Today I am 38 weeks and 2 days for those keeping track. I visited with Dr. Behm for my weekly checkup. I was very disappointment with my last appointment because there was no progress in my cervix… so I did an internet search for ‘old wives tales’ on how to induce prelabor/labor. Anyone who’s been 9 months pregnant can relate here! I must admit that some of the suggestions weren’t exactly appealing- like drinking castor oil. YUCK! One thing, though, that I did begin was walking. Last week we’ve had a change of temperature and it actually got to 50 degrees here in Saint Louis. So, I’ve been spoiling Kali with daily walks at our local park. We’ve been hoofing it on trails in hopes that my cervix would begin dilating or effacing. I also took up a couple other suggestions, one of which actually has some medical proof. But, that’s rated R so I’ll move on. 🙂
Anyway, my appointment began like any other appointment. I lost weight this week (which is apparently normal at this stage), but someone gained weight. More on that in a moment. Dr. Behm came into the exam room and asked me how I was feeling. I told him the ‘same as last week’ and he asked if I had had any contractions or more cramping. I told him, yes on the cramping, but unsure of the contractions. My cramps aren’t something I can time . . . they feel and last like menstral cramps. I don’t notice them coming in intervals. Dr. Behm then checked my cervix . . . and hey! The tales are true! I’m now 70% effaced and 1cm dilated! He also told me that the baby’s head is very low now. Thank GOD! I’ve made some progress; the end is within sight!
Next, he got out the tape measure to measure my belly (I measured 36 cm last time when I was 37 weeks- which was nearly perfect). His reaction to the measurement this week was “whoa, you’re measuring big now.”
Uh, what? Well, I have noticed a big change recently. Literally. I can barely bend over to shave now. Last week it wasn’t a problem.
He asked me if I was a big baby. “If you consider 9lbs, 4 ozs big! And my brother was 10+ lbs.”
“Did she deliver vaginally??” he asked. I nodded. He then asked if I had time to stay so he could do an ultrasound. I have all the time in the world when it comes to this baby, so I went back into the waiting room for about 10 minutes until the U/S machine was available.
I must admit I got a little nervous at this point. A big baby? Ugh! Before I knew it, my name was called and the ultrasound machine was turned on. After being loaded up with gel, I got to see the larger verison of Xander. Last time I saw him, he was very small at only 21 weeks old. Dr. Behm wanted to take some measurements of Xander in order to get a rough estimate of his weight. It’s not an exact science, but the weight estimate should only be off by 15%. First, he measured the head and it measured large (oh, great). It’s nearly the size of a 40 week old baby! The femur measured 37 weeks, 5 days and the belly measured 39 weeks, 2 days. He checked the placenta and fluid. All A-ok! Dr. Behm inputed all the info and took lots of pictures. Based on the measurements, Xander is approximately 7lbs, 12 oz (or within 15% of that weight so he technically could be bigger!). Based on the u/s, a more accurate due date is March 7. For those of you that remember, my original due date was March 4th. Interesting.
So, now what? Well, Dr. Behm says the baby is measuring only slightly large but is still within normal, average weight range for a healthy baby. However, he doesn’t want Xander to get too big. Babies, at this stage, typically gain about 1/2lb per week. Since I have approximately 2 weeks until March 11, I could easily have a 9+ lb baby. The plan of action is this: he wants to see me next Monday for another checkup. We’ll talk options then, especially if I’m still measuring larger than life. He told me he’s hoping I’ll go into labor on my own, but he may recommend inducing especially if I’m still measuring large and my cervix has opened up more. Of course, he said he may see me sooner . . . he’s on-call this weekend.