Thirty-three weeks down! I am so happy to have made it this far.
I count my weeks on Sundays, you know, because I do happen to know the exact date of my ovulation/conception and it was precisely Sunday, April 5th, also known as Easter Sunday. You don’t forget driving 2.5 hours each way for an uncomfortable catheter on Easter Sunday, you know? At any rate, I bring this up because my OB’s office insists on using the date of my last menstrual period to date the pregnancy, which is less accurate. In a normal 28-day, unmedicated cycle, sure, that would work. In the cycle when we conceived, though, fertility drugs sped up the proliferative phase enough that ovulation (& likely conception) occurred on day 11, not day 14. So while I say I hit 33 weeks this past Sunday and will hit 34 weeks this next Sunday, my OB thinks I am 33 weeks as of today, Wednesday, and will not be 34 weeks until next Wednesday. I think my way is correct. This may be important later, but I hope not.
The Babies Are the Size of: My Ovia app says two heads of cauliflower, but I feel like we’ve had cauliflower before? I looked at the Parisian Bakery theme instead and was delighted to see that EACH baby is now the size of THREE chocolate croissants. That’s a total of six chocolate croissants. I think you know where I’m going here.
How I’m Doing: Physically I feel pretty much the same as last week, though I have definitely started swelling more. Wrestling shoes or boots onto my swollen ham feet is a serious workout, and the doctor’s scale says I gained 6 pounds since last week. Surely most of that is water weight. I continue to have BH contractions often, but none are regular or painful. They’re much worse when I’m standing or walking, though, and I can really feel the weight and pressure of my uterus and the babies bearing down whenever I am vertical.
Emotionally I’ve been a mess since my doctor’s appointment on Monday (see more below) because I’m just not ready for these babies to be born yet. I need them to stay put where they are until at least 34 weeks — preferably 34 weeks by my doctor’s calendar so there will be no room for debate — that being the magic number where we believe they will be mature enough to be born and cared for at the local hospital and be unlikely to need a more intensive NICU situation.
Ultrasound: My growth ultrasound was great. Both babies are growing on track and measuring right around the 50th percentile for their estimated size and weight. Baby Girl (A) was estimated to be about 4lb 8oz and Baby Boy (B) was at around 4lb 5oz. I have nine pounds of baby in there, y’all, plus of course two placentas and two full amniotic sacs. Phew. They are both still head down, which is a hopeful sign for attempting a vaginal birth. If either were breech or transverse, a C-section would be almost sure to happen instead.
We even got to catch a glimpse of Baby Girl’s face as she was turned toward my front. (Her brother was facing my spine and ignoring the paparazzi.) The tech we had said she likes to switch on the 4D whenever she gets a good face view (our other tech never does this) and so for the first time, we were able to get an idea of what one of our babies will look like:
Can you even handle her little mouth and chin? I can’t.
Doctor Visit & NST: After the ultrasound, we went in to see my OB, who decided it was time to do a cervical check (the first in many weeks). It turns out I am now 2cm dilated and 90% effaced. I was completely shocked to hear this — I’d sort of felt like things were sailing smoothly ahead and that we’d have no problem going at least 3 more weeks, but this really took the wind out of my sails. She told us I could be getting ready to go into labor right now, or I could go on like this for a couple more weeks, but there was just no way to predict.
My husband was with me at the doctor this week and it took him a minute to grasp all of this information (I don’t think the numbers meant anything to him at first — he was all “it doesn’t count until you’re 4cm, right?” — until I explained what 90% effaced meant, among other things), which we tensely discussed on the way from the OB to the hospital for my already-scheduled NST.
At the hospital, they put me in a regular L&D room instead of a tiny triage/evaluation room and had me get into a gown because they were going to check my cervix again after the test to see if I’d progressed. The combination of all this really set us both on edge. It felt like they were admitting me. They weren’t, but it felt like it.
Our NP was really sweet and calming, and she got the test set up and left us there to listen to the babies’ heartbeats for about half an hour. The test looked great — she said I was having small “irritability contractions” throughout but the babies’ responses were good. The on-call OB, another doctor from my practice, came in and checked me again. He said I was still no more than 2cm and, in his opinion, only 70% effaced. On the one hand, that was sort of a relief, but on the other hand, DO NUMBERS EVEN MEAN ANYTHING AT ALL? You can’t go backwards.
They released me with instructions to come back if I started having painful or regular contractions, bleeding, or my water broke. I also talked with the NP about my work and what my schedule and typical days were like — she said since I could sit all day, park in disabled parking, and take the elevator everywhere, there was no problem with me working at this point. I am at work today, in fact, where I am conferring with students, which means sitting at my desk in a comfortable chair with my feet up and literally nothing more. Okay. She also said at home I should basically do NO household stuff: no cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Fine by me.
So I suppose they can’t be too overly worried if I’m allowed to work? Right? And people go around for weeks at 2cm or more without going into labor, right? (Thank you to all the twitter ladies who shared your experiences with this; it’s very comforting.)
The bottom line, though: I do not feel that it is time for these babies to be born yet. I need seven more days, minimum. I just do. I am very firm about this. DO YOU HEAR ME YOUNG LADY AND YOUNG MAN?