Friday, 24 February 2017

36 weeks pregnant

That really did come up quickly.

Far more so than with the first two. An indicator, I think, of just how busy it is with two kids under 5 and another on the way.

I've finished work - started my leave just after I turned 34 weeks. I'm now doing the school runs morning and afternoon for my big boy who has just started full time school (after part time kindy last year), and looking after the increasingly difficult (terrible 2s anyone?) but happy 2 year old the rest of the time. It's not so bad during the day, especially as I have got his day naps back to normal after a brief period of him refusing to nap, but if hubby is out in the evenings it's a real struggle for me. He's out regularly twice a week but often will have something on on an additional day, which means mealtime, shower time and bedtime are all mine and it takes all of my energy to get this all done by about 8pm. Then i try to ignore the chattering coming from their room unless it goes longer than half an hour or so at which point I have to act, as otherwise I have a tired school child to deal with the next morning.

I've also finished my physio appointments until after baby is born. Still trying to regularly do my exercises each night, as well as try to do perineal massage. And am going weekly to the chiro to balance my pelvis - after the first two appointments baby moved from slightly oblique to 1/5 below brim!

Good news: I had my scan at 34 weeks and my placenta has moved away from my cervix and is no longer considered low-lying! So all systems go for a vaginal birth.

I got a bit of a surprise at the ultrasound, when the sonographer told me they would have to check it using the trans-vaginal wand as well as just the regular one on my stomach. They check measurements, placental blood flow, cord placement etc using the stomach wand, but because my placenta is posterior they needed to see the trans-vaginal view to measure how far it had moved. The stomach ultrasound did show placenta up the top (i.e. fundal) and some down the bottom below baby's head, but didn't show how far it was from the cervix. Turns out it's moved 3.21cm upwards as the lower part of my uterus expanded. Plus it wasn't uncomfortable at all - thanks pregnancy hormones!

She did mention that baby is on the smaller side (estimated at 2.2kg), although with long legs, and asked the birth weight of my two previous babies (3.03 and 3.45kg). She said she didn't think this baby would be quite as big as my second.

I then had to attend the antenatal clinic to discuss the results with the obstetrician there. She stated that my baby was currently on the 10th percentile, a drop from my 20 week scan where it was on the 50th. She was concerned about the drop in size and suggested I book in for a repeat scan at 36 weeks to ensure baby hadn't dropped further in percentiles.

She wasn't happy with a homebirth with a placenta under 5cm away from the cervix either, although did agree it was well within their limits for a hospital or birth centre birth (2cm). The risk is with post partum haemorrhage because part of the placenta is on the non-contracting lower part of the uterus, and the way of avoiding this in the hospital is to have something called an oxytocin infusion (basically syntocinon or syntometrine through an IV). She did say however in the hospital setting they would wait and see before administering the infusion - I can't remember if she said but I expect they would have started managed third stage with an injection of synto in the thigh regardless. I researched this when I got home and decided that perhaps proceeding with a managed third stage immediately baby is born would help in preventing a severe haemorrhage (or at least give us time to get to hospital if needed). My midwife agreed that was a good idea for this birth, and suggested she would use syntometrine, as it is stronger (and we don't want a preventable transfer).

And of course, she didn't recommend a homebirth for a VBAC mama either, despite the fact I've birthed successfully since the CS. She preferred me to come in early in labour and be continuously monitored, with a cannula in place. Not surprising to me!

Regarding baby's size, I had a look at E's scan around the same time - he was estimated at 2.55kg. So 2.2 is a little smaller... however, all the information on baby's size at various gestations I found on the internet all seemed to indicate that 2.2kg at 34 weeks was average! So I can't understand how they have it as 10th percentile. Baby is incredibly active and hasn't dropped in activity like you would expect a baby who is not getting enough nutrients and thereby dropping in percentiles would do. And also, as she actually stated in her letter to my midwife, I'm not a large woman and so a 10th percentile baby would be expected for someone my size. (Which is what the senior OB said about my second pregnancy too). So I rang and cancelled the 36 week scan.

So onto my belly shots! Been really slack this pregnancy. Think for the next 3 photos (which by the time I've published this are 38, 39 and 40 weeks) I'll pop on the striped dress I wore for the previous pregnancy shots and take a comparison photo with the camera instead of my phone.


So left to right are pregnancies 1, 2 and 3 at 36 weeks. Pregnancy 1 was breech position and without a Tubigrip. Pregnancies 2 and 3 are both with baby head down and a Tubigrip worn the whole pregnancy. I think I look slightly bigger if anything with pregnancy 3. Be very interesting once baby is born to see how he/she measures compared to the two boys.