Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Scare Tactics At 35 Weeks...

I think anyone who knows me *in real life* pretty much knows I'm an overachieving type of gal. Whereas John is the "Why spend a weekend studying for a 99 when I can spend an hour or two and get a 90?" type--I'm cut from more of the, "Ummm...because you CAN...and SHOULD!" cloth.

Now, in fairness...in the nearly 18 years John and I have been together, I have come to at least appreciate his philosophy (especially when it means spending more time with me and less time doing something that may not mean a lot in the bigger scheme of things).

But I still like to go above and beyond as a general rule. And I like for my children to do so as well.

I was always so glad that Matthew not only passed his tests, but did really well! Breathing? Oh yeah. Amniotic fluid, even with only one kidney? Yep. Movement? Seriously!!! Tone? Super. I think part of my worry about him going down in growth percentiles as he did was maybe even my subconscious worrying about him not being at the top of everything he could be.

Luke has been a good boy for his mommy--passing everything with flying colors and even exceeding in big ways lots of little things that his brother didn't really seem too worried about. I worried Luke wouldn't move as much as Matthew because I'd freak out wondering if everything was ok and though Luke still doesn't move as much, he moves a TON and is a bit more predictable in his moving, so that's a nice little trade-off for me.

I've had ultrasounds every other week since Luke was 6 weeks. I started weekly ultrasounds at 30 weeks. Normally, he is all over the place and I worry they won't be able to get the things they need because he's so active. Yesterday's ultrasound took a good bit longer...the baby was sleeping, apparently, and since she was doing a biophysical profile, she wanted to see him moving and breathing and such. So, it took a bit. He still got an 8/8, but when Dr. Sweeney came in, I told him about how the monitor went off last week at Dr. Polko's and someone I didn't know came in and was asking all sorts of questions and such...then when I saw Dr. Polko, she asked, "So when's the next time you see Sweeney?"--a question she has NEVER asked. I had answered that it was just a few days later, and asked her if I needed to see him sooner and she told me, "No...just curious."

I found it odd, but she said all was fine and I trust my doctors. There is such reassurance in being able to believe them.

In telling Dr. Sweeney, though, he asked if it would make me feel a bit better if he put me on their NST monitor there. In reality, these non-stress tests are SOOO stressful to me, but seeing as HE'S never offered that either, I figured he wouldn't if there wasn't a purpose. Of course, he told me not to read too much into it, and it was just to reassure me, but still.

Well...the strip had a ton of accelerations, and no decelerations, but one of the points of the test is looking for at least 2 accelerations that last for at least 15 seconds or more in a 20 minute time period.

No such luck. His heart rate was pretty low the whole time, about 115-120, which is still very normal and expected this far in the game, but one of the nurses came in and said, "Wow, your baby likes to hang low."

No, he doesn't really.

They kept me on the monitor for 40 minutes, since he failed one part in the first 20, and still didn't have the accelerations she wanted by the end. She was very nice, though, and told me that it was not a big deal at all because the tracing was beautiful and he'd done fabulously on the biophysical profile.

I'd still have liked him to pass ALL the things with flying colors.

Dr. Sweeney said that non-reactive but reassuring NSTs happen all the time and the ultrasound findings and movements they saw were great information and more accurate of his well-being.

To quote one of my favorite movies about the word 'reassuring,' "I do not think that word means what you think it means."

I had two lollipops and a big glass of cold water and he still wouldn't keep his heart rate up higher. John just said that's because he's like his test pilot daddy--calm and cool.

Hmm. Anway....

We did another ultrasound after, though, and he was moving and more wiggly and Dr. Sweeney said he looked great.

Again, I have NO doubt that if he was the teeniest bit worried, he'd have me in labor and delivery before I could blink...so, though I'd prefer Luke to not scare mommy as much, no one else seemed worried (John included) so I won't either.

But I'm dying to see how he does at his NST this morning! It was scheduled for later in the week, but my Pensacola Girls are coming in starting tomorrow and I switched it!!!! For a while I thought it might be silly to have an ultrasound on Monday afternoon and an NST on Tuesday morning, but now, not so much....

The surgery is still scheduled for the 4th, but has been moved to 1 pm. That's just fine with me.

Again, hard to believe.

No weight gain this week either...still hovering between 20-22 pounds total...I think the doctors are just now starting to hope I put a bit more on, but Luke still seems to be growing just fine, so I'm not too worried. In truth, this is how I figured my pregnancy with Matthew would have gone--I have NEVER been able to really put any weight on, and was shocked with 50 pounds with Matthew. Not upset, just surprised. This is more of how my body usually is with weight gain, even in light of many increased calories.

Didn't think we'd get any more great pictures, but Dr. Sweeney was on a mission yesterday--looking to reassure me--and he got a sweet, sweet little smile. Can't wait to hold that boy and see that smile face to face!

UPDATE: So, he TOTALLY kicked booty this morning at his appointment. Granted, I gulped the cold water and popped bubble gum like it was going out of style, but he was ALL over the place...and his heartrate was great. It was in the 130s, like normally...and not like the 110-115 of yesterday. I was 'done' with that test in like 6 minutes. And he's been moving like gangbusters all day, even though I've been all over the place running errands. Think my boy is like his mama...a morning person who pretty much feels like crashing around 2:30-3:00!! Also found out that I am STILL measuring 'big'--about two weeks ahead. I didn't realize this has been the trend for most of the pregnancy because I'm always so focused on Luke's stats, but essentially, I'm measuring about two weeks ahead and have been for a while. Which makes me feel even way better about going early at 38 weeks. Might even be a good thing that I've been getting our bags for the hospital together. He might just decide to surprise us on his own at 37 weeks or so...then again, thanks to my friend Nia, I have to say I wouldn't be that surprised after all!

Rare profile where Luke doesn't have his hands by his face!

I'm NOT looking to cooperate, thanks!

Oh, alright...since mommy's having such a rough afternoon...I'll smile!

Here's what's going on with Luke this week:

Week Thirty Five: Reflexes are coordinated

You are 35 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 33 weeks)
  • Your baby is now about 18.5 inches in length and weighs over 5.5 pounds.
  • Baby is about 47cm crown to heel and weighs almost 2.7 Kg.
  • The body of your baby is growing round due to developing fat layers.
  • Your baby's reflexes are coordinated.
  • Lungs are almost fully developed.
  • About 90% of babies born this week survive.
35 weeksMost babies gain about half pound per week in the last month of pregnancy. Fat stores accumulate in the legs and arms. These layers of fat will help them regulate their body temperature. Baby still doesn't have enough fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm outside your womb. If born now the baby would probably be put in an incubator, about 90% of babies born this week survive.

Lungs are almost fully developed. Your baby's reflexes are coordinated, they turn their head, grasp firmly, and respond to sounds, light and touch. You should still feel movement every day. He or she is about 5 and a half pounds and growing fast, it is getting short of space in the womb.

Your uterus has become more cramped, your baby's kicks and other movements less forceful. You may want to check on your baby's movements from time to time and do a kick count.

Baby may push up against your ribs and make you a little breathless. Soon your baby's position changes to prepare itself for labor and delivery. The baby drops down in your pelvis and you will be able to breathe easily again.


  1. Luke is so precious! I am still working on your canvas, just like you ~ I am a perfectionist and I can't send it until I AM HAPPY with it!

    Hoping to get it to you before Luke gets here!

  2. <3 Luke's smile is JUST like yours!!!!!

  3. Sweet, sweet baby boy!!!! I love that smile!!

    I tend to be a bit of an overachiever as well. But the problem with me is that I always tended to focus more on the score than actually learning something. So, I'd slack off all semester, cram for an exam a day or 2 before it was scheduled, get my perfect score, and then forget everything a week later. Not exactly a good philosophy...

    I'm 100% sure Luke is just fine and so glad you are trusting your doctors and not allowing yourself to indulge in worry!!!

    Our baby boys will be here so soon!

  4. wow, great pics! Can't wait to see his face and compare it to these pictures ... it's getting closer!Love you!!

  5. Beautiful pictures... LOVE the smile! :) How cute!!
    I thought that I was the only person on earth who *really* likes "The Princess Bride". :) Glad to know I'm not alone...
    I'll be praying for you,John and baby Luke as the 4th approaches.

  6. Bless your heart. I know your Doctors are wonderful and they offered reassurance, but when you are a type A personality you want concrete details. I'm the same way Lori, but like you, trust in my Dr. and her abilities :) It doesn't mean that I don't leave one Dr. and go to the other with lots of questions, but I do my best to trust.

    I SO LOVE that profile of sweet Luke's smiling face. Priceless! He's going to be in your arms before you know it.

    Have a wonderful time with the Pensacola girls! They are going to be over the moon when they see you...what a reunion! I feel lots of love already.

    Take care of yourself sweetest friend and know that I'm sending continued prayers. More than anything, thank you for all the encouragement, tips, love and support that you continue to give me.

    Love to you,

    ps the little bunny is performing his/her daily gymnastics as I'm typing...I love it :)

  7. I read your post this morning and just came back to it now. What a huge relief that Luke did so well on his test this morning! I hope that relieved your worries.

  8. I am glad that the NST this morning helped you to feel better. Like you said it is a possiblity that Luke is like you and is rather chill in the afternoon and rearing to go early in the day. Enjoy your weekend.

  9. HMMMMM That's all I have to say is HMMMMM and you know what I mean.. LOL

    God is good all the time.....

  10. That smile. THAT SMILE!! Does my heart good. Love, love, love.

  11. Luke is beautiful!! Sorry he gave everybody such a hard time. I'm glad that everything turned out ok and he's fine though. Love that smile:)

  12. Sweet sweet handsome little boy -- love the one of him smiling... amazing and a little miracle... hanging with you for Jan 4 to come, and Jan 5 to arrive as NEW DAY for you and John, Lori...
    HUGS!! Amy

  13. oh how wonderful. you had me holding my breath that whole post, and then to get to read the update - yay! Luke is amazing, I love his little smile! Your good news of his arrival is just around the corner. Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers!

  14. So glad everything turned ok in the end! You know the saying in education... You are just an overachieving freak!!! But I love all my coworkers who are like that. I can't believe you are only a few weeks away from holding the sweet like guy in your arms. Time has flown by!!!

  15. I find the non-stress tests very stressful, too!!! I have mine done at the hospital and all it takes is for me to get one of the not-so-nice nurses and I freak out! They make strange comments that I get all nervous about. I've learned to watch the paper myself and always drink the juice.

    I'm so glad he passed with flying colors today! I'm hoping that I'll get my exact induction date soon...maybe it'll be the 4th, too!!!

  16. Look at those sweet pictures of Mr. Luke!!! :) You are doing a great job "keeping" it together! I'm proud of you!