30 weeks is one of my favorite pregnancy landmarks. Its so comforting to reach this point and know the odds are just so much better than they were just a few weeks ago. I am so grateful to be going to sleep tonight knowing that, if this baby came tomorrow, I would most likely be dealing with an entirely different kind of preemie than Matthew was at 27 weeks.
My last ultrasound was a few weeks ago at 28 weeks gestation. Baby was estimated to be around 3lbs 4oz, up from 1lb 12oz at 24 weeks. That puts him at about the 76th percentile. Obviously these estimations can be off by quite a bit, but I find the steady growth pattern in each of his ultrasounds from 11 weeks on to be reassuring. He has consistently measured a week ahead of schedule (my dates aren't off, I think he might just be a chub.) Good growth is a reassuring indication that the placenta is functioning well. And for the first time, I noticed hair on the ultrasound. Matthew had quite a bit of hair when he was born at 27 weeks and Roo had a full head when she was born.
The entire appointment with Small Town MD was, for once, a positive experience. The ultrasound tech was the same woman who had done the ultrasound 4 weeks before. She remembered me, gave me a big hug and said she was so sorry for the way she frightened me the last time. She made sure to do some very thorough measurements and talked with me very openly, which I considered a blessing.
I passed my glucose tolerance test, and my favorite lab guy was working so I didn't even feel the needle going in. I love that.
Roo has quite a fascination with medical-type stuff and always amuses people with her persistent questions during ultrasounds and dr appointments. Jerry didn't get to come this time so I had put a new cartoon on the ipad for her to watch. You know, buy myself some silence. I asked her if she wanted to go behind the curtain and watch Mommy get her blood drawn or stay in the little waiting area and watch her show. She willingly turned off the cartoon, followed me back, and proceeded to amuse the lab guy with about 20 questions regarding the composition of my blood. She later watched me get my rhogam shot with rapt attention as well. She definitely doesn't get this from Jerry; he gets visibly pale if anyone mentions a needle.
Small Town MD seems to get more comfortable with my care the farther along I get and he seems to listen a bit better to how I think my care should go. I haven't recently left his office feeling frustrated and like no one but me is willing to fight for my baby, so that's something anyway.
I had a little run-in with the medical receptionist in SmallTownMD's office prior to this appointment. When I was confirming the appointment the week after Christmas, I realized that an ultrasound had not been scheduled. When I requested one she says, "Well, there isn't an ultrasound ordered..." I patiently replied, "I know. I would like you to get Small Town MD to order one." She comes back with, "Well, okay....he isn't back in the office until next week..." I said that was fine and I would expect to hear back the next week.
I didn't hear anything so by Tuesday (3 days before my Friday appointment) I called and left a message stating that I would still like an ultrasound added to my appointment. She called back an hour later and says, "Okay, Small Town MD did place orders for an ultrasound, but you should know that it isn't considered medically necessary to have one at this point..." I did not stop to inquire as to whether this was her opinion or the doctor's. I did not care. I didn't bat an eye and I told her to get it scheduled and email me the confirmation. I was really irritated, but I refused to be made to feel as though I am being panicky or unreasonable. I can assure you, I am not. I do not bother my doctors outside of appointment time. I am polite and respectful even when I disagree with their opinions. I know what pregnant women can be like. I know it's hard to sit at a desk and take phone calls from obsessive patients all day and I try to sympathize.
But I also have to balance my desire to be pleasant with the knowledge that, should the worst happen again and I leave this pregnancy without my baby, I have to be able to live with the decisions I've made. I have spent hundreds of nights awake since Matthew died, dissecting every little decision we made during his pregnancy, his NICU stay, his death and the aftermath. If something happened to this little guy and I let some irritating medical receptionist guilt me out of having an ultrasound at 28 weeks (rather than waiting until 32 weeks as was apparently Small Town MD's original plan) I would never stop questioning whether that was the appropriate decision. For me, pregnancy is a balancing act. I have to learn my limits, learn what I can and can't handle. Just like I learned that ultrasound time is not share-with-family-time during this pregnancy, I am also learning the art of being cautious and guarded yet hopeful. I didn't say any of this to the medical receptionist. Frankly, it's none of her business and her/ Small Town MD's approval of me does not matter.
And so, in my balancing act between caution and optimism, I have now arrived at 30 weeks. Though it feels like pregnancy will stretch on forever, I know I am getting close to the end. It's time to start preparing a bit. I have picked up a few baby clothes, but I won't be taking all the tags off and washing them until Little One is actually home and in need of them. I'm not worried about converting the office into the nursery for at least the first 6 months, but I have started to go through all the old textbooks and unnecessary stuff I've been toting around. I won't have an office anymore after it becomes a baby room (my we are outgrowing this place---a complaint for another day, but a lovely complaint to have is it not?) so I will need to downsize. Roo's room also needs to be painted and her new bed constructed. I think it's only fair that her room gets done before the new baby's does anyway.
I had gotten rid of most of the baby gear I had from Roo, and much of it was pink and girly so I am in need of a lot more baby stuff than I had originally hoped. Bouncer, swing, infant carrier, play yard with bassinet (her old one got used a lot and has several cracks in the structure), new dresser. Since I no longer live in a lovely large metropolitan area, I figure we should purchase these items before the birth as much as we can. However, I will be leaving them in their boxes until the baby gets home. I don't want to take it all out and set it all up and then have to hide it all from myself should something go wrong. If I end up doing a massive Target run because the baby came unexpectedly and caught me off guard, so be it.
My classes start again tomorrow. Eek! I am trying to work ahead by about a week because I have a bit of a heavy credit load going this session. And also? A baby will be born SOMETIME during this session. So I may want to take a few days off from online schoolwork. I have a microbiology class and a history class along with my regular nursing class this session. The classes last for 8 weeks and can be pretty labor intensive so hopefully I'm not in over my head.
I think that about sums it up.