How Far Along: 35 weeks 1 day today. E2 should weigh about 5 1/4 pounds and be 20 inches long. The length is probably about right. The weight...not so much!
Weight Gain/Loss: According to Dr. M.'s scale yesterday, I actually lost three pounds compared to my previous visit there. I was up 0.6 pounds from last Thursday's UW appointment...but that's still better for me. It's probably lost water weight.
Maternity Clothes: Always.
Movement: E2's movements are large enough that Paul's actually seeing my belly morph out of the corner of his eye. I'm getting a lot of little knob-like movements across portions of my belly, either elbows, knees or feet. I can't tell which is which, but it feels really strange.
Sleep: Except for the last two days (not sure why), better overall.
Gender: A baby brother for Aliya
Symptoms: More ligament pains this week, especially on the right side.
Belly Button In or Out: Closer to 90-95% outie now, although it still goes flat sometimes, depending on how E2 is positioned.
Freak-out of the Week: Just missing my babies. A lot.
Looking Forward To: Another good non-stress test tomorrow morning.
Appointment: Tomorrow morning at St. Pete's for another NST, and then back to Dr. M.'s on Monday for an NST, fluid measurement and quick baby survey. I'm on the twice-a-week NST protocol, i.e. "very heavily monitored" per Dr. M.
Miscellaneous: Last Thursday's appointments at UW turned out ok. Dr. E. wasn't all bad. In fact, I sort of liked his sense of humor (although he decided to tell me why I'm infertile - and he was wrong - so I corrected him...he clearly doesn't know everything). The first appointment of the morning was with his two nurses for an UltraCom, which is this old-school ultrasound of something in the heart (artery?) and a vessel in the throat to measure cardiac output. Those results were charted on this graph...needless to say, I was off the chart (in a bad way) on both, even though I'd been on a beta blocker for three days by then. Incidentally, my BP was 146/83...not my finest.
The second appointment was a non-stress test, Paul's first. E2 decided to nap through the first 10 minutes, so the nurse had to get the buzzer. Poor little guy...they put this weird microphone/vibrator thing on my belly and buzz for a solid several seconds, and I could literally feel his whole body jump (startle) in my uterus. It took two tries...the first time, he jumped but kept on sleeping! After the second trry, he woke up and performed well, solidly passing the test. Whew.
The final appointment of the morning was with Dr. E. Paul was getting pretty pissed as we sat there waiting for over an hour in that tiny exam room while we could hear Dr. E. in the hallway. Oh, well...how is that any different than being at Dr. M.'s?! Dr. E's senior fellow came in and asked some questions, and then we waited a bit longer before she and Dr. E. finally came back in. Dr. E. said that while I do indeed have hypertension, mine is the easiest kind to treat. (I honestly took that as a compliment. It's been a very rare occasion over the last three years that anything related to my health or reproduction is classified as "easy".) Since the beta blocker had successfully lowered my heart rate into the normal range in just three days, there was nothing more they could safely do with that drug. Dr. E. said my heart was beating really hard to work at pushing all my extra fluids through my body (as opposed to beating faster to do it, like it had been without the beta blocker), so I needed to shed some extra fluid. He prescribed a diuretic, along with potassium to keep my electrolytes in balance, and said he won't need to see me again. He did say that E2 will need to come no later than my 39th week (and that baby would likely come sooner than that), and that Dr. M. would need to monitor me very closely so that at the first sign of any further BP issues or problems with the baby, I could be delivered right away. The first night I took the diuretic I developed a headache, followed by dizziness, so I paged Dr. M., who assured me it was ok and sent me off to bed. Even though warned I'd pee like a race horse, that hasn't been my experience. My feet look better each morning (a tiny bit swollen, but not like before), and they will swell, as will my hands and face a bit, if I'm upright for too long, but it really is better.
Paul and I had minor freak outs the rest of the weekend, just the stress of not knowing how soon E2 could be here. We stopped at IKEA on our way home from our UW appointments and bought baby's dresser, then met our doula for a late lunch/early dinner and talked through our birth plan, which I drafted and e-mailed for edits Monday. We have since looked at cribs (we're ever closer) and have cancelled two carpet-shopping appointments because our schedules aren't working out well. My mom and stepdad came over on Saturday and were priming machines, getting the ceilings, trim and closet doors knocked out in both the nursery and guest room. I ordered the fabrics for the nursery and expect them today or tomorrow, so I can finalize the paint colors for the nursery (we're doing wide stripes). I still need bedding for the guest room so I can choose color for those walls, too. And, our sister-in-law came over Monday with several boxes of our nephew's hand-me-downs, and helped me with baby laundry and setting up the pack and play in our bedroom. This week I'll work on packing my hospital bags, just in case, and getting the car seat installed (also a just in case). Having those last two done will really help with my peace of mind, I expect.
I had my first NST with Dr. M. yesterday, which was fine (E2 passed it right away, just like the very first NST, but had to stay on the monitor 20 minutes and slept through the last 10-15 minutes). We also had a quick ultrasound to check my amniotic fluid levels, which were fine (and not quick, since I had to wait a good 40 minutes for the ultrasound room to become available). (Funny Dr. M. moment of the day, as he scanned the first fluid pocket in the upper left portion of my uterus: "Oh, there are the little boy parts. We'll scan right here. The little boy parts are the fountain," [i.e. fluid-creator].)
I asked Dr. M. about an induction timeline, and he's back to erring on the side of the "experts", so now he's saying we might make it to 39 weeks, even though last Tuesday night I'll have my last 17P shot (to prevent preterm labor). I don't know now whether to expect baby to possibly be here in another 2 weeks, or another month. I get that lying down has obvious benefits to my BP and swelling, but another month of this will get really old. Dr. E. thought I could possibly sit up at a desk and telecommute, but absolutely did not want me commuting into an office job. Dr. M. is the one who had pulled me off of work to begin with, and I forgot to ask him yesterday how he feels about telecommuting (probably because I was there for exactly 3 hours for an hour-long appointment...par for the course). I still need to talk to HR to find out what my options are, and then to my boss to figure out what I can actually do from home. It's all very confusing to me, and I'm afraid of both biting off more than I can chew and of under-committing and being bored out of my noggin the next four or so weeks (if baby comes at 39 weeks). I guess none of this is supposed to be predictable...