Then I went into the exam room and was hooked up to the monitors for an NST (non stress test). For those who don't know, what that means is they monitor the baby's heart beat and I believe they are looking for 3 accelerations in a 20 minute period of time. I am not positive, but I believe that is what is needed for a "pass." I am apparently visibly exhausted right now because after the nurse hooked me up to the monitors she asked if I would like the lights turned down so I could rest during the test. Fabulous idea! I am literally not sleeping more than 1 hour at a time right now at night and just the physicality of living is making me feel more tired than I have ever felt in my life. I know that is just normal end of pregnancy stuff, but man, I am pooped. So I was thrilled to have the lights turned down and be able to just lay down with the rhythmic sound of my little girl's heart beat in the back ground. It sounds exactly like horses galloping to me. So I relaxed and listened to the "horses" and waited.
My favorite nurse came in to chat with me a couple of times (I was seeing the doctor today) and the doctor stopped by a couple of times to see if we had "passed" yet, which we hadn't. After almost 40 minutes she found enough stuff on the little sheet of paper to pass us, but she declared that she had barely passed, "by the skin of her teeth." If the baby doesn't pass, by the way, they send me off to the hospital to be monitored there. I guess the machines are much better at the hospital and they are able to pick up the accelerations better than the ones at my OB's office. So then we chatted about the physical stuff (head aches, visual changes, extreme exhaustion, little swelling etc...) and she measured me. I am still measuring a little bit big, which is good. I think I measured at almost 35 weeks and I will be 34 weeks on Tuesday. She told me that going forward she wanted to see me on both Tuesdays and Fridays for NST's from now on.
She thought I was joking when I told her that Tuesdays weren't really a good day because I was busy...I guess since I am supposed to be on bed rest and completely off of work means that I shouldn't be working on Tuesdays. Whoops. I only have two days a week where my cousin is here to train and learn how to take over for me when I am out. Those days are Mondays and Tuesdays. So I usually do MUCH more than I am supposed to on those days but then take it easy on Wednesdays and Thursdays to try and make up for it. So having to go to the doctors on Tuesdays puts a damper on that. I will try and be better...I swear...
The not-so-great news came as I was getting ready to leave. I told my doctor that I had scheduled my c-section for the 20th of April and she said, "Yes, I saw that. I'm glad you did that."
I then said with a smile, "I'm going to make it to 38 weeks, right?"
And as she was walking out the door she answered, "Nope. Not even close. But we'll give you a couple more weeks..." and then she shut the door.
Now I have to admit that I have wondered how in the hell I am going to make it another 5 weeks to get to 38 weeks. Not because I want this baby to come early. Quite the contrary actually. But within the last week or so I can physically feel myself slowing down and getting more and more tired and in more and more pain, and the "side effects" getting worse and worse. I have expected to be put on full, strict bed rest within the next couple of weeks prior to delivery. That's why I have been going probably more than I should be to try and get everything caught up before that happens. But I don't think that "step" is going to happen. I think my doctor is under the impression that I am pretty much on full bed rest (as in there is NO work going on at all, which really isn't the case) and the only next step would be to check me into the hospital. She knows I am a single mom at home with a 3 year old son and knows that it is unrealistic to tell me I can't take care of my son at all. And I really think that's all she thinks I am doing right now. And it is my bad for "breaking" those rules.
So this is what I think is going to happen. I think my doctor wants me to get to 36 weeks. I think I will be monitored twice a week between now and then and if the baby "fails" any stress test, it is off to the hospital for me. Once I get to the hospital, if the baby can "pass," then they will send me home. If the baby doesn't "pass" in the hospital, I think I am staying there. If it is between now and 36 weeks I think she will keep me in the hospital with 24 hour monitoring on the baby and obviously if something bad happens to the baby, she comes out. But if not, I will stay until I hit at least 36 weeks. And if she "fails" a stress test anytime after 36 weeks I think she is just going to want to deliver the baby. Her comment today of "No, but we'll give you another couple of weeks" gives me the impression that she doesn't think my body is going to support taking care of this baby much past 36 weeks.
I have so many emotions about what is going on, but I will have to save that for another post. I am too tired to think right now and all I know is that this baby wants me to go lie down and get off the computer. It goes without saying that I am worried and scared and frustrated at my body and all of those wonderful emotions. I think any mom would be. You obviously want to provide the vessel for your child to get here, full term and completely healthy. It makes me SO angry that my body doesn't seem to be able to do that. And I am scared about what an early baby means and if we are going to be dealing with the NICU and how that will all affect her health and the ability to breast feed and...so...many...other...things...
But for tonight, she is in there, she is healthy and doing well, and I am off to bed. Good night!