Our first doctor’s appointment this week was on Tuesday, and it went well! It started out with a Biophysical Profile. For this, we met with the ultrasound tech, and she monitored the baby for about half an hour to observe practice breathing and other motions. I asked if I could lie on my side, and thankfully this was allowed. Print Nugget and I both feel more comfortable that way than when I’m flat on my back, and the Nugget moves when I move to try to keep its head down.
We got an 8 out of 8 on the Biophysical! We watched as the nugget “breathed,” sucked its thumb, and then proceeded to try out each of its fingers, finally moving to shove a portion of its whole hand into its mouth before making duck lips and kicking the ultrasound wand.
My amniotic fluid and placenta look full and healthy.
The Biophysical was followed by the usual Doctor’s appointment routine and a Non-stress test (NST). I asked about lying on my side for this, too. The nurse seemed skeptical, but thankfully allowed it, and the doctor proclaimed the test ticker tape to be an ideal example of exactly what you want to see! Baby moved a lot, especially when B. came back in the room (he’d had to step out in the hall to finish up phone calls to find us a family practitioner,) and its heart rate bounced up with the movements, signaling response to stimuli and a healthy nervous system.
Throughout the NST, a contraction monitor is also worn, and some distinct peaks could be seen rolling along the output. I’d been feeling more crampy lately, sometimes more than others, and had even released a bit of the mucus barrier on the uterus the day before. They’re just Braxton Hicks (practice contractions,) but it is a good sign that they’re happening.
The doctor skipped the check on dilation of my cervix (which has become routine at this point in the pregnancy) since I’d be seeing her again in just a couple of days.
In between appointments, I had a night of stronger contractions. Sometimes I feel them more during the day, as well. It seemed like my whole stomach area had dropped down a bit by Thursday morning, likely signaling that Print Nugget has lodged itself down into my pelvis. Breathing feels easier, minus the sinus congestion from whirring dust/dryness as furnaces rage against the recent cold snap.
On Friday, we had a Non-stress test and a meeting with the doctor. The Non-stress went on for a long time because the doctor was in with another patient for longer than expected. Print Nugget did really well on the test again, even having a bout of prolonged kicking and/or hiccups during the test that sent movements and heartbeat soaring (a good thing.)
The doctor checked my cervix, and I’m not dilated any farther, but a little over 1 cm is still good for now. She informed us that she doesn’t plan to let this pregnancy go past December 3rd. This means that if the baby doesn’t come on its own by then, they’ll bring me in on the evening of the 2nd or on the 3rd to induce.
Thankfully, she plans to try the more manual process of balloon induction over using chemical stimuli. My opening cervix, in her words my “good cervix,” (which makes me laugh) makes this possible.
I don’t like the idea of inducing. Keep it in there until it’s ready to come out on its own! But her reasoning is that, statistically, small babies are more likely to be stillborn after week 40. And, in general, I try not to argue too much with professionals in fields in which I’m not a professional, especially when they’ve proven themselves thus far to be reasonable and not reactionary. I can read 20 articles on the internet about it one way or another and not really know anything more than I do now.
So, you can start your countdown, folks: 11 days or less.