I have reached the point of pregnancy where, yep, it’s getting old. As much as everything has gone and continues to go astoundingly smoothly, I’m just about over it. I am not fully into the “Get this baby out of me NOW I don’t care if she’s early!” mode that I know women reach at varying points when the due date starts to draw near… But, I am thinking that maybe the compounding discomforts are an evolutionary trick to get women to look forward to, rather than fear, the delivery process.
Mostly it’s the fluid retention that’s making me crazy. My hands and feet are constantly puffy and frequently painful, especially in the morning. My right hand/arm have been a tad carpal-tunnel-y, which may be affected by all the knitting. I wouldn’t call my swelling ‘severe’ – not really bad enough to set off the preeclampsia warning bell – but knowing that PE is a definite risk for me, the swelling does stress me out. And the stress of it is vastly more annoying than the discomfort. Other late pregnancy complaints abound, too, but cause me less stress and therefore are easier to cope with for the next couple weeks. BH contractions. Hip ligament pain. Relaxin-induced snoring. Poo troubles (I’ll spare you the details). Not to mention the humongous fetus moving around all the time with no concern for my organs or bones.
Really, everything is fine.
Which is why I was so surprised at my last appointment when my doctor told me that the byouin’s head doctor wants to send me to the real hospital to deliver. I had a major internal freak out when she dropped that bomb. I guess she was reviewing cases with him, since he’s the boss, and he thinks my hypertension makes me high-risk enough to be sent to the big, actual hospital instead of staying at their byouin, which is a small specialized obstetrical clinic and birthing center. The thing about it is that my blood pressure readings have been consistently fine since I upped the meds, and have even been downright GOOD the last two appointments. Unless there’s some concern they haven’t shared with me, I see no reason the plan should change, especially when they never brought it up at all before 37 weeks. I would certainly deliver at the big hospital if it’s medically necessary, but it just doesn’t seem like it is to me. In fact, it’s like a couple of steps short of a C-section. Of course I’ll deliver by C-section if I have to, but I’ll be disappointed in myself. Having to go to the big hospital just feels like some kind of failure.
I have seen so frequently where women feel frustrated by a loss of control dealing with the medical crap in their birth experience, and the freak-out in my head when she brought this up was a little taste of that loss of control. Complicated, of course, by the language barrier. I was not, uh, very receptive to the suggestion. I stayed composed, but Dr. A could definitely see I was unhappy, and she hemmed and hawed a bit. She said that she knew I wanted to stay, and that she didn’t agree that my case was so high risk (but Dr. M is her boss), and they are storing my blood and apparently it can’t be transferred, and a couple of other things. I didn’t say much, feeling overwhelmed and honestly having no idea what would even be involved in transferring my care to the hospital. It’s probably best nobody took my blood pressure in that moment, or else they might have sent me to the hospital on the spot. Finally Dr. A said she would speak to Dr. M again about me – and then she left the room, so apparently she meant she would talk to him again right then. She came back and brought him in with her, which was the first time I’d met the guy. He speaks no English at all, but talked at me a lot in Japanese, and Dr. A translated.. sort of.. Dr. M seemed to say a lot more than what Dr. A passed along to me. Anyway we established that I know that my blood pressure is high and that eclampsia is very dangerous, but in spite of that, I’d really rather stay and be optimistic that it all works out. And for now? They have decided they’ll let me. Caveats, of course. My BP has to stay reasonably good at the rest of my appointments, and there is a chance that they may have to whisk me away by ambulance to the big hospital in the height of labor if things go badly. (Somehow in my head, the possibility of an ambulance ride to the big hospital is actually much more straightforward, as far as logistics, than planning to go there in the first place.) The outcome, then, is that the birth plan is still exactly the same as it has been the whole time. Only with more anxiety.
With that whole mess out of the way, how about your regular installment of ultrasound and belly pictures?
Once again, that second one’s just for the numbers. I love how all the measurements put the gestational age as OOR, which I assume means out of range, as Japanese fetuses go; when I enter the numbers in my trusty American website, she appears to be around the 48th percentile. It doesn’t get much more average than that. Their formula says she’s 7.1 lbs, but the Baby2See formula says 6.8.
And, of course, behold my bulging belly. No real weight change this week.
Happy new year to everybody. Here’s to new and amazing things. I didn’t get any champagne this year, so I’ll have to toast you with my glass of sparkling apple pomegranate juice beverage. And here’s to my easiest year ever for keeping a weight loss resolution.