34 Weeks and a NonStressTest

34 Weeks
For some reason 34 seems like a big milestone in my head. Maybe it’s the fact that Little Miss weighs over 4lbs now, blinks, practices breathing, or it could be that if she were to be born anytime after today she’d most likely thrive needing little if any interventions… hitting 34 weeks is a good feeling. 
My apologies for leaving everyone in the dark last week. My appointment went well, I asked a lot of questions and got some okay answers back. In regards to eating & drinking I’m allowed any clear liquid: broth, juice, electrolyte packs that runners use, honey, etc. I cannot, however, eat. That said, chatting about my concerns of my ‘lack of energy’ from not being allowed to eat, the OB I regularly see agrees that I will most likely not have the stamina that most women have. Her advice? Pack lots of snacks and just don’t let the nurses catch me! While I appreciate her acknowledgment that I need more energy from food than most, I’m a little disappointed with the ‘sneaking’ advice. I understand that they don’t want to be held liable since the main reason behind the no food policy is to ensure that you won’t aspirate into your lungs and drown if an emergency were to arise. Then again,  if you’re going to advise me to sneak them in, can’t we just make an exception and put it in my chart that I can eat, maybe with signed consent that I understand the risks and the hospital wouldn’t be at fault? Either way, I’ll be sneakin’ my snacks. 😉 
The other advice she gave was to stay home later than what they advise. Normally they like patients to come in when their contractions are 5 minutes apart, lasting 45-60 seconds. She said to wait it out (if I can, and everything seems normal) to more of a 3 minute contraction gap since I live to close by. That way laboring at home I can eat and drink and not be hooked up to any monitors for as long as possible. That was my plan all along, although knowing the OB is on board and also recommended my original plan back to me, is very reassuring. 
Hitting 34 weeks also means that I now visit the office for weekly Non-Stress-Tests (NST) and fluid level checks. Normally with gestational diabetes starting at 34 weeks NSTs are done in a biweekly manner. NST are routinely given for a diabetic mother to monitor the baby and see if there are any signs of fetal distress. Sometimes if the blood sugar has been hard to control the placenta starts to break down and stops functioning correctly– to which the baby responds with a lower heart rate aka fetal distress. There are other concerns as well, but that’s the biggest one. Seeing as I haven’t had any issue with my blood sugar levels since being sick in December/January, and Little Ninja hasn’t shown any signs of being a typical G.D. baby (bigger/rounder belly, higher than average weight gain, etc.) I felt that I would be putting myself (and Ninja!) more at risk by visiting a hospital twice a week than by skipping one of the two appointments. So, in the nicest way possible I let her know that I would not be going for two NST a week and that we can start with one. 
Sometimes I think doctors secretly hate me.  =D She agreed on the condition that if any of the tests came back abnormal we’d up the visits to 2. That was enough compromise for me. I had my first NST today. Everything looked normal and I got to listen to the baby’s heart beat for about half an hour. I also got to watch my “contractions” on a monitor. I didn’t have any, but I did set off the alarm by coughing. My regular little coughs hit around a 50 on the contraction scale and my full blown CF coughs racked well into the 100’s. During a coughing fit (where I managed to hit higher than 130 on the contraction scale) I set off a little alarm. At least I can say that it wasn’t boring. 

Shelves

Part of me wonders if it’s due to all my continuous coughing that my ab muscles are much more toned than most and so when I actually do have a contraction it just doesn’t register on my own personal scale since the muscle at the top of my uterus are used to much more abuse than my ‘practice contractions.’

In other news, the little miss was head down today! Thank goodness. She was breech last Tuesday so I got the talk about what would happen if she didn’t flip by 36 weeks. Basically a breech presenting baby is an automatic C-section. There’s an external version they can perform after the 36th week if she’s still breech where they manually turn the baby by manipulating her from the outside of the belly. Since there’s a slight risk of placenta abruption it’s only done after the baby has hit the full-term mark in case an emergency C-Section is required. All I can say is that I’m super happy that she flipped back down and I hope she stays that way for good!

Over the weekend Kyle and I put up some abstract art and some rustic style shelves in the nursery. I also cleaned and organized the closet and did some more laundry since we received some more hand-me-downs. We’re getting close folks! Hard to believe she’s going to be here soon.

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