Thursday, January 21, 2010

34 weeks

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like your average cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which will help regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to mature as well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Nervous about preterm labor? Who's nervous? Ha!

I was certainly encouraged when I read those last two sentences (in bold) this morning. 34 weeks is a huge milestone and though I do think Chase would need some time in the NICU, it gives me great comfort knowing that there most likely wouldn't be nearly as many challenges as we had with Addison. Also, I am guessing that Chase wouldn't need any breathing assistance and would just be considered a feeder and a grower.
Our best guess is that Chase is already probably close to a pound more than Addison was on the day she came home from the hospital. My doctor is estimating that he is over 5 pounds at this point. Unbelievable!

I was feeling pretty good prior to yesterday, with bed rest seeming to go by pretty quickly. I was beginning to feel more optimistic with each passing day (and of course continue to sing my praises each morning that I wake with little Chase still inside). But yesterday threw us for another loop and really brought my spirits down.
I woke at 6am with contractions (the first that I could actually feel without someone telling me that I was contracting). Dustin and I waited for our friend to come over to be with Addison and off to the hospital we went. I was having contractions every 2-4 minutes and was eventually given Terbutaline to try to stop them. Though they didn't completely stop, they became more irregular - occurring every 2-10 minutes. The Terbutaline made me jittery and caused a headache, but other than that it wasn't so bad.
Because I also reported leaking fluid over the previous 24 hours, they ran 3 different tests (including a fern test) to see if it was amniotic fluid. Fortunately, it wasn't....thank the Good Lord!
It turns out the increase in fluid is being caused by an infection (but that infection is not causing these preterm contractions).
The good news is that my cervix is still closed. I am 70% effaced but these contractions have yet to cause dilation. My doctor told me yesterday that if the contractions I was having did dilate my cervix, there wouldn't be anything more he could do to stop labor. So, hearing that I was not dilated made me want to jump for joy!
I was sent home after a few hours and told to continue bed rest (though I never presumed there was an alternative). I had contractions again throughout the night and early this morning, but those now seem to have subsided. My uterus must have a serious beef with me!
On a positive note, I had a fabulous experience in L&D this time around. My doctor was attending, which I know made all the difference. I was in a triage room within a minute of checking in and my doctor was in my room 2 minutes later. Even better, we didn't run out of toilet paper AND my nurse, Beth, was able to get an IV in on the FIRST TRY!!!!!!!! Such a difference from my last visit to the unit....
I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. I'm not sure what the appointment will entail...we'll see. I really don't want this baby to arrive any time soon. I would like another 2 weeks, at least. And if I make it past 36 or 37 weeks (God willing), I will feel comfortable resuming normal behavior. I hope I get that chance. There are a few things I am itching to do before the little man arrives!
Thanks so much for your continued prayers for our son. I know God hears them!
Hopefully these aren't the last of the belly pictures I'll be posting!

1 comment:

The Goldmans said...

GO CHASE & MOMMY, you are both doing great!