meals, and pushing hard to finish the last of the big kids' school work (you should hear their groans - but I doubt there will be any complaints from them about a 3 or 4-month summer break).
Thank you for your prayers, cards, packages, words of encouragement, and all the other outpourings of love and support. We are excited to almost be to the finish line!! I am shooting for giving birth on Mother's Day, which is only one day past my due date. We'll just have to wait and see :)